Aug 272016
Blogging & Coffee

I’m planning to produce a regular podcast this year, based around the idea of what it means to be sociable in the Twenty-First Century. The idea is to meet once each week to discuss topics of interest and to play some music while a small group of people chat in a very informal and friendly way about being social.

My thinking at this point is to record sixty minutes of discussion and music with three guests and a fourth person (me) acting as a moderator. Each week we will pick a different theme but will discuss issues that are loosely based on the general topic of being social.

I want the conversation to be relaxed and chilled, with an emphasis on personal experience and understanding, rather than on expert testimony, professional status or having a product to promote.

To begin the invited guest will be drawn from personal contacts, but my aim is to extend the range of guests through our associated networks, connections with the people who take part, the people who might listen, and anyone who might be interested in having a go.

The idea is to develop a completely un-structured approach that is based simply around fluid conversations, rather than to be looking to ‘achieve’ any particular outcomes, destinations or to leave anyone wise than before they started. Conversations are like that. Sometimes they are serious, sometimes they are fun, most of the time they are unpredictable

To produce the recordings I’ve invested in some recording equipment, with a Zoom H6 multichannel recorder with four mono microphones, and a line-in feed for music input. I’m also hoping that we can use a friends coffee shop as our base for recording the sessions, as its a great environment to relax and chill.

The general idea is to discuss how our sense of sociability is being defined in the twenty-first century? To do this we will probably end up reflecting on our inherited sense of sociability and the way that we have defined our social lives to date.

But rather than this being a chance for nostalgic meander, I’d rather we explored what changes we feel are being brought about through generational change, through technological change, and through cultural changes, and so on.

So, these conversations might include, but certainly aren’t limited to:

  • Being Social with Food.
  • Being Social over Coffee.
  • Being Social with Games.
  • Being Social with Apps.
  • Being Social in Cities.
  • Being Social Online.
  • Being Social at Work
  • Being Anti-Social.
  • Being Civil in Public Places.
  • Using Technology to Keep in Touch.
  • Social Media Technology and Older People.
  • Social Media Technology and Younger People.
  • Social Learning.
  • Social Sport.
  • Social Music.
  • Social Dating.
  • Social Cycling.
  • Hosting a Party.
  • Retaining a Sense of Privacy.
  • Social Envy and Anxiety.

Rather than setting a business plan in place, or a production schedule, the idea with these podcasts is to see where the conversations drift, how they can include different perspectives, and how they can raise subject that don’t normally get talked about.

And while the experience might initially be Leicester-based, there should be no fixed points, and guests and contributors can be drawn from wider afield.

Ironically, I’m also not that worried about promoting the podcasts with social media. If they spread, they spread. I’d be much happier if a group of people can get together each week and have a chilled-out chat. I’d rather it was a social thing as much as anything.

If there is any promotion of interaction through social media then its probably best if its encouraged in simple and at-hand forms, through Twitter as the main conversation platform. Of course links can be made to other forms of social media by using a hashtag.

Once I’ve recorded the podcast I’ll be posting it as a stereo MP3 file to my personal website, which has an RSS feed and a link to iTunes. I’ve paid for a podcaster licence so it’s possible to play music legitimately.

So if anyone has any ideas that might help me, or examples of podcasts that would be good to listen to, get in contact – probably best using Twitter @robwmedia