My Hopes for the Sociocast Project in 2019-2020

This is the inaugural blog post for the new Sociocast site. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project. It’s been an amazing experience for me. I’m completely blown away by how much talent is in this discipline. All you have to do is hit record and let the academics produce the audio content. It’s not much more than that.

In the process, I’ve come to be a fan of many colleagues. The discipline attracts very smart, accomplished, and interesting people with strong personalities and worthwhile takes on the world around us. It feels great to learn from and admire those around you. It’s also fun because this business attracts characters. There’s no shortage of memorable people.

I’ve found the results of this project to be very cool. We usually mull our collective issues through the written or spoken monologue. But podcast allows for dialogue. People, books, theories, and studies all come across differently when it’s transmitted through conversation. Have expertise on how or why it’s different? Comment below and maybe we can make it into a podcast segment.

Anyhow, your collective support has put me in a place in which I have dramatically expanded my capacity to put sociology podcasts out there. This season, I am planning to produce short runs of past shows: the B-Side (with Leslie Hinkson and Corey Fields) and Sociologia con Acento (with Daniel Fridman). I am also launching a podcast series targeting aspiring and early-career data analysts in metro New York City, hosted by two graduates of our amazing Master’s Program in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research. Other shorter-run series may also emerge, and I hope to procure original content from some of my favorite contemporary sociologists. Fingers crossed that I can pull all of this off!

In the longer-term, my hope is to crowd-source and curate independently-produced content, to create serious disciplinary outlets on the podcasting medium, and to eventually grow into something like an audio, dialogue-centered Contexts or Contemporary Sociology.

If you are interested in trying out podcasting yourself, we are developing guides for creating podcast enterprises. If you make something awesome, I’ll gladly rebroadcast and promote it. If you are an academic who is serious about starting an academic-oriented podcast, then please reach out. We’re allies, not competitors. I’d love to assemble an informal academic podcasters’ group, if there are enough people interested. Eventually, I hope to assemble a type of editorial/oversight team of peers for Sociocast.

Also, you will notice a “Donation” button on the front page. It is to facilitate institutional donations. I do not want donations from colleagues. We are not offering coverage or air-time incentives in exchange for donations. We might do a T-shirt or mug fundraiser if regulations allow it. The money goes through CUNY and is used to buy support services (e.g., HootSuite, Dropbox Pro, Soundcloud, etc.) or hire other people to do jobs for the Project (e.g., music, editing, copy-writing). I am not taking money from the project — I’m treating this project as part of my job at CUNY. My goal is to become a charted podcast producer, and use that experience, and the accumulated wisdom of the people that I meet along the way, to write a good book on podcasting. Again, fingers crossed that I can pull all this off!

Finally, a note of appreciation to everyone who has helped get this project as far as it’s come. My colleagues in sociology have been extremely generous in supporting this project. Many, many colleagues have invested two, five, or ten hours contributing to this project. MOST OF ALL, my old, dear friends Leslie Hinkson and Gabriel Rossman, who have put countless hours into this project. And I am lucky enough to be in a department like Queens College, which supports me in my attempts to do things off the beaten path. This project could not have grown without all of your support.

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