November 23, 2017 · Podcasting

New podcast announcement: In Praise Of...

With today being Thanksgiving, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reveal the third podcast project that I've been working on. Unlike Screen Testing and Testers' Island Discs before it, this one doesn't have any connection to the world of testing, so it's somewhat new ground for me.

What is it?

Well, you've seen the article title, so you already know the name!

In Praise Of... is a positivity and wellbeing podcast where I (and occasional guests) will celebrate the often-maligned elements of everyday society. If you've ever seen the television show Room 101, where celebrities reveal the things that they hate the most in the world, it's basically the polar opposite of that: We'll be discussing the so-called "guilty pleasures" in our lives, and why they bring us so much joy.

Maybe it's that terrible film or cheesy band which has always been your thing. Perhaps it's that hobby or activity that none of your friends can understand. Whatever it is - if you love it, I want to talk to you about it: where your love comes from, what it is that makes it so special to you. The more unlikely the praise, the better. (Early solo episodes from me will include "In Praise Of... Ace Of Base" and "In Praise Of... The Room".)

We won't be discussing the Village People. Unless you love the Village People. In which case, we'll certainly be talking about the Village People.

Why are you doing this?

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post titled On Positivity, which explains a lot of the reasons why I found myself needing to seek out happiness in my life. Earlier this year, I followed this up with an appearance on the Inner Pod podcast which reflected both my growing comfort in talking about these subjects, and my recognition that giving off positive energy has a reciprocal benefit to those in your immediate circle.

I hope that In Praise Of... can have this effect - it's going to be a little bit silly, but with a serious message, which I hope can serve as a much-needed piece of mindfulness to counterbalance everything else that the news media bombards us with on a day-to-day basis.

I didn't set out to fill this post with Friends gifs, but here we are.

What's the format?

If you've been listening to Testers' Island Discs, it's going to be quite similar in structure. It'll usually be either a 1-on-1 interview format, or a solo recording, released fortnightly and generally under 30 minutes in length.

Each episode will also include a recommendation to help further your mindfulness journey. It could be a book, an article, a TED Talk or a mobile app, and although I heavily subscribe to the "what works for me won't necessarily work for you" theory, I'm hoping that I'll occasionally bring you a little gem which can have a real impact on your life.

When's it out?

Episode 0 will be released at the start of January. I have several guests lined-up already, and although there's no direct connection to the world of testing, I'm hoping that a few of the usual podcast suspects will step forward to share their own secrets, to help get the show started!

Just like when I first announced Testers' Island Discs, there are a few hurdles left for me to clear during the holiday season, mostly around theme music and artwork, but also some boring marketing work: it's rather daunting to be launching a non-testing podcast, as publicity/promotion is going to take some serious effort, but if you're reading this then I hope you'll be a booster for the programme!

How can I find out more?

Er.... Just ask! There's a bare-bones Twitter account @InPraiseOfPod which will begin to take shape over the next few weeks, but if you have any suggestions/contributions, you can just contact me through the usual means (either via my main Twitter account @neilstudd, or via the email link beneath my avatar on this site). Alternatively, just drop a comment in the section below.

If I don't speak to you in the next few weeks, enjoy your holiday season and here's to a podcast-packed 2018 to come!

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