Short Podcasts

I have long been a proponent of short podcast times. If you can say what you need to say in 5 minutes, don’t take 20 to do it just because you can. I have subscribed to podcasts (and subsequently dropped them) because it was obvious that they wanted to have an hour long show but only had material for 20 minutes.

There was a podcast launched this summer that runs about 3-5 minutes. It has grown since it’s inception in July to have over 1,000,000 downloads. This is the insanely popular Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing.Grammar Girl Logo

Why is it popular? It could have to do with her nice voice. Also it might be due to the professional quality. There also might be something to the fact that she has promoted herself well.

Content? I am not sure that the content alone is a drawing factor. She certainly makes grammar more interesting than I had in my school. But really, how many people would subscribe to a podcast about grammar if it were 1 hour long? Or even 10 minutes? I think what she has done is realized that some things are best consumed in small chunks. Grammar is certainly one of them. But the biggest draw to me is the fact that it is very short.

I think many podcasters could learn from this. Obviously there are podcasts that need to be longer. An interview based podcast (of which there are many) would be kinda rough listening to 3 minutes of an interview at one time. Also there are those which tell stories and have commentary on certain subjects. Those can certainly be longer.

But there are a great many podcasts that are tips and tricks. If released 3 times a week at 5 minutes each, or even 5 times a week, I think the podcast would gain many more listeners and keep them longer than sticking to a 30 minute show and having a lot of filler.

Podcasters will do what they want, but I think there is some magic in a shorter show. I certainly would not listen to Grammar Girl if she tried to teach me more than one thing or took 10 minutes to do it. Though it is a great show, 10 minutes would be too long. As it is, I eagerly await each new show she produces.

November Running Roundup

Today I finished off the running for the month of November. I ran a total of 50.2 miles this month. Kinda paltry compared to the 80 mile month a couple of months back. But, that is what I ran. When the year is said and done, that will have been an average month. I will need to run 60 miles in December to make a 600 mile year. Since this is my first year running, I guess that is pretty good.

Month: 50.2 miles
Year to Date: 540.8 miles
Current shoes: 240.6 miles
Races: 5K which was actually 5.17 Km. run in a time of 28:00:63.

“You did pretty awful. Didn’t you?”

Today I volunteered to help one of the local interpreters (sign language) with an assignment. The program was to have been 3 hours long. Certainly she needed help. No other interpreters were available. While I understand I am not qualified to interpret under the standards of RID interpreters, there are no such rules here. An interpreter doing their work for 3 hours straight is not proper. Besides, I love interpreting. It is one of my favorite activities in my ministry.

So, I told her I could jump in and relieve her every so often. She was certainly grateful for the help.

When the program started I knew I was in trouble. I did not clearly understand the man’s speech. On top of that, he was, of course, speaking Spanish (not my native language) and I was interpreting into Mexican Sign Language.

After the interpreter had been up there about 20 minutes I stepped up to relieve her. I did not do so well. She jumped back in after a 5 minute break. I let her go another 30 minutes before I jumped in again. This time I did better since the subject matter was a bit simpler and I had had almost an hour of listening to the man. I was up about 10 minutes the second time to wrap up the lecture. Thankfully it did not go anywhere close to 3 hours.

The older Deaf and the teachers at the Deaf school said I did a good job. Not great, but “you will get there.” One of the Deaf girls (yes, the same retarded girl I mentioned before) met me with: “You did pretty awful. Didn’t you?”

Thanks for the encouragement!

5 Km Race today

This morning I ran a 5 Km. in record time. Well, a record for me anyway. 28:00:63. The distance was just over 5Km at 5.17. At that pace I would have run a 27:04 5Km. 27 was my goal for this morning. I only missed it by 4 seconds and feel I certainly could have done that.

Kilometer splits were pretty accurate. 3 was off, so I am not sure exactly what 2 and 4 were, but here are the approximates.

    1. 5:15
    2. 5:08
    3. 6:33
    4. 5:34
    5. 5:28

This was my best minute per mile race (8:42) by more than a minute each mile. I really felt good and pushed myself at the end more than ever. At the end there was a fellow just ahead of me. I had been reeling him in for the last 5 blocks of the race. When we were a block and a half away I caught him and he turned on the steam. I stayed mostly with him, but just a step or two behind. When I really kicked it up with 1/2 block to go, so did he. We pushed each other to the end. He stayed just a step ahead. The crowd enjoyed it I think.

This was, by far, my most enjoyable 5 Km. I am hoping to get a few more in as I lower my times. That is the distance I am going to concentrate on for a while until it is time to work on a half marathon again.

Missionary Talks 05: Steve Hathaway

Episode 5 is up! Go check it out and leave a comment. Also you can vote at Podcast Alley.

The behind the scenes info on this one is that this was the first time that I did some re-arranging on the order of questions. I moved some around so it flowed better and I ended stronger. There were a couple of other things that I would have liked to move around, but as much work as it was, I am happy to just have it done.

This one required the most editing. Sound quality is considerably better I think though. Starting next week you will get to hear an even better sound (I hope). Each week I am learning new tricks.

Thanks for listening as spreading the word.