Greetings from a rather poorly appointed hotel room in Copenhagen in Denmark, I've just mixed the second part of the podcast with Jon Maddog Hall that we recorded in equally cold weather in Cambridge in the UK before Jon flew home to New Hampshire.
Thanks for all the emails and re-tweets. Guys if I can ask you to be my secret PR army even better, it's all appreciated. There is this common misconception that this is a Red Hat official podcast, it's not. It's recorded and produced by me on a budget smaller than most peoples Starbucks expenditure, promotion and growth of the awareness has been down to you guys 100%. I simply record what you want to hear - or do I ?
I had time with Tim Phillips the PR genius at Axicom in the UK last week whose guidance I sought. I am NOT a podcaster I am a systems architect / security bod / developer. I am learning as I go and taking on the big boys every week with their studio setups and marketing budgets. He suggested asking the listening public want they want to hear and I sailed past him some ideas we have for changing the format very soon to make it really interactive for listeners.
I welcome your input and your ideas, please contact me offline with them or comments, or drop me an email if you'd like to appear in a podcast and have something to say.
For now - here's Maddog. Go listen. He'd like that.
I am speaking at the Datacenter 2013 Conference in Copenhagen on Thursday. I am also going to be recording some podcasts in town on Friday (dependent on interviewee availability). If I can't get any one on mic I may even do some video for the portal talking Cloud, I carry a hi-def video camera and its the only media I've not yet posted here. Stranger stuff has happened people. Hopefully you will be spared that agony of me talking to camera and we'll find someone I can tie to a chair to talk Cloud instead.
More info on the conference here, don't ask me what I'm talking about I've not even started to think about it yet, got some slides but it's always fun to see whether I stick to them or go totally off at a tangent. Depends on the room and how bored people look by the previous presenter of death by slides. Could go one of two ways either way it should be fun. One things for sure it will be educational and informative and people leave the room smiling.
Today you have a real treat. Episode 1 of 2 of a podcast that I recorded with Jon Maddog Hall. Jon and I go way back in Open Source and I made the seven hour round trip to drive to meet him to record this, and then go on a walk around Cambridge where we promptly turned into snowmen walking around the campuses of the colleges. A great time with someone I'm very proud of calling a friend and someone who has made such massive changes to the way computing globally is consumed and understood. A lifetime as an educator and as a voice of reason.
I work with Gordon as the other Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat. Gordon got me into podcasting and I've now refined it into about 30% of my day job I guess. I've also worked really hard to get the audio quality to be as high or higher than the vast majority of commercial podcasts out there. Recently Gordon was in London and I greeted him with some new microphones to get him back up to speed. Wasn't about to teach the master how to suck eggs and podcast, I learnt from him so that would have been rude.
He's written up a great article here and he's going to add to it the remote podcasting technique that I've perfected and passed upstream to Gordon. This stuff is really important because when you start out podcasting people think "it's easy". Well it is. It's easy to make a really bad podcast. To make a good podcast that gets 75,000+ listeners you have to work at it, you have to learn your craft and it starts long before you sit down with a microphone.
Also having the right kit helps, I have a cupboard FULL of microphones ranging from passive and phantom powered XLR mic's through to portable kit for road warrior use and now in the internet age you can be even more intelligent with audio and get stuff recorded that previously relied on Skype or recording phone conversations.
I nowadays use a Tascam DR-40 and a DR-05 for recording on the road or my iPad with an iRig Pre connected to a studio condenser mic when quality is important or I want to pack light. I also just bought an Alesis IOMix for the iPad to use with twin XLR mic's but I've not even opened it yet. In the studio I have a range of mixing decks and Shure condenser mics so I've learnt it doesn't come cheap. I'd guess I'm hitting nearly £3500 in purchases since I started this road in August. But you get quality audio and it makes the podcasts sticky and people download them and refer them to others. Thats important to the magic especially in the world of iTunes making your stuff instantly accessible.
When I started out there was nothing really useful that were free to help me get up to speed at least now I've done it maybe Gordon and I can help others realise that podcasting is fun and popular and provokes thought but it also takes time and love (and a pile of cash if you want to be really anal about sound).