by Jia-Jheng Yeh
First, a little background information about Podcast.
Podcast is a portmanteau, a combination of “iPod” and “broadcast”. A media format where users can access audio files through the Internet. Artists can upload a list of sound and video files or radio programs in RSS format onto the Internet. The listener or viewer listen to podcasts or stream them as an alternative to downloading.
In fact, podcasting has been a well-developed medium for many years in the United States. There is a large audience that subscribe to all kinds of podcast programs, and there is a complete business model supported by some combination of paid subscription models, advertising, or products delivered after sale, and it was not until the beginning of this year that podcasting is making its way into Taiwan. After doing some research, Novice Workshop has also joined the game recently by starting a podcast program called “Maker Radio”, and the following are some of our reflections on starting our own show.
Starting from the end of June 2020, we have produced 17 episodes, about 20 to 40 minutes long each, and they are uploaded every Tuesday. Maker Radio could be found on various platforms including Apple Podcast, Spotify, KKBox, and SoundOn.
Our program is started with a view to extending the contents of our YouTube channel and we talk about Maker culture in depth. There are details and bloopers behind the scenes that we did not show in our YouTube videos when we work on a project. We also focus on certain tools and materials to have an in-depth discussion.
Our target audience includes teachers related to living technology, enthusiasts for handcrafts, or students majoring in design or arts and crafts.
In terms of podcast hosting platform, where users can upload audio files to generate RSS feed for listeners to subscribe to, we chose a Taiwan based platform- SoundOn. The main reason is that if there is a problem during setting, the customer service in Mandarin makes it easier to get assistance. We have been using it for 3 months, and so far, it has been working quite well. There was a small problem, though; as we were uploading files onto different platforms, we had to select the program category. However, except for Apple Podcast, there is no category as “Craft” on other platforms, so we had no choice but to go with “Interest” or “Hobby”, which could be confusing and makes it harder for people to find our program.
Compared with YouTube, one major problem we face using podcasts is that there is little data and information about our listeners, so we know little about our audience, such as their age, gender, engagement rate, how long they listen to our program, etc.
As of today, our program has covered woodworking, fundraising analysis, choice of materials and tool, topics regarding Maker culture, and so on. One thing we find peculiar is that any topic related to woodworking is a guarantee of high engagement rate, just as what happens on our YouTube channel. It shows that carpentry is still people’s favorite among hand-made and DIY projects.
Currently, among the podcast programs in Taiwan, there are few handcraft-related programs that are still putting up new shows on a regular basis. Therefore, to share more information in this field, we could only share some programs in English about similar topics occasionally.