By Jason Snell
February 9, 2015 6:10 PM PT
Podcasts and subcasts: Introducing Game Show
For a long time I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a game show podcast for The Incomparable Network. We’ve done a few game-show episodes and many of our regular panelists—I’m looking at you, Dan and David and Glenn—are big fans of NPR and BBC style panel shows. These shows are a great mix of humor and personality and playfulness, which is actually the thing I loved about panel game shows like “Match Game” growing up.
Everyone on the Incomparable mailing list liked the idea, but none of us could really commit to doing something weekly or even fortnightly. Maybe once a month, but no more. So I started to ponder the possibility of creating a podcast that featured a “wheel” of different shows, alternating throughout the month. You know, like the old NBC Mystery Movie1.
What I wanted to create, then, was a podcast with subcasts inside it. That way, people could subscribe to the main podcast—let’s call it The Incomparable Game Show—or if they were particular fans of only one spoke of the wheel, they could subscribe to a feed containing just that show.
Podcasting content-management systems like those used at 5by5 or Relay FM are great at streamlining the production of individual podcasts. What drove me to work with Greg Knauss on an insane Movable Type-based system at The Incomparable was the desire to have more flexibility—to build an index of topics to start, and then do more things to explore this new medium of podcasting.
When the “wheel” idea came up, I realized I’d need Greg’s help to realize it, and he put together some modifications to our system that allowed the Game Show to become a reality. The first episode just dropped, featuring Dan Moren’s “Inconceivable!” panel show. It’s a lot of fun, and while there’s a lot of tightening up to do on the technical side, Inconceivable! has its own home page and feed, in addition to being part of Game Show.
I haven’t decided yet if giving people options—like the ability to subscribe to a main feed or a sub-feed—is more trouble than it’s worth. But I wanted to give it a try, just to see. In future weeks we’ll be launching several more spokes on the game-show wheel, with a goal to have four different monthly shows (and perhaps the occasional one-off) feeding the main Game Show podcast. I have no idea how it’s going to work. But that’s part of the fun.
I’m pretty sure David Loehr is Columbo in this scenario. ↩
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