Podcasts are to conversations what blog posts are to ideas

About six months ago I wrote a post about how op-eds are turning into podcasts. I was totally wrong. Podcasts are a brand new medium that people (myself included) are finally starting to understand.

I’ve been a huge fan of podcasting since I listened to my first ever episode of the Joe Rogan Experience while I was staying in a hotel in Charlotte for work training the summer after I graduated. The conversation was about something I’d never really heard about — ayahuasca.

The topic was taboo — ayahuasca is one of the most potent psychedelics in the world and the guest on the show, Aubrey Marcus, was sharing his experience taking ayahuasca in the Amazon. The conversation felt raw, authentic, and in a weird way, forbidden. It was almost like I was peeking into a conversation that I shouldn’t have been allowed to witness. I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve probably listened to close to a thousand hours of the Joe Rogan Experience and another several hundred of other podcasts. Joe’s episodes are usually 3 hours long and I’m amazed every time that it’s not boring. The topics vary by guest and each time they go deep in a direction I didn’t see coming.

Since I had already been blogging for almost a year at the time I heard that first episode, I started thinking about creating a podcast of my own. Blogging feels (because it is) very isolated and singular. It inherently excludes multiple perspectives. Podcasting appeared to be a brand new way to share information. Conversations, not posts.

But then I got sidetracked with work, starting a company, shutting down a company, and getting a new job. It’s been a crazy few years since I graduated.

Recently the podcasting idea came back and I just went for it. I downloaded Opinion, recorded for about 14 minutes, then I uploaded the episode. There was a pay wall that asked me to pay $4.99 for over 10 minutes of content. So I paid it. Seemed cheap enough.

I created a podcast name (“Valley Riff”), mocked up podcast cover art in Sketch, exported as a square png, uploaded the cover art and it was done. The RSS feed was live and I submitted it to iTunes.

That’s all the set up necessary, folks. From here on, all I have to do is record, edit, and upload. The RSS feed updates each time I upload so the episodes automagically appear in your pocket if you subscribe to my podcast on any podcast app. Click here to open the feed to my podcast.

So far I’ve recorded 6 episodes. The shortest is a few minutes, the longest is about 45 minutes. I’m learning as I go so every minute of audio I’m recording is a new lesson. There’s something pretty amazing about audio versus written word when it comes to the creative process. When you’re writing, there’s a lot of editing and cutting and re-trimming and re-wording and re-phrasing and re-thinking that happens. Your blog post is only in your head until it’s out there.

With podcasting, it’s different. Recording audio is very real from the second the words come out of your mouth. The fact that you can’t edit and scrub is kind of liberating. It’s like the microphone is challenging you to say something good on the first shot. Getting good at podcasting will probably make me better down the road at telling stories, recruiting, pitching, selling, and leading. The ability to be aware of the words coming out of your mouth and the impact they have on people is something every founder/CEO can probably benefit from.

So far, here are the two guests I’ve had on the show. Both Olof and Andrew are founder/CEOs here in the Bay Area. Both are super cool guys I enjoy talking to both on and off the microphone.

That said, I’m always looking for more interesting people to meet and play some verbal ping pong with. I have some interesting guests lined up but always looking for more — if you’re in SF and want to be a guest, tweet me @ViableBen or just shoot me an email benerez333 at gmail dot com.

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