Snakepit Podcast: Take Four

I know, I know. This again? Haven't we tried this before? Well...yes.

Look, just watch this video first and we'll go from there. I worked very hard on it. Very hard.

This isn't exactly our first rodeo with trying to start a podcast right around this time of year. No, really. And here we are again. Remember, there is some precedence for a Snakepit podcast -- Wimb was running one back in 2009, but it faded away after a while.

In the meantime, I've been working on a podcast of my own called At the Buzzer. I put a link there only for the sake of hapless self-promotion. The only reason that's really important is that it's given me some valuable experience in what does and does not work with podcasts, especially when the people involved are in different locations.

I'm going to steal a bit from myself to get the conversation going. Here are some thoughts on an online, communal setup to get multiple voices involved:

In its most basic format, you could put together, say, a 15- or 30-minute show with 2-4 people relatively easily, without the need for much in the way of manpower, equipment or cost. While it would not be a masterpiece in terms of audio quality, it would be above average and certainly good enough for a talk format (as opposed to a music one). A setup like this could work well with what is already an online community:

- A show run planner using Google Docs or another shared file system, where you put the outline of what would be in each episode and other relevant information and then allow access to each relevant individual.
- Skype, or a similar program, to bring together multiple voices in different areas (especially handy considering the Pit’s plethora of non-Phoenix or even Arizona-based fans).
- A simple recording software program that works in conjunction with Skype — there are free ones that get the basic job done, or advanced ones like Pamela Call Recorder that have a nominal fee.
- Audio editing software, which again ranges from free (Audacity) to not free. A free program called The Levelator also works magic for getting the best audio quality even for those without editing experience.
- A server to host mp3 files, be it on the SBNation network, privately hosted, or through a free podcast service like TalkShoe.

As far as what we might see in an episode, let's pretend that the show is going to be 30 minutes and go from there.

Intro (1 minute – a music bed of some sort with a voice over for the name of the show, the regular participants and maybe an e-mail address/Twitter account/Facebook for contact)
Lead segment (10 mins – the main topic of the week)
Secondary segments (5-7 mins apiece): This could be all kinds of things that would show up on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. For example: A farm report (we almost have too much good minor league coverage not to), a featured player, an interview of the week, a "Stat of the Week" where you highlight some cool number and explain what the stat means if its an advanced metric, a segment where we read questions and comments from the Pit … etc.
Outro (1 min – similar to the intro: music, contact info, sign off)

In a format like that, you might be able to get a bunch of people involved if you reallllllly wanted to try. For example, you have two main hosts for the show, and then other folks record those secondary segments separately. Two people in the lead segment + 3 others doing secondary bits = a half-hour podcast!

Let's worry about the specifics later, though. As I said in the video, what I'd like in the comments is a few different things:

1) Whether you'd like to be involved with the show, especially if you're one of the managers, bench coaches or players at the bottom of the page;

2) What you would like to see in the show, be it a name for the podcast, segment ideas, ways to get the audience involved or anything else;

3) Whether you'd even be interested in listening to a D-backs podcast in the first place.

I know the timing on this isn't great. It's probably ideal to pick it up during the offseason, but we've tried that before and failed multiple times. At this point, if we have enough interest, my suggestion is to get folks together and do 2-3 episodes in September before the end of the season. Then we might shift to a monthly podcast in the offseason because let's face it, not much is happening, before hitting the ground running in 2013.

Enough of my thoughts. It's your turn!

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