Last night I went to The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for a guest speaker event. The speaker was Shea Shackelford of the Big Shed and Radio Pie fame. I met Shea via email after we’d both been on the Voice of America TV spot about podcasting a few months ago. The wonderfully kind and generous Chris MacDonald of the IndieFeed podcast (among other things) told me VOA TV needed another podcaster. He even let me stay at his house in DC! Such kind people you can meet by podcasting. Really… both of these guys have been wonderful to know. Thanks also to the wonderful people at the CDS. I really enjoyed talking to ya’ll.
Shea spoke about podcasting to a group of students who were participating in the CDS Summer Audio Institute. From what I understand they were all taking classes to learn about how to make audio documentaries. This particular discussion was introducing them to a WIDE OPEN medium from which to share their work, PODCASTING. They’re independent producers and have a very high wall to climb if they want to get their work aired on a terrestrial radio station. But with podcasting that all changes. Now we have MUCH fewer barriers. If you have access to inexpensive gear, the knowledge, Internet access, and web hosting your set.
This was a very interesting event for me. It showed me yet another facet of podcasting and audio production. I knew about public and commercial radio stations repurposing their audio content via podcasting. But I didn’t know much about how new audio producers are learning about these tools within the documentary world. It’s a big leg up over earlier generations of radio folks, IMHO. Just knowing that someone out there somewhere has listened to your work is just the sort of encouragement artists need to continue creating.
After the event one thought has really stuck in my head… How do technical aspects of a medium and inherent limitations influence the aesthetic methods by which producers create? Now put that question into the context of two things. One traditional radio, two podcasting. I’m looking forward to your comments.