In case you missed it, there’s a new WordPress podcast in town: daWPshow. Fantastic! I think it’s great that people are willing to put their time into creating content about WordPress! Now, with that out of the way, I’m going to lay down some tough love for the show.
First Let Me Say
- I really respect Josh for taking this on and for the start he’s made.
- The problem I’m writing about isn’t exclusive to daWPshow – it’s a problem that many podcasts starting out have.
- I fully expect Josh to come to the same realisation at some point in the near future (if he hasn’t already) and address the problem.
- I know it’s harsh to have a go at a new podcast! I’m only saying something because I truly want the daWPshow to succeed.
Okay, lets get on with it.
The Problem Many Podcasts Fall Prey To
The problem is simple: Single host podcasts are never going to work. To be successful, a podcast needs more than one host.
Look at the most successful podcasts out there. I’m not aware of any that are just one person – they all have a regular cast of hosts. Try This Week In Google. The Big Web Show. The SitePoint Podcast. Boag World. Okay, so I listen to a lot of web related podcasts…
Narrowing in on the WordPress Community, we see the same thing: the WP Community Podcast has Joost de Valk and Frederick Townes. The WP Candy Podcast has Ryan Imel and an ever changing cast of co-hosts. WordCast has Dave Moyer, Kym Huynh and Lorelle VanFossen.
WordPress Weekly is one show that is a slight exception: Jeff Chandler is the lone host at the moment – but he has often had a co-host in the past and he almost always has a guest on.
I’ve listened to many podcasts over the last 5 years or so. I’ve seen them come and go. The ones that stick around all have multiple host that learn to play off each other and foster great conversation.
Why Single Host Podcasts Fail
Single host podcasts inevitably result in what amounts to an audio version of a blog post, with the host supplying one way information about the topic. A great example is the WordPress Theming Basics episode of daWPshow.
The problem is that listeners don’t want that!
If I want information on creating WordPress Themes, I’ll come to your site, quickly scan the information, decide which parts I want to explore further, get the information and leave! It’s got to be available quickly or I’m out of there.
By all means, create an exhaustive coverage of a topic, but it needs to be a web page so I can carry out my lightning raid. If you force me to site through a long rambling audio file to get the information I need, I won’t hang around.
That’s the way people use the web.
Why Multi Host Podcasts Work
So why do people listen to long rambling audio files?
It’s not to get ‘how to’ information to help them. Web pages are far better suited to that. People listen to podcasts because they enjoy the discussion on a topic – a dynamic conversation, where the topic is explored in detail, pulled apart and examined from every angle. That discussion is the value add.
A single host can try to explore a topic from different angles, but ultimately it comes off as an audio blog post. It doesn’t add any value over a written blog post (and in fact offers less value for most people).
Add another host and the whole proposition is transformed.
What Now For wpDAshow?
There are always exceptions to the rule, but I don’t think daWPshow is going to be one of those. It needs a co-host if it wants to prosper.
Josh has mentioned that he’s looking at ways to get people on, so chances are this will be fixed before long. I hope he goes for a permanent co-host (or two). I really want his show to succeed!
Do you agree? Disagree? What do you think of daWPshow? Let me know in the comments!