Today is the eighth anniversary of my AmeriNZ Podcast. On March 28, 2007, I posted the first episode, roughly six months after I started this blog. Despite the odds, both are still going. And, it turns out, the connection between the two has come full circle.
When I first started the podcast, I talked about how I saw it as an extension of this blog. But as time passed, I started to deliberately separate them more and more. Eventually, that process also led to spinning off discussions of US politics into a stand-alone podcast with my friend Jason, 2Political Podcast—a name that was inspired by a negative review someone left on iTunes for my AmeriNZ Podcast.
The separation led, first, to the establishment of a separate site for the podcast, which meant that I stopped using this blog for my shownotes. For a time, I still posted regular updates when I posted new episodes, but I stopped doing that at all many years ago, and the two—blog and podcast—have been sort of separate islands ever since.
Recently, I contemplated starting doing vlogging, too, and I gathered advice from people who were doing that, particularly my friend Paul (with whom I used to do yet another podcast, “Arthur and Paul Talk”) who started vlogging on his YouTube Channel. I planned on doing something kinda similar, but then decided to postpone it for reasons I talked about on the podcast.
The planning process for those videos led me to consider starting a new YouTube Channel rather than using my existing AmeriNZ YouTube Channel. And that turned out to be the turning point.
I suddenly realised that my podcast is, basically, an audio blog. It’s less formal, and certainly more familiar, than this blog usually is, and I talk about things close to me personally: Things I’m doing, life in New Zealand, NZ politics, and so on. Sure, I write about all those things for the blog, but the tone is usually quite different and sometimes I say things I wouldn’t write just because it doesn’t “work” in writing. Besides, as I’ve said many times, there’s something special about stories told with the human voice. I think it creates a kind of intimacy between listeners and speakers that the written word just can’t do in the same way.
So, to put it another way, I realised that my podcast really is an extension of my blog, as I said it was at the very beginning. My YouTube Channel, then, is—or could be—the visual extension.
All up, I’ve spent 8½ years building up the AmeriNZ “brand”, though I now identify myself by name as the creator of all this content (the YouTube Channel makes it a little more difficult to do…). It’s time to start bringing them together more.
The podcast will continue as a separate site, at least for now, mainly because it’s easier for me to host and share the audio files that way. But I’ll again post notices of new episodes here on the blog—not full-on shownotes, just an announcement. I’ll also put together a Facebook page for all things AmeriNZ to make it easier to share the stuff I post (more about that when it happens).
So far, I’ve published over 3200 blog posts, 308 episodes of the AmeriNZ Podcast, and even a few videos (only one of which, from the 2008 election, has me in it, and it was never posted to YouTube). That’s the AmeriNZ ouvre, you could say (though I don’t think I would, actually…). Some of that content isn’t very good, and maybe most if it is “just okay”. But in all that creative output there are some things I’m very proud of, indeed.
And, even after all these years, it’s still fun. That’s really the point, isn’t it?
Footnote: This post—which I’m posting to both my blog and podcast site—was delayed for an unusual reason: New Zealand law. I talked about the Northland By-election in the latest episode, and there’s a media blackout (including blogs and such) from midnight until the polls close at 7pm on Election Day. I posted the podcast episode well before midnight, so that was legal, but I had to be sure that I didn’t call attention to the post in any way, and acknowledging my podcast anniversary might have done so. To be extra sure, I didn't mention the topic in the shownotes (though I’ll edit them to include it now that the polls have closed). And that’s got to be the oddest reason I’ve ever had for delaying posting something.