Are Podcasts Becoming Obsolete?

My adventures in the world of all things podcast. 

October 2, 2019

I was interviewed for a podcast and then they asked me to join as a co-host and co-producer. Is this how the podcast addiction begins?

Although The New York Times recently asked if we have hit peak podcast, all but proclaiming that podcasts are becoming obsolete, I am just beginning my podcast journey. As I try to figure out this medium, I have been asking for recommendations (Here to Slay, Teaching in Higher Ed and Imagine Otherwise topped the list) and listening to all kinds of things. Some of my favorites include MindShift, Strange Magic, Yogaland, Being Boss and Grammar Girl -- wildly ranging from education, leadership and writing podcasts to yoga, tarot and astrology podcasts. There are days when I think that Michael Barbaro and The New York Times have singlehandedly exploded the world of podcasts, because almost everyone I know listens to The Daily. I have to confess that when I first started listening to The Daily (Alexa introduced us), I didn’t know that it was a podcast. I just knew that given our current state of affairs, I really needed The Daily in my life, and then it conveniently started January 2017.

A couple of years later, here I am in the middle of working with three different groups of friends and colleagues to create three completely different podcasts. In typical academic style, I have been reading up on how to podcast here at OSU and here at And We’re Live!: A Rough Guide on Academic Podcasting. I have also been reading a really fast and fun read, So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story and Building a Community That Will Listen by Kristen Meinzer. She is hilarious, and I love its focus on story rather than technology.

The first podcast -- ExperiencED -- is the furthest along, with the inaugural episode published just earlier this week. ExperiencED (pronounced "Experience Ed") is about the world of experiential education and is co-hosted by Jim Stellar, Adrienne Dooley and myself. This is the one that started with Adrienne interviewing me, and we had so much fun that they invited me to join the team.

The second -- Rocking the Academy -- is a creative venture with my dear friend and colleague Roopika Risam. Look for it to launch in the next couple of weeks. RTA will put the spotlight on people who are rocking the boat in the academy and helping us to think differently about the future of higher ed.

And the third is an extension of UVenus -- we are still working on the name. We are envisioning it as a UVenus Happy Hour -- a higher ed version of The View for the UVenus community of readers and writers. It will be a conversation-style podcast where a few of us will get together to share our tips for dealing with the challenges we face in higher ed and in life -- from how to prioritize and say no to the multiple requests coming our way to what to wear to work without completely abandoning a sense of personal style.

So, if you want to be interviewed for ExperiencED or Rocking the Academy or if you want to join in on the conversation as a guest at our UVenus Happy Hour, let me know via Twitter @mary_churchill or by email at marylch[email protected] We are also looking for folks to interview, so if you have suggestions for people we must talk with in the world of experiential education, or if you know of folks who are rocking the boat in higher ed, contact me.

Mary is currently associate dean for strategic initiatives and community engagement at the newly established Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University (est. 2018). She is the co-author of The Good Closure: Authentic Leadership in a Time of Crisis (accepted for publication, Johns Hopkins University Press), which details the merger of Wheelock College and Boston University.


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