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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

On Podcasting

In relative terms, I was somewhat behind the curve (or perhaps, as I like to think of it, right in the curve's embrace) when it came to blogging, but were I to jump on the podcasting bandwagon I would still probably be getting started before the trend jumped the shark. (By the way, is it just me, or has the phrase "jumped the shark" already jumped the shark?) Still, I don't really intend to ever present you with "Fun Joel: The Podcast" (just when you thought it was safe to come out...). And I'm about to tell you why.

But first, I must admit that this post is not strictly on the screenwriting topic, and I have been trying to keep this blog focused solely on that. But I believe it relates, as there are a growing number of screenwriting podcasters, and the boundaries between blogs and podcasts are steadily eroding. So first off, let me mention two screenwriting podcasts that I've come across. First, there is "Sam and Jim Go to Hollywood," which I've had included in my blogroll for a little while now. This is an entertaining look at the burgeoning career of a pair of writers who abruptly moved here from the Midwest to pursue their careers. I've also more recently come across Gary Watson's aptly named "Screenwriters Podcast." I have yet to listen to an episode, which is why I have not included it in my blogroll, but a quick perusal of the past shows suggests a truly interesting and helpful collection of interviews.

Okay, now that that bit of business is out of the way, why won't I ever make my own podcast? Well, a few reasons. Firstly, I've never been one to listen to the radio, and particularly not talk radio. If I listen to anything, it's going to be music, and music that I choose to listen to at a given moment. I like to program the soundtrack to my life, not have one thrust upon me. (Link Wray is playing right now, though calendar-wise it would be more appropriate if it were the Dead since Jerry would have turned 63 today.) And I usually listen to things as background while I write or do other things; talk radio (and podcasts) require my attention.

I will only cook foods that I enjoy eating (luckily, that's most foods), because if I don't like them, I won't know how to properly prepare them. I won't know if they taste good or not. So much in the same way, since I don't listen to talk radio, or most podcasts, how could I know if I were making a good one. And why would I want to subject others to my thoughts if I wouldn't listen to them myself? I'd likely read them, which is why I blog, but I wouldn't tune in to my own podcast!

I won't address the time issue, because that's an obvious one. Writing this blog definitely takes me less time than recording a podcast would take me. I'm a perfectionist, and I remember how long it took me when I engaged in the fun hobby of mixing CDs (I mean really mixing them, with MixMeister, not just putting songs into a sequence and burning them).

But there is one other thing that keeps popping into my mind whenever people talk about podcasting. Is this really a new thing, or is it just a new name for a relatively old one? I mean, what really is the big difference between a podcast and an MP3? Okay, so I guess the same could be said about blogs and webpages. They definitely are equivalent in terms of individuals embracing the technology to make and distribute their own content. But still, it does seem a bit odd to me that they've acquired their own name as such.

Maybe I'm just jealous because they remind me that I don't own an iPod, or any of its supposedly inferior equivalents. Anyone who wants to buy me one, though, should feel free to bring it to the Screenwriter/Blogger Gathering!

And since you've stuck around this far, I may as well link you to FOFJ Pauly D's entertaining recent podcast.

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Anonymous Neil said...

I think you would be a perfect fit for a podcast. The only problem I see in podcasting, is that it requires a longer time commitment from the listener. While you can read several blogs in ten minutes, do I really want to spend ten minutes on one podcast? -- unless the quality is really, really good. But they are becoming more and more popular. You should give it a try. How's your voice?

8:40 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

My voice is good Neil. And I may be good at it. But that's not really the issue to me. I just have more important things to expend my energy and time on, plus, I'm not a trend-jumper for trend-jumping's sake. I think my ideal would be to become an occasional guest on other people's podcasts! So, when you starting one up? We can discuss this at upcoming blogger drink-a-thons.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Matt Reynolds said...

Got to admit I knew next to nothing about podcasts before reading your post. Now a feel a little more in the know.

'Jumped the shark?' I must really be out of the loop because that's new to me too.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

You can figure out "Jump the Shark" if you click through to the site, and also you can find a decent explanation on wikipedia!

Glad I could help a bit. :-)

4:25 AM  
Blogger The Awful Writer said...

I find it's to much of a time commitment to listen to podcasts. I can read faster than I can listen. Plus there's the download time to consider as well. I have a 'Sam and Jim go to Hollywood' link on my web page but I never go there.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Gary Watson said...

Podcasting is more attractive if one has a lot of wating time in their life, such as driving in traffic, in airports, on long flights, etc. And, of course, if there is a podcast containing something of interest. Personally, I listen to both podcasts and audio books more than I listen to music. Typically, they tend to be on topics related to whatever screenplay idea I'm working on. Thanks for the link to my Screenwriters Podcast, Fun Joel, and hopefully I'll see you at the meetup.

9:51 PM  

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