My 10 reasons for podcasting
Podcasting has been my latest little venture. I’ve just reached episode 69 of Medical Fun Facts. I’d love it if you visited and left me a comment. I’ve included the audio for that podcast in this blog post (see the black horizontal bar at the top of this post). Go ahead and listen or watch the YouTube video below.
YouTube video podcast
To mark the number which has become a thing in popular culture I recorded a special show that went a little longer than normal and which also has an accompanying video. It’s been fun doing the writing, audio and now video for the podcast. One of the fascinating things has been doing the artwork. When I started I used free Getty stock images which had a watermark in them. This created a bit of a problem with unwanted messages when trying to navigate the blog. I figured the easiest way to counter this was to draw my own artwork. A couple of my most popular drawings are for episode 54 and episode 51. Please check them out and let me know what you think. Just a warning though, the drawings at NSFW.
Questions and answers
Why do I like podcasting?
It gives me another outlet to express myself.
How else do you want to express yourself? You’re already on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as having a food blog and this blog to share your every thought!
I wanted something a little fun and light hearted, not too heavy and not too complicated.
How did Medical Fun Facts come about?
Would you believe MFF was conceived during the Ebola virus infection outbreak in West Africa? A friend was working in the relevant team and whenever I’d visit she would ask for a medical fun fact. I’d share all sorts of stories from 33 years of exposure to microbiology and medicine. When the response to the potential threat was over, my friend suggested I start a podcast. I don’t think she thought I’d end up doing a show on cunnilingus and fellatio 😂
How easy is podcasting?
It’s easier than you may imagine. While I’m a fan of WordPress.org blogs, I had a Squarespace blog that was effectively working as a landing page for domains I own like garylum.com and gazpath.com
I did some reading about starting a podcast from within Squarespace and it looked pretty easy. I just add an audio file to the blog post and Bob’s your uncle.
What software do you use for each recording?
Up until recently, I was using MAC OS Garageband. Garageband is also available on iOS. It’s pretty easy. I use a USB microphone and do everything in my MacBook. I keep everything on a LaCie external hard disc drive which has a Thunderbolt connection for fast access and so I don’t have my MacBook’s hard disc burdened.
For the last few shows, I’ve been recording video. I’ve tried the iSight camera in my MacBook, a GoPro and a Sony α7s. I think I will use the Sony α7s from now on. The biggest problem with the iSight camera and GoPro has been latency between audio and video. I do the editing in Final Cut Pro X and for the podcast, I export the audio as a mp3 file and pass it through Compressor to reduce the file size. For the video, I save a high-resolution version and pass it through Compressor which converts it from mov to mp4.
How do you cope with poor upload speeds with ADSL?
I hate ADSL. My download is bad and my upload is worse. I’m lucky if I get 0.5 Mbps upload. So I take advantage of my Telstra 4G sim card in my iPhone. The upload speed is much better. Each video file though may be nearly 1 GB so I need to be careful. It’s so much faster though that the ADSL upload.
What sort of reach do you get?
I really have no idea. Squarespace provides some analytics, but I do this for myself. I know I have listeners in the USA and quite a few in Australia. I’d like there to be more and like blogging, I’d like more reach, but this is just a hobby. It keeps me occupied and my mind stimulated.
How do you see Medical Fun Facts growing?
I’m not sure. Now that I’ve done 69 shows, I may take a short break and think about what I want to do. It may be I end this series and go into Season 2 and try a more specific theme. So-called, “Season 1” was a run through the alphabet and a run on diagnostics.
Do you podcast about the work you do in the Australian Public Service?
I avoid the areas that may be regarded as controversial. Apart from that, I focus on material that I’ve learnt and taught over decades. If I get a question about specific policy areas I work on I will ignore them. Medical Fun Facts tends to focus on material from my time as a trainee, my time in Darwin and some aspects of what I do in Canberra at ACT Pathology.
Are there other things you’d like to podcast about?
I’d like to figure out a way to podcast about food and cooking meals for one to help people living by themselves. That’s really what Yummy Lummy has become. A repository of recipes that assist people like me to make a meal that is tasty and nourishing. Most of my meals are relatively quick to prepare and easy to cook. I’m a lazy person, or rather, I try to be efficient. If I can make something easily I will.
What else did you get up to this weekend?
I photographed cows
Do you like Monty Python?
If you don’t like Monty Python, I may not want to like you.