Creating a new podcast is a hard feat. We are in a time when the Internet is saturated with “self-started” media, and it’s hard to sift through this infinite sea to get quality. It’s especially hard to find new podcasts that are good. Out of the thousands that are uploaded for the public’s listening pleasure, only a few are executed well. The Nerd Cult podcast is part of this endless sea, and it already seems to have lost its way.
Minnesotan Tyler Lee and Oklahoma-based Josh Forrester and Brock Parson host The Nerd Cult, whose point is to discuss hobbies in the geek realm. They focus on all kinds of media, from books to video games. On the surface, this seems like a solid idea. Too many others, however, have taken this concept and executed it better than The Nerd Cult. This is still a new podcast—they are only six episodes in, and when stepping into a new venture, mistakes will be made. For example, the sound quality isn’t the best, and it’s obvious that the hosts are in different locations. This could be forgiven, for now.
To make this podcast more appealing to a wide audience, however, it needs to be restructured. The show consists of the hosts bantering back and forth, and they get impressively off topic—not in a good way. You can tell they aren’t playing to their audience. It’s like they thought someone would enjoy listening to their casual conversations and decided to put a microphone in front of their mouths. It may be enjoyable to them to record, but it’s not when others are listening to it.
Even when an episode has a theme, it’s easy to become lost. For example, one of their latest episodes is about the hosts’ picks of 2017, and they go back and forth giving their favorite movies, video games, books, and more. However, you can’t keep up because there is no cohesion. They are constantly go on a sidebar and then try to reel it back in. By that time, you forget what they were talking about in the first place. The hosts themselves also don’t have chemistry. Their personalities are so different, and, more importantly, so are their maturity levels. One of the things that stands out among what I listened to was one host making crude jokes and another not really following along with it. This just turns the podcast into awkward conversation that the listener has to sit through.
Being harsh on a new podcast may seem like a low blow. But if you want to establish an audience, you have to put forth the effort. Some of the most successful podcasts have been around for eight or nine years, and they have put in the work to show for it. Even if you aren’t trying to create a large following, you should try to make something enjoyable. And more than that, The Nerd Cult isn’t doing anything new. It’s like hundreds of other podcasts: friends getting together to talk about whatever they are interested in.
The bottom line is The Nerd Cult needs to have more structure; if you do a theme, stick with it. Some of the best podcasts out there have top-10 lists or have a dialogue about a well-researched subject. Implementing a solid framework for a podcast is essential for survival. The one thing the hosts of this podcast have going for them is knowledge—Tyler, Josh, and Brock seem to be very knowledgeable in the subjects that they are discussing, and it’s not just knowledge of the mainstream but of the more obscure corners of the geek world too.
The Nerd Cult is still young and has a lot of work to do if its creators want to successful. Unfortunately, in it’s current state, I can’t recommend checking it out.