I still don’t really know what a podcast is. Or, like, why it is. But here I am again, collaborating on a thing called Shift Run Stop. A thing that is talky and can be downloaded from iTunes for free. A thing, in other words, that so-called society would have us call a podcast. It is an ambient soundscape sort of production, an undulation of chatter and noise, ideas, games and food – and its fortnightly persistence is currently providing a beautifully gentle distraction from my ongoing unemployment woes. I’m producing it with the (very gainfully employed) Roo Reynolds, who contacted me after Interesting 2009 to suggest we work on something together. What’s it all about?
In addition to games testing, chatting and silliness, we’re getting lots of special guests in and making them talk to us for ages. Roo and I know quite a few interesting people between us, a lot of them connected to the world of games, creative production and general abstract thougthfulness, so we’re pooling our resources to get a decent line-up of interesting and entertaining guests. In the first two eps we had our chums David Schneider (yeah, weatherman, The Day Today, etc) and Adam Tandy who produces The Thick of It. David talked about numbers and why he likes odd ones best, Adam told us about the moment he first realised he wanted to be a producer.
Coming up in the next one (or, more likely, two) we’ve got fascinating Parliament guy Robert Brook, David Quantick, Helen and Ollie from off of ‘Answer me This’, someone who’s built a sort of computing device out of matchboxes, and a chap called Duncan we saw at Playful 09 explaining why he thinks there ought to be a game of Kes. Our good pal Dave Green from NTK and other places is our resident snack expert and we’ve done a lot of variably delicious treat sampling with him at Shift Run Stop Towers. (He is good value: yesterday we also talked to him about the recent retro-computing drama Micro Men, which he visited on-set and wrote about for Edge magazine recently.)
What’s a podcast? I still don’t know. But I think the ill-definition of the thing is probably part of the appeal for us. It’ll be what we make of it. It doesn’t matter, as long as we’re enjoying it and the people that download it are too. Someone wise once said to me “If you’re not enjoying something, what’s the point?” So if you are enjoying it, I reckon you should never have to answer the what’s the point question. That’s the question for losers.
Oh and there’s a Twitter too, natch: @shiftrunstop.