Podcasting: the experiences of Bagel Tech News

Bagel Tech News podcast

As part of the research into a forthcoming book on online journalism (UPDATE: now published), I interviewed Ewen Rankin of independent podcast Bagel Tech News. Here are his responses in full:

The background

My background is as a commercial photographer. I started life in graphic design and quickly moved to shooting photographs for the agency at which I worked. It was kind of a lucky transition as I wasn’t much cop as a graphic artist. I took fairly low level stuff to start with (picture business cards were all the rage in the 80s) and then moved to more commercial work shooting the advertising shots for Pretty Polly and Golden Lady tights in about 1988.

I start broadcasting in July 2008 and after two weeks Amber Macarthur made us Podcast of the Week on the Net@Night show with Leo Laporte. Listenership rose and we began to grow.

The Daily News show was published… daily until November 2008 and then I started publishing the BOG Show with Marc Silk, and was opened by Andy Ihnatko on 30th November 2008. I removed Marc from the show in Christmas 2009 and installed a ‘Skype Wall’ in January 2010 to run a more panel based show. More shows have been added in the intervening period and the network now has 7 active shows

  • Bagel Tech News – 70k Dloads PCM
  • Bagel Tech BIG – 3k Dloads/Week
  • Bagel Profits – No Show since May due to Athos Work committments. Generally around 250-500 per episode
  • Bagel Tech Foto – New podcast on Photography – 5 episodes produced 250 Dloads Per episode
  • Bagel Tech Media – Formerly Sonic Beyond Podcast – 500 Dloads per episode
  • Bagel Tech Rage – Formerly Tech Rage News – 250 Dloads per Episode.
  • Bagel Tech Mac will begin airing in September
  • Bagel Tech Law will begin in 2011

Apart from the Daily Show, all podcasts are produced weekly.

Bagel Tech Media Group will also add non tech related shows in 2011.

Preparing the show

The Daily Show is prepared each morning at 5.30am with a trawl through around 300 stories gathered using the Firefox Plugin ‘Brief’ and then saved and Synced as bookmarks using ‘X Marks’ After that the chosen stories are ordered and then the podcast is recorded. This is generally about 10 minutes of audio including fluffs and rereads and edits to between 5 and 6.5 mins.

Then the pictures are added to the M4a Version and then the website is updated.

Stories are selected based on whether I believe that the story is either something that the listenership would Want to Know, but I also include stories which I think they SHOULD know or could know. And every podcast has an ‘And Finally’ to sign off with a snigger.

The Weekly shows are more relaxed and there is minimal prep for these.

Tricks of the Trade… hmm. I guess I have just got more efficient at reviewing stories and creating the podcast and website. I have learnt more tools which can save me time and I am already set up to work from locations across the country. I am truly a mobile office and studio and it is rare for me to miss an episode of the Daily Show. The process is time consuming in prep more than delivery. Some mornings are hard to get motivated, others come easier.

Advice

Broadcast with enthusiasm and passion for the subject. Make sure that podcasting is your hobby first and try to make money second. If you show your financial hand too early then you will alienate listeners.

Concentrate on community. Let people feel part of the ‘X Show’ community rather than isolated listeners. Open a chatroom and live feed while you record for the interaction which ensures this develops.

Lastly, broadcast to more than 1000 people every day. It doesn’t matter if there arent 1000 people on the other side of the microphone… always broadcast like there are or it will show through.

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2 thoughts on “Podcasting: the experiences of Bagel Tech News

  1. Pingback: Podcasting: the experiences of Bagel Tech News | Online Journalism … | Scott Ashjian News

  2. Delana Shreve

    Hey, I am having difficulties loading your post. Only more or less 50% of this article seems to load, and the rest is just empty. I am not quite sure why…. but you might like to investigate it. I’ll check back again later on, that may very well be just a temporary server error.

    Reply

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