As Long As I’m Asking for Advice

podcastSometimes, thinks piss me off.  Yeah, I know that comes as a surprise, but quite often, I listen to podcasts that just bug me, mostly because of their focus, when they talk about it, on liberal politics.  Not too long ago, there was one that I was warned I’d hate, was told that it would spawn a pile of posts, and it did, but what it also did was get me thinking.

The sad thing is, there just aren’t any atheist podcasts that I’m aware of that have a conservative bent, at least I’ve never found one.  I’d love to know if there are.  There are some that are totally apolitical, but those tend to be few and far between, most of them are distinctly liberal and, to be honest, pretty emotional.

So I had a really stupid thought that I started kicking around, what about having a conservative atheist podcast?  I immediately brought this up to @jeh704 on Twitter, since he’s one of the very few other conservative atheists I know,  and he thought it was a good idea, but honestly, I want more out of it than that.  See, I have listened to a lot of podcasts over the years and most of them start to sound alike.  They start to fall into a couple of distinctive categories and while I do want to borrow some of those concepts, the fact is, I’d rather create something unique.

Some of the ideas I’ve currently got rolling around in my head are:

1.  Organized.  Lots of podcasts are just a bunch of guys sitting in a room shooting the breeze.  More often than not, they never seem to accomplish anything, the discussion just meanders around until they run out of time.  No thanks.  If I’m going to do something, I want it to be segmented into definable sections.  This section for news, this section for this, this section for that.  We don’t have to hit all of those sections in every show but I don’t want shows to just wander.

2.  Rational.  This is a big one, I think, I really don’t want to see yet another overly-emotional podcast where people just react off the cuff without stopping to think about it first.  Now I know podcasts are pretty spontaneous and you don’t really have a chance to go do research when something comes up, but at least I want it to seem like we’ve thought about it a little bit.

3.  Educational.  A lot of atheist podcasts, they just take news stories and laugh at them and while I think that’s certainly worth doing to some degree, I want to provide more.  There are some, like Reasonable Doubts, that have segments where they try to inform the listener about various gods, etc.  I want something like that.

4.  Not guest-heavy.  Lots of podcasts just have a different guest on every  single week, mostly so they don’t have to do that much work, they just lay it on the guest.  While I’m certainly not adverse to having guests from time to time, I don’t want that to be the majority of what we do.

That’s about all I’ve come up with so far, I wanted to see what others think, what they’d like to see in a podcast, etc.  I’m also curious what people think is a good name, so far I’m not coming up with anything clever.

The lines are open, let’s get some calls.

10 thoughts on “As Long As I’m Asking for Advice

  1. Well….my first thought regards your idea of guests….you don't need my liberal butt for a guest…you need conservative atheists. I would put on as many as you could find that fit the other things you want—educated and rational. I would use it to give conservative atheism a forum. As you said, there really isn't one. Why not be that forum.

    I don't really have much experience listening to podcasts. From what I can see, the format you laid out seems great. I like the idea of an organized format, however, I also like the idea of a bunch of people in a room discussing a particular topic, so I would not rule that out all the time.

    The more educational and organized you want the program to be, the more work it is going to be. Not that this is a bad thing, but I suppose you need to figure out how much of what type of segment you want per episode. To do something like Reasonable Doubts is going to take a decent amount of prep time for each podcast, that you might like to spend in a different way, such as preparing questions for a guest…

    Not sure how helpful I have been…either way I look forward to checking out what you come up with.
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  2. As we discussed, it's one of the things that bother me with the current podcast I do. I've been wanting to have pre-production calls to talk about what guests, if any, and what subjects we're going to discuss. I know people are busy, hell, I'm busy, but a 30 minute call once a week, say Wednesday(since we record on Saturday) isn't asking too much.
    I really like the idea of a podcast not only being entertaining, but educational as well.Most that I listen to(admittedly very few, and I include the one I do in this) aren't. but I can say that when we first started talking about the current podcast, we never discussed that as being part of it. I've also tried to get the others to consider doing segments, and we are considering that, but it also takes extra editing time and right now, when it takes 5 days from recording to uploading, I don't think that this would work. In the near future though, I can see that changing.
    The technical piece is the biggest issue for me. We first started off on Blogtalk radio, but one of the other hosts complained about quality and so we started using Skype. Well, I really don't see a difference and I would like to go back to Blogtalk. Our problem, as it turned out, wasn't Blogtalk, but our equipment(microphones). that's pretty much been cleared up now. The other plus is that people can listen in "live". I like that idea. And you can have a call-in to answer questions or get comments from listeners.

    whew. I'm tired of typing(not that I can do that anyway), more later.

  3. I would definitely listen to the podcast you are describing. As a liberal atheist, I think it would be good for me to listen to such a program from a rational, intelligent conservative.

    I have one suggestion, you mentioned some podcasts just talk until they run out of time, I wouldn't worry too much about making sure it is the same length every time, I would just make it as long as is appropriate for the topics that come up. If some episodes are 20min and others are an hour and a half, that's okay. I know some shows try really hard to fit into a certain time slot, and it is always annoying when they end a discussion early or when they are just filling time.

    Other than that minor point (which you've probably already thought of), I think this sounds great.
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