Podcasting Expo: The fun and the money
Hundreds of podcasters packed the Ontario Convention Center, east of Los Angeles this past weekend, for the first annual Portable Media Expo and Podcasting Conference.
Following the morning keynote addresses, including speeches by Jason Calacanis, CEO of Weblogs, Inc. and Leo Laporte, host of The Tech Guy on KFI 640 AM, podcasters had time to attend podcasting seminars.
Attendees had a chance to rub shoulders with some of the celebrities and veterans of podcasting, such as Michael Geoghagen, who within one year went from starting the first podcast about film Reel Reviews on the side of his day job of working in the insurance business to being involved in three podcasts and being the author of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting .
“For me, I found podcasting at the right time,” Geoghagen told Playlist. “I wasn’t a technical person. I found Adam Curry’s [Daily Source Code] completely by accident. It just really resonated with me that I could go down to my basement and talk about the films that I love.”
The Expo wasn’t only for the well-known podcasters, but novices as well.
While Tafoya doesn’t have a podcast yet, he’s gearing up to learn how to work on post-production to make sure his podcast sounds as good as possible.
“[I’ve been learning] general sound control things to try to eliminate annoying volume jumps in the middle of podcasting as well as sibillance that you can control just by virtue of what file format you save things to and what process you master out your podcast,” he said.
On the show floor, podcasting sites such as PodcastPickle.com and Podtrac shared space with more traditional audio equipment vendors such as Sony and Marantz.
Some attendees had been involved in radio and audio production years ago, and were now getting back into it through podcasting, like Steve Sergeant, host of The Wildebeat, a podcast about nature and the wilderness.
He came to the show floor to mingle with some of his fellow podcasters, and like many of them, to try to figure out how to make money from his podcast.
“There are a lot of people in it and they love it and they don’t care what happens,” he said. “But then there are some of us that put so much time into it that we hope it pays off somehow. The people that are in it on the business side are giving us ideas on how to do that.”
While there was a lot of talk during the conference about how podcasters can earn money, others cautioned that the most important thing was to have fun and to simply enjoy the medium.
Dawn Miceli, of The Dawn and Drew Show said that she and her co-host and husband, Drew Domkus, are proof that podcasts don’t necessarily need high amounts of production to be successful.
“The moment Drew explained podcasting to me, I realized what a cool medium it is — for every person to get their voice out there,” she said. “We made an investment of $20 microphones, and here we are — superstars.”