Podcasting isn't new. But it is gaining traction as an avenue for expression and connections. Why is that?
Podcasts have been around since blogs were a thing. Remember blogs right? "Weblogs" or online journals where people write their thoughts and opinions in paragraphs and sentences longer than 140 characters?
Death of the Blog
Blogs during their time, in the 90's to the early 2000's, were revolutionary because they offered a higher level of sincerity and relatability to the reader than merely reading a press release or a news article.
Eventually, there came a time when every major company and big celebrity had a blog on their website. However, as technology progressed and the "blogosphere" became saturated not just by blogs but press releases and advertisements masquerading as blogs, people moved on to the next thing.
The Vlog is Dying
Even if you haven't been around in the heyday of blogs, maybe you've heard of vlogs or video logs. Many of them are still around: in Youtube or Instagram, people share their thoughts and personal milestones through taking video messages.
Vlogs are increasingly going the way of blogs. Like blogs, it used to be a niche thing to have the confidence to post a video of yourself ranting about mundane (or at least to you, important) stuff on Youtube. It was raw, unfiltered, and honest. But as social media increasingly became our primary mode of information, entertainment, and communication, people have made careers of making vlogs.
Eventually, the same thing with blogs happened. The vlog market became saturated and more curtailed by PR managers. Instead of becoming accidentally entertaining by being honest, many of them aim to be intentionally entertaining while seeming honest. And they end up being neither.
Podcasting: An Avenue for Sincerity
Podcasts are now taking the place of vlogs as the new avenue for people to express themselves. Like blogs and vlogs, anyone can start a podcast. In fact, like I said, people have been making podcasts since blogs were a thing.
But the reason why podcasts are overtaking vlogs, at least in terms of quantity, is that sincerity and rawness is baked into its DNA. As vlogs become more mainstream and more staged, people are turning to podcasts for their dose of unbridled human interaction.
Podcasts also seem to be immune to showbiz. Perhaps because it is different for celebrities to finally have the camera away from them. More and more celebrities, CEOs, even politicians are guesting on podcasts and starting their own to speak more candidly to their followers, maintain their personal branding, and build their community of fans and supporters.
Unlike in vlogs, ads are seldom integrated throughout the podcasts and are instead given in breaks separate from the program. That removes the worry of podcasts merely tricking into buying stuff, a crime many vlogs and influencers are guilty of. Podcasts, like radio before it, make it clear when something is an ad. And sometimes a little honesty is all you need from ads.
How to start a podcast
Anyone can make a podcast. It's as easy as recording your voice and posting it on social media. But it's different if one intends to capture sincerity while sending out a clear, understandable, well-paced message.
It's another difference between vlogs and podcasts: where vlogs with obvious production efforts distract from its realness, podcasts require a certain level of clarity and professionalism for sincerity to come through. If you're speaking your heart out or thinking out loud, you can't be distracted by sound levels or latency or any other technical mumbo-jumbo.
But the truth is, having a production team helps you focus on your voice and your message by taking care of the production and releasing side. By doing this, you and your audience could focus on the stuff that matters in podcasts: real connections through sincere, honest conversations and exchange of thoughts.