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Introduction to Podcasting

A series of short audio tutorials for those just getting started.

What is a Podcast (5:37)

In this installment:

  • your host introduces herself in greater detail
  • defines what is a podcast
  • discusses the importance of building connection and community through your podcast


[Intro Music]

Hello, my name is lisa Hooper. I am a librarian at Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. More specifically, I’m head of Media Services, a small but mighty department located on the 6th floor of the library and home to an evolving creative technology lending collection. This collection includes quality USB microphones as well as a recording kit that you can check out of the library with your splash card. It’s that creative technology lending collection that first got me interested in podcasting and involved in work to support podcasting that is happening all across campus.

I’m always happy to talk about podcasting or pretty much anything to do with research and information dissemination. If you have questions or just want to talk about your work, shoot me a line at That’s l h o o p e r number 1, at Tulane dot e d u.

All right. Enough about me. And let’s get on to what we’re really hear for. In this segment, we’re going to think about the question “What is a podcast?”

I mean, it seems obvious – let’s listen to Podcasting Advice, a podcast produced by the Podcast Host:

“In a little more detail, a podcast is a series of spoken word audio episodes all focused on a particular topic or theme.”

So, a typical podcast is akin to a show, with multiple episode released over time, preferably on a predictable and reliable schedule if you want to be serious about building an audience. You know, the only difference is that a podcast is audio rather than video.

NPR host Glen Weldon adds a very important insight to the question “what is a podcast” in his book NPR’s Podcast Start Up Guide. He wrote:

“Podcasts started as a way anyone with an idea could put it out there in search of connection and community (p. 13).”

Gosh, an idea shared in search of connection and community. That seems so powerful. As you begin to turn your podcast over in your mind, I really want you to think about connection and community.

Connection. It’s really important in podcasting! And why? Well, because they are incredibly intimate. If you think about it, when was the last time you and your friends and family gathered around your speakers to listen to a radio program or some music together? I don’t! Most of us listen alone, perhaps while we’re driving or taking the bus somewhere, while we’re exercising, while we’re doing the dishes or cleaning the house. I mean, we listen to keep our minds engaged and connected to others while we’re often alone and doing the mundane, the trivial tasks that we tend not to share. I’m guessing as well that you’re listening to me right now through ear buds. Is that true? If it is, then my voice is literally in your head, in your skull. I mean, how more intimate can you get? In this moment of you listening to me, we are very closely connected through the sound of my voice going directly into your ears.

Community. Alright. So a community, I mean, it can be made of just about anything! Cat lovers, dog lovers, cat and dog lovers. People who bake bread, people who sign up for triathlons. People who do research with a community, and people who do research for a community. Knowing your community is so important, since it’s the community that you’re speaking to and for that will have to shape the content, tone, and sometimes even word choice of your podcast.

So, what’s your community? 

This brings this first section to a close. After I sign off, I want you to get out your paper and pencil, and sketch out who your community is – what are their interests? What are their needs? What is their shared knowledge? What are their shared knowledge gaps? What is their language? How do they speak? How do they listen? And most importantly, where do you fit in the community?

Thanks for listening. Catch you next time.

[Outro music]

Sources Mentioned in This Installment:

The Podcast Host, “What is a Podcast: An Explanation in Plain English.” Podcast Advice (podcast). 19 August 2020. Accessed 22 March 2022.

Weldon, Glen. NPR’s Podcast Start Up Guide. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2021. (Available in print and digitally. Search for it by name at

Music: “Play Doh meets Dora” by Carmen María.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.