Un-Current Events

There’s often a temptation to avoid the old, that moments after something comes into existence, it’s value begins to diminish. This often leads us to abandon older ideas or work for fear of being dated.

Nowhere is this concept truer than in the realm of podcasting where timeliness is valued heavily.

One of the goals for Mikes on Mics has always been to create something with a longer shelf life. While we may touch on current events, new tools or even an imminent release, the desire is to find a way to make the conversation relevant for as long as possible. This desire comes from two places: the lofty urge to create something timeless and the logistical reality that we would not be able to record and release each week with our current schedules.

Myke Hurley, fearless leader of the 70Decibels network, has always cautioned against the approach of building up a queue of episodes. He believes that subtle, yet dated, references in our “talk radio” style format conversation become a distraction to the message.

I have nothing but respect for Myke’s skill and opinions as a podcaster (no, seriously), but I’ve always had my doubts. I’m not saying I think he’s wrong, I’m just not as sure. I’ve also never been able to prove it, one way or the other. Until today that is…

While my co-host Mike Vardy and I always pre-record, the release date is never all that far off. In the few cases where it is, we are very mindful to avoid current events. Yet an episode on self-confidence got lost along the way. There was always a timely interview or topic that pushed it back. As we near one year of recording the show, we decided to post it as a current episode.

I believe the core of the episode to be as relevant today as it was the day we recorded it, but when listening back I can’t deny the casual references to things that are now well in the past. As we come to the year anniversary of the show, we thought we’d let this see the light of day. The hope is that it accomplishes two goals:

  1. To see just how significantly the details distract from the core message.
  2. To serve as a reminder of just how far we have come.

This episode was only recorded a few months back, yet to my ear, the differences in my abilities in front of a microphone is staggering. I still have a ways to go and am still guilty of all of many podcasting sins (nervous laughter, awkward pauses, “umming”, cutting people off), but I’ve come a long way. So selfishly, I was glad to listen back and release the episode.

Perhaps Myke is right and this isn’t the right way to go about things. Perhaps this episode’s time has passed, but I don’t think so. I’m glad we put it out, dated references and all. That said, there’s an opinion that’s far more important than mine or even that of Mr. Michael Hurley of 70Decibels fame. I’d really love to know what you think about this episode, especially if you’re a regular listener of the show.

Did the dated references throw you out or is timeliness not something you care about as long as the message is lasting?

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