Seeing out the old year and looking forward to the new

Well here we are coming to the end of 2013 and Angry Beanie is still here.

It’s been an interesting year. At the beginning I had great plans for the cranky woolen headware. Purser Explores The World was going to crack 26 episodes for the year, For Science! was really starting to hit its stride and I had plans for at least a couple more shows and even bandied around the idea of actually dedicating a day a week to the development and production of the shows.

Well twelve months later and things have changed a bit.

The first thing that has changed has been the amount of time I can dedicate to putting together the podcasts. In March I left the reckless life of an independent contractor to work fulltime with a most excellent company. What this meant of course was adjusting to the whole not working from home business (you know, regular working hours, travel to and from the office, pants). Whereas before I had the time to sit down and organise interviews, edit and so on, now not so much.

This of course put Purser Explores The World on a bit of an uplanned hiatus. It’s not for the lack of ideas and things that I want to explore, but more about the time it takes to put things together.

For Science! on the other hand has continued on it’s way. Sadly we lost Maia as a co-host early in the year(real life really has a way of getting in the way doesn’t it), but Dr Melanie Thomson has stepped in and along with Magdeline Lum I think we’ve done alright when it comes to taliking about the science news and trying to relate it to “Real Life(™).

AB did manage to add a new show to the stable through. Every Thursday at 9pm NSW time, I am joined by Matthew Hatton (lead editor of http://www.qualityjernalisms.com.au/) for WTF Australia, a live Google Hangout in which we basically complain about how broken this great country is. It’s not particularly constructive but I do find it slightly cathartic. We’ve had our first guest in tech journalist Richard Chirgwin and I would like to include more people and explore the whole Hangout as show idea some more.

So while my grand plans for AB haven’t exactly borne out the way I had hoped at the start of the year, I don’t think it’s doing too badly.

So what about next year?

Well for a start I would love to revive Purser Explores The World. IN the twenty episodes that I did of PETW I spoke with a huge range of different people about things as diverse as DIY geiger counters to urban bee keeping to ice hockey and more. I really enjoyed doing that, and I would love to start doing it again. Finding the time is really where the issue lies. What I might do is remove the fortnightly requirement and just run it as a “when I can” type project. Might mean less episodes per year, but might also mean more episodes than currently.
Next up on my list of things I hope to achieve next year is an equipment upgrade. The equipment I am currently working with is starting to show its age and I have setup a list of must haves and nice to haves for the AB studio.

First up the must haves:

  • 2 x Condenser Microphones (Behringer C-3 Condenser Mic)
  • Small 4 port USB Mixer (Behringer QX1202USB)

The microphone and mixer setup I have at the moment are large and not really easy to move around. The above could quite easily fit into a backpack and give me the ability to be a bit more mobile as well as ensuring that my recording setup is top nothc.

Next we have the nice to haves. These are the things that I would love to have but aren’t actually essential to the whole content production rigmarole.

  • Production specific laptop
  • Mobile phone microphone
  • 720p or higher webcam
  • Studio space

Basically everything listed above would help in the production of AB content, but I can’t justify the cost outside of “but it would be really nice!”

I’ve actually thought about attempting something like a pozible campaign or similar but realistically I don’t think AB has the following to make it a chance at being successful (willing to hear otherwise though).

Lastly I’d love to see AB become more than the James+cohost show. I want to see AB shows that are purely done by other people. Not just because that means I’m not having to be the one that creates ALL the content but because I have this weird idea that AB could become a home for good audio/visual content from a wide variety of voices and experiences.

Odd I know.

Two more things before I sign off.

Firstly, thankyou to everyone who's helped put AB together this year. Maia Sauren, Magdeline Lum, Melanie Thomson and Mathhew Hatton have all made shows like For Science! and WTF Australia possible. Without them, it would have just been me waffling alone into a microphone. So a massive thanks to all of them for being awesome and helping me not look like a crazy person.

Secondly, to all of you who have listened, watched and read everything that AB has put out,. Thankyou for sticking with it and I hope we can bring you more great stuff into 2014.