My Return to Podcasting: Mack & Cheese

Today I am excited to introduce a new project called Mack & Cheese. It’s a podcast that I’m doing with Graham Hicks, who I’m sure you know from his newspaper days. He’s the “cheese” in our duo, but is it because he’s cheesy or is it because he’s the big cheese? You decide!

His five-times-a-week town-crier style column “Hicks on Six” in the Edmonton Sun and the Edmonton Sun online, was considered Edmonton’s best-read newspaper column.

I approached Graham in the fall with the idea for the podcast and was thrilled when he said he wanted to take part. You can check out the first episode here. We both love talking about current affairs in Edmonton so that’s what you can look forward to on future episodes, though in our intro episode we talk entirely too much about ourselves.

Podcasting in 2004
Me podcasting way back in 2004

For me, this is a return to podcasting. I started podcasting in September 2004 actually. To give you some context, that was just a few months after Facebook initially launched and nearly two years before Twitter existed. My friends and I liked the idea of doing our own radio show, and podcasting gave us a way to do that. We created a site called BlogosphereRadio which was a series of shows that discussed various aspects of blogging. While some of our shows probably sounded like they were created just for our group of friends, some shows attempted to be more professional-sounding. We covered the first ever blog auctions for instance, and we recorded sessions for the Northern Voice conference a couple of years. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work!

Podcasting in 2004
My usual setup back in the day

So much work as a matter of fact, that I decided I could build some software to make it easier. That led to Podcast Spot, a hosting service that my business partner Dickson and I launched in September 2006 (you check out some of our features here). We had limited success with the effort, and ultimately decided to shut it down in October 2008. Podcasting had lost some of its lustre by that time, and we felt our service had come to a fork in the road. That was kind of the end of my podcasting career, if you could call it that! I look back now and am pretty happy with what we were able to accomplish (we even built some cool things like a real podcasting robot, pictured below). We were ahead of the curve in some areas, but were inexperienced and up against some stiff competition. I learned an incredible amount through the whole experience.

Finished Side View
The Podbot, which we controlled wirelessly!

While I stopped podcasting and put my effort into other projects, I never did lose my interest in it. I still think podcasting is a particularly interesting method of communication, even if it’s not as “big” as we hoped it would become. Some things are best discussed in a blog post, but I think there are plenty of things that podcasting is appropriate for. I’m looking forward to exploring that further with Mack & Cheese.

Here in Edmonton, there are now some really great podcasts to choose from. I have been completely inspired by what Adam and Scott have done with The Unknown Studio (and we use their studio for our recording…thanks guys!). If you aren’t already a regular listener, you should be! There’s also UserCreatedContent, Jay n’ J, Prairie Belles, and Product People that you should check out.

I think there’s a place for what Graham and I want to do, and I hope that some of you find it interesting enough to listen to. If you do take a listen and have some feedback, I’d love to hear it!