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Podroll: Buzzsprout's Newest Feature For Podcast Discovery!

November 10, 2023 Buzzsprout Episode 114
Podroll: Buzzsprout's Newest Feature For Podcast Discovery!
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Buzzcast
Podroll: Buzzsprout's Newest Feature For Podcast Discovery!
Nov 10, 2023 Episode 114
Buzzsprout

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, the hosts unveil a unique podcast recommendation feature called Podroll and how it could reshape podcast discoverability.

We're also thrilled about the newest Buzzsprout Conversations episode featuring Jack Rhysider, the man behind the popular Darknet Diaries podcast.

And finally, from transcription services to the greatest gear RØDE has to offer, we hear from podcasters what they have on their holiday wishlist.

View the DISCUSSION THREAD on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned in this episode:

📣 Sound-Off Question: What is a podcast you wish existed, but doesn't? This can be film & tv spin-off podcasts, or a podcast from your favorite celeb, etc.
To have your response featured on our next episode, leave a 30-second voice message at podinbox.com/buzzsprout, send a boostagram, or tweet the answer @BuzzcastPodcast!



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Support the Show.

Contact Buzzcast

Thanks for listening & keep podcasting!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, the hosts unveil a unique podcast recommendation feature called Podroll and how it could reshape podcast discoverability.

We're also thrilled about the newest Buzzsprout Conversations episode featuring Jack Rhysider, the man behind the popular Darknet Diaries podcast.

And finally, from transcription services to the greatest gear RØDE has to offer, we hear from podcasters what they have on their holiday wishlist.

View the DISCUSSION THREAD on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned in this episode:

📣 Sound-Off Question: What is a podcast you wish existed, but doesn't? This can be film & tv spin-off podcasts, or a podcast from your favorite celeb, etc.
To have your response featured on our next episode, leave a 30-second voice message at podinbox.com/buzzsprout, send a boostagram, or tweet the answer @BuzzcastPodcast!



PodMatch
PodMatch Automatically Matches Ideal Podcast Guests and Hosts For Interviews

Support the Show.

Contact Buzzcast

Thanks for listening & keep podcasting!

Kevin:

Why are you always trying to like turn the world?

Alban:

against me. I'm just defending you against everyone else.

Kevin:

Oh, you had a whole thing I have to rethink my choices. Alban's my lawyer and it's Never seems to go my way.

Alban:

You have to remember, if I paid by the hour, I've incentivized to make these into bigger issues, not smaller issues.

Kevin:

This is gonna be a nail-biter case. It's gonna take months.

Jordan:

We should probably start off this episode with an apology to our listeners, because it seems that I am not the only one spreading misinformation. Oh boy. Kevin, do you have something you'd like to say?

Kevin:

Oh yeah, well, you know Alban said this at some point during the last recording that it's possible that some of the things we're saying are not entirely accurate. It turns out there's at least one that would now confirm does not occur it, and that was when I said that when you use the RSS ingestion into YouTube, if you have paid promotion, like host-read, sponsorships or something, then you would then have to log into YouTube every time you publish a new episode and check the box on that episode. And Front of the show, james Cridlin, dropped us a note to say actually you can just do that for the entire podcast. When you set up the RSS Ingestion, you can say that there are episodes from the feed that contain paid promotion and that prevents you from having to do it every time. Hmm, so good news, bad news, bad news. I spread some misinformation. The good news is that this is a much better system.

Alban:

Apology number two oh, we have a policy.

Jordan:

This is our apology tour.

Alban:

Buckle up. We got a. We have at least two more coming.

Jordan:

Well, thursday morning there was a cloud flare outage which resulted in a delay with downloads For at least two days, and then by Saturday that was resolved. Kevin, do we have any updates with where we are with the Thursday and Friday downloads?

Kevin:

Yeah, so the way that buzzsprout distributes files out to everyone in the world and makes them available In, regardless of where you are in the world, quickly and efficiently is we use something called a CDN network, which is just a service that has servers all over the world, so that when you upload one time to buzzsprout, we put on all these different servers all over the world and that way, if somebody in another country is downloading your file, they don't have to download it from the US or something. It doesn't have to make that trip again, download a little faster because it's co located in all these spots all around the world. One of the networks we use multiple networks, but one of them that we use is called cloud flare, and they had an issue with their log files. Starting Thursday morning and going to Friday evening it's about 40 hours total and during that time we were not getting log files. If we don't get log files, then we can't count downloads, and so that's that's a problem, because download stats are very important. They're one of the most important things that we do as a podcast hosting provider, and so obviously this was a big issue for us and for our customers, and so we started troubleshooting, looking into the issue, trying to figure out what we could do as quickly as possible and trying to resolve the issue. While we're working that, we're communicating on Facebook group. Customer support team is all working Over time around the clock to make sure that customers understand that we're aware of the issue and we're trying our best to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Kevin:

There's only so much we can do in an outage like this, because it's where the third-party provider and so we're basically getting updates from them. We're checking our systems on our side to make sure there's nothing wrong over here, but once we've confirmed all that stuff, now we're just working with them and basically waiting. Like we don't have access to all of those Systems and servers. We're relying on them. Anyway, we get through that, stats start flowing again late, late Friday, early Saturday morning, and now, once we start getting that data back and it's running, systems catching up and we're, you know, spot-checking podcasts and checking our database and making sure everything is working, everything is all systems go and so some people this happens often once there's a Problem for a period of time, that problem is then resolved and then things that are outside that window still start to. You know, people can be suspicious of them. So some people are like I didn't get many downloads on Saturday. Well, the downloads that you see in your dashboard on Saturday, for better or worse, are your numbers. On Saturday, those systems have been checked early. They were not impacted by the outage at all, and the same thing for, like Wednesday, all the way up till early Thursday morning. Those numbers are all they're present in the system, up to date. And so if you're not happy with the numbers outside of that 40 hour window, again, for better or worse, they are what they are. They're accurate, certified and good to go.

Kevin:

The question now has become how much of the data from Thursday and Friday during that 40 hour window Are we going to be able to get back into the system? And that has been what we've been working on ever since that started flowing in Saturday morning. Teams been working on that problem. Good news that we're recording this on Tuesday. This episode will be released Friday by Friday. All those numbers should be back in your system as of this morning.

Kevin:

The team feels really good and have stacked hands around a method to restore all that data. Some of it is running right now and it's going to take some time to run through all the podcasts that we have. But, good news, the data is coming back. So the question is like why does it take so long to do that? Well, the system that we normally use to process podcast data, that system broke and they were unable to recover those exact log files. So we had to write new systems to use different data that we did have available to us and that we were able to use to Get the same information. So, same information, different system, a process of putting it together, and that all had to be written from scratch.

Kevin:

So hats off to the engineers on the Buzzsprout team, because they're the ones who've been working this whole solution. They've been working with cloudflare, but cloudflare, again, has been limited in what they've been able to provide us, and so we also work with cloud front. We also have our own servers, we also have our own log files, we have our own algorithms and everything else, and they're able to basically take this jigsaw puzzle, put it all together and say, yes, we can reconstruct the data from this. But that has been an intense process. In the midst of all, the people on this team have Other stuff that they're also working on at the same time. So they've been working hard. They've done a great job. We got some really great news this morning that their plan has now been coded up, it is running and it is working and they're super excited about it, and so download data is coming back. You will get those stats from the Thursday and Friday at 40 hour window and again, like I said, hopefully by the time this episode drops. That's that system is done, running and all that data is back. If not, it'll be back within, you know, a day or two after that.

Kevin:

But we're really, you know, apologized for the delay and we apologize that took us so long, and there were some people in the Facebook group who were like you're not telling us if we're gonna get the data back or not, and what we were really wanted to be careful about was not over promising. There was a point where we just a long point when they're trying to figure out how are we going to get download data back into the system, given the fact that the main way that we normally do that is not available to us. What other data do we have available and can we get the data we need by piecing these other sources together? We didn't know if we were gonna be able to do it or not. And so that's what we kept saying is that we're optimistic, but we don't want to make any promises that we are not going to be able to stand behind. And so that's why our responses have just been we're working on it.

Kevin:

We're again. We're optimistic internally, but we don't want to promise anything. We're doing the best we can, but at this point we literally don't know if it's recoverable or not, and that's been. The hard part is that, you know, for the past two or Three days we haven't really known. I'm excited to tell you today that we do know we can get it back. It is working, it'll be in your account. But I also want to explain why we were kind of quiet and a little bit vague through this process, because we never want to overpromise. We don't want to say something that we can't deliver on.

Alban:

Yeah, can I summarize a few things that I heard Kevin and you tell me? If these are right, sure, so the outage is only from the two days. Once that's resolved, everything else is processed normally. The backups that we have from Cloudflare are going to be Formatted in some slightly different way that we had to actually build a new system to bring those stats in. But we're confident in those stats.

Kevin:

Yeah, I mean. I mean yes and no. It's not that they're gonna be formatted differently. They will look exactly the same to all the buzzsprou t customers. The data is different, and so our programmers had to rewrite code and logic to process data in different ways and pieces together in ways that Didn't exist until a couple days ago. So that's the new stuff. There is a lot of new code that has been written, but that code is going to be invisible to our customers. It just runs on the servers to be able to produce the same numbers and present them in the same way that we always have, and then Brian on the infrastructure teams said something I saw recently that if this were to happen again, there's a way that we could actually go around Cloudflare.

Alban:

We could turn Cloudflare off and grab all this data directly ourselves. They ended up having this issue again.

Kevin:

Is that correct? Yeah, whenever there's any sort of technical bug or a system failure or something like that, as part of the normal standard operating procedure that we would go through is obviously first correct the bug, correct the issues, get our customers back up and running as quickly as possible, and then we move into, like this postmortem of lessons learned what do we need to change ahead of time? What do we do if we encounter something like this again, and can we put any systems in place to not only prevent it, but if it does then happen again anyway, what can we do to minimize it, the impact? And so all those plans are coming together as well. They feel really good. They're like if we've never seen an issue.

Kevin:

And some people have commented that some people like Cloudflare, some people don't. The reality Is there. They're a good player and they've been a really good partner to buzzsprou t for a long time. We've used them for many years. We've never had an issue like this. So in the heat of the moment, to throw all of the frustration in one direction, you feel like you kind of want to do that, but then you don't want to disregard or discount the fact they've been a great partner for us for many, many years. And so what can we do on our side to make sure, if we ever see an issue like this again, what systems can we put in place to minimize the impact? And they've got some good plans around that as well. So we feel really good and we do like Cloudflare and, like I said, they've been dependable, reliable, affordable, all these great things. But I also feel very confident that, yeah, if we've seen it once, we need to be ready in case that ever pops up again. And Now we've got a system where we feel very confident that we could minimize that to minutes, to minutes, if we see issues like this again. So all good stuff I mean you usually grow the most or painful experiences. You know you never want to talk about stuff like this, but let's knock on some wood and say luckily we haven't had a lot of them, but when we have them it's a rallying point for the team. Buzz sprout becomes better, we become a better service for our customers and in this case, ultimately, stats from the 40 hours have been delayed, but they're not lost, they're coming back, and so at the end of it, we feel really good that we served our customers well.

Kevin:

The only thing that I think is still up in the air and we can check our processes on this is how could we have communicated better during and again that we historically been really good at communicating during an incident, and this time there was a hesitancy to Overcommit because we didn't know, and so we didn't really have a battle plan for that.

Kevin:

We didn't have a well, we don't know if we're gonna be able to get the data back, so what do we say? And so where we aired was on the side of we have to be a little vague here and we can't over promise and we need to say less right now than we normally would, and so I think we built an expectation that anytime Buzzsprout had an issue in the past, buzzsprout is always super forthcoming and they tell us everything and they keep us up to date and they're posting on used to be Twitter and X and in the Facebook group and and all this massive amount of communication is happening during these events. And this one was built a little bit different Because we were very much in the dark and we didn't want to over commit. So we'll talk that through and figure out a better battle plan for that going forward, but that one that caught us a little bit off-guard.

Alban:

I'm actually reminded, kevin, of I don't know three years ago Four years ago now when we had a big DDoS attack. Cloudflare was a big part of a solving that problem.

Alban:

Oh, really I remember when we had somebody trying to take down Buzzsprout Cloudflare. Once we were able to get in contact with them, they were so good at identifying some of the patterns of the traffic and helping us remove it and, yeah, it's a good reminder. I think, like you said, when anybody hasn't out it, it's very easy to be like, oh man, screw you. But then you can remember actually, four years ago when we needed you, you were there and so hopefully we can provide grace back in the same direction. All right, apology number three, let's go.

Kevin:

It's been a fun week. So for any of our WordPress users out there who also use the WordPress plugin, you may have seen, if you've gone to your plugins panel and checked updates recently, that the Buzzsprout plugin is not updating. So we issued an update, but that update was rejected and our plugin was temporarily Removed from the plugins directory because of a security vulnerability. So all of this sounds very serious and when I looked into it, I figured out what is this exact security vulnerability that they flagged us for, and it was pretty minor. It is the fact that our plugin injects short codes into blog posts and then short code then turns into the Buzzsprout embed player once you publish, and what you could do is, once the short code gets dropped in, you could then type extra stuff in that short code and you could type, like you could do JavaScript or anything that does something malicious that you want, and then that code would execute when it's published. And so you're kind of like well, I could see how that could kind of be a big deal, but wouldn't somebody have to have access to your admin control panel in order to execute the plugin in the first place? So they're already an authorized user. Why would an authorized user want to write malicious code that executes on their own site and WordPress, yep, it said absolutely, we agree, but we have these roles. So you have editors and you have admins, and editors can edit blog posts, but they can't do certain things to change the WordPress configuration. But they could write a malicious code that changes the WordPress configuration. Oh, so that's really what the security vulnerability was is like you're giving an editor Access to something or the ability to do something that maybe the admin would not authorize them to do.

Kevin:

So it was actually very minor security vulnerability, but the security vulnerability nonetheless, and so it had to be fixed, and so we fixed that. We made it so that Any code that they type in there now cannot be executed. It's all the technical term is we escape all that code, so it doesn't execute. It was just right out on publish and We've submitted that update to WordPress, and now we're just waiting for WordPress has to go through their whole security audit process when they qa test it and make sure we didn't miss anything, and as soon as they give us the thumbs up, it'll then be available in the directory again and you can get the updated version.

Kevin:

But that's what that was, and again, I don't think it impacted anybody negatively, but it was just like some people saw it. They went to update their plugins or whatever, and they saw that there was a note on the buzzsprout Wordpress plugin and then they were concerned by it. They're like why were you removed? Is this making my site vulnerable? Yeah, yes and no, like yes, it's a real vulnerability. No, it probably will not impact 99.9% of anybody, but it needed to be fixed. We fixed it and so we're waiting for the update.

Alban:

Yeah, I mean, I think if I saw that I'd go what the heck was hacking my site, but it really is. Maybe there was a person who didn't have permissions who was given the opportunity. If they knew how to write JavaScript inside of this little expanded text, they could actually write something malicious against your site. The the attack is coming from inside the house, for instance, and I don't think that it's something too worried about. But probably when you're the size of WordPress, they found this because someone did it right. Yeah, and there's probably was some plugin out there that I don't know. It was on like New York times calm, and then somebody who had right privileges was like oh, I'm taking this bad boy down.

Kevin:

Yeah, and we agree with them. It is the best practice and we should have had that in there from the beginning. So no big deal on our side, like we're not arguing that they were right or wrong about the the vulnerability. They're right. We corrected the code. It's just a little bit of a bummer how it works out like they immediately take you out of the store, and again I understand the reasons.

Jordan:

But but they didn't notify you right.

Kevin:

Yeah, on one hand I would have been like, oh, if you would have just, you know, told us we would have fixed it within a day, submitted it and there Would have been no disruption. Yeah but you can understand from their perspective also. They're like as soon as we find a vulnerability, we have to turn it off. Yeah, the second we find it, hey, I get it, it's fine. So hopefully by the time this episode drops on Friday, that will be resolved as well.

Alban:

Kevin, so you're on a roll right now. Do you have any other? Apologies? The one issue before we move on to the Meet of the show.

Kevin:

I'm sure I do, but they're probably the people in my life who don't listen to this podcast. This probably might not be the best format to do that.

Jordan:

Was this called eating the toad or eating the frog, where you do like the worst part first and then you get to just sit back and relax?

Alban:

I have heard that phrase. It is one of those phrases that I'm like I understand what it means and yet I've never eaten a frog or a toad and I don't think I Anticipate ever starting.

Kevin:

Oh, you know what I just thought of another one? I should do this.

Jordan:

Apologizing for this episode.

Kevin:

Oh man, and this. This is somebody that does listen to the show. I think usually so. If you ever listen to the Pod news Weekly Review, it is a podcast that buzzsprout sponsors a wonderful review of what's happened this weekend. Podcasting it's done by James Cridland, Sam Sethi, and on the last one or two episodes of the Pod news Weekly Review At some point a small bit.

Kevin:

But Sam was basically Throwing some shade at Buzzsprout because we proposed this tag in the podcast namespace called the pod roll, right, and he's like buzz sprout invented this tag and they haven't even implemented yet. What is going on? I love the pod roll. I want to see more people implement it. Why aren't they on board?

Kevin:

And I thought that was hilarious. Because we sponsor the show and they always say you know, just because you sponsor the show, that doesn't impact our editorial opinions, and they say that all the time. They put that disclaimer out there. But this was like a fun, like they're actually doing it, like they're bringing some heat towards buzz sprout and we're the sponsor the show.

Kevin:

So I thought it was funny and I also thought it was serendipitous because we are rolling out the pod roll like Within days after that episode. So I'm like, oh, this is so perfect. This is hilarious. He gives us some shade for not rolling out the pod roll. We are rolling out the roll like less than a week after he says that, and then so I go on to his LinkedIn after we roll it out and he puts this congratulations post up on LinkedIn and my comment was something like Whoever says that you shouldn't publicly shame your sponsors has never met Sam Sethi. I thought it was funny. Well, evidently he didn't know how to interpret that comment because he wasn't looking at me when I'm saying it, smiling. He just read it and he was like freaked out.

Alban:

Oh no, you're mad that you had said that right.

Kevin:

Fair reading, though, of that too, and so the poor guy sends me this email and he's like I just talked to James and and our relationship with you it was so important. If I did anything wrong, I will you know. I told James I'll step down, I'll leave the show.

Jordan:

I don't want to know in this relationship, samson nicest to I felt so terrible.

Kevin:

I was like this was a stupid joke and I wrote it wrong and it's not landing. I'm not mad at you at all. This is fantastic. I want you to do stuff like that, like when we're not doing stuff that we need to be doing, call us out. We need people to do that in our lives, and so Sam is awesome. I did not mean it in that way. I deleted the comment. He was like, no, don't delete it, leave it. You know I'll talk about it. And I was like, no, I'll write a better one. I need to be more clear when I'm communicating. But anyway, apologies to Sam for scaring you. I did not mean to do that. I love everything you do on the pot news weekly review. I love the fact that you'll call us out whether we sponsor you or not for stuff that we should be doing, and I'm super excited that we launched the pod roll and we should talk about that.

Alban:

Why are we calling it the pod roll? What do you mean? I don't think I understand. It's a great name. What did we just call it pot roll? I don't know. There's something I think about that kind the pot roll. This seems straight.

Jordan:

It's like the Facebook.

Alban:

It's a good analogy that actually that was the best iteration of that website. All right, pod roll pod roll launch.

Kevin:

So what is pod roll? Okay, so pod roll, the name comes, is a throwback term from the blogging days. So if you were on the internet in, I guess, the 90s, late 90s into early 2000s, blogs were huge before they got basically killed off by the news feed in Facebook or any other social site. But some blogs are still around. But a big thing that just happened organically in the blogging community Was people who read a blog. They wanted to find other blogs that were similar, or you know, somebody writes this blog. They probably like similar things that I do. I wonder if they have any recommendations for other blogs that I should be reading. And so bloggers started doing this thing. Usually it would live in the sidebar of their blog and they'd call it the blog roll, and it was basically other blogs that they liked, things that they were reading, and what we did was buzzspr out proposed this tag in the podcast namespace that something similar to that would work for podcasting.

Kevin:

People who listen to podcasts want to know the recommendations of the people who are doing that show what other podcasts are they listening to, and those recommendations feel a lot healthier and better, probably in most cases, than just Algorithms trying to guess what other podcasts that you should listen to, based on listening patterns and everything else, and so the pod roll was born. It was proposed, it moved through you know the normal process of like discuss the tag, talk about how we should format the tag, all the technical stuff that goes into it, and then it was officially accepted into phase 6 of the podcast namespace project a couple months ago, and Hosts and podcast apps have started implementing it. So there are a few hosts that now I don't know if there's any hosts we might be the first hosts that's implemented, but there are a few podcast apps that are ready and waiting, and so Podfans. Sam Sethi's app is one that jumped on board quick. They read your pod roll from your RSS feed if you have one, and if you don't have one, he built a tool to let you build your own pod roll just inside of Pod fans, which is really exciting.

Kevin:

James Cridland with his site pod news net if you go there and you search for a podcast and that podcast has a Podroll, he will show the recommendations there, and so we wanted to do the same thing. We wanted to not only build a way for you to build a pod roll. That would live in your RSS feed so other apps could show it, but we also wanted to put it into your podcast website buzzsprout provides for you. So if you go into buzz sprout and you set up a pod roll, that data is going to live in your RSS feed so hopefully it shows up in more and more apps moving forward as recommendations from you. But it also will show up immediately on your podcast website that buzzsprout gives you yeah, and so if someone were to go into their buzz sprout dashboard right now?

Jordan:

They go to podcast info and then they hit the pod roll tab. What do they need to do to add a podcast to their pod roll?

Kevin:

Yeah, it's super, super simple. So there's a big square there that says add a podcast. You tap on that Opens up a window and you can search for a podcast, and the search is really great. You can search for the podcast name, you can search for a person's name, any of the host names. It even searches a little bit of the podcast description, and so you should be able to find whatever podcast you're looking for really easily. Whether you know the exact name of that podcast or not, you should be able to find it, and then you just hit add podcast. It drops it on the list. You want to add another one? Hit add. Again pops up. Do the same process again. Add as many as you want. Like we don't know, technically there's no limits to the number of podcasts that you can put in your pod roll.

Jordan:

You're like challenging someone to break it.

Kevin:

That's a bad idea. But we we went back and forth like should we limit it? And technically there are no limits on the, on the tag itself, like the technical implementation instructions on how you hook up this tag, there's no limits and so we didn't want to impose our own limits on now. We might have to if we go in there and people have a hundred episodes in it. But really it's more like up to the podcast app. I is how the tag is written.

Kevin:

So on the implementation side it's like you can put as many podcast recommendations into your feed as you want, but most apps are gonna have a limit. They're not gonna. If you have a hundred, they're not gonna display a hundred. They might only display the first five or the first 10 or something. So because it's new, we're waiting to see how apps you know kind of where they land on that in their UI and how many they're showing.

Kevin:

And if we find out that most apps are only displaying five or 10, then we might put a limit on it and say there's no need to add more than 10 because nobody shows more than 10. But for us right now you can put I mean I wouldn't recommend more than 10. Probably not a good idea to do that, but you can. You can put as many as you want and I think there's an opportunity for us to say, hey, if you, let me put some parameters around it. If you boost us, if you interact with our show, if you whatever maybe you earn a spot in our pod. Roll for two weeks.

Jordan:

Ooh, very cool. And we have the ability to click and drag to like rearrange the different podcasts on our pod roll. So depending on who's the front runner for those boosts, they could be number one.

Kevin:

Yeah, that does exist. That's one of the fun things about pod roll is that when you're looking at a list of recommendations, like, it's usually best to be at the top of that list than the bottom. So there is the ability to, once you add a bunch of stuff to your pod roll, you can change the order of that. Just click and drag and move them around. You can do any of this as often as you want. You can add and remove every day if you want. You can change the order every day if you want, but the order does have priority, like that does impact how they display on your podcast website. So the number one podcast in your list will be number one on your podcast website and the same thing in any apps that display it like, the first one will be in the first position.

Alban:

I find it a little funny that we just rolled this out, we just agreed that it was gonna be called pod roll, not depot roll, and then within 30 seconds we'd invented payola for pod roll. And we're like, hey, you boost us, maybe if you boost us the most, we'll put you right there at the top. And I'm like no, no, no, no. All recommendations are ruined by people being like hey, if you just pay we'll put you at the top of Google results, so we'll put a little tiny ad next to it, but it's pretty much your pain to get up there at the top.

Jordan:

It's pod roll-a. We're coining it right now.

Alban:

Pod roll-a, pod roll-a. I do think these are so powerful because how many times have you listened to some of your favorite podcasts? And the podcaster offhandedly says, blah, blah, blah. I heard this in a podcast, I enjoyed this. I almost always pause and write it down, and if they talk about a blog, they really enjoy it. Write it down, and it's not that I'm going to religiously follow it, but it's quickly jumped near the top of my list. These are things that I'm really interested in checking out and I'm going to give them a little bit more time than just some random site I found online or some random podcast I found on my own.

Alban:

If somebody that I like and I want to learn more about the thing they're interested in and they're podcasting about says this is a great show, that carries a lot of weight for me and I'd love for this to become kind of. You know it's a step back from the Facebook news algorithm or the Facebook news feed algorithm, which is like everything's individualistic recommendations. Now it's back to no. Everybody just say, like, what are three or four podcasts you really like? Just tell us that. And then, if somebody really likes your taste in podcasts or your taste in music, your taste in blogs just be like. Here's three or four of my favorites. That's a really strong signal, and so I'd love to see podcasts do that more and this become a primary driver of how podcasts are recommended online.

Jordan:

You know there's a lot of different applications for this, because not only is it just recommending your favorite podcasts, but I mean I could see networks and collectives putting other podcasts in their each other's pod roles. I could see podcasters that are doing promo swaps featuring each other on their pod roles. I could see there's podcasters I listen to that recommend a podcast that they're listening to like every month so they could switch that out on their pod role every month. Or also like what we're talking about. You know if you have big fans of the show or people that like support your show, then you can do that on top of it.

Jordan:

There's just so many different cool things you can do with this.

Alban:

I mean, I think, for our show, all three of us regularly reference podcasts that we like and we're referencing them as examples where we'll say, oh, it's really interesting how this person conducts interviews differently than anybody else I listen to.

Alban:

And if I was a listener of this show and I'm trying to hone my craft of podcasting eventually it'd be like well, if Kevin keeps mentioning that podcast, I want to check it out. It'd be nice that if in the pod role we'd listed, like here's six shows that the three of us listen to, and maybe it's two per host and now people can see like, okay, I'm getting a little bit of the taste of why Alban likes this interview or why Jordan finds this podcast so funny and it's such a stronger signal than hey, the algorithm has kind of determined based on all your demographic data, probably you'll like this thing. Like I'm not saying those aren't accurate, but there's something that feels better about it as a human and so that if I really enjoy it, I can go back to the person and be like I loved the thing you told me about. Yeah.

Kevin:

But this data also starts to trickle up to a macro level, where Dave Jones from podcast index is super excited about this tag because he runs the index. So the index is the listing of all the podcasts and the more podcasts that have pod roles in them. He can then start putting lists together, like this podcast appears in 250 pod roles. Oh cool, this podcast appears in 225 pod roles, which must mean it's a pretty good podcast because there are a lot of people who are recommending it. And so he's thinking if we get more and more podcast hosts and podcasters to start populating pod role, then we have a really powerful recommendation engine. We start to have charts that are not just based on algorithms and black box science that nobody knows how their charts really work, but these charts are just based on. This is what podcasters are recommending that their audience listen to, and so those are really great charts.

Jordan:

We just released the Buzzsprout Conversations episode with Jack Reisider. Alban was able to sit down with Jack from Darknet Diaries and talk to him about all sorts of things, and one of them in one section he talks about how podcasters were gaming the Apple charts, and so this is a really good way for people to not be able to game that. There's no gamification if podcasters are physically adding you. So, Alban, how was it to be able to sit down and interview Jack?

Alban:

One thing I've been testing with these Buzzsprout Conversations episodes has been trying to prepare the way that I imagined some of my favorite interviewers prepared and trying to actually follow some of their script. And so I listened to this podcast called Conversations with Tyler with Tyler Cowan, and the way he interviews is what I think he's doing is he assumes you know the person who's being interviewed, you know almost everything else about them, and he's skipping all intro questions. He's expecting you've read their book. And now he's jumping into. We're going deep right off the bat, and so a lot of questions automatically feel like they're never like setups. They're actually very pointed questions.

Alban:

And so I ended up trying to do that with Jack. So I listened to a bunch of episodes of Darknet Diaries. Jack has been very good at blogging about his experience with podcasting, very good about talking to other podcasters publicly sharing information about what he's learned, and so I was able to kind of pull a lot of different threads and, as I had a kind of deeper question, go OK, this is bubbling up to the top of my list, because I'd see he'd say something like oh, I learned a ton from this podcaster and I'd go OK, tell me what you learned, but I wouldn't have to reference like oh actually, in 2019 you tweeted do you learned a lot from this podcaster? You can just ask the question.

Jordan:

Yeah.

Alban:

One of the things I noticed in Conversations with Tyler often is guests say where do you come up with these questions? That's a good question. And then they answer it. And I got one of those from Jack in this interview and I was like, yes, mission accomplished.

Jordan:

You got several.

Alban:

It felt good. I felt like I'd channeled Tyler a little bit, but it was super interesting. Darknet Diaries went from.

Alban:

Jack wanted this podcast to exist. He was looking for a podcast about kind of the scams and the criminals online and people who are trying to get into different systems they shouldn't be in and he's just searching for all this stuff. He's like I love these stories but there's not a podcast about it, so I'm going to start it. And it wasn't like a I want to be famous. It was a I want this piece of content to exist. And this is a total bootstrapped operation. It's Jack with a full time job starting a podcast. And now, six years later, it's Jack. This podcast is his full time job. He has a team of people around him. He's hired many people to help work on the show and it's a massively popular podcast. I think it was something like 18 million downloads last year and it was so interesting Piggy's bringing about what did you do from a marketing perspective?

Alban:

Because the marketing of the show is, to me, as impressive as the show itself, which is really highly produced. Jack's doing a ton of kind of like grind it out marketing, so we get to talk about marketing. We are talking about kind of finding a creative voice, about keeping the listener at the forefront, got to talk about, like journalistic ethics, because he's interviewing people who committed crimes. Almost everybody on the podcast has committed some kind of security breach or something, stolen a ton of money and they're just chatting away with Jack and I think because he treats them with kindness and trying to understand that he are willing to share so much about these stories that it makes it a really powerful episode. So one of my favorite interviews I conducted and I hope that people really enjoy the video.

Jordan:

Yeah, talking about the success that he's had with the podcast, there was one part in particular that really surprised me and I'm going to play a clip from that.

Alban:

Now, going back to when you first launched the show. I also remember you said that you nearly quit podcasting after just four episodes. Why was that, oh my gosh?

Jack :

So I was telling you I could not find that show that had this combination of this American life plus hacker stories, and so that's why I started. But then, four episodes in, I found Reply All and I was like, oh my god, reply All is exactly this, and there are 90 episodes in and it's a big company and it's huge. It's a massive show and they're like done by masterful storytellers. There's no way that I'll ever be able to compete with the.

Jack :

And it doesn't even. I don't even need to compete with it. I'm totally satisfied. I've got the show I've wanted. Why do I need to make it? Now, there's one I could just binge.

Jack :

So I binged it and I was like, yeah, I don't think I need to make my show and they're covering all the same topics that I wanted to cover. I had these stories all listed out and they're already done it, but when I listened to it I was like that's not the way I would have covered it. I have some extra points I would have added in there. I know some stuff about the story that they didn't even mention that I think are important, and so, after listening to more and more, I picked up the mic again and I was like I'm going to keep going Because, while this is really cool, I think I have a different perspective on how things unfolded, and even though it is the show I wish existed, I still think that there's some value in the way I might present the same story, and I consciously tried to not cover the same stories as them.

Jack :

I think I might have done it two or three that were the same, but I went on because I thought that my opinion was unique enough. My storytelling was unique enough and my understanding of technology was unique enough to have just my own style that I think people could appreciate, maybe separately or on top of reply all. So yeah, it was a time where I felt like, oh, someone else has already done my idea, I don't need to do it and I quit. But then just thought and yeah, I think it's still worth doing.

Jordan:

Yeah, that clip in particular. There's just so many rich parts of this interview that I really enjoyed. But this was definitely a part that really took me back, because when I think of Dark Net Diaries, I don't picture his journey in podcasting as being like oh, nobody wants this, it's already done because his show is so unique. But what I really appreciate him saying is like no, my show is unique because it's from my perspective and even if I do cover some of the same stories, I have a different spin on it, or maybe I have a different opinion of the characters in play on this, and I thought that was really interesting.

Alban:

Yeah, how many true crime shows are there that they covered the same crime? But it's still interesting from different people's perspectives and different people's understanding, and we're humans. We want to hear how other humans interpret the same story. That is something we enjoy and it's interesting because I've heard what Jack said from so many people, except I always hear it when there are three, four episodes in and they're quitting because they're going. This is a lot of work and I just don't think I need to make it anymore because somebody else has already made it, and I'm so thankful that Jack remembered that experience and shared it because now he's made it.

Alban:

Reply All isn't putting out new episodes anymore. Dark Net Diaries actually had better staying for our long term and it's like we could have missed out on both of these shows had he just gone. Oh yeah, I don't have to do it and it's kind of embarrassing. Actually, I'm going up against the big company, and who am I? I have a job, I've got a good job. I should just be focused on my work. If you're making it and you're enjoying it and you're saying I would have covered this differently because I do have a different perspective, I think it's so valuable to bring that perspective and, at a minimum, trust your audience to tell you if it's valuable, because there is a part inside all of us that's saying, yeah, it's not all that important, you don't need to say that, and I think, at a minimum, allow your audience to be the judge. And then, 10 episodes, 15 episodes in, you'll feel a little bit more confident that either it's exactly derivative and you don't need to make the show, or, oh, there is something different with what I'm creating.

Kevin:

Yeah, it's also interesting how, as creators, we are our own worst critics. Like I've listened to Reply All, almost all the episodes and I've listened to Dartenet Diaries almost all the episodes and I never put the connection together because this is the same type of show, so it's like we can be so hard on ourselves Like they're doing the exact same thing. They're doing it better, the production value is so high and as a listener, I'm just like these are. I'm interested in stuff like this, so as much of it as I can get into my schedule like I'm happy, I'm satisfied and this is fantastic.

Jordan:

You know, one of the best ways to learn to do something is to mimic or to just kind of like fashion yourself after something as closely as you can. That really is one of the best ways to learn. And what I loved hearing from Jack during this interview you know he goes through, like you said, the process of finding his voice in his podcast, and it was literally him trying to completely mimic these people that he idolized and he was just taking these bits and he was kind of like Frankensteining who he wanted to be as a podcaster, and then what happened in that process was, as he was toying with that and as he was trying to imitate what other people were doing, he actually wound up finding his own style and his own voice through that imitation, and so I think that that's another really great lesson. There is that like, yeah, maybe that stuff is out there, but maybe during the process of copying or imitating a podcaster that you really admire, you might find somewhere in there eventually who you are as a podcaster and as a creator.

Alban:

Yeah, and when we talk about finding your voice, jack's talking about actually finding a particular voice, like a style and cadence, and he had two that he really liked, I forget. One was the main character for Mr Robot and another one I forget who it was, he was Fight Club.

Alban:

Oh yeah, tyler Durden from Fight Club. And so he goes and talks to his voice coach. He's like these are the voices I want. This is like the voice. How do I do it? And the voice coach goes. Both of those people have insomnia and so they haven't slept. That's why they sound like that. And he's like this is how dedicated Jack is. He goes I'm gonna start recording at 4 am, so I'm gonna stay up so I sound exhausted because I am, but that's the voice I want. Now eventually realizing this isn't the voice I want or the life I want to live. But, holy cow, what dedication does it take to be like I'm trying to find a voice? I found a couple. I've talked to a voice coach and they say why don't you stay up all night and then record? And he's like well, that's the price to pay to make this show right? Yeah, of course we do it.

Jordan:

I think he heard why don't you stay up all night and do that, when really the voice coach was saying, yeah, that's not possible, because these people are like insane and staying up all night, don't do it.

Alban:

There's people that make excuses because they really don't want to hear, like, oh yeah, to get the voice I want, I have to stay up all night Because, yeah, that sounds ridiculous. But when there's one thing you truly want and if it's to make this perfect podcast which for most people is not the thing but if there's one thing you truly want, you don't bargain over the price. You just do what it takes. And I would not have done that and I love to find somebody like Jack who's become successful and pretty much along the way, it sounded like well, I knew what I wanted to do and so I just did all the work that was required. And it's so impressive.

Alban:

I mean he launches a few episodes and then says, well, I'm gonna find like 100 news outlets and I'm gonna try to get featured by the news, and so I've reached out to like 100 people in PR and reached out to really big accounts on Twitter, and it was like I wanna have at least 10,000 followers on every social media platform. So I started building those up for the podcast. All of this work because he went. Well, if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it, and this is what I think I need to do so. It's inspiring because it's somebody who's their goals for podcasting for so much beyond mine and it's just a great inspirational story.

Kevin:

All right. So that episode, packed with some of that gold that Jordan and Alban just shared, and a whole lot more, can be found in the Buzzsprout Conversations feed, which will be listed in our show notes. It will also be in our pod roll and also, if you wanna go back in history a little bit and reference the episode that Alban was just talking about from, I think three or four years ago when Buzzsprout did suffer a DDOS attack, jack was a guest on our podcast episode that we came out with the following week to debrief what happened, and so that episode is called when the Day the Podcast Stopped, or something like that. We can link to that in the show notes as well.

Jordan:

All right. So I know that here in a little bit we're gonna be talking about holiday wish list, but I can tell you right now what is on my personal wish list as a podcaster.

Kevin:

Okay, hang on, let me get a pen and paper. What is on your holiday wish list?

Jordan:

Thank you for asking. Road just came out with a white collection and it is the Roadcaster Duo headphones, the Road PodMic and the PSA One, and it's all white.

Kevin:

Oh my goodness.

Jordan:

It's so pretty it's gorgeous.

Alban:

This is not a peel to me. I love all of the road matte black stuff but it does fit with the holiday spirit. It looks very cheery. It's got a lot of bright, beautiful colors and pure white with all these bright buttons.

Jordan:

It honestly like with the PSA One Plus white boom arm with the white RoadMic on the end. At first it kind of looks to me like those commercials with like the robot arms doing things like.

Alban:

The robot bartenders.

Jordan:

Yeah, like in all those commercials you see, like the white robots putting things together and that's honestly what it looks like and it's very cool.

Kevin:

It does look great. What I'm surprised about, I mean I think this doesn't seem like it should be a novel idea, and yet I'm pretty sure it is. In podcasting, almost every microphone is black, almost every set of headphones is black. All the gear is kind of plain. I mean, focusrite did pretty good. We talked about this. We didn't agree completely, but they came out with their new bowcaster stuff and they tried to stylize it a little bit.

Kevin:

But yeah, typically podcasting gear doesn't look very fashionable and I feel like this is kind of a push in that direction. It looks gorgeous. It's gonna live on your desk.

Alban:

The fact that you just said they did a good job when I just remember like a 45 minute Kevin rant against the splatter.

Kevin:

I didn't know like one small aspect of the bowcaster. Let's not relive painful past. It's no big deal.

Alban:

Apology number six coming up next episode.

Jordan:

I'm just happy that it's not black and red, because whenever these companies push out something new, it's always black and red, and I hate black and red, so I'm very excited. I do wish that they had gone whole hog with the white theme, though, because I do see the black mesh on the pod mic coming through the white, and then the headphones. Instead of having white leather on the headphones, it's black leather, so it's sort of like a black and white kind of thing. I don't know.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think if you're looking for, like an Apple type aesthetic, you're not gonna get that here. You're right, they would have gone with a black mesh for the mic and the white leather. They would have gone all the way. I think, jordan, you're absolutely right or silver. Yeah, I was surprised. They did a pretty good job on like the button, the knobs.

Jordan:

On the duo.

Kevin:

On the duo yeah, because the sliders looked to be the same silver whether you get the black one or the white one, so I was surprised they didn't just wanna go with the default sliders and even the colors on the touch pads. I don't know if it's just the photograph or if it really plays like this in real life, but they also look a little bit more pastel than the bright, the colored ones that are on the black one.

Alban:

Yeah, I think you're right that they actually went for a different color scheme for the black versus the white.

Kevin:

So it's like they went 90%, and I think you're right, jordan, it would have been over the top, and then they should have shipped a white XLR cable also with the stand I you know I wasn't gonna be that nitpicky, but I did take note of that. Abrated white XLR cable. That would have been.

Jordan:

Oh man, can you imagine yeah?

Kevin:

Oh well, maybe next year nice tri-road.

Alban:

We saw another pretty quick.

Jordan:

I still want it. Please send me one road. It's time for sound off the segment where you send in your tips, tricks and podcasting advice. We have a few booster grams from GeneBean this week.

Alban:

So last week we talked about there is GeneBean on podcast radio and we were hoping it was our GeneBean. It sounds like it's not, so it's just unlikely.

Jordan:

How is that possible?

Alban:

Just a coincidence. Sometimes they happen and sometimes they don't.

Kevin:

I didn't expect there to be a lot of GeneBeans in the world, but I imagine if your name is Gene, you might tell me differently. You might be like no, actually there are quite a few people named Gene and people throw bean on the end of it, so looks like we ran into one of those. Sorry that that's not you. You're still invited on the show, though. Genebean, I heard you on the Pod News Weekly Review A couple of weeks ago. You did great, and so maybe if you're ever interested in being on this show feeling in for one of us, if we're out, we can put you in the roster.

Alban:

Yeah, Gene also reached out and said YouTube would seriously benefit from listening to PodPing. So this is us talking a lot about YouTube last week and how they're pulling podcasts into YouTube and there is this thing called PodPing, which is really nice. Instead of every directory constantly asking Buzzsprout and all the other podcasts host, hey, is there a new episode? Hey, is there a new episode? Every five minutes, instead we can publish something to all of them via PodPing and say there's a new episode out, and that means that every few seconds we are able to broadcast this new episode rather than it being a ask situation. So totally agree there, gene, as well.

Jordan:

All right, and our sound off question from last episode was from Kevin. Kevin asked what is your podcasting wishlist this holiday season? And we come up with the idea to give away one of the wishlist items to one of the lucky people that sent us in. So our first one is from Andy. Andy says my holiday wishlist includes a new Elgato prompter.

Kevin:

Elgato teleprompter. Is that what he means?

Jordan:

Probably.

Alban:

Scott, from not just an editor, reached out. If I were to hand Santa a podcast holiday wishlist for my wife and I, it would include a Roadcaster, Pro PodMic, USBs, Road Studio Arms, Quality Cables and a Road Backpack to Carry All when we Travel. Best of you, sing this with 12 days of Christmas dude.

Jordan:

I was going to say he has this number. Is this the number? Like one Roadcaster Pro two PodMic USBs Road Studio Arms.

Alban:

Quality Cables. Yeah, this is a good list. I think it's funny that Scott said this after we just did this whole road segment. I think road has people pinned because they're like we have the whole road setup and it all looks so good together that I'm sure when they get somebody into that road ecosystem they get you for a lot. All right, let's see what else we got.

Jordan:

All right. Our next submission is from Eric.

Eric:

Eric here, co-host of Steel, watching a Remington Steel rewatch podcast. I'm good for Christmas, but I would really love to gift my co-host the world's greatest co-host, by the way a Roadcaster duo. She's currently recording on a semi-broken down Windows computer and she has plans for a podcast of her own, and I would really love to gift her something like this.

Kevin:

Aw Well that is super sweet.

Jordan:

That's so nice.

Alban:

I think Eric just jumped his way kind of up the list a bit by really getting into the holiday spirit and saying, actually, what I'd like is something for someone else. So, eric, thank you for that.

Jordan:

All right, next up we have one from Brian.

Brian:

Hi, my name is Brian Smith and my podcast is Grief to Growth Grief, the Numeral 2 Growth, and my wish list for my podcast for this coming Christmas or for this year is to make enough money for my podcast so I can justify having someone else doing the editing and the producing my podcast so I can get more podcasts. I do one a week. I like to do three a week so I get more content out to my listeners.

Kevin:

Thanks, I like that gift though. Very creative way to sneak in. Just send the cash. Just send me some cash.

Jordan:

All right. Next we have one from Jean.

Gene:

My name is Jean you all may know me better as Jean Bean and I'm the host of the Volunteer Technologies Podcast. The gear that would help me level up my podcasting would be the Rode AI Micro and the Smart Laugh Plus microphone, so that I could do in-person interviews instead of just remote ones.

Kevin:

Rode Top of the holiday wish list, coming in with another one. Yeah, great gear. Thanks, jean.

Jordan:

Next up, we have Fred.

Fred:

Hi, this is Fred from the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred Podcast, and I appreciate transcripts of podcasts. Transcripts have a world of value, especially when botanical names of plants get thrown around in a garden podcast. Plus, as a producer and host and the guy who corrects the awful robot tone deaf translations of transcripts, I learn even more about gardening. That I missed while I was recording the interview and then missed again during the editing of the interview and maybe even missed a third time while proof listening to the episode. But I have a question about transcripts. Simply put, it's this If a person clicks on a podcast just to read the transcript that's included in the show's description and they never hit the play button, does that count as a download?

Jordan:

All right, we're going to pause real quick. Does that count as a download, kevin?

Kevin:

It would not count as a download If they went like. The most typical place people do that on is a webpage, and so if they don't click play on the embedded player, they would not get it counted as download. Now, if you're in a podcast app that also shows transcripts Podfriend is one, castamatic is another, fountain now does it those would probably start downloading the episode as soon as you click into the episode, even if you don't click the play button, because it's trying to buffer and get ahead if it hasn't already downloaded the whole episode in the background. So there it might, but on a webpage, no, not unless they click play.

Jordan:

Good to know. All right Back to it.

Fred:

Final note for your holiday sweepstakes contest I would sure like to find the absolute best transcription service that can minimize the number of corrections that need to be made. I'm not that happy with the work of Otter and Descript. I spend more time correcting their transcriptions than I do editing the original audio. So what, in your estimation, is the best transcription service? Well, I would sure like that. By the way, please note that I ended that last sentence with an exclamation point. That's to appease your boss. Tommy, Thanks for all your efforts. You're a very good podcast hosting service. I have had no complaints with your assistance in getting my podcast Garden Basics with Farmer Fred out to the world since April of 2020. Thank you.

Alban:

Wait, does our boss Tommy love exclamation points? I think he does. I think he does. I doubt for that. Tom is definitely a high energy individual.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think I would recommend giving co-hosts to try if you haven't yet. That is our AI tool built into Buzzsprout. It gives you show title recommendations, show notes, chapter markers, all that stuff which you might not be interested in. It also gives you a blog post and some social stuff. Maybe none of that's good for you, but it also includes a really high quality transcript. Now the thing with transcripts is you're probably finding this by trying Descript and trying Otter is that some are better at some things than others. So while Descript might get a higher percentage of the words that you say correctly, it might be terrible at plant names. And then you find that Descript is actually getting more of the plant names right, but it's missing a bunch of other words. And every flavor of transcripts and software is going to have its pros and cons and strengths and weaknesses, and so you just have to play around until you find one that fits for you.

Kevin:

It sounds like you'd benefit from a tool that allows you to type in a lot of plant names or something, so it can pull from that database, and I want to say Otter had that capability at some point. I don't know if they still do. Cohost does not, but I still think Cohost is worth giving a shot, because it is more of an AI-powered transcript than just trying to figure out from the audio itself what the word is. It is trying to use some intelligence behind it and like a large language model where it's trying to predict the next word instead of just figure it out based on the audio. So it might do better for you. But if it doesn't, then my next solution would be to go back to an Otter and see if you can type in a bunch of plant names or something like that, and maybe you start building up a database over time. That's really robust, even though it would take some time and training on the front end.

Jordan:

I mean, really the most accurate would probably be having a VA do transcription like an actual, like human transcriber would probably be most accurate for things like that.

Kevin:

And that gets expensive. Depending on your budget, you could also check with Rev Rev offers human transcription Used to be like a dollar a minute. I'm sure it's a little bit cheaper now. The only other thing that I can think of is that there are a lot of AI services that are popping up right now to do medical scribing, and I wonder if medical scribing software transcription software would actually do a better job of getting plant names, because they're trained to pick up names of diseases and medications and stuff like that, so maybe it does a pretty good job picking up plant names as well.

Jordan:

That's creative.

Alban:

So, they're both trained on a bunch of Latin words, and so they're more likely to be accurate. Right, yeah, I could see that being the case, I think. Anytime, though, you have this very particular vocabulary words that are only used in your area you want to include a terms glossary when you're giving it to the person who's doing the transcriptions, and so I think you're right. Kevin the otter had that. I know, if you ever have a human transcriber through Revcom, that you would want to give them the full glossary as well, so they can make sure, hey, we're getting it actually perfectly, but in the end, the person is going to be the very best equipped to do that. Unfortunately, he's going to be Fred, and so I think, for how good otter is and how good co-host AI is how good descript is it starts getting pretty expensive once you want to go to the next level beyond that, but, fingers crossed, the tech keeps improving every year, and so hopefully it continues to do so.

Jordan:

All right.

Sonia:

Our next submission is from Sonya this is Sonya with the College and Career Ready podcast, and I would really like a good microphone. So my first microphone which I bought a year ago was the Lugetti, and then people were discouraging me from them. So then I ended up getting the ATR 2100X USB from Audio Technica but honestly I didn't see much improvement, I guess. I mean, I kind of saw it that equal. So I'm in search of a good microphone, so if there's one that you recommend, I'll take it. Thanks, guys. And again, this is Sonya from the College and Career Ready podcast, all right.

Kevin:

Let me give you some advice here, because if what you just sent in was recorded on the ATR 2100, then I would suggest you turn down your gain a little bit and get closer to your microphone, and when you do that I think you'll have a significant difference in the audio quality. So if you're using that 2100 the same way you used that Blue Yeti, where you just kind of set it back on your desk a little bit and you're about a foot and a half off of it, that's not going to sound much different. But the way the 2100 is designed to be used is that it's only about two inches from your mouth when you're talking into it and you want to talk across the top of it, not directly into it. So you kind of put it on like a 45 degree angle, very close to your mouth, and you hold that position the whole time and you turn the gain down where when you're talking you're looking at the levels and it's just kind of touching that yellow and that's how you want to use that microphone. And when you do that you should sound very much like I do, or Alban does, or Jordan.

Kevin:

All of these mics are called dynamic mics. They all sound very similar, and the difference between what you have when the 2100, which is a roughly $100 microphone and the next level up, which is probably like a $400 microphone plus some sort of audio interface to be able to connect to your computer, is a significant price jump and rarely worth it for most podcasters. The most of the time people do that just because they just want a nicer microphone, not because the audio quality is that much different. And so if you're in a position where you're like really you just want a new microphone because you want to sound better, then I think you can get that better sound out of the mic that you already have just by using it a little bit differently. So hopefully that helps.

Alban:

Travis did a great video a few years ago about trying to make the Samsung Q2U sound as good as I think it was a shirt SM7B, so he had like $600 worth of gear powering the SM7B, including the mic, and he was trying to say can I get the $60 mic to sound as good as that? And he does. I think he really makes it sound quite a bit better, and it's surprising how much just a little bit of mic technique and a little bit of sound proofing can do, and so we will include that in the show notes to make sure that you can watch that video, because I think it should walk you step by step through what you can use to make the mic you already have sound just as good as anything you could hope to get for Christmas.

Jordan:

Love it All right. And the final one is from Travis Hi.

Travis:

Are you still there? This is Travis with the Family History Drama podcast. I want to add my request for the holiday podcasting wish list. I don't know much about the gear I might need because I can barely manage the stuff I currently have, and new fangal contraptions might just put me under. What I was hoping for this Christmas is a gift certificate for 100,000 impressions in Buzzsprout ads. I mean, I did not see that coming it was a good one.

Kevin:

That's good. I don't know if we have the ability to do promo codes in Buzzsprout ads or not, so I'm not sure that we could grant that gift because I'm not sure we'd be able to fulfill it, but I like the request. That's a very unique idea.

Alban:

Though I think that might be the most expensive of all of the wish list items, even more so than Scott saying hey, if I'm going to write the list, I'm going to write the list and put everything that I want from Rode on there and had the whole thing. I still think the Roadcaster, pro Mikes, boom Arms, quality Cables and Backpack. I still don't think that's going to reach the $2,000 that it would cost to do 200,000 ad impressions. Thank you to everybody who wrote in, jordan and Kevin. How are we picking the winner of this year's holiday wish list?

Kevin:

Okay, how about we do a brief pause and have a judge's discussion and then we'll come back with the verdict? Okay, we are back. The judges have met. It was close, it was a nail biter, and I'm happy to announce that the winner of the Buzzcast 2023 holiday giveaway is Eric, who requested a Roadcaster Duo for his co-host. And so, eric, hang on, I'm going to tell you how you claim that prize in just a second.

Kevin:

For everyone else that wrote in or left a voicemail with your wish list item, don't worry, you won't go home empty-handed. All of you will also be getting a $25 deposit in your Buzzsprout wallet, and the way you claim that and, eric, the way that you claim your Roadcaster Duo is to send an email to support at buzzsproutcom, or just log into your Buzzsprout account and click help at the top. Drop our support team an email and tell them that you are a winner of the Buzzcast 2023 holiday giveaway and tell them what you want either the $25 or, if you are Eric, you get the Roadcaster Duo, and then I will follow up with you. They'll tag me on those emails. I'll follow up with you and make sure your account gets credited and, eric, I'll get all your shipping info. So congratulations. Thanks for everybody who wrote in and commented and interacted with us. We love it and we hope that you have a very happy holiday season.

Jordan:

All right, so for our sound off question, next episode. You know, kevin, I realized that I accidentally like doubled you up on questions, so you had extra heat on you this time, because I realized that you did the 30 second truck story and then we had Tom. We're like, oh, we should have Tom do it. And then I forgot that you had done the one before that, so I made you do this one again. So I think it's my turn this time.

Kevin:

Okay good, as long as it's not me again, I'm good.

Jordan:

So I'm going to throw it back to you. So I saw this really cool story this week. The Marvel Spider-Man video game actually has built in podcasts in the video game that you, as a video game character, listen to and you can hear the characters that are in the game talking about like the crimes that you're fighting and things going on in the city Well, so it's very immersive. So you can hear all these different characters, hear their views of what happened during certain incidents and stuff like that, and I thought this was really cool. So what this got me thinking about is it would be really cool I mean, you know we've talked about this in the past too It'd be really cool if there were podcasts that could kind of further enrich certain storylines or things like that.

Jordan:

And so I was thinking what would be a podcast that's not a companion podcast? There's plenty of companion podcasts where people discuss the latest like Game of Thrones episodes or you know things like that. You get behind the scenes with the actors. I don't want stuff like that. I want like what is a podcast that you love to listen to that actually had the characters that are in the story and it's furthering back story or stuff that you didn't know about.

Alban:

So, like Sam and Frodo are hiking their way to destroy the ring and Lord of the Rings, yes, but they're also recording a podcast along the way.

Jordan:

Yes, I'm obsessed with that.

Alban:

Sam, welcome back to the podcast. I am just dying carrying this ring every day. Anytime I put it on, I disappear, but it's like this giant eye is watching me.

Jordan:

This is terrible, and you get to hear like the different plot points from the perspective of like Gimli and Legolas.

Alban:

So there you go, locked in. I love it. This is the question.

Kevin:

Okay, can I offer a friendly amendment? It kind of sounds like the core of the idea is what's a podcast that doesn't exist, that you wish existed? But this isn't necessarily a podcast that you want to create yourself. It's a podcast that you, as a fan, want, but you have not been able to find.

Jordan:

Kind of.

Kevin:

Is that kind of the core. And then you've kind of, like you kind of niched it down a little bit into like this entertainment genre. But it feels like I would want to answer. You know, I'm not a big consumer of entertainment. I don't watch a ton of movies, I'm not in the video games or anything. But there are podcasts that exist in the world that or don't exist, that I wish did, but I don't. Also I don't want to create them, like I have no passion or desire to go and make this podcast, I just want to listen to it.

Alban:

Well, I think that the way you presented it, jordan, was perfect. Okay, I think we should use Kevin's amendment live. I think the question is what's a podcast that doesn't exist, that you want to exist? At a minimum, let's get a whole group of good answers in so that anybody who's thinking about making a podcast they hear it. They're like whoa, there is already a listener who wants this show, and I think all three of us should come back next week with an answer to this question, because it's a good one. Yeah, what are the shows that you want to see in the world? The shows that don't exist, and maybe somebody's out there who's ready to make it.

Jordan:

So, to have your response featured on our next episode, leave a 30 second voice message at podinbox. com/ buzzsprout, send us a boost or tweet the answer at buzzcast podcast. And, as always, thanks for listening and keep podcasting.

Alban:

The trick planes.

Jordan:

I don't know it's trick planes, but the air shows like one of those blue devil air shows, or blue, is it blue Devils? Sorry, blue Devils was like my high school team, so sorry.

Alban:

Blue angels.

Jordan:

Angels. Yeah, the blue Devils was the boys dance team at my school.

Alban:

Yeah, it's easy to get this too confused.

Jordan:

Uh-huh.

Alban:

The blue angels. They're F18 Hornets and they were actually founded in Jacksonville, florida, and they do air shows all around the country, I think. Well, every other year it's out at Jack's Beach and part of the flight was right over our house, and so they do two air shows, saturday and Sunday. But then they practice like Wednesday and Thursday, and so we had a week, like three weeks ago, where just in the middle of the day, like ripping over the house I mean it was fun to go out and see them, we had a blast seeing it. But the whole time I was thinking of you, because you always seem to have the worst luck with you know, crossfit gyms moving in across the street and somebody tearing up the road and jackhammers and all sorts of stuff and I finally got my taste of it.

Jordan:

Yeah, I had the Christmas tree coming through my street yesterday.

Alban:

You had a Christmas tree coming through your street.

Jordan:

Yeah, like the city Christmas tree. And I woke up in the morning and all I see are all these traffic cones and the streets cleared out. And I was just like no, no, no, no, no, no, because they've been doing some construction on, like the sidewalks and stuff somewhat around my house. And I was like, no, they're supposed to like, let us know when this happens. And thank goodness we called the city and they're like, oh, it's just a tree. And I was like, oh, thank God, because I was in a panic.

Alban:

What do you mean?

Jordan:

the tree Like you know the big city Christmas tree that they put like downtown and light up and that's like two blocks from my house. So my house is apparently on the path.

Alban:

The like tree parade route.

Jordan:

Yeah, the tree parade route. They're just dragging it down the road.

Alban:

Yeah, I guess I don't know if I've seen. I don't know if we do big Christmas trees, I guess maybe there's one down in St Augustine.

Kevin:

Not in Jacksonville, but you're right, in St Augustine they do. Do we have big trees? I think it's more like a northern state tradition.

Jordan:

Really.

Kevin:

I think it's.

Jordan:

it's yeah that surprises me, I don't know why. I mean, it makes sense.

Kevin:

Yeah.

Jordan:

But I think that you guys would have like a big palm tree or something like.

Kevin:

A palm tree might be a good idea. It's really hard to take a live tree, cut it down, move it to a cityscape in Florida and not have it catch fire within 48 hours.

Jordan:

Our neighbors. I'm actually a little jealous because we have a huge, huge pine tree just planted right next to our house and, as the bane of my existence is taller than my house now, my house is huge and we have neighbors that actually were chosen to donate their tree to the city and the city pays to cut it down and take it downtown as a Christmas tree, and I was just like man one of these days.

Alban:

And I was either going to cut down a wait a pine tree.

Jordan:

It's. It's like a big fir tree or something like that that we have.

Alban:

It's massive, yeah, fir tree.

Kevin:

But, we have another type of pine tree I like how they word that You've been chosen to donate and the city pays for it.

Jordan:

And our neighbors were stoked. They were just like, yeah, we have to pay to get it removed.

Alban:

Is this like eminent domain, or can you say no?

Jordan:

Like, does the city like come up and say, hey, we're taking your tree, or is that what you're saying?

Alban:

Yeah, can you say no, I love this tree, is actually my favorite tree.

Jordan:

I think you like right into the city and you're like, hey, I have the perfect Christmas tree for you this year and they go great.

Alban:

Can you write in about your neighbor's tree?

Kevin:

Alban's just becoming very sinister with this whole thing. He's like I could get rid of trees around the neighborhood that I don't like.

Alban:

First off, I've planted trees. Kevin is the tree hater.

Kevin:

No, I planted more trees than I removed. They're just now ornamental, not when you first got your house. Why are you always trying to like turn the world against me?

Alban:

I'm just defending you against everyone else. Oh, you had a whole thing.

Kevin:

I have to rethink my choices. Alban's my lawyer and it's never seems to go my way.

Alban:

You have to remember, if I'm paid by the hour, I've incentivized to make these into bigger issues, not smaller issues.

Kevin:

This is going to be a nail bite or case. It's going to be a lot.

Alban:

I think the true story is Kevin had one neighbor who was like unhappy that he cut down a tree.

Kevin:

No, Well, yes, I was judged by her because I did cut down some shrub ugly trees in my backyard. Then I replaced them with lots of brand new healthy trees that make the yard look nice, and more than I took down the one. I hope she doesn't listen to this podcast, but the one issue that we had- I doubt your neighbor is listening to this podcast.

Alban:

Go ahead, I'm a freaking tree guy.

Kevin:

There was one tree that crossed our property line. We had many tree people tell us that that's not a good tree, you don't want that. Take it down, put up something nice and healthy. And it was an invasive species. They're like it's really bad, but she liked it because it was mature. So instead of fighting about it, we just built the fence around it and it is what it is. It's kind of ugly, but she liked it because it was mature.

Jordan:

I thought you were going to say we built the fence around it and then cut it down.

Kevin:

No, I don't know a better way. How do you handle that dispute? You share something with somebody and they like it and you don't. They're going to win, not win. We're not fighting about it, but my solution is she's going to be mad forever If I just give in to her. I was just frustrated for 10 minutes when I was like, fine, we'll just move the fence a little bit, cut down half the tree Problem solved, yeah, so.

Kevin:

King Solomon would do. I had a tree guy suggest that he's like, legally we can cut any of it off that hangs over your property and then the rest will die. That's what we normally do. I'm like oh my gosh, you normally just make enemies of your neighbors, because that's exactly what you're doing here.

Alban:

I do think like fighting with your neighbor is such a strange that is very value destructive. You end up or you're going to hate the person who lives right next to you over, like a tree going over your land like a little bit. I feel like Probably not a big deal, it's going to be.

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