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32 Theses (and several more words) on Podcasting

August 9th, 2016 | 19 min read

By Chris Krycho

Alan Jacobs has not been shy about his dislike of podcasts—but recently posted an apology, along with a comment and a request. The comment:

I like podcasts that are professionally edited, scripted, festooned with appropriate music, crafted into some kind of coherent presentation. Podcasts like that seem respectful to the listener, wanting to engage my attention and reward it.

And the request:

Does anyone know of similarly well-crafted, artful podcasts made by conservatives or Christians? I have not yet found a single one. Podcasts by conservatives and Christians tend to be either bare-bones — two dudes talking, or one dude talking with maybe a brief musical intro and outro — or schmaltzily over-produced. (Just Christians in that second category.) Anyone know of any exceptions to this judgment? I suspect that there’s an unbridgeable gulf of style here, but I’d like to be proved wrong.

As a Christian in the world of podcasting—I have both a “two dudes talking” show (Winning Slowly) and also a “one dude talking with maybe a brief musical intro and outro” show (New Rustacean)—I found much to agree with, but also much to clarify and a few things to disagree with.

To be clear, this isn’t a plea for you to listen to either of those shows. Rather, it is an explanation of what podcasting entails and why the kinds of things Jacobs is looking for are rare. (That being said: we did time this piece to coincide with the start of Winning Slowly Season 5, which kicked off today with an introduction to our take on the ever-challenging problem of systemic pressures and individual agency, and I think it would be right up the alley of many Mere O readers.)

1. Theses on Podcasting

First, a set of theses on podcasting as a medium. Some of these are obvious; none are intended to be tendentious. Some of them warrant further explanation—for which, see below.

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Chris Krycho

Chris is a husband and dad; theologian, composer, poet, and essayist; software developer; runner and triathlete; podcaster; and all-around nerd.