By Sweep 67 Comments
Giantbomb is, arguably, a site built around a podcast. That's not me trying to belittle the site, I think it's awesome and i'm on here every day. A big chunk of the users are here because they either listen to the Bombcast or used to listen to the Hotspot. Don't believe me? Go check out the creepy Rich Gallup Shrine. The personalities attached to aforementioned podcasts are entertaining enough to warrant such a magnificantly large fanbase - and it's the persistence of said personalities featuring on the site that makes giantbomb such a cool place to be.
Whilst a forum or blog can give an anonymous person notoriety in the netherworlds of the internet, there is really little incentive to listen to the ramblings of a complete stranger. For a podcast, blog, reviewer to be successful there needs to be persistence. You can't just drop something into the internet ocean and expect it to make a splash. You have to prove that what you are putting out has value. The Bombcast had access to a huge fanbase that carried over from Gamespot. Podcasting is, basically, a popularity contest. It's a hard concept to grasp but most of the people out there don't actually care what you think. And yes, I'm fully aware I qualify for this revelation.
So how do you make them care?
A reviewer relies on the persistence of his or her audience to create a context in which the opinion can be placed. For example, I know I can trust Jeff's opinion on fighting games, though I would probably think twice before I condemned Super Smash Bro's. This is because I have been reading Jeff's reviews and listening to his podcasts for years. Its a similar familiarity that needs to be built up over a long period of time. You need to have more than one string to your bow, you need to build a fully functional internet personality which make you more accessible as a person. The Community podcasts you enjoy most will be the ones featuring people whose opinions you have already been made aware of and actually appreciate.
After that you only have the slight issue of finding something to talk about which hasn't already been discussed to death by the multitude of other more professional podcasts in existence. Unless you believe you have a new angle from which to view a topic, sincerity is dull. So is your extensive opinion on MGS4. You know who i'm talking about.
Anyways. If you are determined to start a Community Podcast I wish you the best of luck. I know a lot of people would like to branch out into some form of audio. I just think a lot of community Podcasts fall at the first hurdle, despite being entertaining and funny, purely because there isn't enough awareness or enthusiasm from the potential fanbase.
But then what do I know. In the one episode of our podcast (did it even have a name?) we talked about racoons, oranges, transformers and batman. I think? It's a little fuzzy...
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