Monday, July 19, 2010
To be Judged...This Week in 40K Podcasting
So I received a massive response to my new weekly segment, "This Week in 40K Podcasting". It is, by far, the largest response this blog has ever received so far. By the large amount of traffic to the site, emails, hate mail, and mentions on podcasts, I think I am on to something. I am truly and greatly appreciative of all of you! Thank You so much for making this a success!
It is the first thing I have done in which I feel I can really contribute to the 40K community, something that no one else is currently doing. I love 40K podcasts, I listen to all of them and often more then once. I am not only passionate about them, but knowledgeable as well. I am a big fan of all of you and I wanted to show my gratitude for what you have done for us, the fans. I really feel like I am on to something with this segment and I am looking forward to where this could go.
The number one question I received this weekend from podcast hosts, fans of the site, family, friends, that creepy neighbor of mine, was "How are you judging these Podcasts and what is the criteria you are looking for?" So I felt that I should give you exactly what I am looking for an what tips the scales from a 3 to say a 5 podcast for the week. Clear the air, shall we say. I consider a 3.0 to be an average score, and a 5.0 to be the greatest podcast I have ever heard, and a 0.5 to be the single largest waste of my time in the history of my life. So a rating of 3.5 or 4.0 is not bad, it is good, really good in fact.
First, a weekly rating IS NOT a judgment on the podcast as a whole. It is a judgment of that individual podcast. Not everyone brings their A game each podcast, heck, even Star trek had some real crappy episodes. So do not view a week's review as an overall judgment of the cast, crew, or quality of the podcast as a whole. It is just that, a critic of that week or installment.
1) 40K is the Key ) I know that this is hard to believe, but a lot of podcasts out there billing themselves as 40K podcasts, delve into heresy by discussing other games! I know, it shocks me too. In all seriousness through, I am a gamer. 40K is not my only game. I play the F word, shh.... fantasy, and Firestorm Armada, and Dungeons and Dragons (although we converted to Pathfinder almost a year ago), and I used to play Battletech, and a whole mess of other games I am ashamed to mention on this blog. My point being, as a gamer, I love that the other games like Flames of War, and War Machine, or whatever get mentions on 40K Podcasts. But I am taking it purely from a 40K stand point. If I were looking for 40K content, how does this podcast measure up? How relevant was the materiel this week to the game of Warhammer 40,000? If you go into a 30 minute discussion on Fantasy, or Flames of War, I will enjoy it, but it's not 40K. And there for not relevant to "This Week in 40K Podcasting"
2) Content) - What does your show bring to the table this week? Does your show have a direction? A theme, segments that make sense and have something to give the listener? Do you do battle reports, overview of Codices, tactics, strategies, rumors or news? Or does your podcast sound like the average discussion around the table at any local game store or gaming club? Anybody can do a 40K podcast, and I mean it, anybody. A $3 mic and free audio software with a site to host you and you're off. Its basically that simple. But not everybody can be entertaining, can give the listener something worth the download. In the real restate world it is all about location. In podcasts, it is all about content. If your podcast is 3 hours long but is just you a your buddies talking 40K with no real direction and a collection of random thoughts, broken themes, and inside jokes, well, it has no content, despite its size. But if you have something prepared, a direction, and provide a service and entertainment to the listener, then you're golden. Content is a big factor in my scoring. 40K Content that is.
3) Audio Quality) I realize that not everyone out there has the disposable income to have a full blown recording studio in their basement dedicated to their podcast. But like it or not, audio quality is the number one factor in anything you listen too. The podcast could have the best content, amazing tactics, the cure for the common tournament loss, but if you can't hear it, or it is edited poorly with a bunch of garbled or weak voices, well, then it sucks! A few podcasts out there use the one open mic method of podcasting, which I understand, but will in the end produce a low quality product. Voices that are too far away from the mic to hear or a ton of background noise that makes it hard to listen to. Or some folks use Scype to have host come in from somewhere else. Sometimes this works, sometimes it is a horrible mistake. Point being, if you sound professional, you get professional. If you sound hobby, then you get hobby. Nothing personal, but if i have to play it back three or even four time to hear what was said... then it will get a low rating.
4) Other) This is my Wow factor. Did the podcast blow me away? Did they bring something I have never heard before or do something out there that no one else is doing? If so, they get credit for it. If not, no harm no foul. This is where the 5.0 ratings will come from.
That is about it. My goal is not to offend any of the podcasts or the hosts. I want to make friends with each and every one of you who step in front of a mic and put yourself out there, not make enemies. They are all taking brave steps to put their voices out there for our entertainment, asking nothing in return (well, almost all of them are asking for nothing). I applaud them all. I am a fanboy of each and every one of you! I would love to hang out with you, roll some dice, drink some beer, have some fun. To the Dick Like Thunder Crew, I'll be at Adepticon this and every year hence forth, I'd love to play you, hang out, be on the cast, chill at the bunker. I'd be honored to have Rich beat me down like I stole something from him! To the Independent Characters, I wish I had known about you like three weeks earlier then I did, because I was in San Fransisco and would have loved to hang out. To the 11th Company, I am planing next year's family vacation specifically to Myrtle Beach so that I can see you guys and girls!
To all of you, you are are all aces in my book. Please do not take a weekly podcast review as a judgment on you personally or professionally. Take it for what it is, a fun little segment to let the rest of the web know about you and the great work you are doing. And if you had a crappy show this week, and let's face it if you did, you already know it.
So here to to them all, I hope you all keep doing what your doing and entertaining us!