Chess Podcast Reflection

I, along with Will and Sadie, recently completed a podcast analyzing Chess (https://eng101s20.davidmorgen.org/ready-set-game/chess-the-game-of-strategy/). The conception of this podcast was rather unorthodox given the circumstances. Usually, podcasts are recorded with everyone sitting around one microphone, but that setup would have required an extreme violation of social distancing. Instead, each person recorded their own lines alone, and then someone compiled all the recordings into one project. Since each person was limited to their own recording software, the voices don’t blend as well as they did in our first podcast. I tried accounting for this while editing the volumes and EQ in the project, but there wasn’t much I could do to change the natural sound of each recording.

One of our main goals for this podcast was to make it less monotonous than the last. We tried to make it sound more conversational and easier to listen to. We included a few clips from songs and movies in effort to make the podcast more entertaining. They’re supposed to give the listener’s mind a little break from the deep analysis of chess moves, in case they’re losing focus. Keeping the listener’s focus is obviously very important, and we faced a big dilemma in trying to do so. We weren’t sure about how much we could assume the listener’s previous understanding of chess. Chess is a very intricate game with many different pieces and moves, and we didn’t know if it was fair to assume that the listener already knew the basics. In the end, we decided to give a brief explanation of the rules in the beginning just to be safe.

One thing I felt good about was our balance of explanation and conversation. I felt that our first podcast was a little hard to listen to since it was too informational. I, and my group members alike, am more accustomed to informational writing, so naturally that was the path our first podcast took. In this one we made a conscious effort to make it more conversational, with light jokes and arguments, and less explanatory. With the style of these podcasts, I feel like I’m improving at finding the middle ground between casual writing, such as texting, and the professional writing I’m used to. With this style, I feel more connected to my writing, as if my writing is more “me” now, if that makes any sense.

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