As I've been trading notes with Tripp on twitter, and I know he is a listener of my podcast about podcasting, it is painful to say I did not enjoy listening to this podcast .This podcast is a little bit like Jeopardy to me. At the end of it I felt kind of stupid. Even one of the commentors at their website wrote, “Not being a theologian, some of the schools of thought escape my full understanding.” Does this mean this is a “Bad Podcast”? Not at all. I'll get into that in my final summary.
Here is what we had to say:
Their description is: “We share a hope that there are a bunch of Christian breweries out there crafting, experimenting, imagining, and sharing a Christian faith that is life-giving. These two friends will be talking to each other, interviewing other ecclesial brewers, and hopefully encouraging those who listen to journey towards a more beautiful life with God and the world. homebrewedchristianity.com”
For me, there was a little too much “inside jokiness” going on. I got the idea it was something to do with pursuing God, but didn't have a “Oh this is about that, and I want to know more about that” kind of feeling.
Their website was pretty clean (Diane thought it was busy). Player buttons were easy to see for the current or featured post. (I would look into putting a player stream all your current posts). They are missing some opportunities to further Google juice. From an end-user stand point it was easy to navigate and they had some helpful show notes for each episode. I really liked their “Disciples” option which provides codes for people to put on their blogs/website to help promote the show. They are using the Genesis framework. The feed they are providing has blog postings that have no media associated with it (use the player beneath to see what I mean).
This is one area that the boys need to pick up the ball. Their mp3 file was tagged, but it was missing album art and it listed the album (name of the podcast) as “Bo C. Sanders's Album” and the Artist as Bo C. Sanders. While I understand that Bo is part of the podcast, the name of the Podcast is Home Brewed Christianity.
The podcast starts off with some good energy. I would bring down the intro music as it becomes distracting towards the end. I also thought it took a bit too long to get to the interview (8+ minutes – we get it you think she's great, but get to the guest). Their audio quality was good. They had some theme music, got the show going it would be nice to give a quick one sentence explanation of what the podcast is about (for new listeners).
When they got to the interview it was OBVIOUSLY recorded with ONE condensor microphone for both people in a room that had no carpet and the participants were at least 5 feet from the microphone. While I feel im pretty giving when it comes to audio quality, this added “room noise” (reverb) did not help the discussion in a positive manner. With that said, it was still better than someone doing a phone interview.
Lastly, neither myself or Diane are probably big fans of long format shows (45+ minutes) and as there really wasn't any spots once the interview got going for a “brain break” I found the conversation draining. But here is the bottom line: We are not their target audience. For some people this conversation might have gone by too fast. I know its hard to split up a conversation, but for me I needed a break.
The boys are putting out HOUR LONG podcasts in some cases twice in one week. That's a lot of content. They also seem to have an active community as the episode we listened to called “Religious Pluralism, Christology & Process with Monica A. Coleman: Homebrewed Christianity 123” had 7 comments on it (which for me is impressive).
Trip and Bo seem like guys who are very passionate theologians. They are obviously knee-deep in the theology world and love discussing these topics. They do it fairly well (although I prefer a more “get to the point” type of delivery), and have OK audio quality. With many episodes under their belt its obvious they love their topic and talking to people. On a branding stand point their website was clean and easy to navigate (but cold use some SEO tweaking – which means nothing to the average listener, but a missed opportunity for some Google juice), and they need to tighten up their ID3 Tags in their files. By the number of comments I saw on their site, their content does move people. It just didn't move myself or my wife. We wish them the best of luck with their podcast.
Have a Sip of the Home Brew
For more information check out their website at http://homebrewedchristianity.com/ or click the Play button to listen to their podcast.