Thursday, December 7, 2023

And so... the PodCast goes on Indefinite Hiatus

I'm not going to make a big deal out of this, but there's 2 or three of you who will want to know what is going on with the podcast, so I will answer in a single place I can link back to.

The Signal Watch PodCast is on indefinite hiatus.  It's probably done.  

I want to thank all the contributors from the past few years as we churned out hundreds of hours of conversation and talked about innumerable movies and other topics.  For me, it was a very good experience getting to watch and discuss films I likely wouldn't have gotten to or wouldn't have even known about.  It's made me a fan of new areas of film, and given me ample food for thought.  It's been a genuine growing experience.

It's also been a great way to keep up with people who I don't see that often, and during the pandemic, was a great way to stay social.  For every hour y'all heard recorded, there's at least that many that were just us shooting the breeze before and after the sessions.  I also met people I might otherwise have never met!  The internet is weird and sometimes good!

A few factors entered into my decision to put the podcast on hiatus.

1)  My work schedule is no longer conducive to watching a whole movie after Jamie goes to bed.  I now get up at 5:30 AM to start work at 6:45 AM (I work from home) and then I have things to do between quitting time and bed - plus sharing space and time with Jamie before her bedtime.

I used to be a "go to bed between 12:30 and 1:00 AM" guy, but no longer.  In general, I don't even have the TV on after 10:00 and before bedtime.

2)  Jamie has been having some health issues, so I've just been otherwise occupied.  I won't get into that here, but it's a factor.

3)  It was unclear to me who, if anyone, was listening.  Like, look, I love a good hang with my pals talking movies, but you don't need a podcast to spend time with people.  And you absolutely don't need people listening in. 

But, y'all, the numbers were pretty rough, and never really got anywhere to a point where I didn't assume 80% of the clicks weren't accidental click-thru's.  We have double-digit numbers on most episodes with some occasional exceptions, but it's not really "gonna quit my day job" territory.

If no one is listening, at some point, why is one recording and sharing out?  If a podcast is played in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it exist?  

Now, there's maybe some very longtail interesting stuff that could come from the podcast continuing to exist as an archive, especially housed in YouTube.  Potentially, episodes could be found.  An AI could train against it and make little robot me and Simons.  Like, you just never know!  There's 240+ episodes!  Anything could happen.

But, when you can't get friends or family to listen to your show - who is listening?  

I think the answer is:  nobody

I assume if I had 1000's of listeners, this scenario would be different, but that is absolutely not my problem.

4)  Years ago I remember listening to an episode of This American Life in which a guy talked about how he almost ruined his life pursuing a completely failed dream of becoming a late night talk show host.  That was not what I wanted, but I knew when I listened to it - that's me.  I don't just stop when the stopping is good.  

Look, I'm blogging in 2023.  wtf is that about?

To spoil the episode - the guy briefly tasted some local success and a very iffy level of YouTube success, and then the viewership slipped, the people who were helping him disappeared, and he had given up his job to essentially sit in a room and record a show that was just him.  Well after the point where it was clear that "this is not working".  

Y'all, I did not want to get to that point.  Quit while you still have your illusions.  Do not be the crazy guy in a bunker.

For as easy as it is to listen to a podcast, watching a film, recording, editing, and scheduling, and, and and....  podcasting takes up time.  Time I kind of wanted back.  Especially if no one is listening.

And, not for nothing, it costs money to do.  Soundcloud, various editing and conversion software options, mics...  it always was small enough not to be a problem, but it's also not free.

5)  Hilariously, I have not received one query regarding the already existing hiatus that has been going on for a month.  So.  Do people care...?  (no.  no, they do not)


This isn't to be sad or get folks to tell me to carry on.  Please don't.  I am fine with it.  I assume 99.999999999999999% of people are, too.  Maybe there's one guy in New Jersey eagerly awaiting the next episode.

But, I legitimately am done.  I've known since the summer I'd be wrapping up for a bit in January.  It just happened early.  

I will need a new way to stay in touch with people and find an excuse to just watch movies and chat about them.  I had good times with my co-contributors!

Will I be done forever?  I don't know.  I'm not renewing my SoundCloud license, but I'll keep an eye on the YouTube channel.  If something particularly interesting happens, or I get a great idea for how to proceed, I'll do that.

But, for now, I'm hanging up my mic and letting the other 10,000,000 podcasters do their thing.  

1 comment:

Steven Harms said...

I had hoped you’d resume regular episodes after the Halloween run, but I understand the exigencies of life and how much work it asked of you. I had a lot of fun and more than a few laughs with you and you cadre. Thanks for the memories.