Exploring the popularity of podcasts; offering a local playlist.
Any discussion of podcasts would be incomplete without acknowledging “Serial,” which wasn’t the first podcast but, perhaps, is the most well-known. An investigative journalism podcast that follows one true story over the course of a season, its first two seasons have been downloaded more than 250 million times (variety.com), with season three recording 2.8 million downloads on the first day (fortune.com). Based on the popularity of podcasts and society’s appetite for content, we decided to explore our local podcast scene. We’ve gathered some podcasts hosted and/or produced by members of our community, and we asked around for listening recommendations. Let us know if you have others to add to the list. We’d love to know what you’re listening to.
Podcasts by Locals
Hosted by Dr. Jonathan Stegall, produced by Jonathan Chambers
An integrative oncologist seeks to change the cancer paradigm through education and support, while discussing the best of modern medicine with alternative therapies.
“Higher Purpose Podcast”
Hosted by Kevin Monroe
Encourages and inspires people to flourish in faith, business and life.
Hosted by Jennifer Dunn
A YouTube podcast geared toward helping families and genealogists search for family history in the 21st century.
“The Georgia Songbirds”
Hosted by Jesse Landers
A podcast aimed at local artists and songwriters, giving them a place to share music, stories and experiences, as they chase their dream.
Hosted by Greg Shaddix
A weekly conversation-style podcast where Shaddix talks to people he finds interesting. Highlights include the local music scene, performers, the arts and everyday life.
“Nick & Dan Predict the Future”
Hosted by Nick Cianciolo and Dan Thrailkill
This podcast is for freethinkers inquisitive about “what happens next …” Common subjects are the economy, energy, the environment, social and moral issues, free speech, the intellectual dark web, and other topics relevant to Nick and Dan, or submitted by contributors.
“You Belong Podcast”
Hosted by Emmie Amick
A podcast to encourage young adults and teenagers. Topics include: singleness, how to break free of comparison, and living a fearless life. Emmie will take a hiatus from posting podcasts while doing mission work in Europe, but plans to continue when she returns.
Dan, a member of Around Woodstock’s community board, is co-host of “Nick & Dan Predict the Future.” He serves on several local civic and private boards, and is active in YPOW. He is co-founder of Front Porch Advisors.
“For me, podcasts are the most reliable, factual and entertaining source for current information. I love listening to music, but when I want to be more productive with my time and/or become more informed, I listen to a podcast, or 20. Podcasts also offer a way to gather unbiased, uncensored and less ‘fake news’ information versus traditional mega-conglomerate media channels.”
What Dan listens to:
“The Joe Rogan Experience
“The Peak Prosperity podcast called Featured Voices”
“The Peter Schiff Show Podcast”
Jesse has lived in the Canton area about 34 years. He is a singer-songwriter, and plays in a band called Yes M.A.M. His podcast, “The Georgia Songbirds,” is aimed at other local artists, songwriters and musicians.
“I started ‘The Georgia Songbirds’ to help other artists, songwriters and musicians tell their stories with words as well as music. We talk about their influences, struggles, life, and play a few songs live. Songwriters, artists, musicians in general sometimes have a hard time expressing themselves through anything but music, so to see them open up and tell me their life stories is inspiring. Occasionally, I may have to drag it out of them, but, as Conway Twitty said, ‘That’s my job’.”
What Jesse listens to:
“The Music Biz Weekly”
“NSAI Coffee Break”
Jennifer is a writer and digital content marketer and the founder of Customer Story Studio and Social Street Media. She serves as president of the board of the Cherokee Family Violence Center and hosts “Genealogy Technology” on YouTube.
“I love podcasts because I can listen to them while doing other things like driving, cleaning or cooking. They’re also highly democratic, and allow anyone to access various opinions and levels of expertise in almost real time.”
Emmie is a 2019 Etowah High School graduate. She plans to spend the next nine months doing mission work in Italy with Global X. She started “You Belong Podcast” as a way to talk about subjects that interest her, and to share her beliefs.
“Podcasts are one of the most popular pastimes in today’s generation. They keep you engaged on long car rides, and help you when you want to learn something new. I think of podcasts like reading, an easy way to escape the real world. There are many different genres: educational, comedy, religious, sports, news, politics − you choose. I started my podcast to encourage people to live and walk like Jesus did. For me, it is hard to navigate a society that is always shining a light on the negative.”
What Emmie listens to:
“The Road Back to You”
“Battle Ready Podcast”
“That Sounds Fun”
Garrett is a Woodstock native and broadcast professional at Cumulus Media. He has been involved in the development and production of several Atlanta-based podcasts.
“Podcasts are the future of radio. Turn on any radio station and you’ll hear ads for podcasts produced by the station’s parent company. You can listen to popular morning radio shows, from around the country, anytime, anywhere, pause it, rewind, fast forward — basically, you can listen on your terms, at your convenience.”
What Garrett listens to:
“My Brother, My Brother and Me”
“Punch Up the Jam”
Michelle is the art director for Aroundabout Local Media’s group of magazines. With a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology, she enjoys the creative side of life in business and in her free time.
“Podcasts have been a way of expanding my knowledge of the latest trends in my field. The long-form conversations let the interview get really in-depth. It really keeps me company while working remotely, and the variety is endless.”
What Michelle listens to:
“Happier With Gretchen Rubin”
“The Tim Ferriss Show”
“Design Matters With Debbie Millman”
5 Steps to Starting a Podcast
Anybody can have a podcast, but not everybody should. If you decide to start one, here are five easy steps to get your podcast on the air.
- Decide what your show is about; the more specific, the better. You’ll have an easier time finding your audience with a show that fills a niche.
- Establish your podcast’s identity. Your show’s name and cover art should be original and eye-catching. A potential listener needs to be able to tell what to expect from your show just by glancing at the name and description.
- Pick a podcast hosting service. Podbean, Libsyn and Blubrry are three easy-to-use and affordable options. Using a dedicated podcast hosting site (rather than uploading to somewhere like SoundCloud) makes it easier to get your show on all the major podcast apps.
- Get a microphone and recording software. Audacity is a free, user-friendly recording and editing software that’s perfect for first-time podcasters. You don’t have to spend a fortune on an expensive microphone. As long as you can find a quiet place, without a lot of echo, to record, you can make an inexpensive microphone sound like a pro.
- Share and be consistent. Once you’ve recorded and edited your first episode, it’s time to share it with the world. Post a link to your podcast on social media. Maintain a regular uploading schedule, and make your show as easy as possible to find online, and you’ll soon build a listener base.