Talk This: The Prequel

Welcome to the Talk This blog! To commemorate our first episode going live this afternoon (have you subscribed and listened yet? You really should!), I'm going to give you all a behind-the-scenes peek into the development of the podcast. Emma and I have had a blast getting this off the ground, and we're excited to share all our hard work with you.

Talk This was just a glimmer in our eyes only a month ago. In fact, our very first conversation, memorialized forever on Facebook Messenger, took place on December 5th:

I would have used "why" instead of "y" if I had known this podcast thing was going to actually happen. In other updates, I am writing roughly five plays, and I managed to play Tales from the Borderlands over break, but not The Last of Us. Maybe this summer...

About a week later, Emma had already figured out the core concept for the show (although apparently I had not yet indicated that I was fully on board!)

From that message, it may sound like we had everything figured out already, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Emma plays a lot of video games, and I listen to a fair number of podcasts (they're great entertainment on an outdoor run), but neither of us had much idea how to go about making one ourselves.

Just for an example of how scattered we felt, here's a brainstorming sheet from a mid-December strategy meeting at Peet's Coffee (not an advertisement, although if they want to send Emma a free drink, who are we to complain?):

If you could decipher my chicken scratch, you'll see that I insisted on including a bad joke at the start, that I somehow thought it was necessary to write "we start out talking about the old game...why it's good and why it sucks" (seems obvious in retrospect), as well as a couple dozen other ideas for conversation topics. You might deduce an obsession with lists and plans, and you would not be wrong.

Over the holidays, we procured a microphone and the necessary recording equipment. We started compiling a list of games. And Emma, being the resident communications major, figured out the mechanics of setting up an RSS Feed and submitting to iTunes (easier than you would think, right Emma? I don't really know, I had minimal participation in this part).

There was also the matter of a logo and a theme song. We wanted both to suggest the video game theme of the show. Initially, we wanted to have a riff on the Super Mario theme (you know the one) and a logo based on the original Legend of Zelda game cover...but a quick google search taught us that our podcast probably didn't fall under the bounds of fair use for those copyrighted materials. Rats!

Ultimately though, those restrictions forced us to be more creative! Using the powerful graphic design tools known as Microsoft Word and Paint, I created our arcade game inspired logo, which you'll see on your screen when you download our podcast from iTunes (hint hint). Our intro and outro themes come straight from the mind of guitarist Josh Myers, composed especially for the show. It never hurts to have talented friends.

And that was all it took! Some internet research, a little creativity, a few self-made designs, and a small financial investment, and in less than a month, we were recording our first episode of Talk This! It may be dangerous to podcast alone, but it sure isn't hard to get started, so if you've ever wanted to host your own podcast, our advice is to go for it! The only way to level up is to gain more XP, after all.

"But wait Madelyn," you might say. "What about actually recording episodes? Surely you must have some gems of wisdom to share with us?"

Well folks, I wouldn't say gems of wisdom, but maybe I have a few coins of knowledge. In our next blog, I'll talk more about what we've learned from just our first few episodes.

As I often end our episodes, have a good day!


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