Episode #2

I don’t know how many episodes you need to have recorded to call yourself a podcaster.  Is two enough? I hope so though I’m not going to stop at that. Just before Christmas, CyberNorth launched its podcast ‘It’s Cyber Up North’ covering what’s going on in the region’s exciting and dynamic cyber security sector. Its aim is to be sometimes technical, sometimes based around specific issues but always topical, entertaining and interesting.

The first episode covered the November Empower event at Newcastle United and bringing young people, especially girls into the sector. The second one, if you don’t count a small trailer that Kimberley and I recorded at the start of the year, was more technical, focussing on the LastPass and Twitter attacks as well as the question of cyber insurance. Each time we have had a guest to provide external expertise and help make the recording more interesting.

No expert as yet then but hopefully Kimberley and I are well on our way. But what have I learnt so far? Firstly, recording a podcast is great fun. It might sound obvious but it’s just like having an interesting conversation and the more interesting it gets, the more and more you forget about the recording and the more and more you enjoy yourself. On listening back to the podcast, I have found myself laughing, even though I knew the humorous moments were coming.

That’s the thing though and the second thing I learnt is that it is not entirely a conversation. The temptation to butt in and talk over someone is hard to control yet makes for a difficult recording. Somehow we have to work out whose turn it is next and make sure that we have as little talking overlap as possible. We haven’t quite mastered that art yet, which is made more difficult with guests who we aren’t used to talking to.

The most important thing I have learnt so far, however, is that a podcast takes a lot of preparation. Starting with the general format of the recording, you have to identify the topics to talk about, find out where you can get more information and generally bone up on the subject. You have to pick a guest who can talk about such things and you have to have a broad enough knowledge of the subject to cover any curveball questions.

Did I say that was the most important thing? Perhaps it is but it certainly helps if you have someone who can produce the podcast for you. Someone needs to do the editing, the topping and tailing and make it sound as professional as it can be. 
‘It’s Cyber Up North’ is available where you normally get your podcasts or you can get there via the CyberNorth.biz website. Please subscribe as we have another one in a week’s time.

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