May 2007 Staggering Stories Update

  on May 29th, 2007

Staggering Stories Front Cover #5Well, that was quite an update! I think it is fair to say the most obvious part of that update is the brand spanking new Front Cover art! As ever Andy did an amazing job, I’m sure everyone will agree. We get an inkling (sorry!) of just how much work is involved from an article he did two covers ago (“…Hold The Front Page!…” or “How Staggering Stories Artwork is Created”). I did the easy bit of assembling the bits into the final page and that alone took several hours which is nothing compared to the weeks of work Andy must have put in. So a big thank you to him. Staggering Stories started out without this type of front cover and I’m really glad we’ve got them now – they make such a great first impression. If only I had the graphic design capability to make the rest of the site look even half as good as those covers! Incidentally you will find all five, along with countless other wonderful pieces of art, in The Gallery.

The other major addition this update is a Podcast. This is an idea Tony has been pushing for a good six months or so now. To be honest, the rest of us were pretty reluctant and that’s not entirely evaporated. So, he took it upon himself to do a solo podast. Will this be a one-off? I doubt it, certainly this has pushed the idea forward quite a bit, even to the point where I’m willing to give it a go as part of a group Staggering Stories podcast. It looks unlikely we will get all the Staggering Stories team onboard but that’s okay. The real issue is – what do we talk about?! We have some ideas… I’ve listened to literally hundreds of podcasts over the past couple of years or so. Things that have really killed some podcasts for me, things we must avoid if I’m to have any pride in it (and have any, even slim, chance of being successful):

  • Keep focused topics – there aren’t many podcasters who can make idle chit-chat sound interesting, I doubt we’d be an exception.
  • A regular schedule. In our case it will probably be monthly. That’s really a bit long between podcasts, the vast majority (that I listen to, anyway) are weekly, some fortnightly. I don’t think we’d be able to manage more than monthly, however. Whatever the schedule though, don’t go messing about with it all the time! Probably about four of the podcasts I used to regularly listen to are currently being rather sporadic and it irritates the hell of of me. I’ve dropped one already (and I’m not alone). We mustn’t fall into that trap.
  • Edit out the cruft. The verbal, er, umm, stumbling and the pointless rambling off into non-subjects that no one wants to hear… We don’t want a long rambling podcast, it has to be punchy and not at all over long!
  • More than anything else: be entertaining! That’s the really tricky bit. It must be fun for us to do it (or what’s the point) and it must be equally fun (or at least informative..?) for people to be willing to spend their time listening to it.

It will be a lot of work to do this right. We can do it, if we put our mind to it. We’ve made a good start, too (not that I can take any credit for it – besides buying Podcasting for Dummies! and putting some infrastructure in place) with: