Written by: Ashley Baader
Starting any new project can be daunting, especially when it comes to finding a topic. Ideas for podcasts are no exception to this rule. Some people know right away what they will center their podcast on. For most people this is not the case. In the end, you always manage to find a topic. With a few deep breaths and taking the process step by step you might just be able to find a topic without the urge to bash your head on a wall after hours of frustration.
Your first step to finding an engaging topic is simply to take an inventory of the things you like. When I began my podcast journey this was my first step. As an avid reader, I thought I could center my podcast topic on books. The only catch was that my topic had to be related in some way to ICT’s in order to meet the project requirements. I went to Google to find information on eBooks and came up short. I’m sure information exists on this topic, but I just couldn’t find the kind of information I was looking for.
After this attempt I was at a loss. At this point I would have picked any topic for which I could find information. I started to mentally brainstorm ideas and thought about the idea of police tracking the phones of criminals in order to apprehend them. I took this idea to Google and came across an article that described how some retailers are tracking their customer’s cell phones in order to build shopper profiles. At this moment the light bulb went on. This could be the topic of my podcast. Since the course’s podcast show explores how information communication technologies are changing research this topic would be acceptable. My next step was to use search engines to find information about this topic. I successfully found information and learned that my topic is in the news. A topical podcast subject is great because this means that this is a current issue.
The last factor I had to consider is the following dreaded question: Is there scholarly research available on this topic? Entering my topic into Google scholar generated a number of results. After reading the titles and abstracts I was able to determine that this is a subject on which scholars are writing about.
Starting a new project when you have no ideas can be discouraging, but don’t let this stop you. Taking a few deep breaths and keeping an open mind is important before you begin the intimidating task of research. Don’t forget that everyone else feels the same as you, overwhelmed in the face of the vast possibilities. Just remember that in the end, you always end up finding a topic. In the best of cases it is a topic that you enjoy or at the very least find interesting. All you need is perseverance and a little dumb luck.