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Geotalk: Birth Of A Podcast

Australia’s Darren Osborne (GC handle¬† Spindoc Bob) offers a soundbyte on why he hosts and produces his monthly Geotalk podcast.

“The Geotalk podcast is a combination of my three loves – radio, writing and, of course, geocaching.

“By day I’m the news editor for ABC Science Online, as well as a freelance science writer. I’ve been involved in radio for more than 20 years, from community radio stations through to regular appearances on the ABC and commercial radio.

“In 2003, I was bitten by the geocaching bug and haven’t looked back. I’ve found geocaches in across 14 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Vietnam and Samoa.

“About five years ago, I volunteered to compile and edit the Geocaching Australia newsletter. It was an informal, irregular PDF newsletter that covered various aspects of geocaching Down Under. One the articles I received was about geocaching podcasts. I had recently got involved in podcasting at work, and decided to download those mentioned in the article.

“Two of the podcasts were fairly low quality and didn’t last more than about a dozen episodes. But one podcast stood out – Podcacher. I downloaded all of the episodes – about 50 at the time – and listened to them on the journey between home and work.

“While listening to Podcacher, I thought ‘Hey, I can do that’. I posted my idea for a podcast on the Geocaching Australia forum. The intent was, and still is, to produce a podcast specifically for Australia and New Zealand.

“It didn’t take long for content to come my way, including a great interview by Ian Macarath (GC handle Bear_Left) with the creator of GSAK, Clyde England (GC handle ClydeE).

“Over time, the podcast has evolved into the format that exists today. It includes segments on GPS receivers, geocaching games, research into GPS technology and interviews with geocachers.

“In late 2009, Alan Wallace from Hamilton in New Zealand (GC handle Radionut50) emailed me,¬† asking whether I would like a regular segment on geocaching from his side of the Tasman. Alan’s contributions have been great, for not only highlighting what is happening in the ‘land of the long white cloud’, but also for his excellent geocaching tips and observations.

“One of the highlights in putting together the podcast has been the Oz Mega Wagga Wagga event in April 2010. I collected about three hours of audio during the long weekend and it was a challenge editing it down. Everytime I listen to it, I feel like I’m back at that event.

“The best episodes are the ones that feature calls from other geocachers – even I get tired of my own voice. Some listeners email content (written and recorded) but most comes from the field via mobile phone.

“Like most podcasts, I do it for the love of publishing, not to make a profit. I don’t have a regular source of funding and have paid for most of the expensives such as web-hosting and my Skype subscription.

“I see it as my way of giving back to the geocaching community – a community that has given me so much enjoyment over the past eight years. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue giving a while longer.”

* The Geotalk podcast website is www.geotalkpodcast.com. Listeners are encouraged to send in their geocaching stories via email (geotalkpodcast@gmail.com) or by calling +61 2 8005 0435.

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