Podcasting Surprises After Eight Years

photo credit: Racum via photopin cc

photo credit: Racum via photopin cc

I need to admit something. When I wrote Podcasting Church in November of 2010, I thought it would be immediately less valuable than if I’d written it in 2005 or 2006. I thought it had passed a peak, but I was fighting the self-doubt of the little voice saying, “you’re not smart enough to be an author” or “what can you add?” With every chapter I wrote, the little voice got louder saying, “Yeah, but I bet you won’t be able to finish another.” When I finished the whole thing, it said “You never finish anything, so this will sit on your HD and rot.” That’s what I fought, so I comforted myself by saying, “It’s okay if this is horrible, podcasting is passed its prime. Some people will care, but you’re not really even podcasting much anymore, so you’re free to be bad at this.”

I had an iPhone by this time and loved it. I almost never listened to the radio anymore. I only listened to podcasts. Somehow, I thought I’d be the exception, one of only a handful of podcast listeners. It wouldn’t be long until only a few elite podcasters supported by audiences of the few devoted, like me, rose to the top, but most podcasters would disappear.

I don’t know why I thought this and didn’t see the smart phone revolution as the start of something massive that would turn podcasters into something like radio station owners.

I was excited by the medium in 2005 when I started Tech, No Babel, but the excitement waxed and waned like the moon, sometimes disappearing completely. The term for what the show did is “podfade,” one episode is there and then silence. Maybe the podcaster puts out another months later, with promises to do better, but rarely does the show return.

Now, a week or two after the 8-year anniversary of that first show, I feel like I’ve really settled into a groove of regular recording and releasing. My audience is growing again, starting to risk the trust that maybe its back again.

Mine isn’t the only show to return. Tech Help for Churches is not the only show to start. ChurchTechCast.com isn’t the only live network to start. This is a trend, a trend I didn’t see coming, but one I was glad to have stumbled, blindly into.

The future is bright for all of us in the podcasting world, whether your topic is church tech, like mine or marathon training or something else.

I was surprised, but I’m glad I was wrong. I’m glad I got to be a part of it and it’s not too late for you to join me.

Come on. Let’s change eternity together.

Paul

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of TrinityDigitalMedia.com, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.