How It All Began

Thank you to everyone who has filled out the survey. I have learned so much from your suggestions, and I’m excited to get rolling with the new ideas. I was really surprised to the answers for the question “Who should I interview on the podcast next?” Many of you provided the names of bead artists you admire, and I have emailed several already to set up interviews. But others were not sure what a podcast is or what I was referring to. So today I want to answer that question and tell the story about how I came to podcasting.

my mic, zentangle with favorite quote, and essential pack of colorful Post-its

What is a podcast?

I think this 4 part definition in this Wikipedia article sums it up nicely: A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software. I like to think the “pod” stands for “Portable On Demand” because you can listen anytime, and you can take it with you on a walk, on the way to work, or to your beading table. Most people would say its a combination of the words “pod”— from Apple’s iPod —and “broadcasting” though you do not need an ipod to listen to one.

The Story

In 2005, I started blogging and got my first mp3 player so I could listen to music on the bus and between classes at Texas A&M. I started reading everything I could about blogging and business because I thought maybe it could grow my jewelry business. (Funny what I thought was so revolutionary then is common practice now.) The last chapter of a blogging book mentioned podcasting, and that they could be about any topic under the sun. I flew to my computer and crossed my fingers as I searched for crafting podcasts, and found the first 3 episodes of CraftyPod.

I was hooked. Forget TV and forget radio. I could completely control what I wanted to listen to, where and when, and all commercial free. By the time Diane and Jennifer created their joint episode about their experience with podcasting, I knew I wanted to create a beading podcast.

Some of you have been with me long enough to remember the beading forum, and have mentioned it on the survey. In 2009, I made the hard decision to close it because it was expensive to maintain and I had no luck with sponsors. I spent more time deleting spam than replying to actual questions and comments. I began to focus on the Mandibeads brand, and became quite successful selling at shows.

Fast forward to 2010. After several failed blogs and a business plan I was not happy with, I got real with myself. I wanted to stop making things just because they sold. You may remember me talking about making more art and less product. I needed a sustainable model, and I found some mentors would could help me. I began to build Bead Circle to my new vision.

Why a podcast?

One of my favorite things on the old Bead Circle blog was the Friday interviews. I would send questions to other beaders, and their answers were so full of inspiration and encouragement. Still, I was having trouble getting readers. Part of the reason is people only have so much time in their day, and there was a lot of text to read. I decided I needed to bring the interviews to life. Here in 2011, you can hear from your favorite bead artists while you bead, or take a walk, or commute to work. It’s one of my ways to spread the love of beading, and I hope you enjoy it!

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