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Breaking Free Of The Podcast Sandwich Paradigm
Episode 1129th June 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

Listening to podcasts is a lot like eating a submarine sandwich.

Evo Terra:

Making a podcast is a lot like making a submarine sandwich.

Evo Terra:

But too many podcasters try to make one like they eat one.

Evo Terra:

Let's fix that.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

So when I started this show all the way back in 2018, it wasn't a podcast.

Evo Terra:

It was a live video I did on Facebook.

Evo Terra:

Yeah, I know that's weird.

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Look, I'm a podcast guy as is evident by the 20 years of experience I having

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in podcasting and that fancy Hall of Fame award over my left shoulder.

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But I always like to try to new things out and that seemed

Evo Terra:

like a new thing back then.

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Well, now fast forward some 550 episodes later, Podcast Pontifications is now a

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real podcast and als, also a, a video.

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And not just a live video.

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I've all but abandoned Facebook, personally.

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And as long-time listeners or watchers or readers know, I make every

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episode of Podcast Pontifications available in multiple formats.

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There is the audio episode.

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There's a fully rewritten article that a few hundred people get emailed

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to them and a video for YouTube.

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Oh, and both the audio and the video are fully transcribed by a human!

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I want everyone to be able to get the content the way

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they wanna get the content.

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However, I produced dozens of really good, insightful episodes that didn't

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get that full treatment and are now buried at the bottom of the archive.

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So, no, no, I'm not rebroadcasting them cuz a lot in the world of

Evo Terra:

podcasting has changed from them to now.

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But I am revisiting them.

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I'm taking the topic and the angle from some of those shows and then

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re-pontificating, if you will, to bring that content up to snuff for today.

Evo Terra:

And so today, let's talk about sandwiches and how sandwiches relate to podcasting.

Evo Terra:

Specifically, what sandwich makers can teach us podcasters.

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Now, let's think about the creator for just a moment here.

Evo Terra:

And for the purposes of this thought exercise, I want you to

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think about what I was brought up to call a submarine sandwich.

Evo Terra:

Now you might call it a hoagie or some other weird colloquialism where you lived,

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but you know what I'm talking about.

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That long tube of bread that you get from a myriad of fast foods joints,

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or maybe even your local bodega, if you're lucky enough to live in a city

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with bodegas on every corner, which I am not, but I am digressing already.

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Now, imagine you've just purchased your submarine sandwich.

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Or your hoagie.

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And you start eating it.

Evo Terra:

Where do you start?

Evo Terra:

From the middle?

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No.

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And okay, well maybe you slice your sandwich in half and

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start from there and fine.

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But really, you have two different sandwiches, so I'm not getting into that.

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But also you don't start eating them from the middle either, do you?

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No, you do not.

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You start at one end and you keep eating from that same end

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until you reach the other end.

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Or you give up because maybe you didn't like it.

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Too much mayo.

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You ran out of time to eat it.

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Or maybe you had your fill.

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Regardless, you started from one end and progressed in a linear

Evo Terra:

fashion towards the other.

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And that's exactly how podcasts are consumed by listeners.

Evo Terra:

That's exactly how you consume a podcast.

Evo Terra:

You start from the front, not the middle.

Evo Terra:

Starting from the middle on a podcast is hard.

Evo Terra:

Just like eating a submarine sandwich from the middle is hard.

Evo Terra:

So no, you start from the top and you listen until you reach the other end.

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Or you give up because you didn't like it.

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Too much mayo, whatever that means as a listener to you.

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Maybe you ran out of time to listen to it, or you had your fill.

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Regardless, just like that submarine sandwich, you started from the top

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and progressed in a linear fashion toward the end of the episode.

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Okay, so, all of that is rather obvious.

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What's less obvious is when we look at how that sandwich got made and then compare

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that to how the podcast episode is made.

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And this is where it all starts making sense.

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I hope.

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That submarine sandwich was consumed, you know, again, from one end in a

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linear fashion, one bite at a time.

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Where each bite has bread and condiments and toppings and whatever

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the middle section has in it.

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But it was not created from one end with bread, condiments, toppings, and

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whatever else was assembled, one bite size chunk at a time, and then glued

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together to form the total sandwich.

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Right?

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Yet that's the way a lot of podcasters still make their episodes.

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They're assuming, wrongly in all but a few exceptions, that the best way

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to assemble an episode is the same way that episode will be consumed.

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In other words, they hit record and do everything live in a linear fashion.

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Now, can you make a podcast like this?

Evo Terra:

Sure.

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Lots of shows do it.

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There's a whole suite of tools now from hardware and software that make it

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easier than ever to record and release an episode in nearly the same amount of time

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as it takes to listen to that episode.

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So yes, you can.

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But I don't think you should.

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I don't think you should because today there are more appropriate

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places for that record and release style of episode production than

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existed just a few years ago.

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A linear style of recording, where you do start at the beginning and progress

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until you get to the end, adding in the music, your guests, your segments,

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effects, whatever as needed in real time, that used to be called live radio.

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And podcasting wasn't live radio then.

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Today, that linear style of recording and producing as you

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go is called livestreaming.

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Or called social audio, a la Twitter Spaces and others.

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Or whatever the next listen in as, and, and, or watch as we do it

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live tool is going to bring to us.

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In this universe, or the Metaverse, whatever, those platforms and the

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audiences who gravitate towards those platforms are perfect for that style

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of production, record, and release.

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And if that's the kind of show you wanna produce, a show where you record and

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produce it live, and in real time, you absolutely should make a show like that.

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But should you podcast that show?

Evo Terra:

Well, there's the question.

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As these alternative content consumption and creation tools

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continue to proliferate, I think we're gonna start seeing a division in

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audiences and audience expectations.

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See, audiences vote with their eyeballs and their ear holes and

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that, in turn, shapes the content that creators produce, further creating

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differences in formats and conventions from one platform to another.

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Which is why the whole concept of COPA or Create Once, Publish

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Anywhere, or everywhere, didn't really work out as well as we wanted it.

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One of podcasting's superpowers over those other platforms is the time buffer.

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It's because we are not forced to produce as we record that we can be more creative.

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Because it's not appointment-based content we're making, we can pay more

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attention to the craft of storytelling.

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Because we're not assembling an episode one bite at a time and live, we have

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the time to go back, perhaps several times, to edit, shape, and transform

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our work into something truly remarkable without the stress of just trying to

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get through the damn thing in one take.

Evo Terra:

Podcasting's changed a lot in 20 years.

Evo Terra:

I think it'll change a lot more in the next 20, or heck the next two.

Evo Terra:

Of that I am absolutely convinced.

Evo Terra:

Changes will continue to happen.

Evo Terra:

But if you look at the larger universe of podcasting, which is now millions

Evo Terra:

of podcasts strong, you;ll see that podcast listeners are voting for the

Evo Terra:

kinds of shows that take more time and care than can be put into a linear

Evo Terra:

record and release style of podcast.

Evo Terra:

Now, as with all things in life, your mileage may vary.

Evo Terra:

It's possible you are listening to this right now, shaking your head and preparing

Evo Terra:

to send me your stats, the proof your recorded and released show is growing.

Evo Terra:

But let me save you the trouble.

Evo Terra:

I'm not talking to you.

Evo Terra:

You're the exception here.

Evo Terra:

Congratulations.

Evo Terra:

But that's an abnormality.

Evo Terra:

My goal with this episode, where I revisited a topic I introduced back in

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July of 2018, almost four years ago, was to encourage podcasters to embrace what

Evo Terra:

makes podcasting different and to take the time to make episodes that could not be

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experienced on any of those other mediums.

Evo Terra:

It's what makes podcasting special.

Evo Terra:

So let's keep doing more of that.

Evo Terra:

Please?

Evo Terra:

And with that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Evo Terra:

Cheers!

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

Evo Terra:

Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

Evo Terra:

section of your podcast listening app.

Evo Terra:

A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

Evo Terra:

transcript, both created by Allie Press.

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.