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Thursday, 01 March 2018


I can see how ads would be good, but I would much prefer not to have to use yet another app...

I, for one, like the idea of your doing a podcast. I already listen to a few photography podcasts, mostly on my way to and from work, but I think I could fit in one more. I found TOP only about three months ago, but it has since become an almost daily ritual. I look forward to seeing (hearing) what comes from this new endeavor.

Yes, do it. I'm one of those CPA people and still I stopped reading and gave full attention to your podcast.

My new phone plan allows me unlimited streaming. This changes everything.

There are plenty of streaming music services. Lots of internet radio and podcasts. And now Amazon has Audible (Listening is the new reading) https://www.audible.com/lp/freetrial?source_code=MSNGBSH051414901E&device=d&cvosrc=ppc.bing.%2Baudio%20%2Bbooks&cvo_campaign=42029848&cvo_crid=76965853682053&Matchtype=p&

I've been looking for a way to free myself from the computer, and unlimited streaming looks like the answer. So no more reading TOP, I'll listen to the the podcast 8-)

I hope you do a podcast. That would be great. I listen to several photography podcasts and I think your insights and experience would shine in that genre. A podcast would also be a wonderful enhancement to the conversation that this blog generates and possibly draw in some new followers.

I'm going email you some information about a guy that could help you get started.

I like it! And hoping that it could turn into a new revenue channel - it seems that Podcast advertisers, having now gotten limited stats from Apple, are being reassured that podcasts listeners are a good audience. 1 sponsor read every 15-20 minutes isn't excessive, and you share a trait I value in the other podcasts/sites I frequent - what advertisers you carry are companies I may actually want to learn about.

I wish you luck and look forward to adding your podcast to my driving listening!


Despite your podcast, your written words in TOP are still your core activity.

Dan K

It was strange and fun to become acquainted with your spoken voice (that's not a redundancy). I read the whole post before listening to the audio, so for the first couple of minutes I was only concentrating on connecting your voice, accent, tone and pace with the Mike Johnston I have known for so many years.

Glad to read that the podcasts will not be blog posts being read out-loud. That would be of marginal interest to current readers I think. I usually read TOP on my phone during breaks in my day, in environments not suitable for audio. Having said that, it could be a good idea to pick your top 10 TOP posts from the archives to convert to audio just to put some "meat" on your podcast channel when it kicks off. Is it called a channel? I am not a podcast person.

Someone commented on having guests for the podcasts over Skype and I think it is a great idea. Some sort of Q&A or back-n-forth between Mike and some guests would work pretty well I think. Listening to someone pick Mike´s brain or Mike picking someone's brain just might make me a podcast listener. It brings improv into the equation; a perfect complement to the researched and edited formal posts on the blog.

What a great idea. I like the added options to listen to TOP as well as read it. Glad that you're going to duplicate it for reading.

Now if you could make the audio available to download, I could then just transfer it to my phone for offline listening.

Cheers, Andy

Mke you are reminding me of old Sterophile days ( Pass, Cordesman ).

Al Mallozzi

What I like about podcasts is that they let me "encounter" areas of interest when I am not in front of a computer screen -- for instance, while driving, or while completing household tasks. I love the fact that tech has lowered the barrier to entry for what is, essentially, custom radio. I think like many narrative styles they function best, structurally, when individual podcasts have a beginning, middle, and end (thank you Aristotle). They would also let you do "real time" dialogue with folks in the photography world who you know, but "we" don't. Think about the number of folks in your rolodex who would happily spend a half hour on the phone with you, but whom you might have to chase to produce a 500 word written commentary! Interested to see where you go with this Mike.

You should figure out a way to get an automated reader to do your podcast. Let the "reader" select the voice of their liking and that way we could listen to the comments as well. We all like to read the comments and I doubt you will ever be able to record them all for us.

I like the off topic posts you do as well by the way. No reason to shy away from them. Thanks.

I listened to the audio version of yesterdays written post. Fun to hear what your voice sounds like. It may be because I also had your written post in front of me at the same time, but you sound as though you're reading vs talking.
Not a complaint, just an observation.
Happy Trails!

NO-o-o-o-o-o-o never

Here's another vote for podcasts. although as an adjunct: once a week would be fine for now, and maybe for the foreseeable future.

You've got a decent voice for this, w/o a distracting accent. You have things to say I want to hear.

But before you give up on video, let me point out (as someone who has made instructional videos for the old LightZone software (still chugging along , now as a free, open source software), that you made a fundamental error in your comments about video: that it had to have you in it.

The images can be something entirely different, like a new book or prints in a sale, or etc, and it can only be your voice as commentary. And the great thing about voice-over, is that the images and audio can be done separately---or not.

I don't speak the way I write, and vicy voisy, a fact I discovered once I started using Dragon Dictate. Sometimes I will start with DD but morph back to writing.

Extemporaneous lecture and commentary in class is actually closer to my writing style. It has something to do with my innate ability to speak what I am thinking, which is both a gift and a curse. So there is a freshness and spontaneity with speech.

I have been writing to a variety of purposes for many years longer than I have been shooting. Writing was a way of getting stuff out of my head and, especially after word processing became prevalent. I discovered that shooting, though, was a way to really nail something down; I could keep it from moving and eluding. The rest, as they say...

Depending upon my mood (Muse?) my writing can be floral and fluid or relentlessly structured. Either way, reading it out loud doesn't feel right.

I'm not part of your target audience, so my thoughts aren't important, but I don't think you would generate enough response to justify your time and effort to do a great job. I understand that if you have a long commute, it would work, but I need to know about traffic ahead. And another problem, too difficult to skip through a podcast. And remember the cardinal rule: a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are discussing a new camera, I want to SEE it. Good Luck.

From a marketing point of view, doing a podcast, that more or less mirrors your blog, is an excellent decision. More exposure to content is mostly always beneficial. And, don't sign off videos yet. Try doing a short "fireside" chat or just a coffee table POV on a lens or new camera loaner. It's great to see AND hear an old pro handle the equipment. You can always just use the soundtrack for the podcast and maybe use the sound and video later.

"a weekly podcast reading relevant sections of the posts from the week, plus some of the featured comments, and adding commentary to that"
I like that format. A lot of comments bring up interesting supporting or alternative views that deserve additional consideration. I currently listen to On Taking Pictures, Lenswork, and occasionally a couple others. Yours would be a welcome addition.

I don't understand the negative comments. If a podcast is interesting I will concentrate on it. If it is boring I won't. The same with video and the written word. It just depends on the quality of the content and it goes without saying that Mikes podcasts will be good.

You might try my method of creating videos for YouTube- it works well to create narrated slideshows. You could show and comment on pictures in the video.


I thought the podcast was well done. But! And I don't think I've seen this mentioned in comments yet, this is a *photography* blog. As such there is sometimes a *visual* element that is important to the content. That aspect transmits poorly in a podcast. So we loose the red chair, butters, or the photo encouraging us to check out a random talent. Or, for that matter, a link to B&H that might drop a few pennies into your lap.


Re the Podcast
The first thing I would say is that you are the creator and should do whatever you really want to do.
If you want to know what this loyal fan thinks, well when you said
"will just be a spoken edition of what you can read for yourself on the site"
That was something that held no interest for me because it amounted to "Yesterday's Post without Pictures or Comments"
You have cultivated and curated a commentariat of interesting and thoughtful folks that is a major attraction of the blog. That coupled with listening to words that were meant to be read, left me cold to the idea.

The new Idea of a weekly summary of blog posts, comments and discussion of those comments and development seems like a more viable Idea, especially if it could include still pictures as any podcast do. I think still picture content would be very important for many posts.
You have a wonderful voice for 'radio' and I enjoyed hearing it, but would much rather hear your voice speaking rather than reading.
Any undertaking like that done well, is a lot of work, and I could see it easily infringing on your written word blog and I think that is a danger.
I no longer 'commute to work but when I did I concentrated on three things, Traffic reports, News of the day, and planning my day. I suspect many folks would answer similarly.
Again speaking personally , I I would trade the Podcast for your written blog appearing at a set time each morning I would pick tat in a heartbeat.
Should you choose to do it, I wish you well and If it wasn't just reading older posts would try to listen.
Good luck with whatever you decide

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