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Jul 14, 2023

My Son, the Podcaster!

This column joins those cyber pioneers—all 4 million of them

By Ed Goldman

In keeping with my cautious nature— heretofore never-suspected—I’ve finally decided to do a podcast. I hesitated to start one until roughly four million other people had. 

I’m not kidding about that four million number. I got it from a website called explodingtopics.com (which sounds like it should be for home-arsenal hobbyists; but no). The site estimates that as of this past January, there were 3.02 million podcasts in the U.S., adding that “exact figures can vary significantly depending on several factors, most notably the inclusion of inactive podcasts. Podcast Index, for example, estimates the figure to be closer to 4 million.”

Edgy Cartoon

Low fidelity

Question: Isn’t an “inactive” podcast a non-existent one? For example, would someone total up all the current CBS-TV shows and include “The Beverly Hillbillies,” which the network canceled 54 years ago? We ask the tough questions here at The Goldman State.

As you know, podcasts can vary a great deal in terms of quality, length and whether they’re being recorded in a studio or in your parents’ basement—right beside the washer/dryer and a few feet from the sump pump. You can usually tell the difference, as a listener: 

– If the podcast has musical intros and bridges, it was probably recorded professionally. 

– If the podcast is occasionally interrupted by the swoosh of a rinse cycle or the thrum-suck-thrum of churning effluent, probably not.

Spoiler alert: You can find my podcast here.

Naming this endeavor took my marketing team several billable hours. The invoice lists these activities: “Concepting it. Spitballing it. Focus-grouping it. Reconsidering it. Going out for drinks.”

The team ultimately came up with five names for me to choose from: Listen Up, Stupid; I’m Talkin’ to You, Stupid; Get Back Here, Stupid; What are You, Deaf andDumb, Stupid; The Goldman State

I went with the latter. After all, I have some professional experience in the branding field—and not just products or businesses. On a brisket-raising ranch years ago, I helped an understandably recalcitrant cow named Monya get a Star of David singed into her outer thigh.

Somehow I knew that giving my podcast the same name as my column would both provide consistency and save me a few bucks by not having to hire a logo designer. I promise to pass those savings onto you. 

Access seems to be the key in making a podcast successful. I love when practitioners say their podcasts are available, “wherever you get your podcasts.” That’s as helpful as suggesting to a novice chef, “Be sure to include ingredients in your recipes.” How on earth would I know where you get your podcasts? I have also have no idea where you buy your juice boxes, vegetable oil or generic Viagra. I am all about respecting your privacy. It’s part of this column’s code of ethics, along with a vow to never blackmail an advertiser or tell angry readers I know their addresses and license plate numbers. I’d planned to work something into the code about diversity, equity and inclusion but my printer’s out of toner.

Just for fun, I went to bloggingtips.com to look up the 11 most popular places you can access a podcast. Here they are, with questions and comments: 

  1. YouTube.I think this sounds like a cleaned-up New Jersey insult. YouTailpipe and YoMama are others.
  2. Apple Podcasts.  I imagine this targets orchard owners. In fact, they’re probably the core subscribers.
  3. Castbox. Presumably, this is where ventriloquist dummies hang out between performances.
  4. RSS.com. Doesn’t this evoke images of a battleship in the Russian Navy?
  5. Podbean. Okay, this is a fine cause-and-effect name since beans come from pods. I’m guessing this is an educational platform, perhaps run by the 4H Club. 
  6. Spreaker. Well, isn’t that sprecial? 
  7. Spotify. Research shows this isn’t how you say “Spot” in  Esperanto. 
  8. Overcast. Unfortunately, this isavailable only on dreary days; 
  9. Podcast Go(what many listeners will likely be saying about mine);
  10. Audible(the lowest possible requirement for a podcast to be); and 
  11. Pocket Casts(which sounds like a troupe of height-challenged actors).

Anyway, I hope you give me a listen now and then. I hope to do new podcasts once a week until your inertia or my laryngitis reaches crisis stage. Until then, on behalf of my 4,000,001 colleagues, and in homage to the iconic Eeyore, thanks for noticing, Pooh.

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).