Cookie Quest Reflection
I have learned a lot about creating podcasts during this class, and also techniques that will helped me with other classes during this semester and in the future as I further my education. During this class, I was a co host for four episodes of our podcast, Cookie Quest. This was a somewhat difficult topic for a podcast because there is not very much outright information on cookies, at least not enough to spend 20 minutes or more each episode talking about. That is where other techniques were necessary. We had to carry on banter between the three of us throughout the episode. Luckily, our humor and personalities meshed well together. Much of the time, we had to talk about other things that went on in our lives, in order for the audience to get to know us as people. This was important because as strangers, we had to make the audience care about what we had to say. In order for the audience to discover who we are, we had to go into detail about things like Reese’s unfortunate financial situation, his broken nose, my inability to stop eating cookie scraps to the point that I threw up, my unhealthy weekly snacking, and Mike’s scarring upbringing. I learned that it is important to hold nothing back during a conversational podcast, even if that meant poking fun at other hosts in good humor, or even making fun of yourself once in awhile. Listeners do not want to hear about superficial people talk about unrealistic lives, so humanizing myself through the truth was important. Another thing that was important was becoming close with my teammates Reese and Mike, because without the bond that we created we would not be able to talk about personal situations in a joking manner. Our teamwork and humor was an integral part of creating a fun environment for creating what seemed like an impossible task, talking for a total of almost two hours about cookies on a recording.
As a team, we faced many obstacles in creating these podcasts. Mike faced a serious medical problem during this semester, making it nearly impossible for him to meet with us in person. We overcame this by making sure that Reese and I attended almost every class in order to keep up with everyone else, and by calling Mike after class to catch him up. We maintained a group text and also had him with us over text, phone call, or Zencastr during our group work outside of class. Prior to recording a podcast, we called Mike to make sure we had everything in order. He used his outstanding leadership skills, experience with podcasting, and naturally great hosting skills to carry his weight in our group, despite his medical circumstances. I am very grateful for the relationship we built with each other and I feel I have gained two lasting friendships throughout this course. Reese and I spent countless hours together shopping for ingredients, baking cookies, walking home from class, and sitting in my room recording, preparing, and editing podcasts together. The bond that we formed helped us create funny and relaxed conversation during recording.
Because I was inexperienced with creating podcasts, my main job in the beginning was media. I created our logo using logomaker.com, our soundcloud account, and our logo, as well as descriptions for each. I followed my friends and family on twitter and tried to spread word of Cookie Quest using both twitter and Soundcloud. Everything I learned about making logos and social media accounts for a business venture other than myself are skills that I will carry with me throughout my careers later in life.
Eventually it came time for me to learn how to use Audacity to edit podcast. This took many hours but luckily Reese is a great teacher. I never realized how much attention to detail and grueling hours it takes to create a podcast worth listening to. You have to make sure everyone’s voices are as even as possible, edit out long pauses, create long pauses during recording to edit in a segment. When people talk over each other during recording, you have to drown out one voice and maximise the other. Background music is important and so is into and exit music, but I had no idea that you had to be careful of copyright prior to taking this class. There are so many little aspects that go into making a podcast that I was unaware of.
I used my new knowledge of how to use Audacity to make a podcast interview for my WRH333 class. After editing the third episode of CookieQuest with Reese, I learned enough to create a segment for another class and even teach others how to put their interviews into a podcast. This is just one instance of how this class has helped me grow as a student and as an individual.
Another way this class has helped me is by discovering podcasts in general. I has very little experience working with podcast, but almost as little experience listening to them prior to this class. Upon leaving class after thursday of week two, I approached Mike after class and asked how he listened to podcasts and which interested him. He gave me useful advice and that night when I drove home from campus I listened to TED talks and Serial. This opened my eyes to a whole new culture of podcasting, which I will continue to divulge in for years to come.
Between the time I spent attending class, baking, recording, and editing Cookie Quest, I feel that I have earned a good grade in the class. My team worked well together and although I was very hesitant about making a podcast about cookies, I think we did a decent job creating an entertaining show. I learned how to create a logo, soundcloud, twitter account, and how to edit a podcast. Most importantly however, I feel that I learned how to open up to a group of strangers, work with everyone’s schedule, and make a typically boring topic (cookies) a little more interesting. We tried to conquer the chocolate cookie, but ultimately found that it was unbeatable. All in all, we came half-circle with our cockiness and learned a lot about baking, podcasts, and each other in the process. I am proud of what we created, even if it was just a bunch of gross cookies.