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Utah podcasting community comes together

Jun 28, 2018 02:08PM ● Published by Keyra Kristoffersen

Q-and-A session with the hosts of various Utah podcasts, moderated by Chrisella Sagers Herzog. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com  

The Miller Business Center campus of Salt Lake Community College welcomed dozens of presenters and attendees on Saturday, June 2 to celebrate and instruct on podcasting, a type of media that has taken a strong hold throughout Utah. 

“There’s a cool tradition in Utah of storytelling and coming together to tell each other stories. There’s so much potential for podcasting here but we didn’t really see a coherent podcasting community — there’s little pockets, but nothing that’s brought everybody together under one roof,” said Chrisella Sagers Herzog, one of the Utah Podcast Summit’s creators. 

Herzog is editor-in-chief of “WhiteHat Magazine” and host of the podcast “Let’s Go Eat.” With network engineer and host of “The Fandom Podcast” Brandon Ushio and Bobby Glenn James from the “Biz 4 Good” show, they gathered successful podcasters and let aspiring podcasters know they intended to help them on their journey. 

“We wanted to really focus on what it takes to create a successful podcast and to connect,” said James. 

With several addresses and a fireside chat with Ever Gonzalez from Outlier, participants could choose from beginner and advanced classes such as “How to Start a Podcast,” “Storytelling: Breathe Life into Your Brand” and “Quitting Your Day Job by Making Money with a Podcast” taught by media professionals like James, Laura Montoya, digital product owner at Womankind, and Chris and Krissie Holifield of “I Am Salt Lake” podcast. 

Kathy Dalton of “The Happy Camper” podcast, which focuses on three core values — explore the world, grow together and give back to humanity — has begun the journey with her husband of bringing hope and happiness to others. 

“I think it’s nice to have that kind of community because let’s be honest, we don’t really know what we’re doing,” said Dalton. “I think any time when we can connect with other people in a similar space it’s great.” 

Like blogging, podcasting has an audience and a show for everyone. 

“It doesn’t matter if you are interested in a certain subject or comic books. There are other people on the internet interested as well so you can go out and start a podcast, you can find your tribe, you can find your community,” said Ushio. 

Danielle Bates, a Bountiful resident, found a way to incorporate her writing into a podcast called “Pond Town Podcast.” Every few months, Bates records episodes of herself reading a fictional story she has written. 

“It’s really hard for me to want to put my writing out there,” said Bates. “This way I’m in control of what I put out there and there’s not so much pressure.” 

Podcasting has become more popular in the last three years as a way to get news and entertainment on every subject possible, both local and international, especially for commuters who don’t have time or the ability to read a newspaper or blog post. It’s a media source that allows just about anyone to have their voice be heard by others. Major broadcasting groups like Bonneville host podcasts on their sites to widen their market. 

“Salt Lake is just grown — there’s more business grown from Salt Lake to Provo than anywhere else in the U.S. right now, and I believe that podcasting has a correlation with that. I think that podcasting is the new marketing,” said James. 

Sponsors from KSL and other radio sources helped make the event as large as it could be. Workshops in live podcasts were held during the classes from shows like “Dog and Thimble,” “The Cultural Hall” and “The World’s Greatest Comic Book” to show the backstage of creating a podcast on air. 

Groups around Utah have meet-ups to discuss how to be better podcasters, and the hosts of the Utah Podcast Summit already have plans for next year’s event. 

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