To start, I’m writing this blog post now for the second time. For the second week in a row. To my fellow FYWS Cryptographers, write this in Word, Google Docs, or somewhere that’s not here. Because this website likes to play cruel tricks and delete your post right when you click publish.

Anyway, I listened to The VIC Cipher, One-Time Pod Episode 14. Overall, I enjoyed the podcast, but there were definitely aspects that could’ve been improved. Here’s a “pros and cons” list that I created while listening.


  • Introduction with a narrative style. The opening piece was engaging, and the story-telling style made it easy and fun to listen to.
  • The music seemed mysterious, helping to set the mood from the beginning.
  • The pacing was very appropriate – the podcast moved quickly, but not too quick that the listener couldn’t follow along.


  • After the 3 minutes of story-telling in the beginning of the podcast, it became a lot more informational and dry. It was definitely harder to listen to for the last 10 minutes.
  • Sound effects sometimes seemed out of place and louder than the voice of the narrator.
  • At one point, the podcast took ~30 seconds to allow the listener to get out a pen and pencil. I think it could’ve been more effective to say something along the lines of  “at this point, feel free to pause the podcast and take out a pen and pencil” rather than stopping the whole podcast.
  • Definitely could’ve used some more humor/personality. The middle section was especially dry.

In my podcast, I would love to use the narrative, story-telling style that is used in the opening of this podcast. Additionally, I want to find music and sound effects that help set the mood and engage the listener, drawing them into the story that the podcast is creating. I definitely want to avoid losing the listener, which I hope to do by using a more excited tone, sometimes incorporating humor and more informal aspects.