Head Vs. Wall: Round 673

Hello. It’s been a while.

I figured now is a good time to share some recent feelings on podcasting.  Usually when I write one of these posts its for some inner existential crisis, where I slowly point myself back toward some drawing board.  This time it’s not that, or anything similar.  

Our show has existed for over two years now—easily the longest running project I have ever worked on.  There have been times where I’ve felt that we were in charge of our own destinies, and others when I have felt as if we were a row boat in the middle of a swelling ocean.  As a “content creator” it is very easy to have your mood altered by a lull in interaction.  I am certain that any YouTuber’s, artists, or musicians also feel this from time to time.  For the most part we all put forth our best effort to grow a fan base.  Some weeks it feels futile, while others feel almost electric.  So what is it?  Are we all just too needy?  Are we all just hungry little ewe’s blindly suckling toward some teat of validation?

Kind of… (Speaking for myself)

The truth is—and I have said this before—it’s a tough market these days.  All forms of entertainment are so readily available in such great abundance.  We are living amongst the most “plugged-in” generation that has ever existed.  Success is all around us.  We have all seen people crash-land into the lime-light, simply to be forgotten within mere days.  Everyday, someone else is becoming a viral hit.  I think that skews our view of what it takes to “make it”.  It feels so easy.  So easy, in fact that when it doesn’t happen for us, it’s feels almost frustrating.  

Until very recently, my metric for gauging success was based solely off of our own RSS feed analytics.  (Forget understanding how those work, I barely understand the sentence itself).  I have written about metrics before, and their innate ability to cause feelings of both accomplishment and failure.  What I have recently discovered is that they have no physical affect on a show whatsoever.  I used to keep pretty close tabs on our numbers for a very specific reason.  I had a goal in mind.  The way I figured it, was if our numbers reached a goal of X downloads per month, we would be shoe-ins to start monetizing the show.  The truth is, advertisers care very little about these arbitrary, mysterious, and entirely inaccurate numbers.  It’s not about graphs, and pie charts, its about influence!  How many people do you interact with.  Can you garner both attention and support for your program?  Yes, all of this sounds like the heading for some dog shit entrepreneurial podcast network, where for a fee they will teach you how to, teach people how to, teach people how to….and on and on and on.  

The point I am trying to make, is that simplicity is always key.  In the beginning we fought tooth and nail to grab peoples attention.  I remember thinking how great it would be to have just one listener who I had never met. Just ONE stranger, who gave us a shot!  Those times were incredibly exciting!  So what happened?  (Queue complacency).

What happened was, after so long, I began to feel like if we had even a small audience, the rest would run itself.  Word of mouth would spread like wildfire.  Unfortunately, the word spread more like cold peanut butter.  (I’ll do a write up on maniacs who refrigerate peanut butter, some other time..).

My point was, that we let up…  We took for granted…  Looked gift horses in mouths… Counted chickens… all of it.  So now its back to the drawing board….oh, fuck.  I lied, I guess.  

It’s nothing revolutionary, just good old fashion elbow grease.  We’re hitting the campaign trail once more, and we’re looking forward to reaching out to people and having a far more interactive feel to our show.  If you already listen you’ll know I go back and forth, on exactly what it is I want from EHAP.  The simple answer is FUN!  I want it to be fun, and the more the merrier.  I will end this thing with a list of people who both Bryon and I thank for all the support thus far.

Thanks to:

Theresa from Tampa
Brad from Ontario
Garrett from BLAB
Daniel from Toe On the Trigger
Nick from Epic Film Guys
Mat from One Word Go!
Emily from The Story Behind
Kevin from Vermont
Eric from Calgary
John from Vancouver
Kristy from Victoria
Mike from The Mike Jolitz Show
Ray from The Naked Porch


And anyone else we have missed, or who has ever checked us out, and kept it on the DL.

-EHAP

Part two, of a two part whatever...

Well, I've really had some time to think lately.  I feel as though I have allotted myself that time, if I'm being honest.  After a much needed break from podcasting, I am able to see the road ahead with more clarity.  It's so easy to get caught up in "the ride" of doing something week after week.  I never would have believed it before embarking on this journey (Eww, sorry), but when you do something such as this, you just kind of fall into a groove or rhythm.  Every week is dedicated to the here and now, while also being somewhat conscious of the next week. Patterns are born.  Processes are created.  Before you know it the creativity becomes systematic. 

What I am trying to say is that this is how MY mind works.  This is the way I perceive things.  I am not speaking broadly of creativity in general (what am I saying at this point!?).  What I am saying, is that taking a break following our Christmas special was a good thing.  I feel as though I was able to put my foot to the floor so that the room could stop spinning.  Because, what I want is NOT, a weekly audio journal.  There's nothing wrong with that.  It's just not what my goal is.  Bryon and I could easily hit record once a week, every week, and upload without batting an eye.  Many do.  Many are great at it.  

I want something that makes me happy.  Something I can put out with a feeling of excitement.  At the very least, I want something that people can know (regardless of whether they liked it or not), that there was preparation and care put fourth.  I'm not saying that that hasn't been the case thus far (save for one episode with the audio quality of a MIDI file played through a Yak Bak (Google it, Millennials). I'm just saying I felt the wheels starting to lift off of the rails a bit lately.  

So (finally...) here's what I'm trying to say.  Going forward, I have come up with some ideas that should make the podcast better for anyone listening.  I want to hit the ground running in 2017.  I want us to ratchet up the quality on all fronts.  More work will be put into each episode.  I am going to be more consistent in coming up with better content for each show.  A lot of it is for my own personal development and organization as well.  I will be taking more notes.  I'll be planning more segments.  I'll be creating more production, and lining up more guests.  I am ready to step things up going forward.  All of it!—with a bit of an asterisk.  

I know there are things that Bryon and I are happy with when we improvise, or shoot from the hip.  I'm not wanting to start working off of a script or anything like that.  We will still be us.  Just a better, stronger, more refined version.  It will not be pandering.  I'm still not (and never will be) focused solely on "mass appeal".  We love finding our own audience!  There's an honesty in it.  I just want us to be more accessible, is all.  No more half assed ideas executed clumsily (see EHAP Eliminator Pool 2016).  No more promises that never come to fruition (see CHANL --> oops 404 Error).  It's all about planting our feet and focusing.  I am thankful for what we have.  I am humbled by those who listen, and I am ready for 2017.  

Outro.

-Adam

Part one, of a two part whatever...

 

Look at me—being all active on our website and stuff.  Lately I feel like I have been doing more writing than talking—at least in regards to my social media life.  With the stock plummeting steadily on our recent Christmas Special, I can say with absolution that it has been our most successful release to date.  All of the work that was put into it has paid off!  If I were to quit podcasting today, I would be very happy with what we have accomplished in the span of a (an?) hundred weeks.  It has been quite a journey so far.  It wasn't always easy, but it was never NOT fun.  

The podcasting community we have met along the way has been stellar.  The guests we've had on have been superb.  The listener outreach has been minimal, sporadic, and entirely appreciated.  Having someone reach out to say anything in any capacity is easily the greatest reward in podcasting (Second only to money, obviously).  It's probably the most underrated part of doing this.  Think about it!  In podcasting, you are stepping onto a worlds stage and you're basically panhandling for listenership, against a growing mass of people competing for the very same thing.  Add the fact you are doing this on a place (the internet) that is plump full of advertising for TV, music, film, video games, pornography, products, drugs, articles, quizzes, clickbait, news, politics, hatred, trolling, nip slips, Fappenings, memes, and of course cat pictures.  Everything/Everywhere/Anytime is in a constant state of being this ever-evolving, shapeshifting, algorithm based, learning, screaming at the exact formulaic pitch required, billboard—desperately vying for your attention.  Against those odds, it's a miracle to grab the attention of another person, and draw them into—of all things—a podcast?  It never really feels real to me.  At the best of times I feel as though there is some elaborate rouse afoot.  But then I realize that I too have slowly gravitated towards listening to podcasts as well, and for good reason.

After some brief self analysis, I could start to see why others would as well.  There is something organic and real about podcasting.  There's a simplicity that is lost in many other mediums.  There's an overall realness to it that is sorely lacking elsewhere.  Podcasts—specifically "Indy podcasts"—are not trying to sell me anything.  They are not pandering for some corporate standards and practices committee.  They aren't worrying about financials, or market share, or consumer trends, or salable advertising space.  They are simply selling themselves.  More accurately "we" are giving ourselves away.  At no cost.  We live for a currency of word of mouth advertising, and general feedback.  At the very least, silent listenership will suffice.  There's a purity to it all.  It's why I love both podcasts, and podcasting equally.  It scratches an itch for me no matter which side of the microphone I'm on (<--heh).  

So where was I? Oh yeah, the Illuminati...no wait.  That's not it.  Oh, yes, US!  Now, I realize I've already done a big write up thing on our 100th episode, that is NOT out at the moment.  In fact, we haven't even recorded it yet.  The truth is, we're not entirely sure what to do at this point.  As much as I have enjoyed podcasting, I also love it to a fault.  That fault being that I refuse to release something that I am not happy with (Yeah, all self deprecation aside, I have been happy with all of our episodes at one point or another).  I just know when I'm not happy with something in the moment, that there is probably a reason and I need to go with my gut and strive to do better.  Better is always the goal.  Believe me when I say that the fact I have created something that I love as much as I do astounds the shit out of me and my "innermost worst critic".  So, as of now we plan to release our 100th episode in the very near future.  I hope it wraps a nice little bow around everything we have done thus far.  As for the future of EHAP, I am very undecided as to what will happen going forward.  Not trying to be overdramatic or cryptic, that's just where I'm at right now.  So expect a new episode from us soon.  I will keep you posted about what is to come afterwards.

Outro 

-Adam

How can I tell if I have bots?

I’ve been podcasting for almost two years, and I’ve had to learn some hard lessons along the way.  I’m sure many other podcasters will attest to the fact that it is HARD to grow a podcast.  We have the world at our fingertips when we engage in social media—yet so does everyone else—so how do you win?

 

Social media is powerful.  There is no denying that.  Getting in on it is easy.  Knowing how to use it is a different story.  I still don’t.  It’s a constant trial and error.  We all try many different things just to get people to click that fucking link.  Is it images?  Is it verbiage?  Is it the time of day?  Is it using a trending hashtag? HOW? 

 

Truthfully its a mixture of all those things.  Seldom, there are shortcuts. Auto DM’s grow stale.  Random interaction has a low success rate.  Paid promotion on Twitter and Facebook is just money better spent elsewhere.  The truth is, a podcast is a hard sell these days.  The market is saturated.  As your follower count grows, and your DM lines drop into the water, you might from time to time get a response—usually someone else who is also trying to hock their own wares.  It can get exhausting.  I myself have taken several reprieves from social media, in an attempt to regain my sanity.  Talking with other podcasters helps.  A lot of time you’ll find a good support group to discuss the tedium in plugging a show.  This is helpful, and sometimes it acts as a needed reset for your ambition towards salesmanship.  

As I said in the beginning, I’ve learned a lot.  Surprisingly, there’s one thing that took me a long time to learn, and its the reason I have decided to write this entry.

 

What are Bots, and how do they effect me?

 

Bots!  The bane of every podcasters existence.  Bots are the scourge of the earth in regards to accuracy in numbers.  If you’ve podcasted for and length of time, and are someone who keeps an eye on the analytics, chances are you’ve spoken with other podcasters (albeit, vaguely) about numbers.  It’s sort of an unspoken rule that podcasters don’t usually ask each other about statistics.  Yet chances are you’ve heard someone boast about numbers or even post graphs that gave you a discouraging feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Personally, I can say that the average number that I have heard from other podcasters is always around two thousand per week.  That’s the average.  Now, I’m not saying these numbers are impossible.  I am friends with people who host truly great shows, with a very active fanbase, and it is easy to see how they have drawn an audience.  People who are incredibly active and who put a ton of effort into keeping their listeners engaged.  Yet there are other shows, who admittedly cannot even explain their own numbers and are seeing stats that far outweigh their expectations. In this next paragraph I’m going to deal with some information that is so seldom talked about, that it borders on taboo.  Mainly because its a very common practice, and also because the implications could take a lot of wind out of a lot of peoples sails.

 

How do you Tweet an episode?

 

There are a few methods to Tweeting an episode.  Some use provided links from their hosting service (Libsyn, SquareSpace, Soundcloud, etc).  Others will use links to Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play.  And some will use links to their website.  Most of these are fine for keeping some semblance of accuracy in analytics tracking.  The problematic method that I will be detailing is the direct .mp3 link.  

 

What is a direct .mp3 link?

 

On the surface a direct .mp3 link seems great.  Basically you take the URL for your episode .mp3 file and paste it on Twitter.  What could go wrong?  You are making it accessible enough that your prospective audience need only click the link once and they are whisked away to sound of your respective episode.  The problem is………BOTS.  Oh, bots!  Not you again!  Yes, bots.  When you link your episode in this way, it becomes prey for any bots shuffling through Twitter in search of key words or phases.  These bots scour for both malicious and benign reasons, but the real problem for podcasters shows itself in the analytics.  I have met a few podcasters who had the rug pulled out from under them when—all of the sudden—their weekly downloads were cut down to a fraction of what they were the week before.  It sucks.  It punches you in the gut.  It makes you lose hope.  It simply ain’t pretty.  It’s just another thing, on top of the countless amount of things that podcasters have to worry about.  As if social media wasn’t hard enough?  So right now, if you are someone who is concerned about accurate (*more accurate) numbers, make sure when you click your own episode link that it does not take you straight into an .mp3 player.  There are exceptions if you are dealing with a hosting service that processes your analytics and weeds out bots.  Just be aware that these hosting services may do abrupt routine corrections that could drastically change your numbers at any given time.  

 

To give this some context, our podcast does NOT do direct .mp3 links.  After learning about bots I did a little experiment and started linking our episodes directly for a full twenty four hours.  I then set the episode on scheduled retweets so that the link would be fed to Twitter every two hours.  By the end of the twenty four hour period our analytics showed that our downloads had increased by almost 1000%.  To a brand new podcaster this would have you planning to quit your day job, so that you could start looking for recording space somewhere close to Joe Rogan.  The unfortunate truth is that it is almost entirely bots.

 

Shit……..so now what?

 

There are a couple ways you can take this.  One is to simply not care.  If this is something you do because you love it, then fuck numbers.  If you’d rather take that one extra click out of the equation for a potential listener, then Godspeed.  The other choice would be to set up your links so that they are not direct.  Have the link go to the page where the .mp3 player is embedded.  Your numbers might not be as pretty, but at least they will be accurate.  I mean, we’d all love to measure our dicks (sorry ladies) with an arbitrary measuring stick, but at the end of the day an inch is an inch.  

 

Lastly, I can at least offer you this bit of consolation if you are someone who has been on the receiving end of a bad vibe from another podcasters bountiful boastings.  If someone tells you of stats that seem unattainable, simply check out how their links are being sent out.  If you click it and see a play button, chances are they’re talking some bullshit.  If it doesn’t….well…maybe they’re just lying…or not.  Who cares.  They’re just numbers.  Remember why you’re doing this and just get out there and keep doing what makes you happy!  There are many ways to find success at something. Initially, it isn’t always found in financial gain, or iTunes charting.  Just keep doing the show that you love.  If you build it they will come.  Sometimes there’s a wait.

 

Outro.

 

-Adam 

 

*it’s all kind of bullshit…

Wow, one Hundred episodes.

I’m going to take a moment here to speak for both Bryon and myself when I say how great it has been doing Everyone Has A Podcast for the last twenty-three months.  We have had some truly great and wonderful experiences while recording our weekly internet blathering.  We’ve laughed. We’ve learned.  We’ve met some exceptionally great people who have helped us along the way as we flailed blindly grasping to maintain some semblance of a show.  I think we did it.  In fact, I’ve learned that we did it even if we didn’t.  Because there is no right or wrong way to do this.  There is no formula.  There aren't any classes (There are totally classes, but stay away.  They just want your money).  If you do something you enjoy, you’re automatically doing it correctly.  If you put the time in, eventually you will start to find your voice.  We have done it.  We have also heard many other shows do it as well.  Show’s that I once liked, I now love.  I’ve heard people hit their stride, and it’s so inspiring to see/hear.  

 

I remember the first time I listened to Bri Ari of ‘Brutally Blunt with Bri’.  I immediately fell in love with her personality and cadence.  I loved how she gushed over stories of small cute animals, and how laid back she was despite doing something as vulnerable as a solo podcast (They really aren’t easy, especially in the beginning).  Other shows like ‘The Mike Jolitz Show’ ‘The World of Ro’ ‘The Naked Porch’ ‘Epic Film Guys’ ‘Now That I’m Older’ and ‘The Story Behind’ are all podcasts that I listened to at or near their inceptions—all of which now have their own unique sound and feel.  There are so many others that I will give a little shout out to, at the end of this. 

 

What I mainly wanted to talk about is what EHAP has meant to me.  To give a little back story to this.  I have worked with my co-host, Bryon, for the last six or seven years.  He was someone I gravitated towards right away.  We shared so many common interests, yet we were also so incredibly different, and I really feel like it has been the differences that have drawn us together.  We are able to disagree with each other, and be okay with it. Sometimes one of us wins the other one over on a viewpoint.  Growth!  

 

It was Bryon who first said he was interested in doing a podcast.  I remember thinking, “What a dumb idea”. But the idea must have stuck, because eventually we started recording what quickly became THIS podcast.  Before we knew it, we had a website.  We had a logo.  We had an RSS feed (I think?). We had our first few listens, and before long we were actually interacting with people.  It was (and still is) an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment.  Accomplishment was a really nice added bonus, but it was not what I was seeking when we created EHAP.  EHAP was more than that for me.

 

On January 7, 2015 my best friend and brother John, died of a drug overdose.  I was in the room when it happened.  I had just come off of a night shift where I had worked the previous day from evening until morning.  I then drove the five hours to his home with plans of celebrating our birthdays together.  My birthday fell on the sixth and his was on the ninth.  He didn't look well, and said that he had the flu.  I had known that he had been grappling with dependency on pain killers for his back.  I had talked with him on many occasions, explaining the dangers of Oxycodone.  I had ridiculed.  I had preached.  I had done everything I felt I could do, to persuade him to seek professional help—to the point where I felt I was becoming just another voice nagging at him.  I didn't want that to be our relationship.  I was naive and ignorant to the severity of the situation.  I had even started to believe that he had things under control, and that I was coming off as insensitive to his pain.  So I did nothing.

 

The last night he was alive, I showed up with beer and was surprised to see that he was not well.  He had made no mention of having the flu over the phone.  Each time that I called to give him my ETA, he was more and more excited.  I realized later that he probably figured that if he told me he was sick, I might have rescheduled. (Probably would have.  Who wants to have birthday party and worry about catching the stomach Flu?).  

 

After a few drinks and some laboured conversation, he threw on a movie from Netflix.  The movie was Ted.  The beer mixed with the twelve hour night shift and the five hour drive took its toll on me.  I told John that I was going to have couple hour power nap, if we were going to drink and hang out that night.  I fell asleep on the couch right away, and when I awoke a few hours later the room was silent.  Probably about as quiet as I have ever heard anything to this day.  I stood up searched around and used the washroom before discovering him slumped over on the sofa in his living room.  I knew immediately that something was wrong.  I felt it in the room.  

After trying to wake him, phoning 9-1-1, and performing CPR unsuccessfully.  I was delivered the news from the Paramedics that night that he had passed away following a suspected overdose.  It was a rough night.  Week. Month. Year. It still is.  

 

How depressing was that? Jeez.  Oh, right, I had a point.  Jumping into podcasting a month later with Bryon, was the perfect distraction for me.  It gave me something to focus on that wasn’t grieving.  I was able to slowly compartmentalize everything that was hitting me at once.  I was able to work things out, and when I had enough, I slotted the gears into podcasting.  I met people.  I interacted with other podcasters.  I talked with Bryon.  Obviously, I still had a strong support group with my wonderful wife and kids as well as my other friends and family.  The podcasting world helped fill in those important gaps, when others weren’t around. 

 

So in summary I would just like to thank all of those we have met along the way, who have helped whether they knew it or not.

 

Nick (Epic Film Guys)

Emily (Classy Little Podcast, The Story Behind)

Shane (Now That I’m Older)

Courtney (Quadcast Podcast)

Mike Jolitz (The Mike Jolitz Show)

Theresa Crout (Artist and Friend)

Fear Innes (FearCast, FyfCast [despite the beef, there was a time before it that still matters])

Ray Christian (What’s Ray Saying)

Bri Ari (Brutally Blunt with Bri)

Mat (One Word GO! Show)

Roel Sanchez Jr. (Pick and Ro, The World of Ro)

Ray (The Naked Porch)

 

And anyone who has ever listened to our show, even if just to get the satisfaction of turning it off.  If I have missed anyone, trust that I will [edit] you in to this.

 

Here’s to a hundred more!

 

Outro.

Rest in peace.  Still miss you, buddy.

Rest in peace.  Still miss you, buddy.

EHAP NFL ELIMINATOR POOL 2016

Hello human who is reading this.  We welcome you to join us this year for our first ever NFL ELIMINATOR POOL.  It's so big and exciting that I used all-caps.  So you're probably asking yourself "what did I accidentally click to get on this site?  This was supposed to be a top 10 celebrity nip slips article".  Well, it's not, sorry.  It's an invitation to possibly win a free mystery thing.  Let me explain how easy this pool is.

RULES

Effective the week of Monday, September 5th, participants will be asked to submit a pick for a winning team of games being played that week. This includes Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games. You will simply pick ONE team to WIN their respective matchup.  The following weeks will use the same format, although you will not be able to pick the same team twice for the remainder of the NFL REGULAR SEASON.  You will continue to pick a team each week until you select a team that does NOT win.  At this point you are ELIMINATED from the pool.  Individuals who pick winning teams will move onto next weeks game until everyone is eliminated.  The person who lasts the longest without picking a game that results in a loss will be considered the WINNER, and will receive a MYSTERY PRIZE.  In the result of everyone being ELIMINATED at the same time, the decision will be based on the lowest score deficit overall (meaning if your team loses by 1 point, and someone else's team loses by 3 points, you would be crowned the WINNER).  In the unlikely event that 2 or more contestants pick the same losing team, the 2 or more players will move into the next week, until someone eventually stands as the sole victor.  In the highly, highly, HIGHLY, unlikely chance that 2 or more people make it to the NFL PLAYOFFS, the remaining teams will be reset, and you will again be able to pick previously selected teams from the REGULAR SEASON.   In the impossibly unlikely event that 2 or more people make it to the Super Bowl, you will be urged to go and buy a lottery ticket, because you are some of the luckiest son's of bitches on the planet earth.  

Each week on the podcast we will name those who are advancing, and those who have been ELIMINATED from the pool.

To get in on the action email us at ehappodcast@gmail.com with the subject line "ELIMINATOR pool" and be sure to leave your name.  A public Google Drive Document will be made available for you to submit your pick each week.  A failure to submit a pick will result in ELIMINATION from the contest.  Weekly pick deadlines will be the midnight of every WEDNESDAY at midnight to ensure all picks are submitted in time before the THURSDAY NIGHT GAME of each week.  For further information on contest rules, email us your questions at the above mentioned email address OR ask us on Twitter @ehappodcast Thanks for your involvement or interest.  See you at KICKOFF!

-Adam

Failure

Talking is great.  One of the great things about podcasting is that I get to do a lot of it.  Whenever the mic is on, I am granted an open forum to speak about whatever nonsense that I see fit.  I enjoy vocalizing my opinions on topics but would never consider myself an opinionated person (even though I totally am).  I think in order to do something like podcasting, you have to have an inflated valuation of your own opinions.  I have wrote about ego in podcasting before, and I said it was necessary.   I still believe that to be true.  I think if a person is too self-aware it hurts the creative process.  You have to be willing to experiment.  You have to be willing to take risks.  And you have to be willing to fail.

 

I was recently reminded of something that I had done when I was nineteen—which, if you have ever forgotten about something that happened a decade ago, there was probably a good reason for it—and there was.  

 

I was reminded that I had started a blog on (of all places) Blogger.  It was not good.  I was young.  I was impressionable.  I was a typical self-important teenage douche.  

 

There are several avenues of attack one can take when trying to convey personal thoughts, and experiences in a public, online, diary.  You can try to be insightful, or you can try to be poignant.  You can also try to be funny.  I chose the last one, with ‘try’ being the key word.

 

I can vaguely recall six or seven posts, all aimed at taking my own exaggerated life experiences, as well as those of my friends, and sprinkling them with poor grammar, expletives (ie. Fuck, shit, cunt et al) and worst of all, terrible, haymaker attempts at being some kind of alt-comic, who telegraphed upcoming punchlines with over-explained drivel.  It was not good.  I remember checking the comments multiple times in a day, awaiting an influx of praise, laughter, and people relating to my terrible stories.  The comments section remained barren up until I closed down the blog in defeat.  The only page views that ever registered were my own.  My online ‘diary’ was actually more secure than a real life physical diary, and only now, can I be truly thankful for that.

 

The blog just wasn’t me.  It was crude, both in content and execution.  It was offensive and unnecessarily acerbic.  It was desperate and just plain gross.  

 

So why am I bringing it up?  Well.  The podcast could have easily followed the same path.  When Bryon and I started EHAP, I remember focusing on what the ‘flavour’ of the podcast would be.  I remember wanting to be shocking.  I really thought we needed to come out singing, being as loud, and flagrant as possible.  I knew it would probably get some attention.  Perhaps we could have found an audience, but it wouldn’t have been one that accurately represented who we are.  We would have been thrown into this nasty cycle of desperately trying to one-up ourselves in the ‘shock value’ department, and it would have really been terrible for us.  I would have been looking back at EHAP years from now, and regretting it, much like my terrible blog.

 

I remember hearing a quote that has always resonated with me.  “Be careful who you pretend to be”.   It’s a simple quote with a strong message.  Many people who want to start a podcast ask questions like “What should I talk about?”.  The easiest advice, is to be yourself (I know, it sounds like some cheesy “Oil of Olay” tagline).  But its true.  Just be you.  Chances are, it’s not going to be great when you first start out.  For most, the early episodes are very experimental.  There will be growing pains.  There will be missteps, and there will be mild regrets.  It’s far easier to build something on a foundation of truth, than it is to try and keep adding new wings onto a lie.  Just find your voice first.  The singing will come later.  Now go do something incredible for fucks sake.

 

-Adam  

Patre-GONE

Sometime back in January we decided to give Patreon a shot and allow folks a chance to pledge us money for doing something we were already doing anyway.  I admittedly had no concept of what exactly it was that we could offer would-be supporters.  I had no idea what we would do with the money.  I also had no vision for an ultimate goal.  To be honest the whole thing has just been awkward and uncomfortable.  Which is why I have decided to end the campaign (Or at least try, this shit is harder to close than a Facebook account.  You literally have to search for it in "help" and send an email to them, while staring at a message that says "NO! PLEASE DON'T GO"...the fuck?)

 

Yes, there was this grand idea that we would use the donations to fund give-aways and merchandise for guests who appeared on our show, or even the supporters themselves.  All of these were great ideas that we were very excited about.  We appreciate those of you who so generously put up your plastic to send us monthly recurring denominations of money.  It was a nice show of faith, and did not go un-noticed.  

 

The closure of our Patreon account does not reflect on us feeling that the campaign was a failure.  We aren’t throwing up our hands in frustration, as if some predetermined goal had not been met.  The campaign just does not make sense for us.  We tried something, and we have simply decided that it is not our bag (baby).  Here are some reasons why.

 

We are podcasters.  We also enjoy podcasts.  The allure of podcasting for us is that it is a free medium.  I believe that when something exists without a required monetary gain, it is simply being fuelled by passion.  That is such a unique dynamic in a world that is built on trying to jam a fucking ad in every pause break.  Yes, there are those who get paid advertising.  Yes, there are those who are paid by networks.  And yes, there are those who will continue to strive to make podcasting their primary source of income.  All of these exist and that’s great.  That just isn’t “us”.  We do this because we love it.  We will continue to do this because we love it.  We want to make EHAP as good as it can possibly be.  I just don’t feel that Patreon support is really helping us in the long run, and I think there are better alternatives for us that I will mention near the end of this self righteous dissertation.

 

I know there are some of you who may feel that Patreon grants the ability for "fans" to donate to something they love.  I know that some of you feel that it is a great way for you to show your support, and “not have to see us working for free”.  The truth is, we don’t see this as work.  If for some reason we are your favourite podcast and we are somehow robbing you of the ability to show your support, please donate to your second or third favourite podcast instead.  In the end it still supports podcasting, and you will kind of still be doing it in our honour (gross, I’m sickened that I actually wrote that).  If you really insist on supporting us then please go to our TeePublic store and buy a t-shirt instead.  The money will still go back into give-aways and swag for guests, and at least then we will actually feel like you are receiving something tangible for your money.  I’ll have an easier time sleeping at night knowing that.

 

Lastly, I just want to say, that this is not a dig at podcasts who use Patreon.  I think there are people who have great ideas and know how to use it.  We’re dumb, and do not.  <—see, does that sentence even make sense?  I don’t know, I’m too dumb to tell.  (I also used, way, too, many, commas in this thing).  Bryon and I have some wonderful ideas that we are currently working on.  We will continue to play around with all sorts of concepts for entertaining people, and bringing in more listeners/subscribers/stalkers.  We plan on being around for a while, and look forward to interacting with you and winning you over with our charisma and manly physiques.  We have met so many great podcasters and so many great listeners, and that will continue to be the greatest reward for us (get it? Reward! As in Patreon has rewards!  I tied it all together in the, end)

 

Thanks again,

 

Adam 

F is for Frantic

     A few days have passed since Bryon and I sat down for a recorded Skype session with Simpsons writer and F is for Family co-creator Michael Price.  This was a moment that I will continue to relive over and over again in my head for the foreseeable future.  Admittedly, right up until the final seconds before the Skype call was initiated, I remained in utter disbelief that it was actually happening.  It just didn’t make sense that someone so influential and accredited was choosing to spare an hour of his day for two nobody’s sitting in a garage trying to be poignant interviewers.  

     The week leading up to the interview began with an excitement that I am still unable to contextualize.  As the day of the interview grew closer, I had no anxiety.  I chalk that up to never fully believing that the interview would come to fruition.  In fact, I had already prepared a draft in my notes thanking Michael for his early consideration of being on our show.  I was actually still happy with the idea that he had reached back when asked if he’d like to do the interview.  It was still a huge success in my mind.  The way I saw it, we would have to jiggle several handles before finally stumbling upon a door that would actually open for us, and I was fine with that.

     The day before the interview I reached out to Michael again, asking if we were still “on”.  He replied with “Should be good!”  In that moment I felt the first initial tug from the gravity of the situation.  In less that 24 hours we were to sit down at our mic’s and have a conversation with an Emmy Award winning writer.  Someone who you could not accurately describe the world we live in without mentioning all of the properties he has been involved with.  Lego, Star Wars, and the Simpsons, to name a few.  

     To say I had prepared for the interview, was an understatement.  To say I WAS prepared for the interview, was an outright lie.  I figured that no amount of breathing exercises or picturing of people in their underwear could prepare me for a smooth and seamless interview—and I was correct.  

Thankfully I was not in this alone.  I had Bryon.  Who—even if nervous—did not give off a nervous energy.  That could actually have been the result of my own anxiety completely eclipsing his.  

     Bryon and I sat down and prepared for the hour leading up to the interview.  We each went over our questions while I checked Twitter every 4 seconds.  Michael gave us the thumbs up and said he was just wrapping up on some writing he was doing for the Simpsons.  On reading that, I gave a hard, dry-mouthed, swallow, and forced my heart back down into its chest cavity.  We initiated the Skype call, and began the interview.

     I spent the first five minutes of the discussion orbiting Neptune.  I believe I also had to re-train my brain on how to formulate sentences—and more importantly, those of which that had a beginning, middle, and end.  I was so tense that I was actually crumpling the paper that my questions were written on (to give context I am talking about the yellow notes page on my iPhone).  The anxiety was over by about ten minutes in.  I began to loosen up, and actually enjoy the moment.  As guests go—you could not ask for a better one than Michael Price.  He was interesting (duh!) and down to earth.  He never left us hanging, and he kept the flow of conversation moving forward.  It was all over in a flash (as cliched as that is) and we were able to finally do what we had been fighting the urge to do the entire time—freak out.

 

    It was a great experience in both the fun and learning.  It instilled me with confidence.  I feel going forward, interviews will be easier for us both.  Once we realized that we were talking to a real person, and not the creature that had been fabricated in our minds, it became a discussion rather than a performance.  Although we were far from perfect in our interviewing abilities, I also believe we were not terrible.  When the state of euphoria faded, I was instantly able to recall dozens of questions that I had forgotten to ask.  Many would say that is what second and third interviews are for, but rather and focus on the future, I will finish basking in the present.  I look forward to our future endeavours, and I have Mr. Price to thank for that.

 

-Adam

How to be better: One assholes opinion.

It seems lately I have had this inner monologue involving how to get better.  It's not always an easy question to ask yourself, as it implies that you are not living up to your full potential.  It's an even harder question to answer.

Podcasting for most, is something that involves a lot of growth and personal development.  Even those who claim they just "hit record and go" all know what I am talking about.  There is a perpetual drive to always be better than your last episode.  There is an urge to continually raise the bar a little every time that mic turns on.  

In the one year that I have been podcasting I have found—for myself—that the key is simplicity.  Rather than over analyzing my every move.  I have now started to just sit back and live in the moment.  It's amazing how much more clear your mind becomes when you remove the burden of pressure from yourself.  It's easy to become your own worst enemy when you distance yourself from who you actually are, in favour of becoming what you think people want you to be.  Personally I have found it far easier and far more interesting to stay true to myself and just let go of any outside influences.  It's like they say, "it's easier to remember the truth, than it is to remember a lie".  With that said I think I have identified one of my enemies, and so now I will move on to another.

Ego.  

I remember when Bryon and I first started podcasting.  We were both instantly amazed by the support and outreach from other podcaster's.  It was as if we had stumbled upon some "social media utopia".  I remember thinking "There is really no ego in podcasting".  After thirteen months of doing this, I have to amend that statement—partially for my own transgressions.  

There is a tremendous amount of ego in podcasting.  It's just not something recognizable from the surface.  Once you sink deeper into the community, you see it.  Whether it's failing to acknowledge someone else's success.  Or questioning how someone else does their show.  Or boasting about download numbers—it all stems from ego—and it should.  

When you create something with your own two hands, there is an attachment that you develop.  You nurture it and you hope to see it thrive.  When the growth becomes a plateau or a drop, it's easy to turn on yourself or others.  Ego is healthy to a degree.  It should be used as a fuel source to do better.  It should not cloud your judgement from accepting constructive criticism, or seeing someone else's point of view.  It should not feed jealousy and ill will towards others.  Always remember that you are ultimately in control of your own destiny.  You decide whether adversity becomes a spring board or a hurdle.  I believe to truly enjoy success, you must also be able to appreciate the success of others around you.  You should remain close to those who are at that level that you also aspire to be at.  Learn from those ahead of you, and lend a hand to those behind you.  Enjoy your own success, and be a part of someone else's.  That way, In the end everyone truly succeeds.  

-Adam.

What is #PodernFamily?

So what is #PodernFamily?

        So recently this question has been asked by a few people on Twitter.  What is #PodernFamily about?  It’s no surprise that when you get anything trending with the word “Pod” or anything pertaining to podcasting, that inevitably some questions will arise.  So in an effort to answer this question, I will start from the beginning, without droning on too much.

 

    The idea basically started as an idea between a small group of podcasts, to help promote a band.  We had all been gathered in this small little Twitter chat, thinking of different ideas for cross promoting each others podcasts, as well as any special guests that make appearances.  Before long this idea became more broad—a small network based on retweeting each others episodes on a regular basis.  Something simple and self policed.  As the old snowball analogy goes, the idea grew both larger and faster from that point, eventually getting its own name…and a logo…and a Google drive document…and spin off group…and so on.  After the initial burst of retweets within this group, we all noticed that the hashtag was beginning to trend.  A litany of queries and comments began rolling in from other podcasters.  Some asking what it was.  Some asking if they could join.  And others who just began adopting the hashtag for their own podcasts.  The initial chat also grew in size.  At one point with multiple conversations and ideas all going on at once.  The whole thing seemed very muddled and convoluted for a while, before things began to level off back to normal.  

 

    Currently things are going very well.  There are still many ideas, and plans being put in to place within #PodernFamily.  However, the initial idea still remains—an open forum of support for podcasting.  A group that is worth more than the sum of its parts.  A place to share jokes.  A place to share ideas.  A place to promote.  And a place to grow—together.

 

    Let’s get to one of the reasons why I have chosen to write this diatribe.  Very recently, we have had a small bit of negative attention towards our small group.  A podcast going by the name of Well Wishers (@WellWishers on Twitter) has made it clear that they are not the biggest fans of the name and/or group of podcasts.  They have chosen to brand us as bro-dogs, or dog-bros, or something of that nature (excuse my poor journalistic integrity here, I haven't given myself the chance to listen to the episode in which they talked about us.  I have simply compiled multiple claims that corroborate as the basis for this paragraph).  Anyway,  a couple members of our group #PodernFamily replied to a tweet put out by @WellWishers stating that they did not hold our groups name in high regard.  Along with it they included a link to their podcast as to entice us to hear exactly what they had to say (Two or three of us took the bait, possibly doubling their average audience size, ahem…sorry).  So as a group we decided to just laugh the whole thing off and embrace it as “Yay, we have haters”.  Perhaps a better approach than giving it any iota of actual sincerity.  Although, if I am being forthright, I am guilty of throwing my own barbs their way for a little while, almost to the point of responding to some dude whose podcast artwork was a Google image of a Sasquatch.  So, to reiterate why I have chosen to write this dissertation, it is simply to say this.

 

    We have a great group of podcasts.  There are a lot of great people within the group.  We are always looking for like-minded individuals to help this thing grow.  We are not a cult, or a club, or an elitist group of podcast snobs.  We are simply a group of people who LOVE podcasting, and are enjoying the mutual benefits of working together as a group.  Let’s face it, as an individual, when the mic is off, its hard to find people in your everyday life who really enjoy talking about podcasting.  We all share that commonality of having spouses, boy/girlfriends, friends, or co-workers who are apathetic towards our hobby.  To have a group of people in any forum—be it the internet or otherwise—is a great thing to have.  So whether you like us, love us, hate us, or are simply ambivalent, it makes no difference to us.  Our group is here, and we will continue to do what we love, simply because we love doing it.

 

Adam - EHAP

The journey so far.

There are a few reasons I'm writing this.  Firstly, I'd like to take the moment to say "thank you", to you the listener/subscriber.  Thank you.  Without steady listeners a podcast really doesn't mean as much, so I am truly grateful to folks out there who are continuing to check us out on a weekly basis and new listeners alike.  Back when Bryon and I started this, we were just a couple of assholes recording nonsense into an iPhone and uploading it to iTunes.  It's incredible to think back, and realize how much we've grown—into two assholes recording nonsense into a "Blue" microphone and uploading it to iTunes.  When Bryon and I started this back in February, we were uncertain of many things.  Would people listen?  Could we commit to and execute a new episode every week?  Would the feedback be positive?  Thankfully, to the delight of our frail egos, we have been doing well on all three fronts.  Episodes continue to trickle out every week, and we continue to meet and hear from some of the greatest people out there in the social media world.  Again, thanks.


Going forward Bryon and I are going to continue to 'build our brand' (yuck, I know, I couldn't think of a better phrase there), through various viral marketing strategies that we are currently in the process of putting together.  We are actively reaching out to new and exciting people and podcasters, in hopes of joining forces for further cross promotion as well as more interview sessions with new guests.  We are also currently looking into new equipment to enhance the audio quality of the show.  Much like doing our podcast, I have ran into a brick wall and have no idea what else to write here.  Ah, fuck, there was something else I wanted to say... Can't think of it right now.  Shit.  Just give me a sec, it'll come to me... Fuck.  Nope, lost it.  Well, I guess I'll just end it right here, and say 'thanks' again, like a redundant, no-short-term-memory-having fuck. 


Special thanks to:
Ray Christian
Theresa Crout
Bri Ari
The FYFCast trio
Mike Russo
Cameron Readey
You guys just win at life.

 

Thinking about 'you'.

Hey, listener(s), its Adam here.  Just wanted to give a big round of thanks to all of you who have hit that subscribe button in iTunes. Bryon and I are pretty stoked to see that our numbers are continuing to climb.  We are also both excited to bring you some new and exciting content in the not to distant future.  It's a long road to get something like off the ground, and have it put together successfully, and I'm not exactly sure where we are on that road.  I know the audio is continuing to improve through post production editing.  We are also looking into some higher grade equipment.  Also, I am going through the process of converting our first three casts into a format that will allow playback on Android and Blackberry devices.  As I have mentioned before, we are awaiting a response from Stitcher Radio as well to get the podcast out to more potential listeners.  Stay tuned as we continue to feed this beast. 

February 12, 2015

Well, I am writing this to call us out as fucking liars.  I had promised that this weeks podcast would be complete with the new microphone to record some nicer audio.  Turns out that due to scheduling conflicts we were forced to record our podcast in the cab of a pick-up truck.  Not ideal, but we were focusing on having a podcast ready for our previously stated deadline.  We are planning to record next weeks show in the quiet convenience of a more studio-esque atmosphere.  So as I promised last weeks episode, I am reallocating that promise for NEXT week. So look forward to that next week.

-Adam

February 9, 2015 10:16PM

Okay, so, first off I want to say thanks to the 90 people (at this time) who have decided to subscribe.  That's just awesome!  Doing something like this, you want an audience.  Hopefully over time we will continue to draw new subscribers, who will in turn tell more people to come check it out.  That might be putting the cart before the horse, but whatever, its hard NOT to think about it a little bit.  Anyway, what I wanted to say was that, we will be recording our next podcast within the next couple of days, and we are pretty anxious to do just that.  Hopefully, if all goes well we will continuously pump out (at least) one episode per week.  We will aim to have a fresh new show out every Wednesday.  The duration of the shows may vary, but I've kind of set a goal for at least an hour, going forward.  If you've listened to the first two episodes and are kind of on the fence, just hang in there for a couple more shows for the following reasons.  

Firstly, the audio quality will be better on the next one, thanks to a new microphone (or two) and a few audio finishing tricks that I've picked up over the last week.  I have also looked into a couple more applications that will give us the ability add more audio elements to the podcast, such as playing audio live while recording.  

Secondly, the content will continue to improve.  I'm not making excuses but, we are only two shows into this and are still kind of finding our rhythm.  The next podcasts should be a little more structured (to a point) with planned topics, and all that jazz.  Our nerves will also be a little more settled for our third and fourth go-rounds. 

Lastly, we also plan on integrating the social networking as well.  This will obviously depend on if we receive feedback from our listeners.  We would really love to build this thing up properly and get have some conversations, and laughs as well.  After all, this isn't a paying gig, and even if it were, it wouldn't be enough to live off of.  So really, we're just doing this for our own entertainment.  Simply to scratch an itch.  But, if by chance it ends up entertaining others in the process, well then fuck, thats even better.  So...that's pretty much all I had to say, so, yeah...

-Adam