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Podcasts: the good, the bad and the ugly


My intern masters want research on podcasts; I thought I’d start by asking you. If you’re motivated to respond, please comment below.

  • What makes a good podcast? (five key ingredients: length, format, equipment, style, budget, personnel etc. )
  • Which are the most popular podcasts and what is their format? (i.e. This American Life: storytelling on a theme, 1 hr long. hosted by one person, etc.) 
  • What technical options are there for making a podcast (equipment, editing software, distribution channels, etc.)
  • Anything else you come across that’s relevant.
  • Who is the competition in terms of spec fic podcasts? (In Australia and overseas, Who are they, what format do they use, etc.?) 
  • What’s not being done in our field? (Based on your research and knowledge of the field.) 
  • Anything else you come across that’s relevant.
Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. I wrote about a bunch of podcasts & how I tend to categorize them here: http://jsuttonmorse.blogspot.com/2015/06/podcasts.html?m=1

    Tl;dr- I think of podcasts in terms of length (under 15, 30-60, over an hour, and long), production value (listenable, good audio, lots of cuts/interstitial music, multiple edited interviews), host w/guests vs storytelling vs consistent panel.

    In spec fic, I think there’s a glut of long poscasts with friends chatting, and panels/interviews that bring in authors to talk about writing topics. I think there’s a big hole for 30-45 minute discussion podcasts that center the reader’s experience (which is why I started Cabbages & Kings), and I’m really interested in podcasts combining nonfiction & fiction frames (Tea & Jeopardy, Meanwhile in the Future).


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