Discovering the spontaneity and fun of podcasting

Josh Kruger

Unexpectedly getting pulled out of your seat to share about your own truth about your dreams is jarring. Yet, that’s what I found myself doing yesterday when I showed up to simply report on the Philadelphia Podcast Festival.

And, that rapid fire spontaneity and fun is pretty much what podcasts are all about.

Now in its third year, the Philadelphia Podcast Festivalinvolves live recordings of over two dozen local podcasts ranging from the general interest to the hyper-niche, the literary to the sexual. This year’s festivities straddle two weekends, from Friday, Aug. 28, to Sunday, Sept. 6. Most of the recordings go on upstairs at South Street graffitied mainstay Tattooed Mom, which donates the space.

The festivalis run by the Philadelphia Podcasting Society, an organization founded by Nathan and Teagan Kurana. Its mission involves building “community among podcasters in the greater Philadelphia area through socialization, information sharing, resource exchange, and events” like this year’s festival.

Joe Pardo calls podcasting “Internet radio.” He hosts and produces the Dreamers Podcastand was recording live yesterday there at the festival. And, he’s the one who convinced this reporter to join in the fun.

With podcasting, “You can find any niche, anything that you’re interested in,” Pardo told Metro, “and probably find a whole show” devoted to that interest. Pardo himself is interested in people who are doing their best to bring dreams to reality: entrepreneurs, activists, and – yes – writers.

Taking part in Pardo’s podcast was fun, albeit unexpected. After the first few questions, we started a casual conversation, human being to human being, for the entire world to listen to whenever they want. That’s part of the appeal of podcasts, Pardo said –the “on demand” nature of podcasts in general. More than that, though, is the idea of communicating something – anything –to the outside world that some might find interesting.

“I know a lot of people who live their dreams,” Pardo explains. He got the idea for the podcast while he was on a plane, and as soon as he landed he got to work. Two hundredshows later, he’s now giving inspirational talks in schools about dream fulfillment and working hard at spreading the good word of keeping those dreams alive.

And, he’s developing the podcast into a full-time living.

Some recordings are taking place at Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown and Bridgeset Sound there on South Street, too. The idea is that fans of podcasts can meet the hosts, learn a thing or two, and even, in some cases, participate from the audience.

All of the recordings at Tattooed Mom are free, so PPF organizers encourage folks to buy “lots and lots of drinks” as well as trying Tattooed Mom’s famous tots.

The festival will continue next weekend, Sept. 6-7. See the schedule

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