You felt hurt after learning about the formation of The Podcast Academy. Can you explain why?
It wasn’t because of the formation of The Podcast Academy. My initial hurt was based on the wrong assumption that the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame was erased. That was not true and clarified by Dan Franks.
Tell me more about what the early community of podcasting was like.
It was creative, supportive, innovative and full of passion.
In 2005/2006 it felt like podcasters from creators to those in companies providing services for podcasters were all in some way equal.
Everyone was figuring things out together, hacking things together, finding new tools and accessories to record and publish.
It felt like everyone was on someone else’s show at some point, either as a guest or by sending in audio feedback.
I discovered so many podcasts by listening to the podcaster talk about another podcaster, even if they had nothing to do with their own show.
I guarantee folks that sent in audio feedback to their favorite podcasts at some point either ended up creating their own show or becoming a co-host on that show.
Dialogue and connection to the listeners led the way.
Meetups happened all over the world, then un-conferences like PodCamp appeared and then the Portable Media Expo…I worked and lived in Hollywood during that time and saw a bunch of celebrities at the restaurant that I worked at (because duh…of course) but I was truly star-struck when I attended that first conference, where I got to hang out with those people that were in my ears.
The kicker was that in meeting them, I never felt like they were better or knew more than me. They immediately included me, supported me and helped me.
Why do you think national media/big industry players have largely ignored the accomplishments of OG podcasters in the past?
Because they didn’t know we existed.
Podcasting was covered here and there, locally-worldwide, meaning local communities throughout the world published stories, in their respective city newspapers.
That’s as far as the coverage went.
My first podcast Elsie’s Yoga Class was covered in the news in 2007 by journalist Dave Malkoff for one of the LA TV Stations.
I know there were other snippets of coverage like this TV news report. [A must-watch!]
Podcasting was essentially an outlet for those of us on the fringe (shout out to Lance Anderson of Verge of The Fringe — now called Verge of The Dude — and founder of the L.A. Podcasters).
Insert the type of fringe that you identified with and podcast about it, that’s what connected us.
So think about this, here is a group of people that are all like Hermey from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and they all found a place where they could BE a dentist (or whatever their thing was). 😅
With no money
Whatever sexual orientation
From hardcore Catholics to Atheists
From highly produced shows like [Leo Laporte's] TWiT and [Adam Curry's] Daily Source Code, to those podcasting WHILE running (shout-out to Phedippidations), to the legendary BTS Battlestar Galactica podcast from Ronald Moore (not sure if it’s even available anymore).
Shows that had a corporation behind them like CNET’s Buzz Out Loud had a rabid and loyal audience that was often featured on the show and served to be jumping-off points for some of the most respected and beloved journalists and podcasters in the space: Molly Wood, Tom Merritt, and Veronica Belmont.
All that to say that even though the content and the community was creative, engaged, and producing amazing content, mainstream and legacy media didn’t know what to do with it, nor, let’s be honest, frequented in the fringy circles 🤭
I mean, y’all are probably rolling your eyes right now!
All and all, out of sight, out of mind.
Media is built on relationships. In the same way that the old guard in podcasting supported each other and helped each other out, so did the old guard in legacy media organizations. You cover people that you know, or want to know or are powerful and influential.
OG podcasters didn’t have power nor influence in established models or industry, nor did we want to, that’s why we were podcasting.
I find now, looking back, not fighting hard enough to correct the record back then, was probably our biggest mistake.
Most of us had no idea how to even go about doing something like that.
Social media was starting to be a thing, again, only for first adopters, geeky, non-conformist types.
No reporters were on Twitter!
There is NOOOOOOOOOO way the CEO of a company like Wondery would have EVER reached out to me because of something I said on social media.