About a month ago I ranted on what I hate about podcasts. I have come up with a couple more items to add to the list.
Before I get to the negative, I want to highlight a change for the better. Dr. Monte at Fitness Rocks podcast said on his most recent episode that due to listener feedback he would be changing the format to less music and making it just the intro and a highlighted song at the end. This is great news. I love the information presented in the show and think this will make his podcast better. I actually had the privilege of discussing this with him through the original post and email. Thanks for listening Dr. Monte. I know I did not sway the whole decision, but one voice can make a difference.
Since my original post on the topic, two other things have popped up. One has always been there and another one seemingly has gotten worse in the last few weeks.
The problem that has always been there is related to the music. Yes, I hate your music! If I want to listen to music I have my own thank you. Leave yours at home. Beyond the fact that I don’t like Joe Podcaster’s choice in music he plays it too loud. I don’t really understand audio levels, but when I am listening to speech I have to turn the volume up a bit to hear it well. Then, when the insanely loud music blares in I have to fumble with the player to either turn down the music or fast forward the song before my ears start bleeding. What is the deal with that? If you insist on having music that I have to fast forward through, you can at least not hurt me in the process.
Secondly, I think someone told all podcasters within the last couple of weeks that they are not under FCC jurisdiction and they can say anything they want without being fined. I realize that there are “adult podcasts” out there (read “smut podcasts”), but I don’t subscribe to those.
I ran for two and a half hours on Saturday. You get to listen to a lot of podcasts during that time. Without even trying I started noticing all the profanity. These are shows on fitness, running and technology. At what point did it become sociably acceptable to swear when talking about video cards, capacitors and trail running? I will tolorate only so much. Then I won’t just stop listening to the shows. I will first contact the podcasters and bring up my concern. Then I will post publically that it is not getting any better and hopefully someone will start taking notice.
I realize there are some people who talk like this all the time. I don’t. Never have. Podcasters who want to reach a wider audience shouldn’t either.
Here is a snippet from Wikipedia on profanity.
A profanity (or swear words, or curse word, or foul language, or dirty word) under current colloquial use is a word, expression, gesture, or other usage which is generally considered insulting, rude or vulgar.
The original meaning of the term was restricted to blasphemy, sacrilege or speaking God‘s name in vain. Profanity represented a secular indifference to religion or religious figures, while blasphemy was a more offensive attack on religion and religious figures.
Whether you think certain words are considered curse words or not, you should consider what may or may not be appropriate. What is acceptable to you may not be to your audience. Certainly there are some words that everyone knows are unacceptable.
Try thinking about how you would talk to a 90 year old lady whom you have never met. That is the way I want to be treated. I know we want podcasts to be personal and not stiff, but proper speech is not stiff, it is creative. Do what your teachers told you in school, look for good adjectives to say what you want to say. You can impress me with good words. You only offend me and cost yourself a listener by using inappropriate words.
Up to this point I am not naming names, but I will when it comes time.