I'm quite absorbed in my little podcasting project, Audible Althouse. I was thinking of doing one a week and thinking the ideal length was 25 minutes. But a week is too long to wait to do another one, because, as I said, I'm quite absorbed in it. And 25 minutes isn't long enough if it's only going to be one a week. So I'm thinking maybe two a week, going 25 minutes (or one a week, going an hour). Which days are best for a two-a-week schedule? Tuesday and Thursday? Wednesday and Saturday? Are people listening to podcasts during their work/school commutes or what? And should a podcaster try to stick to a particular length — like the way a professor hits 55 minutes on the dot or like a regular MSM radio show? Or are varying lengths good, depending on how you feel and what you've got to say, like a real-world conversation?
I would have thought having a set length was better, but then I thought about why we have set lengths for things like radio shows and classes: it's because they need to fit into a schedule. Things that are not slotted into schedules tend not to have set lengths: songs, plays, movies, books. Isn't variable length the norm when you don't need to be slotted in? The main reason to make a podcast a set length is if you want to maximize the "radio" feel of it. A factor to consider is that I'm not podcasting in my radio voice. On the radio, you have to stay on topic and sound on and crisp and professional. On the podcast, I'm thinking out loud and free associating and using an intimate, personal tone. Still, I think having an end point in mind has a good effect, both on the speaker and the listener.
UPDATE: You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes. Just go to the iTunes Music Store and search for "Althouse," then hit subscribe.