What does it mean to Podfade?
The Definition of the term: Podfade
If you’ve been listening to podcasts for a while ( especially podcasts on podcasting) then you’ve already heard this term. But what does podfading mean?
To podfade generally means that you stop your podcast all of a sudden and without notice.
It doesn’t end intentionally or wasn’t planned as a limited series. You just run out of energy or don’t want to do the work anymore and just stop producing episodes.
If you create a 10 part series on how to catch African Butterflies then this isn’t an example of pod fading. There isn’t an episode 11 but you planned it that way. The show was a 10 episode series. You knew it in advance and so did your audience, assuming you told them.
There are plenty of podcasts that are produced as a mini-series. Seth Godin put his Start Up School weekend up as a podcast. It was a series that covered the sessions in his class. As an avid listener to this show I knew it was going to end right from the first episode and that is perfectly fine.
The podcast that recently took the internet by storm was a limited series. I’m talking about Serial, of course, and it told a story from its beginning to end. It is over now and there are no more episodes coming… until next season but it will be a different story altogether (and that will take a while).
Podcasts that cover a TV Show will usually end when the television series ends. This is normal and is to be expected. And when they end the show they end it purposefully and say goodbye to their audience.
None of these are examples of Podfading.
Have you ever watched a new TV show that you were totally into?
You couldn’t wait for new episodes every week and then all of a sudden (and right in the middle of the story line) they cancel the show? As a fan of the show you are left hanging. You invested hours of time into the show and it just stopped. No closure. No goodbyes. It is just gone…
This is what Podfading is.
You are listening to a show and then the episodes just stop. You patiently wait but they never come…
Obviously nobody plans to Podfade. You wouldn’t start a podcast thinking ya, I’m going to do this show for 7 episodes and then just quit out of the blue.
What actually happens is the new Podcaster is excited about their new project. They start podcasting possibly because they have a passion for their topic and quickly realize that it is way more work than they originally thought. And the audience isn’t growing as quickly as they hoped.
There are a lot of reasons why people start podcasting and unfortunately one of them is because they believe that they will instantly make a fortune from their show. They see the success of others and try to duplicate it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful but the problem is they see the success but not the hard work that made the success possible.
So they quit.
And us listeners are disappointed. But life goes on and there isn’t a shortage of great podcasts in the podosphere. So we find other other shows to replace the ones that faded away.
Why do Podcasters Podfade?
There are a number of reasons why a Podcaster may podfade.
- Can’t afford it (even though podcasting can be almost free)
- Loss of passion or interest in the subject
- Don’t have the time (this one happened to me with HE News – I’ll explain)
- Loss of a Co-Host (this one also happened to me with Maven Interviews- I’ll explain this one too)
- Major life event (oh oh… this is me too with Maven Interviews)
- Watching favorite TV shows is more important
- When Procrastination becomes Permacrastination.
Ok… so I actually Podfaded twice!
The first time was when I was producing and Co-Hosting Health Empowerment News with Croft Woodruff. I was doing this show right after a Start Up I was involved with went under. The business was in the natural health field and Croft is a natural health guru.
So we started a Natural Health show with him being the expert and I was the guy who asked the questions and directed the conversation. It was a fun show but after about 25 episodes or so Croft started losing interest. He had some health issues that affected his ability to think on his feet and recall facts which was one of his amazing talents.
This affected the quality of the show and the amount of post production editing required.
He started rescheduling our recording sessions and when we did meet he would always end up on the same topic each time. The the topic of the previous published episode.
After 3 or 4 of these recording sessions where the final product was just a duplicate of the last episode (and therefore not publishable) we decided to take a break and come back to the show after the summer.
We never came back…
Croft moved up north and the show never did get a final episode.
I thought about doing a final episode but the show had already been on hiatus for several months and I decided to just let it fade away.
The other show that Podfaded is Maven Interviews where Bob Garlick (my co-host on The Bunker Project and The Interesting Podcast) and I interviewed people we considered to be Mavens by Malcom Gladwell’s definition of the word in his book The Tipping Point.
We were at around episode 9 and we had been struggling with this podcast series. It was difficult to find the time to schedule the interviews.
I had a 2 year old boy at the time and things in my family life were very busy. They were about to get much busier! We found out that Valerie and I were having not just another child but TWO little girls were on the way!!! You can read all about it on Brother and Twins.
Well… Bob warned me that having one kid is easy compared to two and that once you add another kid to the mix, the work increases exponentially.
Then I told him we got a 2 for 1 deal and he said having a toddler and two infants will be crazy. We agreed to put that show on hold until things settled down a bit and 14 months later that show is still on hold.
But the Bunker Project went on and is now being re-imagined as The Interesting Podcast… which is coming soon on The Bunker Project feed.
So, as you can see there are many reasons to Podfade. Looking back on my Podfading experience I do wish that we had released a final episode but you live and learn as they say.
Have you ever Podfaded?