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Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
One of my favorite pastimes of 2009 has been listening to gaming podcasts. The volume of incredible content produced by both gaming journalists and mere gaming enthusiasts is staggering. This community is both large and close-knit which is perhaps what allows certain annoying trends (which I liken to receiving a handjob with a cheese grater) to become pervasive across much of the available programming.
 
Let's cut to the chase. Podcasters, stop doing these things in 2010 (or sooner if possible):
  • imitating the loser trumpet sound from The Price Is Right- I never want to hear the human voice trying to make a trumpet sound again. I've heard this sound at least twice a week for the past 50 or so weeks. It's like a cute cell phone ringtone: funny the first time, nails-down-a-chalkboard each subsequent time.
  • contrived, shoehorned segues- Unless you are being ironic (and then only incredibly sparingly), do not try to devise some ridiculous on-the-fly segue into your next news item. We're grown-ups. We realize the news stories are not necessarily directly related to one another. We're OK with that. Newspapers don't feel the need to segue one story into another, and they've been doing this shit for hundreds of years. What makes you think you know better?
  • keep meta-talk to a minimum- Tell me as little as possible about your podcast/website over the course of said podcast. Don't give me a long-winded introduction to everyone on the podcast every episode. Introduce anyone who is not regularly featured, and put a bio for each of the regulars on the web page for your podcast. Don't tell what you are going to do over the course of the next hour or two; just do it. I will figure it out pretty quickly all the while being entertained much more efficiently than I am by excessive navel-gazing.
  • (optional) if you are relatively unknown, stick to the topic- If you're just some guy who started a podcast out of his basement, chances are I, a first-time listener, do not want to hear how awesome that party was last night and how you were about to ask out that girl but then you got dizzy and threw up all over her boobs. In fact, I don't really want to hear that no matter how popular or well-known you are. I constantly try new podcasts and have to ditch most of those because there is twenty minutes of bullshit about the podcasters' personal lives before they get into discussing the alleged focus of their show. This is a delicate balance because you want some of your personality to come through;that's one thing that makes your show unique. At least make your anecdotes quick and/or funny and remotely related to the topic at hand... unless I know you in which case you are exempt from this rule altogether. ;-)
 
I post these helpful tips not to be inflammatory but as a community service. Many of the shows that employ these techniques have other redeeming qualities that result in my desire to continue listening. Shows that have no redeeming qualities can feel free to do all these things because I have already filtered you out. Most importantly and, even if it means ignoring all of my aforementioned guidelines, keep putting your stuff out there. After all, if I don't like it, I can always unsubscribe, right?
#1 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
One of my favorite pastimes of 2009 has been listening to gaming podcasts. The volume of incredible content produced by both gaming journalists and mere gaming enthusiasts is staggering. This community is both large and close-knit which is perhaps what allows certain annoying trends (which I liken to receiving a handjob with a cheese grater) to become pervasive across much of the available programming.
 
Let's cut to the chase. Podcasters, stop doing these things in 2010 (or sooner if possible):
  • imitating the loser trumpet sound from The Price Is Right- I never want to hear the human voice trying to make a trumpet sound again. I've heard this sound at least twice a week for the past 50 or so weeks. It's like a cute cell phone ringtone: funny the first time, nails-down-a-chalkboard each subsequent time.
  • contrived, shoehorned segues- Unless you are being ironic (and then only incredibly sparingly), do not try to devise some ridiculous on-the-fly segue into your next news item. We're grown-ups. We realize the news stories are not necessarily directly related to one another. We're OK with that. Newspapers don't feel the need to segue one story into another, and they've been doing this shit for hundreds of years. What makes you think you know better?
  • keep meta-talk to a minimum- Tell me as little as possible about your podcast/website over the course of said podcast. Don't give me a long-winded introduction to everyone on the podcast every episode. Introduce anyone who is not regularly featured, and put a bio for each of the regulars on the web page for your podcast. Don't tell what you are going to do over the course of the next hour or two; just do it. I will figure it out pretty quickly all the while being entertained much more efficiently than I am by excessive navel-gazing.
  • (optional) if you are relatively unknown, stick to the topic- If you're just some guy who started a podcast out of his basement, chances are I, a first-time listener, do not want to hear how awesome that party was last night and how you were about to ask out that girl but then you got dizzy and threw up all over her boobs. In fact, I don't really want to hear that no matter how popular or well-known you are. I constantly try new podcasts and have to ditch most of those because there is twenty minutes of bullshit about the podcasters' personal lives before they get into discussing the alleged focus of their show. This is a delicate balance because you want some of your personality to come through;that's one thing that makes your show unique. At least make your anecdotes quick and/or funny and remotely related to the topic at hand... unless I know you in which case you are exempt from this rule altogether. ;-)
 
I post these helpful tips not to be inflammatory but as a community service. Many of the shows that employ these techniques have other redeeming qualities that result in my desire to continue listening. Shows that have no redeeming qualities can feel free to do all these things because I have already filtered you out. Most importantly and, even if it means ignoring all of my aforementioned guidelines, keep putting your stuff out there. After all, if I don't like it, I can always unsubscribe, right?
#2 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -
  • I have no idea what this sound is, but I'm not entirely sure I want you to refresh my memory
  • Yes
  • Oh my GOD, yes.  Anything more than a "Yeah, this is _______, and they'll be joining us today because of _________" is unnecessary.  Chances are I already know the basic layout of the podcast, I don't need the refresher.
  • Yeah, this can bug me.  When John Vignocchi was on the Bombcast, I was getting pissed because of all the tangents the crew was going off on.  But that was only the first time I listened to it.  When I listened to it again, and took his stories for what they were, I found them quite funny.  But, yes, I don't need to hear too much about personal lives.  Ever.  I call it "ER syndrome", 'cause ER was a pretty good show until they tried to delve into the personal lives of the characters.
#3 Posted by Gamer_152 (14065 posts) -

Some interesting points there. You know I can't believe there are people out there using that The Price Is Right noise unironically, also I agree with your points that new podcasters should stick to talking about the relevant topic and that overly long introductions to podcasts are definitely unnecessary, I would much prefer if all podcasts could keep their introductions about as long as they do on the Giant Bombcast.

Moderator
#4 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@cstrang: I, too, had some difficulty getting into the Bombcast to begin with because of all the off-topic banter. Now, that's one of my favorite parts of the show. I don't really know a way around that. That's why I made that suggestion optional.
 
@Gamer_152: Bombcast does a great job with introductions. They are short, sweet, and lead directly into the content.
#5 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

The third bullet informs new listeners, so it is indeed needed.

#6 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@Whisperkill: If your podcast has a website, most listeners can find that information if they really want it. If the podcast has no website, it is trivial to set one up. There's no need to rehash it in each episode.
#7 Posted by Turtlemayor333 (510 posts) -

Agreed on the Price is Right, but I would totally take the whammy noise from Press Your Luck.
 
WAHWOOOOO

#8 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

-Be entertaining without being retarded.

#9 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -
  • Heavy breathing
  • Extremely hard T's (Mr. Davis)
  • Spending 10 minutes at a time splitting hairs
#10 Posted by AndrewB (7567 posts) -

Something I want to see less of in 2010, for Gaming podcasts, specifically, is a little less of the "industry insider" talk, and more actual games talk. It's okay if you save the long interviews and such for a specific podcast, but I've come to realize that most of the podcasts I listen to spend more time talking about what it's like being in the games press, and less time on the opinion banter that I really want to hear. And yeah, talk about personal lives is just as bad. There are two podcasts that can get away with it, in my book: the Bombcast and 1 Life Left. I'm not entirely sure why I give them a pass, but oh well.

#11 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@Geno said:
  • Spending 10 minutes at a time splitting hairs
That's another good one. Shut down semantic arguments before they start.
#12 Posted by Spacetrucking (943 posts) -

I think the root cause for all this is that a lot of gaming podcasts have almost no respect for their listeners time. BTW I'd add all the retro video game noises used to bleep out profanities to that list. Some podcasts seem to think it makes them more hardcore or gamey and it just ends up as being annoying, especially when the crew is swearing a lot.
 
@raddevon said:

Bombcast does a great job with introductions. They are short, sweet, and lead directly into the content. "
I think that is true for every editorial piece on the site as well. GB's reviews and articles are much shorter than other sites but they get the point across in an equally efficient manner (and often with great humor).
#13 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

Not really a problem with podcasts in general, but I hated the fact that Joystiq had spoiler talk about Uncharted 2 when it was only out for about a week.  Even worst, they said they were going to say when the spoilerish discussion was about to start but they rushed in it instead with the biggest spoiler yet without giving much of a warning at all.  I hated that crap.

#14 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: Thanks for reminding me about spoilers.
 
In contrast to the list, here is something to do. Convert your podcast over to an enhanced podcast. When you are about to start a spoiler section, ask your listeners to skip to the next chapter if they don't want the spoilers. Then, drop a chapter marker after the spoiler discussion. It would be a tiny bit of effort that would be greatly appreciated. Although it would only matter to listeners using an Apple player (that being either iTunes on the desktop or an iPod), that would probably cover the majority of your audience.
#15 Posted by KnifeySpoony (1164 posts) -

Some good points, thanks raddevon. As someone who is about to record their 7th official episode, it's good to see what people want more/less of. Thankfully I think we've avoided most of the complaints so far, though I feel as a small unknown group, it is necessary to have an introduction of the people talking.
 
I'm curious have you listened to 3-Bit yet? We really want to get more feedback on how we're doing and it seems like you could give us some good advice.

#16 Posted by Scooper (7882 posts) -
@Geno said:
"
  • Heavy breathing
  • Extremely hard T's (Mr. Davis)
  • Spending 10 minutes at a time splitting hairs
"

#17 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@KnifeySpoony: I haven't checked it out yet, but I will. I will send you a PM. Thanks!
#18 Posted by InfiniteGeass (2052 posts) -

I propose that there be less bathroom breaks. You need to stop drinking the caffeine and go before you start recording.

#19 Posted by Shadow (4979 posts) -

#20 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6988 posts) -

It's a good thing I don't plan on doing any of these things when I start my podcast. Nice read.

#21 Posted by EasyPeasey (159 posts) -

I want more podcasts to sound less scripted and more relaxed. I personally dont listen to podcasts to get up to date news, but to be entertained. Based this criteria , Rebel FM is my 2nd favorite podcast, behind the bombcast of course. I also don't mind introductions. New listeners would be totally baffled if people weren't introduced in an organized way, but it should be concise and lead right into the main content.

#22 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -
@InfiniteGeass said:
" I propose that there be less bathroom breaks. You need to stop drinking the caffeine and go before you start recording. "
I just hate the music, I mean, they could leave that out and just say "Ok, let's take a break" and then make just a noise or something, then come right back.  The 20 seconds of music I dislike greatly annoys me.
#23 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@EasyPeasey: I didn't mean to convey that introductions should be scrapped altogether, but they should be very short for your regular podcasters. Introduce your special guests by name and tell what they do or why they are significant. For those who are on the show every week, the name is enough. Include a bio on your website.
#24 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@xobballox: I'm with you on that. It doesn't bother me that breaks are taken, but, with the magic of editing, listeners don't really need to know there was ever a break at all. A very short and simple sound would also be a fine way to designate the end of a break. This is not a big sticking point with me, but I think it could be an improvement.
#25 Posted by KnifeySpoony (1164 posts) -
@raddevon said:
" @KnifeySpoony: I haven't checked it out yet, but I will. I will send you a PM. Thanks! "
Awesome, cheers mate.
@xobballox: Is that just the music the bombcast uses or any music used in general?
#26 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -
@raddevon said:
" @Whisperkill: If your podcast has a website, most listeners can find that information if they really want it. If the podcast has no website, it is trivial to set one up. There's no need to rehash it in each episode. "
Yeah but, nobody's actually going to do that, most people don't care enough.
 
And laying down what's gonna happen during the show quickly before you get started is a good idea. Not every podcast is like the bombcast and does the same stuff every week. Some podcasts have different discussions topics. Letting people know ahead of time what they are is a good idea in my mind. 
 
Which brings me to another thing podcasts should start doing. In the show notes, they should put the time at which different segments start so one can just skip ahead.
#27 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -
@KnifeySpoony said:
" @raddevon said:
" @KnifeySpoony: I haven't checked it out yet, but I will. I will send you a PM. Thanks! "
Awesome, cheers mate.
@xobballox: Is that just the music the bombcast uses or any music used in general? "
Pretty much any music, but I really hate the Bombcast break music for whatever reason.  I love the Bombcast though.
#28 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@Whisperkill said:
@raddevon said:
" @Whisperkill: If your podcast has a website, most listeners can find that information if they really want it. If the podcast has no website, it is trivial to set one up. There's no need to rehash it in each episode. "
Yeah but, nobody's actually going to do that, most people don't care enough.
Exactly. If they really want to know, they will look it up. Most don't care, and they also don't want the podcast itself to impose that upon them.
#29 Posted by Evilsbane (4582 posts) -

I have no problem hearing about the podcasters personal life if it is interesting or I actually care about what happens to them, I like listening to the Bombcast and hearing about what is going on with them.

#30 Posted by TheHBK (5471 posts) -

Good points.
 
But I do like to hear about Jeff's parties and Brad complaining that something went wrong.

#31 Posted by imayellowfellow (558 posts) -

i like the bombcast, the format the way it is has led to repeat listens for all the bombcasts for me
 
but i dunno maybe the changes will help, ill have to see

#32 Posted by mracoon (4966 posts) -
@Geno said:
"
  • Heavy breathing
  • Extremely hard T's (Mr. Davis)
  • Spending 10 minutes at a time splitting hairs
"
Yes, I find that so irritating. I always think can't you just sit a little further from your mic so I can actually here what you're saying.
Moderator
#33 Posted by Not_Rage (470 posts) -
@Killjoy said:
BTW I'd add all the retro video game noises used to bleep out profanities to that list. Some podcasts seem to think it makes them more hardcore or gamey and it just ends up as being annoying, especially when the crew is swearing a lot.
Yes! 100%. Its suppose to be funny, but I just find it annoying.
#34 Posted by Griddler (3344 posts) -
@raddevon said:
"imitating the loser trumpet sound from The Price Is Right- I never want to hear the human voice trying to make a trumpet sound again. I've heard this sound at least twice a week for the past 50 or so weeks. It's like a cute cell phone ringtone: funny the first time, nails-down-a-chalkboard each subsequent time."
Are you referring to the trumpet noise they used to make on Idle Thumbs? Because that's the only podcast I've ever heard anything like that
#35 Posted by Chuggsy (554 posts) -

Rebel FM pretty much does all of those. If it wasn't for Anthony Geigos (Tyler is pretty cool too, just Arthur pisses me off), I don't think I would still be listening to that podcast. 
 
Good list. That Price is Right noise stopped being funny a while ago.
 
This thread makes me miss Idle Thumbs....

#36 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -

Not directly related to the topic but:  Great banner.

#37 Posted by luce (4045 posts) -

Trends that should be mandatory
 

  • Talk-boxes (and other voice modulation devices used for music or humor)
  • Persona 4 puns
  • ????
  • Profi-*shot*
#38 Edited by Creamypies (4059 posts) -
@cstrang said:

"

  • Yeah, this can bug me.  When John Vignocchi was on the Bombcast, I was getting pissed because of all the tangents the crew was going off on.  But that was only the first time I listened to it.  When I listened to it again, and took his stories for what they were, I found them quite funny.  But, yes, I don't need to hear too much about personal lives.  Ever.  I call it "ER syndrome", 'cause ER was a pretty good show until they tried to delve into the personal lives of the characters.
"
Is it bad that when I see the letters ER... I think of Endurance Run before anything else?
#39 Posted by DarkGamerOO7 (574 posts) -

But the rambling on about Gatorade and Cheetos and overall whatever randomness of the Bombcasts are part of what makes them enjoyable to listen too. :-)

#40 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -
@creamypies: No.  I think that's the way it should be.
#41 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

I tend to enjoy occasional ramblings about various things on podcasts (it's strange to hear other gaming podcasts often joke about themselves being the Giant Bombcast when they go off topic like in the latest 4 Guys 1 Up) except for Xbox Live's Major Nelson.  Generally, those guys are boring as hell.

#42 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -

Wow, I feel this is a lot of whining to be honest. Who cares if they delve into their personal lives, it makes them more interesting and more personal than just a mouth piece for some publicist. I wish would occur instead would be a mandatory audio setting across all podcasts. I hate raising and lowering levels between shows. Equally, I wish someone would fix Anime Vice's audio, annoys me a bit. Lastly, I wish that people 1/3 of podcasts available on itunes would delist themselves. There's a world of crap out there from people that don't necessarily have anything interesting, unique, humorous, or applicable to say.

#43 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@girdz: I'm not sure. I haven't listened to Idle Thumbs. It's the sound they play on The Price Is Right when someone loses. Almost every podcast I listen to does it.
 
@Chuggsy: I give the Rebel FM guys a pass. I actually like all of those dudes quite a bit. However, I would love it if they would lay off the Price Is Right sound effect. ;-) 
 
@cstrang: Thank you, sir!
#44 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia: Sounds like a bunch of whining to me. ;-)
#45 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Forum trends to avoid: Making a fucking banner for your topic. Corny motherfucker.

#46 Posted by Chuggsy (554 posts) -
@girdz said:
" @raddevon said:
"imitating the loser trumpet sound from The Price Is Right- I never want to hear the human voice trying to make a trumpet sound again. I've heard this sound at least twice a week for the past 50 or so weeks. It's like a cute cell phone ringtone: funny the first time, nails-down-a-chalkboard each subsequent time."
Are you referring to the trumpet noise they used to make on Idle Thumbs? Because that's the only podcast I've ever heard anything like that "
BABOOO!!!
#47 Posted by Jimbo (9797 posts) -

... New Releases? ¬_¬

#48 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@raddevon:
The Price is Right lose theme, as a person who listens to Rebel FM as yourself, is one of the least of many podcast sins they commit. Frequent discussions about their cats, their bowel movements, the whole leprachaun thing, beating jokes to the ground of inanity - fat penis, mr. inspector. I feel it's quite telling that podcast quickly dropped from being the #1 podcast on Itunes within a few short weeks. Lastly, the intro music is grating.
#49 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia: I guess it's all a matter of opinion.
#50 Posted by Griddler (3344 posts) -
@Chuggsy: God I miss them blasting pods at my face