TWiT Podcast Hosts Reflect on Podcasting on International Podcast Day
Every day is podcast day here at TWiT, but today, on International Podcast Day, we celebrate with the entire community of podcasters and listeners.
As Leo Laporte says, voice to ear is an incredible connection. "The most important thing we have is the relationship with our audience. It's the community built around what we do. In podcasting, it's the only thing that matters."
Podcasts are intimate in a way that most other media is not, Jason Howell says.
"When I listen to a podcast week after week, I feel like I know the people, I'm picking up all of these clues and insights into who they are, how they live their lives," Jason says.
What makes podcasting special?
"Audience connection is key to the strength and power of podcasting," Jason says. "Because the medium is so incredibly personal (we are, as hosts, speaking directly into people's ears so it's almost like we are talking with them — like they are a part of our conversation), it allows the listener to be connected to the show and the content in ways that feel so much more accessible than TV or film."
"There is a level of intimacy in podcasting that you don't find in most other forms of media," Mikah Sargent agrees. "When I listen to a podcast and have someone directly in my ears, I'm giving them that space. Podcasts have a magical ability to create a sense of getting to know someone on a personal level even if you don't know them in person."
Plus, for any niche topic, there's a podcast for it and a space for a community.
"If I have an interest, no matter how obscure, chances are there is a podcast out there that caters to that interest, and the host is just as nerdy about it as I am," Jason says.
Building and cherishing a sense of community as podcasters
As podcasters, authenticity and community fuel their drive.
"I've met so many amazing people online over the years through my podcasting and I have always felt supported and understood," Jason says. "I've loosened up on my shows and allowed myself to speak authentically and not be a host but rather a human."
"I think people connect deeply when they know there's a human speaking from a point of authenticity on the other end of the podcatcher."
"The dynamic between listeners and hosts is fascinating as the relationship changes over time from hosts and listeners to hosts and community," says Ant.
Podcast fans first
Mikah recalls listening to MacBreak Weekly as a high school student on a house painting gig. He remembers the friendly voices keeping him company while working alone in an empty house. He felt like he was hanging out with Leo, Rene, and Andy.
For Jason, Buzz Out Loud got him into listening to podcasts.
"One of the first podcasts I ever truly loved was Buzz Out Loud at CNET. I began listening to it daily after I got a job as an intern as CNET on the B2B side of the business. I had this job at a tech media company, so I felt I should know what's going on in tech. Buzz Out Loud fit into my commute routine, and I fell in love with the energy and rapport of the hosts. I laughed out loud on the train to work. I felt a personal connection with them, even though I really didn't know any of them that well. It turned out I was eventually given the chance to produce the show!"
For Ant, "The first podcast I ever watched was DL.TV hosted by Patrick Norton and Robert Heron. They lead me to check out another show called 'TWiT.' I listened and it was Leo Laporte's voice in my ears. I was hooked on the show and the medium."
That got Ant started on a journey that led to him starting or co-starting his own podcasts and eventually joining TWiT.
"Many community members I've gained over the years are still people that I chat with or hear from to this day. All because of podcasting."