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Maker Monday moments – July round-up with Michael de Groot and Karl W Newton.

It was a very warm, humid and busy Maker Monday at the end of July so it was fantastic to see such a great turn out at 1000 Trades, despite the Summer holidays having begun.

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One of the best elements of Maker Monday is being part of a large community of practice and we were delighted to welcome Michael de Groot and Karl W Newton to talk about their practices of podcasting and photography respectively.

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Our first speaker, Michael de Groot presented a fun and fact-filled introduction to all things podcasting. At the start of his presentation, there were two or three in who had been involved in podcasting (including Michael himself). By the end of his talk, Michael had converted most of the room to give it a go.

Michael has been podcasting for almost three years. He talked about how he started his own show, sharing lots of info and stats on the global popularity of podcasting alongside the added bonus of its affordability i.e. low cost or in Michael’s words, “virtually for free.”

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Michael invited the audience to share their reasons for what they listen to and why. Of course, there were a number of reasons such consumption of information, access to resources, the pursuit of personal interest or amusement and the podcast is also a perfect medium for the commute.

Michael talked about its growth being concurrent with the ownership of smartphones. Some stats shared by Michael included:

  1. Listeners consume six 1⁄2 hours each week.
  2. One-third of the time of audio content are podcasts. 5. 2 million podcasts indexed on Google.
  3. 52% is on Apple Podcasts, 19% on Spotify.

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Michael then invited everyone to gather around their tables and come up with an idea for a podcast and nearly all the ideas were fantastic.

For example, amongst the great ideas:

  • A comedian or voice actor playing a historical figure and give their viewpoints on modern problems and issues;
  • The psychology of music – why do certain types of music evoke certain emotions in people. Each episode could focus on a different emotion. Their dream first guest would be Paul McCartney.
  • Generation Sound – a cross-generational podcast discussing music and sounds and breaking down the generational gap, with a focus on helping people through sound, for example, people with dementia.
  • The philosophy of happiness – what makes people happy and why it makes people happy with first guest Eddie Izzard. 

With these ideas as a starting point, Michael started to introduce a number of the free and low-cost tools available, for example, anchor.fm which is an app where free podcasts can be made.