Tech on Tap is a new twice-monthly podcast brought to you by Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL TechWire. So what’s the purpose? Why a podcast? Michael Baylor, client services digital project manager for WRAL Digital Solutions, provides the backstory.

Tech on Tap team: Left to right, Jason Eder, Laura Worthington, Michael Baylor.

The locally focused show features tech enthusiasts and those that love the Triangle and all things North Carolina. CBC team members Jason Eder, Laura Worthington and Baylor explore the intersection between tech and culture and talk about everything from business, to how social media runs our lives, to local news that is making national headlines, to national news with a local twist.

With a weekly guest, the team even hits the best and brightest startups in the Triangle area — some you’ve heard of and others you haven’t.

You can even get an email when there is a new episode of Tech On Tap.

Our Q&A with Baylor:
  • Why is adding a podcast important to the content offerings for WRAL TechWire?

It’s a question of, how do we engage all types of people?

There are two pieces to WRAL TechWire that the team as a whole is slowly starting to scale up towards, and Tech on Tap is helping to fill the void on one of those. There is an expanded audience that we want to touch. The other element is video.

  • What advantages do podcasts offer over written blogs and video?

I, for one, listen to podcasts all the time. I can listen when I am on a long drive, in the background as I work throughout the day, while I’m cleaning, while I’m doing yard work.

It takes a different type of engagement. It’s radio on demand and we can bring it to you whenever you want it, wherever you want it. Podcasts are a lot less constrained by time and place than other mediums. Tech on Tap is meant to be a supplement, not a replacement.

  • What will be the content targets for the podcast team? Will these focus on trends or upcoming events?

We like to say that Tech on Tap is the intersection between technology and culture. A lot of times, we take deep dives into heady topics, but more often than not our goal is to make tech accessible. So if we talk biotech, what does that mean to the college student who is concerned about a job when they graduate; and why should someone in marketing, journalism or any other industry care?

If we talk about national news stories like the WeWork company growth, why should someone in N.C. care? In order to be at that intersection, we have to be relevant to current events.

In the Twitter world of today, we need to be nimble. A trend today, may only have a lifespan of seven days. As a platform for the expanding audience of WRAL TechWire, our hope is to point people back to the site where stories are being broken and covered.

We try to take a local twist to national news stories while being cognizant of the local news people are talking about and wanting to hear about. Yes, we will most certainly be at events.

  • As the lead on this project, why are you so interested in podcast technology?

I’ve been listening to podcasts since college, so the better part of eight or nine years. I grew up listening to talk radio when we rode in my dad’s car and when I was able to drive; it was in my best interest to not change from whatever station he was listening to. I grew a great affinity for people telling stories and espousing their opinions (sometimes uninterrupted, a lot of times unchallenged). The creativity that goes into that is really fascinating to me.

My wife isn’t as into podcasts as I am (I am currently subscribed to 75 and actively listen to 15 — the others are dependent upon the episodic content), but I really knew something was happening with the medium when Serial became a massive hit.

Podcasting started as a niche, and industry oriented podcasts are definitely a niche of a niche. But I think the wave is certainly in our favor; so as the overall listenership continues to grow, so will our audience.

  • Podcasts certainly have been around for a while. Why have they survived even as so many people rely on mobile devices for web and video content?

This question makes the supposition that podcasts are separate from Web and video content. That is the beauty of podcasts.

My personal theory is that technology that integrates into the flow of what people are already doing is the technology that has the staying power. Podcasts can be an additional element to a website with a lot of traffic. Podcasts can be curated as video content.

The fact that you can do a quick search on any mobile device’s native podcast app and find our content makes the barrier-of-entry very low. At that point, it just becomes a matter of what each individual has a taste for.

Much like YouTube, as the platform grows, the content grows with it. Now you can find political podcasts, sports podcasts, crime podcasts, novellas as podcasts, tech podcasts. The podcast landscape is very much still the Wild Wild West, but TechWire has a committed audience and an audience ready to be engaged.

Fortunately, we aren’t starting from zero in building our audience. Tech on Tap is here to satisfy the people who’ve been here, and engage the people who are coming.

  • Will podcast interviews be done at various locations such as events or be limited to studio settings?

We are nimble and ready to get out there. Our first “live” recording is going to be the podcast team hosting an audience Q&A at LaunchBio in Durham as a part of the next TechWire live event on March 1. It’s a free event that we hope everyone can come out to.

Subscribe to Tech on Tap, or get notified when a new episode is available.