For the LOVE of Podcasting

One of the great privileges of working on this project is learning about the joy people gain from having an outlet with which share their personal passion with a community of listeners.   I want to highlight a few stories we have heard about WHY hosts started their podcasts and, more importantly, what drives them to continue to create great content.

“I love podcasting because it’s an intimate and authentic connection between me and my podcast listeners. It’s incredible when I receive emails and tweets about how my episodes have positively impacted their lives.  I got into podcasting for a few reasons, but I’ll share two – One, I’m absolutely passionate about moderating quality business panels and I felt through podcasting I could scale my reach to beyond a physical venue. Two, with podcasting the whole production process is in my control with a low learning curve so I can record, edit, and distribute all on my own.” –Espree Devora, Host of WeAreLATech 

“I’ve been a heavy podcast listener for a few years. First were comedy podcasts. Then business. When I tried to find travel podcasts, I was disappointed in what I found. Everything was stuffy, boring, and destination specific.  Finally, I found a few that I enjoyed. After being a guest on one and becoming friends with the hosts of both, we started one as an extension of our business and blog. Power Trip is another outlet for us to help travelers and discuss what we love.” –Fred, Host of Power Trip &  Founder of Tortuga Backpacks 

“We are three guys from Manchester and we each have segments in the podcast. Our podcast involves everything from current affairs and tacky jingles to new unsigned bands from around the globe.  What keeps us motivated? One word. Love. A love of podcasting. A love of entertaining. A love of creating something.” –Jay, Host of The Verbal Shotgun

“Semi-Random Walks is a personal project. The theme is the random things that affect the course of people’s lives.  StaunchCast is business focused. We interview various experts about managing company growth.  In terms of personal inspiration, I started thinking about doing my own show after listening to Marc Maron, Adam Carolla and watching Louis CK’s standup. I liked how personal they all are, albeit in different ways.  A few years ago I considered getting into filmmaking.  Ultimately I decided film wasn’t for me, but I enjoyed the process of learning about it through interviewing, and it occurred to me I could do something similar with podcasting.” –Derek, Host of Semi-Random Walks and StaunchCast 

Each of these sentiments is an honest reflection about the love these hosts have for using podcasting as a medium to personally connect with a large audience.  Podcasters are storytellers, teachers, and creators, who simply must share what they care about with the world.   To curate a show, and dedicate yourself to consistent episodes with new content is no easy feat, especially for those who are receiving little to no compensation for the hours they are putting in.  I want to thank all the podcasters out there who are putting in the time and the heart to continually make this medium an engaging experience for the ever-growing community of listeners.  What drives you?



Read More

From Idea to Traction in 2 Months

So, it’s been a while since I sat down to give an update.  We have been plugging away to make this, once glimmer of an idea, come into reality.  When we sat down in the beginning of December to work on PodClear, we thought it would be a small side project to work on a couple days a week, and might be something that would help out a small handful of podcasters.  Things moved along a little faster than expected, and here we are 2 months later with a functional beta and over a thousand amazing podcasters signed up to give it a shot.  We have been working at a feverish pace to get this out to all of you, respond to questions, iron out bugs and engage with the community as much as possible.  We have learned so much from our beta users about additional important features, general preferences when it comes to audio and editing, how many interviews are actually taking place out there, and much more.  We have spent hours each day thinking about and overcoming technical hurdles as well as dreaming up new ways to best engage with and help the podcasting community thrive.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement and exhaustion.  With a small team who also work full time (or more than full time) jobs, we have to occasionally be reminded to pace ourselves.  When we began live call beta testing we were immediately met with an incredible amount of positive energy as well as a long list of bugs to fix, new features to build, and questions to answer.  We are endlessly grateful to have been met with enthusiasm, patience, and support across the board as we build this software.  We are consistently motivated by all the podcasters we have been lucky enough to connect with, and the love they have for sharing their content, improving and engaging the community, and giving great feedback about what they need, in an industry we feel has been greatly underserved in terms of attention and tools.  We can’t express how cool it has been to work with the community to build this product and to solve a long standing frustration.

We have also been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the “startup community” and podcasters who have been kind enough to recognize us in their shows within the last few weeks.  We were featured on BetaList and stayed on the “trending startups page” for a few days running.  It was fun to have this coincide with our first beta calls as it really helped us ride this wave of excitement and show us there were more people interested than we originally anticipated. About one week later we launched on Product Hunt and had another boost of great feedback (and e-mails).  We have been really impressed with the support from both BetaList and Product Hunt and absolutely recommend checking them out if you are interested to see great curated lists of tools and services people are working hard to create.  We would also like to thank Ed Brophy, Elsie Escobar, Josh Muccio, and the Yoko Co. Podcast for featuring PodClear in recent episodes. We are excited to be guests on several other upcoming PodCasts as well.  I will include links at the bottom of the page so you can check out the other cool things all these folks are up to!

I’m sure many of you are sitting there wondering “so…when can I ACTUALLY start using PodClear?”  Our first course of action is to get approved by the app store and wrap our application in such a way that all of our beta testers won’t need to continually download new versions of PodClear, but will instead be able to receive those updates automatically as we work to stabilize and add features. Keep an eye on your inbox as we move forward and keep sending ideas our way. Thanks for all of your support, we are excited to make this happen!


Read More

3 Reasons Podcasts Appeal to an Audience

1.) They Are Personal

I remember sitting in my mom’s car, killing her battery, to finish listening to the newest episode of This American Life, back when it was only available as a radio program.  Ira Glass and all of his guests were sharing their stories with ME, and I was captivated.  I often have the same feeling when when I pop my headphones in to listen to a podcast.  Even though many others may be tuned in at the same moment, it gives me the opportunity to feel like I’m having a personal encounter. There is something visceral about hearing a person speak their story into life, share advice, or provide witty commentary.  Even with great editing and an award-winning production team, one can rarely fully edit out the tone in a speaker’s voice.  Excitement, tension, hesitation, pride–these come out loud and clear in a way that isn’t always detectable in a blog post.  Don’t get me wrong, written word will never cease to be one of my favorite forms of communication, but I still vie to see my favorite writers speak live or hear them interviewed (on a podcast!?).  I would still like to be a fly on the wall while they brainstorm aloud, or better yet join them for coffee and conversation. Now I can get endless hours of this intimate content, with interesting people, on demand.


2) They Are Radically Uncensored

I realize this is occasionally controversial, but I’m thrilled the option exists.  Podcasts allow for unbridled content–scarcely controlled or edited by anyone but the host/producers.  While the internet hasn’t left many stones unturned in terms of uncensored content, podcasts offer up what cannot always be discussed on public media streams such as radio and television.  I love that people can feel empowered to speak their mind and find an audience that loves engaging, without the worry of needing approval from a network with a diverse and potentially easily offended listener base.  If you find yourself unamused by something being shared in a podcast, it’s as easy as hitting the next button and finding a personality, tone, and topic that better matches your interests.


3) They Can Make You Smarter

Many podcasters aim to share with you what is important to them and what lights them up.  Some podcasts are even geared specifically toward teaching you a new skill or covering a topic extensively, while some just allow you to be privy to new interesting information in much the same way that having a conversation with someone might.  There is a whole world of learning to be had out there, and you can digest it all while accomplishing something else in your day. Driving? Exercising? Cooking dinner?  You now have the chance to learn about new topics, in depth, at the click of a button, or at least pick up some good cocktail party conversation starters. (Are cocktail parties still a thing?  Quick, someone make an episode about it.)


Read More

PodClear is Born!

Welcome to our first PodClear blog entry!  We are probably even more excited than you are.  We have decided to start this blog to chronicle how we decided to dive head first into this project and to mark our successes and learning opportunities along the way.  We want to be able to connect with our users and get as much feedback as possible as we work to make amazing Podcasting tools.  This will be the place where we post new ideas and upcoming features…stay tuned!  We also hope to eventually have some useful content about creating, maintaining, and perfecting your podcasts here (or at least some damn good links).

First off, we’d love to introduce ourselves so you know we are real people with ideas, feelings, and good intentions.  Our team consists of two brilliant technical software developers, Sebastian and Spencer, and one non-technical podcast enthusiast, Hannah.  We all live in San Francisco where, as it turns out, we are pretty unoriginal for creating a little SaaS, but we’re still pretty stoked.  We don’t have an office pet (or an office…), but if you would like to lend us a cute dog for a day we would happily take you up on the offer.

How did we find ourselves in the wonderful world of podcasting, you ask?  Let me tell you!  None of us are actually podcasters, BUT we are avid podcast listeners and find the community to be really interesting and engaging.  During a long drive between LA and SF while listening to the nearly 40 hours (you never know how long this drive could actually take) of podcasts we had downloaded we noticed many of our favorite podcasts had downright unintelligible podcast interviews done via Skype, phone, and other out-of-studio methods.  We thought if we could develop a simple solution it could help small (and large!) scale podcasters add a lot of production value to their shows, and allow listeners to actually understand the content they worked so hard to produce.  It has been a fun market to work in since podcasters are generally interesting, passionate people who are just trying to get the word out about things they love.

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or just want to reach out, feel free to shoot us an e-mail or contact us on twitter @PodClearTweets!


Read More