@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.
@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.
@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.
@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.
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?
It's probably because you are a lazy, good-for-nothing youth who will never amount to anything chasing artificial achievements in an artificial world to escape the soul-crushing reality that you're going to live in your parents' basement until you're 30 sleeping until 1:00pm every day wearing the same shirt for weeks and hanging onto your precious virginity 10 years longer than you anticipated.
Welcome to the club! ;-)
In all seriousness, it's pretty obvious to me that video gaming is the ultimate form of home entertainment. It is infinitely less passive than TV and movies. It can encompass many of the social elements of board and card gaming. It's a very flexible hobby as well. To my knowledge, there are only two major sub-species of human beings who do not play video games:
Those who were, in the hobby's infancy, too old to want for new things to do. These people were already more than satisfied with TV sitcoms and ball-in-a-cup to think video gaming would or could do anything for them.
People who believe becoming an adult means artificially discarding every remnant of your childhood regardless of whether or not they still enjoy and appreciate those things. At some arbitrary point in their lives, these people stopped skipping rope, watching cartoons, and chewing bubble gum most likely all on the same day. However, they are more than happy to get shitfaced and vomit on themselves in front of their young children or charge $100,000 of shit they don't need on credit cards. They can do that because adulthood is not about responsibility; it's only about not playing video games.