Radio vs. Podcast: aren’t they the same?

Adam Ragusea’s piece, “Three ways podcast and radio actually aren’t quite the same” was very interesting to read after creating a podcast of my own for class. Podcasts are a whole world that I know nothing about, like a community or club you have to be invited into, and if you’re not, you’re just an outsider staring in. It’s like when I talk to my theatre friends about theatre, and then one of my work friends joins in with the “whatcha guys talking about?” It feels uncomfortable because it is – trying to talk about something (or even more so, CREATE something) that you know nothing about.

That’s how I felt when making my podcast for my blogging class. I felt like a fish out of water. What am I doing here? I have no idea… I initially thought about modeling it after a radio show and had planned the whole thing around that idea. Once I sat down to do it, I decided to research a bit about podcasts. After doing that, my whole plan was scratched since I could see that they were considered totally different things. How could I know that? For all I knew, they were the same thing. But like anything else, there’s an imaginary set of rules that you must follow and although no one may tell them to you directly you better know they’re there.

Some things that Regusea said about podcasts, I had no idea were an actual thing! “Nobody tunes in to the middle of a podcast.” I mean, it makes perfect sense, why would they? They’d have no idea what the speakers were talking about…but it was just another one of those unwritten rules I didn’t know about.

It made me think about other aspects of my life – were there rules I was abiding by that I didn’t even realize?

Most of the ones I could think of had to do with writing fiction, and all those rules took years and years of studying and mistakes to learn, so it wasn’t quite the same thing.

But besides those unwritten rules, even after reading Regusea’s article, I couldn’t really figure out the difference between podcast and radio besides a few minor things. I mean, yeah, radio is way more AHHHHHH and podcasts are much more hmmmmm. If that makes sense… and all the obvious things like: radio plays music, podcasts are people talking or storytelling. Radio has commercials, podcasts don…wait, do podcasts have commercials?

Although I appreciate the art and the “differences” of each, I still can’t really tell the difference. Maybe it’s because I hate radio and I’ve never really had an ear for podcasts. Or maybe it’s because my boyfriend from high school listened to podcasts on the radio and that threw me off for life. Who knows…

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Radio vs. Podcast: aren’t they the same?

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