Coping With COVID19 In Podcast Land
I’ve never really like the “misery loves company” saying. Yet here I am, giving you an update on our own pandemic-borne reality, plus stories from three other podcasters who are making it through.
Apparently, microphones are not acceptable forms of PPE, according to the CDC. But the good news is that while our mics and windscreens may be covered with the virus, it’s not transmissible digitally. A boon for podcasters and podcast listeners!
If I come off a little weird and flippant, please forgive me. If you’ll recall from prior episodes or my various social postings, you’ll note that my wife and I have been experiencing intermittent, low-grade fevers for a couple of weeks now. No other symptoms beyond that. In fact, had we not been hyper-aware of health concerns, I doubt I’d have even bothered to check my temp.
Even though we both feel fine, we’ve been responsible citizens and have avoided physical contact with other humans for weeks now, since the onset of symptoms. Because that’s the world we live in now. So, like you, we’re doing everything remotely. When I do venture out, it’s fully masked and gloved. Because that’s the world we live in now.
But the latent scientist in me is puzzled by an intermittent fever that presents no other symptoms and lasts for weeks. That’s not normal. And when good scientists get odd results, one of the first things they do is test their instruments.
I think the thermometer we’ve been using cannot be trusted. So we have a new thermometer on order. Until it arrives, we won’t change any of our behavior just in case. That, and this is the world we live in now.
As has been my wont on Thursday episodes, I’m once again bringing you short clips from podcasters around the world who are dealing with the realities of the pandemic. Because while we’re all in this together, it’s impacting each of us unevenly. Listening to stories of other podcasters gives me a sense of perspective. I hope it does the same for you.
Susan Schwartz, Lush Life:
I wanted to respond about how the Coronavirus has hit my podcast. I pride myself on doing my interviews with bartenders face to face. I feel that getting the true nuggets of wisdom about someone’s life story happens better in-person.
But obviously I can't do that right now, so I’m leaning on SquadCast (at your suggestion) for remote interviews. That solves the technical issue, but there’s still a content issue. If the bars that my guests own or the ones who employ them are shuttered, then they're not going to want to talk about business, you know? And they don't know the future of their bar or distillery… so right now is doesn’t seem like the time to talk about their life story.
I haven't yet seen a decline in listeners, but that's because my last episode just posted and my guest on that show has done an amazing job at sharing it with his network. But I am expecting an eventual decline.
I’m really proud of how the people in my industry have responded. The bar community has come up with some amazing ways to keep relevant and active, using lots of live video. I’m hoping to help turn some of them into podcasts.
Also, I'm really happy that I have you there, Evo, to help me through this.
Matthew Cicorea - Behavioral Observations
I've been putting out episodes for the last four years and it looks like say my downloads are down about 10% or so since the onset of our new reality. I recently conducted a rather unscientific survey of my listeners on my Facebook page asking them whether their general podcast consumption has gone up, down, or stayed the same. Basically all respondents said their podcast listening has gone down, mainly due to not commuting anywhere for their work.
One of my sponsors has pulled their sponsorship for the month of April, and I honestly don't know what will happen. Other than that, it's been business as usual. I've done a few COVID-19 related shows, but I plan on mixing it up to provide some variety to my audience.
Thomas - From Cubicle 2 Clouds
I’m new to podcasting and am an avid listener of your show. I'm deeply ingrained in the aviation industry, but thankfully not on the front lines. I work in IT for a major air carrier in Phoenix. My team is responsible for keeping the ticketing software systems running. And as you can imagine, there's not a whole lot of ticketing happening right now. But that’s okay.
Besides that and podcasting, I have an additional profession. I'm a flight instructor! And as you can imagine, times are a little rocky. I'm not flying students currently and my primary employer is waiting on the government for a bailout. But I count myself lucky as I have no friends or family who have been directly impacted by COVID-19
So I’ll continue to play the same social distancing game the entire world is playing. And I’ll continue to make an listen to podcasts, hoping for the best. I know that once we make it past this, my industry will thrive once again and keep moving forward. Thanks for your show and hopefully we'll have another PHX Podcast Club meetup soon.
Really great hearing from Susan, Matt, and Thomas. I’d love to hear from you too. Just record a quick minute or two audio, put the .wav file on Dropbox, and then email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. I don't release episodes on Friday, so please try to have a great weekend.
See you on Monday for yet another Podcast Pontifications.