Donna PapacostaOn September 12, 2005 I produced the first episode of my own podcast. About six months earlier, my friend Dave, a geek of the first order, had suggested that I look into podcasting, since I’d been dabbling in audio production and had recently completed voiceover lessons. My reply to him was: “What’s a podcast?”

As soon as I discovered what a podcast actually was, I dove right in. While walking on the track of the Y, I devoured episodes of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report, The Daily Source Code, and anything Tod Maffin produced. By September I felt ready to record, edit and publish my first show, without much of a plan, other than to share “communication tips.” Just as I had built my first website to learn about websites, I put the first episode of the clumsily named Trafcom News Podcast out there so I could learn about podcasting. As I say in my workshops, had I known in 2005 that people would listen to my show, and continue to listen for 10 years, I would have put more thought into naming and branding it! (“Do as I say, not as I do.”)

A lot has happened in the 10 years since.

  • Both clients and organizations I volunteer with have enabled me to produce hundreds of podcast episodes.
  • Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson invited me to be the “outro” voice on For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. It’s nice to be able to give back to the show that’s taught me so much.
  • Because I’d received so many questions from blog readers about podcast scripting I wrote my first book about podcasting, The Podcast Scripting Book.
  • In 2014, I began collaborating with Steve Lubetkin on a book, The Business of Podcasting, now available in both Kindle and trade paperback.
  • I’ve worked with some great people on podcasting productions, including Andy Donovan, Andrew Findlater, Chris Herbert, Cyrus Mavalwala, Ingrid Norrish and Lura Flynn, creating shows for Autodesk, SAP, Horizons Exchange Traded Funds, Front Street Capital, Grand & Toy, the YMCA of Oakville, the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners and other organizations.
  • I’ve led dozens of podcasting workshops. The latest one will be on November 5, 2015.
  • So many podcasters have become colleagues and friends. One of my favourite events is Podcamp Toronto, where I can hang out with my podcasting tribe every February. My life wouldn’t be the same without knowing (in no particular order, and I know I’m leaving people out!) Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Steve Lubetkin, Tod Maffin, Wayne MacPhail, Victoria Fenner, Mark Blevis, Bob Goyetche, Leona Hobbs, Eden Spodek, Connie Crosby, Martin Waxman, Joe Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Terry Fallis, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan, Chris Penn, Luke Armour, John Wall, Lee Hopkins, Heidi Miller, Dan York, Bryan Person, Rob Cottingham, Mignon Fogarty, Elsie Escobar, Karin Hoegh and so many others.
  • Sheridan College invited me to teach a new course in Audio Journalism to post-grad students.
  • I’ve created and taught a podcasting segment within our Foundations class at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies program in Digital Strategy and Communications Management.
  • I’ve been a guest on many other podcasts and written dozens of articles for industry publications.
  • Producing podcast content has led to scores of speaking, consulting and training opportunities outside the podcasting realm, because a podcast helps you get known and get remembered.
  • Most of all, I’ve had more fun with podcasting than you can possibly imagine.

What’s next?

I’ll continue to learn the craft and business of podcasting. There’s always something new. Steve and I will continue to promote our book. I’m also looking at retiring my Trafcom News Podcast in 2016 and launching something completely new, although the editorial calendar for Trafcom is pretty full for the remainder of the year.

To everyone who has listened to one of my podcasts or invited me to speak or write or collaborate, thank you. I couldn’t think of a better community to be involved with.

BONUS: Yes, you knew this was coming, right? Here is the first (cringe-worthy) episode.

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