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A podcasting renaissance? When was its dark age?

Podcast renaissance or Renaissance podcast?

Yesterday I declared that Todd Glass coming out of the closet on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast is a podcasting milestone. Just after posting that piece I read writer and comedian Gaby Dunn’s article “Hustlin’: Inside the Podcast Renaissance” at Good magazine.

When I first saw the title, I thought to myself, “Renaissance?” Using that word implies that podcasting somehow had some earlier flowering that wilted and died. Dunn sort of implies that the dot-com boom was a fertile period for podcasting. However the word and the proliferation of the RSS innovation that spawned podcasting didn’t happen until 2004, a good 3 years or so after the boom turned to bust. While podcasting became a trendy media topic around ’04, I’m not sure it ever withered enough to need a rebirth.

Neverthless, that doesn’t undermine Dunn’s point that podcasting is growing in popularity while the accessibility of the production tools are encouraging artists, producers and commentators from many walks to take advantage of the medium’s power. Talking with comedian podcasters like Maron and political ‘casters like siblings Molly and John Knefel, Dunn compiles a good list of tips for would-be podcasters.

As a former podcaster myself (with podcast distribution lasting five years), I can heartily endorse these morsels of advice. In particular I would emphasize this one:

Make sure your podcast is sustainable. It’s hard to continue baking, writing, painting or doing comedy while also spending a ton of time making a podcast about the same topic.

“If it’s just a few [episodes] and then you give up, there’s not much of a point,” (podcaster Matt) Ruby says.

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