I do a weekly podcast - a fun, if unoriginally-inspired comedy roundup of news and odd stuff from the week - called The Distraction Engine. I think it's a good example of that genre of podcasting. We do it live, we try and make each-other laugh, but we're also aware of the tropes of these kinds of shows.
Each week we try and come up with new segments, or as the Americans would have it, "bits" (that word has never sat well with me for some reason). After a few weeks of floundering, I came up with a concept that Matt, my co-host has helped me, massively, to refine. It's called the Fantasy Podcast League, and it works like this.
We each pick eight podcasts that we either like or think, for whatever reason, should be in our team (think fantasy football). There are 5 fixed category, two substitutes and one flex position. However you can only score points from your five fixed categories and the flex, but if the podcast you have in one of those categories isn't doing too well, you can swap it out for one of your subs. The upshot is that there are eight positions, but you can only score points on six (the five fixed categories and whichever is in your flex position).
The categories are
- Games and hobbies
- TV and film
- Science and medicine
When a podcast moves up the charts, we gain posts based on how many positions they've moved. So if a podcast goes from 10 to 8, we get 2 points. If that podcast then slips back to 9, we lose a point. Both of us are picking from different stores (Matt's in the US and I'm in the UK) so having something based on relative movements just makes it all a little easier to manage.
This gives us not only a fun segment to mess around with for the next 12 weeks - as we're running it in seasons - but also hopefully gives us the chance to bring the people who make these podcasts into the game. I'm hoping at least some will get the idea and join in, but if it just results in the odd retweet, then that's not too bad either.