Speaker 1 00:00:05 We've all heard that cliche do what you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life. Now, the spirit of that is pretty well-meaning and it's very wholesome, but it's not entirely true either. As a podcast producer, I do what I love every day and I work pretty much every day, Stuart here. And for this episode of audience, I want to talk about something that might seem a tad bit different, but don't worry because at the very end, I'll bring it all together and try to make some sense of it. Try being the operative word. I want to talk about podcasts with friends. Now, I say that may seem a tad bit different because podcasting has grown into a very lucrative industry podcasters, or at least some of them. Anyway, haven't gotten pretty good at using their podcasts to create brand awareness, drive traffic to their websites, or in some way, glean value from the time, energy and resources, they pour into making their podcast. And that's to say nothing of the quote, unquote, big guys selling massive ad revenue for their shows. Of course, all that's fine. And a very legitimate endeavor. As a producer, who's helped with that very process. I can say that when done well, it's super effective, but it's also challenging. It's hard work. Trust me, I've worked really, really hard on these types of projects and there's so many moving parts, involved analytics, SEO, marketing meetings, et cetera, et cetera. Don't get me wrong. I love it, but it's work.
Speaker 1 00:01:38 So I got to thinking what about the people who have a different approach to making podcasts? You know, the people who get together with their friends and garages, kitchen tables, wherever they can find a record and just bond over a shared interest. My friend and occasional collaborator, Renee Pogue is one of those people along with her friends, she's helped create a really cool podcast called conspiracy. It's this really fun and charming podcast that as they explain it is about true crime Colts, political injustice, the paranormal, and of course conspiracies. Oh yeah. And they drink tea while they do it. Hence the play on words, conspiracy,
Speaker 2 00:02:18 Every episode, we would have a different tea that we would drink that would somehow correlate with the crime, like when we did, or I guess not crime, but the subject of the episode, like when we did, uh, an episode on the assumption ratio, Colt, we did a really delightful floral Sencha green tea. It's not easy to always tie it in, but you know, we, we had a pretty good effort. It was a lot easier before the world fell apart in early 2020.
Speaker 1 00:02:54 The best thing about conspiracy though, is that the podcast basically existed before existed. If that makes sense.
Speaker 2 00:03:01 And we started with conspiracy. It basically grew out of Katie and Liz and I having a group chat together for months where we were just like, we were sending each other stories because we all realized that, Hey, we're the really, the only ones in our friend group who are interested in these types of stories, other people in our friend group getting tired of hearing us talking about murder and ghosts and stuff like that. So after a few months of us talking about this and sharing episodes from other podcasts, we liked like, um, my favorite murder generation, Y last podcast on the left, true crime garage, a few like that, uh, Liz was the one who was like, Hey, we're one. We get along really well. Uh, we all have a good sense of humor. We're some of we're pretty smart. Why don't, why aren't we doing a podcast together? And so at that time I was kind of doing one on my own, but I was really just kind of doing it whenever I wanted to. And I liked the, uh, the technical aspect of, of podcasting. So I was like, heck yeah.
Speaker 3 00:04:25 Um,
Speaker 1 00:04:33 So after some brainstorming sessions, they came up with a few stories to discuss. And just like that a podcast was born over the course of the show. The trio have discussed a range of topics from the Jonestown massacre to east state penitentiary. Not only do they have fascinating stories, but the presentation is pretty relatable, like listening in on a group of friends, just chatting.
Speaker 2 00:04:59 Yeah. You're not the first person to say that either. We pretty much majority of the feedback we get from people about the podcast is that it sounds like you're sitting in on a conversation between three friends, which is great. It's not something we consciously did. It's just something we kind of fell into because I mean, I guess at its core, we are three friends having a conversation and really with the way we divide up how we're going to talk about a topic. Like for instance, when we covered ed and Lorraine Warren, like I knew what I was covering, I'm going over. I picked famous cases of theirs that I'm covering that's my research bubble. Katie's covering basically how they got started. So when I'm doing my research, I'm avoiding I'm. I like actively avoid reading about that because, because I want to focus on what I'm talking about, it me research better.
Speaker 2 00:05:58 And then like, I get to sit, I get to be a listener and like sit and hear this story from her. And, uh, Liz was covering all the different criticisms about them. So when I'm doing Mary research, I'm staying in like the positive sphere for the most part, with the, or shutting the cases, it's hard to be truly positive with some of them. But so it's fun because it really is like, occasionally if we, if, um, we're doing something super in depth, we'll share our scripts with each other. But for the most part, I know I have an idea of what they're talking about, but that's it. And I think that helps because we really are having a conversation. Like when we react to what the other person's saying, it's totally organic. It's not like in the script, Katie says, and then he stabbed him in the gut and Renee says, oh my God, like any responses that we have are completely organic because we're hearing this for the first time, just like the listeners are. And I think that helps give that, like that particular nature to the podcast.
Speaker 4 00:07:08 So to kind of like connect it to like another medium here. It's it's when you hear actors talk about how improv makes them better actors, because when you're, you can be a good actor off of a script, but you become an even better one when you have to improv a lot. Because when you're improv, you have to listen to what the other actor is saying. So you can respond accordingly. If you have, if you know what you're going to say before you ever walk into the scene, you know, you just have to know when it's your time to say your lines. And again, it's not saying that there aren't actors who, uh, haven't done masterful work using a script there's there's, you know, we could, we could go all night talking about examples, but it is a special skill talking about improvisation. So I, I like that you kind of go into it with this balance of you do your work beforehand, but not so much so that it sounds rehearsed or scripted, or in some ways it doesn't seem like you really allow yourself to make the scope of what you're doing too narrow.
Speaker 4 00:08:04 You're really just allowing yourself to kind of letting go of some control and, and allowing your friends, people you trust to help shape the narrative that you're sharing with your audience.
Speaker 2 00:08:18 Um, I mean, it helps that I'm friends with some smart, creative people who have the ability to do that. You know, it's a, it's an embarrassment of riches, but it's, it's really fun because you, when you start recording, you don't know what it's going to sound like at the end. Like, it's not like this is, this is act one, scene one, and we've just finished act three, the scene three turn record off. So it's fun. And it, and it does keep it interesting.
Speaker 4 00:08:53 Renee and her friends turned their common interest
Speaker 1 00:08:55 Into a podcast and they were poor. They spent years building shows up in each episode. Let's take another look at a group of friends who turned their mutual interests and to their own podcast to,
Speaker 5 00:09:11 It was sometime later in the pandemic lawyer allowed to hang out in the small groups. Uh, and we were at Joe's Joe's house has got a nice little bar in his garage. Um, you know, doors open, all that. Um, and we just refund for a while on just a couple topics. Uh, and we were like, you know, why don't we just do this in front of a microphone?
Speaker 1 00:09:35 That's Kevin grace, another friend of mine, and a times collaborator. He's the co-creator and producer of an absurdist comedy podcast called what kind of monster are you? He and his friends get together and, well, let's let Gavin describe it.
Speaker 5 00:09:54 It's a podcast. It's basically just a bunch of, uh, what'd you rathers, uh, between France and, um, it's kind of overseas for us to hang out than anything else. Uh, we just like hanging out making jokes and, uh, figured we put it on the internet to give us a reason to come back every week.
Speaker 1 00:10:13 Okay. If I may say so Gavin's kind of underselling it here while it's definitely just a group of friends getting around and exploring absurd topics. Dave definitely honed in their production process.
Speaker 5 00:10:25 We're all musicians. So I guess a lot of that comes from that. Even the idea of just getting at, getting together and hanging out and putting out a product, even if it's not for something,
Speaker 1 00:10:37 It probably helps that their sound engineer, Chris Neilson has professional experience. And it also helps that while it might all seem like fun and games, they still have some structure to their show.
Speaker 5 00:10:48 The record for probably about an hour and a half. Maybe, maybe shorter, maybe a little longer, depending on how we're feeling on that one. And then we do, we have it, it feels like a conversation, but we do, we kind of are working towards knowing when to switch to do something different, trying to make sure that we're putting good stuff in there trying to apply the ideas behind improv while still keeping it to the conversation. So we're fine with going with something absurd, absurdist coming back to going to a story, coming back to the thing we did before, and then really it comes down to the edit on the other side of that. And I do spend, I spend a good amount of time making sure that things make sense as you're listening through. Um, but yeah, other than that, it's pretty much just the conversation.
Speaker 1 00:11:45 Add in some sound design, good editing and a theme song by one of their musician buddies. And this group of friends turned their silly conversations into an actual podcast.
Speaker 1 00:11:58 Now, in case you're wondering, there are instances where these types of podcasts make it big. So to speak. My brother, my brother and me is a comedy podcast that began in 2010 by three brothers named Justin Travis and Griffin McElroy. Initially it was self produced. They were just three guys with a concept that was as simple and silly as it was brilliant. One segment, for instance, they would read these questions from Yahoo answers. Remember that and give advice on set questions, usually really bad advice, but that was the whole point. It's hilarious. The podcast went from being self-produced to being picked up by the maximum fun network and even became a successful TV series backed by NBC.
Speaker 1 00:12:42 The fantasy footballers podcast started off as a joke in 2014, a few work buddies at a video game company started a podcast about fantasy football, mostly just to poke fun at their coworkers and fellow league members. The company didn't last, but the podcast became a hit. Each episode features these three guys giving advice on fantasy football, who to trade for who to pick up who to start, you know, fantasy football stuff. Today, they generate more than a million dollars a year in ad revenue and sell these fantasy draft kits that supposedly help out people who play fantasy football as someone who's not very good at fantasy football. And that would probably be very helpful. They also do these road shows where people pay money to watch them record their podcast life. Now I know that not every podcast started off by friends will blossom into something like my brother, my brother and me were the fantasy footballers podcast. But Hey, if you're spending some time with your friends and crafting these great ideas, who knows what will happen,
Speaker 5 00:13:43 It's been crazy because you know, we're all really good friends before, but it feels like this has made us like even better friends because we just have that space where we can, we can play, you know, we have a play date every week and, uh, I think that's, that's, that's awesome.
Speaker 2 00:14:02 Every time I put an episode out there into, into the ether, the audio ether, I always think of it as, um, like in the seventies when they sent out the Voyager satellite. And it has like the recording on it, of like what human sound like, like I'm always like, I'm just sending this out here and like just kind of be more analyzing myself and my friends
Speaker 1 00:14:32 Now, all that stuff I mentioned about analytics, SEO, marketing, and what have you. It's all very important. Those are great tools that will help your podcast grow, but you first need to spend time crafting your idea and who knows, maybe you and your friends already have an idea. You just haven't recorded it yet.