Pondering Podcasts

Yesterday, I added some shows to my "Podcasts" page on this site. It was a project that I started back in the summer, but then France happened.

The goal is eventually have all of my interviews housed here and on Archive.org. Hopefully, someone, somewhere will find them valuable and useful.

Truth be told, I never thought much about audience when I did these interviews.

Looking back, I probably did it for selfish reasons. Books arrived, and I would have an excuse to reach out to the authors, learn new things, and make new friends.

Was anyone listening, though? I think so. Maybe. Who knows...

I had always hoped that people "in the field" would follow along--fellow academics and such. I had occasional indications this was happening.

Presses appreciated the publicity, and I enjoyed helping them to "get the word out." I have long held that university presses publish books that "general audiences" would enjoy.

I was especially grateful any time that a graduate student thanked me for the podcasts. Indeed, "keeping up" in graduate school is a hard task. I certainly would have appreciated these podcasts in grad school. In the dark days before such things existed, a book came from some disembodied source--a Scholar of Note. But in a podcast, we actually hear a person describe their work, summarize a thesis, and speculate on its broader value. 

For me, a 20-minute podcast has the potential of bridging the gap between the author and the reader, bringing them closer together in conversation.

But again, I could never get a measure on how much value this brought into my circles. Maybe measuring value in something like this isn't the point--it's more having had the opportunity to connect with other people, to engage with their work, and to grow as a result.

Who knows...

There did come a moment when I realized that it was time to move on. I miss the conversations. But I don't miss the editing. Not at all.