How long is long enough? Working on the length of a podcast.

I’m finalising my first monthly learning podcast this week. It’s been a back and forth process, both in terms of content, but also regarding the music and overall length. It needs to be long enough to get into some detail, but short enough to hold the interest, and to be practical to do regularly.

I was expecting that there would be a similar process to that of writing the blog, one whereby it will take a few iterations to find the correct ‘tone of voice’ and style. Indeed, i’m deliberately intending that the first three will all be different, in terms of length, tone of voice and content. That way i can gather feedback and start to settle it into a style. At this stage, one may be scripted, one interview and one ‘industry news’. I can then decide which one is easiest to produce, as well as which one has greatest impact.

This sort of action research approach is something that i’m trying to incorporate into many aspects of work today: i guess it makes sense, i mean, the chances of getting something right first time are pretty minimal…

In terms of length, i have four minutes stuck in my head. I don’t know why, it just seems about right. Many of the podcasts that i listen to are much longer than this, indeed some ‘article’ based ones are 45 minutes, but i’m not trying to just replicate the blog in audio form. The podcasts are intended to be thought provoking and wide ranging, but not necessarily detailed. They are more to be creating some disturbance and bringing up new thoughts than a detailed exploration of those areas. Or at least, that’s what i think right now. Lets see what the feedback is.

Podcasts are an under-utilised tool in our learning armoury, often either missed out altogether, or just read versions of written pages. This is a shame as they are really quite easy to produce to a decent standard, and the technology to distribute them is established and free.

New tools like Soundcloud (, which let you index audio and add commentary, should see us revolutionise how we use audio, and it’s something that i need to explore. I feel behind the times in this area and at a disadvantage. Still, there’s always something new to learn…

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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