I've been trying to choke down a few more firearms and survival-related podcasts lately and am more disappointed then ever by what I hear. While I applaud the efforts that many people put into sharing information via the audio-on-demand format, I just wish they actually had information to share.
For example in one particular survivalist podcast there is a never-ending cycle of household preparedness tips. Not that it's a bad thing, but it’s the same tips over and over and over again. Plus the host is constantly listing what he plans on doing, and not what he’s done all the while imploring the listener to move forward on his suggestions.
And then there are all the gun podcasts by relatively new shooters. It sound like a good idea, but you can only learn so much from someone who only swims in the shallow end of the pool. Even worse, their perpetual city dwelling has left them with such massive holes in knowledge and experience that very few of the nuggets of wisdom are worth unboxing due to all the nonsense packing foam and tissue paper.
For instance, one of the preachers at the church of the concealed carry once mentioned that if he was in a life or death situation he would not use his good gun because it would be confiscated after the shooting. Instead, he would choose one of his lesser pistols that he wouldn't mind parting with during the duration of the investigation. Talk about missing the big picture.
Oh, and one of my favorite, well actually its just one comment that caused me to stop the podcast, unsubscribe, and delete all episodes. It was a simple but hugely telling offhand comment where the host talked about keeping an open mind about the news. For instance, the Sandy Hook shooting could be a hoax. You just never know. Well, that did it for me. I will be perfectly happy the rest of my life if I never ever hear another word from that podcasting imbecile. Its one thing to be skeptical about stories where there are plenty of missing pieces of information, but absolutely insane to consider ignoring the murder of 20 children in the off-hand chance that everyone got it wrong somehow and nobody died.
On a lighter note, there are the hosts that have the social skills of a yellow lab puppy. Every tangential topic, verbal typo, or accidental pun is met with a reckless diversion of childish repeats, copycats, and explosively derailed trains of thought.
Finally, there are the podcasters who perpetually profess that they are obese and not really trying to lose weight. Or those who have less command over the English language then the average grade school student in China. And worst of all is the the podcast host named Constantus interruptis. This latter beast is usually so full of hot air that the only way they can justify their presence on their own show is beat their co-hosts and guests into verbal submission through forceful interruption and an endless stream of grunts and attempts to start talking by repeating the first word of their great thought. And it was the same thought we all had seconds ago and have long since moved on. But like a lab puppy, they get so fixated on the bouncing around ball in front of them that they fail to see their guest's Mack truck of useful knowledge bearing down but then must slam on its brakes and fly off the cliff into the ocean of silence leaving us with nothing more than the obese mathematically-inept grammatically-challenged host reciting with pride their stupid thought from 20 seconds ago that every listener has already considered and dismissed.
So in the end, I have to consider whether or not the entertainment of the audio is worth the misery and frustration of listening to the dysfunctional social and verbal skills of a hyperactive second grader. Honestly, I do want to hear what the hosts knows, but frankly it often isn’t worth the frustration. So in the interest of helping, here are my Top 10 Rules for delivering a worthwhile podcast in this survival/prepper genre.
- Talk only about what you truly know about.
- Do not interrupt. Let the discussion flow.
- Get to the point. I don’t need a 20 minute rambling intro for a 40 minute total podcast.
- Make your intro and extro music very short. Like three seconds or less. Then see point number three above.
- Don't bother making a podcast every week if you have nothing new to say.
- Don't get your panties in a bunch over a iTunes review, listener feedback or Facebook comment. There are probably hundreds of listeners to everyone one that comments. The rest of us tune in if you're helpful and shut you off if not. React to your feedback privately.
- Do you homework. There is no reason not to know a fact. Look it up! You have a time machine in front of you. Just pause the recording and check your facts. How hard is that?
- Don't repeat the messages and buzzwords of Talk Radio. It makes you sound stupid with a big Kool-Aid stain on your upper lip.
- Lay off the loyalty. If you love Springfield XDs then good on you. But there are other guns in the world and your lack of experience does not equate to knowledge. Take a walk around the block.
- If you have had your conceded carry permit for less than five years, consider yourself a rank beginner and do ten times more listening than talking. Don't bother taking the mainstream media to task for every factual misstep. It just makes you sound like a spoiled kid. Unless your name is Mossad or Jerry, be humble and respectful.
So there you have it. My wishlist of podcast traits. And everyone of them is free, easy, and guaranteed to keep your podcast worth listening to.