Since my last blog post on creating the Conversations on Applied AI Podcast,
I have now recorded numerous episodes, 6 of which are public with 2 more being mixed and mastered this coming week. It’s been quite a learning experience! I’ve loved the time that I’ve spent talking with fellow Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts and practitioners. The Twin Cities community has stepped up beyond my wildest dreams and provided their wealth of knowledge on this subject to the listeners of the podcast. I’m super excited as I just looked at my analytics and discovered that the first episode has been listened to by more than 70 people! I’m blessed to know that many people have found value in the work that I’m doing and the conversations we are having are generating interest in the technology that I love so much.
Here’s a quick rundown on what I have learned:
- Hosting Service – Finding a podcast hosting service that is easy to configure and will distribute your podcast to all the major platforms (Apple, Google Spotify) is well worth the cost. I chose BuzzSprout for my hosting provider. It was super easy to upload my files. I didn’t need to mess around with setting the ID3 tags in the MP3’s (BuzzSprout’s interface allows you to add those after uploading) and with a few clicks, I was able to get my Podcast listed on iTunes, Google, and Spotify, among many others.
- Scheduling guests can be tricky – With everyone busy with their jobs, family, and leisure, it’s been hard to keep a consistent time & day of the week to record the interviews. Now that I have a backlog of conversations, I’ve had more flexibility to not have to record a session each week, but be picky on the time and guests I schedule. However, until I get more listens and interest from the community, I’ll be working off of my guest’s schedule. Not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind. Particularly, if you interview someone many time zones away from you.
- Cleanup audio – Don’t underestimate the time it takes to clean up, mix, and master the audio. I’ve tried doing some of this myself but eventually worked with some amazingly talented people at Upwork to help remove the filler words, master and mix the audio to pull together the sessions. Outsourcing for this, while it costs money, allows me the time to find the next interview, and work on what I do best — exploring and talking with leaders on Artificial Intelligence and learning from their wisdom during interviews.
- Plan the conversation – I like to leave a level of impromptu questions and allow for diving into other areas off-topic from the general conversation, but I believe it does help when the person being interviewed at least has a rough outline of where you are going to take the questions and can prepare ahead of time. I’ve therefore created and shared a general outline of what will be discussed, however, it’s been interesting, as some of my interviewees have preferred to show up cold to the conversation, and are just interested in rolling with the conversation. I love that! It then forces me to come up with some different avenues to explore with them.
- Have fun and stay engaged – At all costs, stay engaged with the person you’re interviewing and keep your synaptic learning open and absorb everything you are hearing during the interview. Just as important, go back and listen multiple times to the interview and pull out the content that has been discussed and then find relevant information and links for the description text of the podcast. This will force you to find the golden nuggets of wisdom from each and every person you interview.
Every person you interview on your podcast has something to give. I’ve always thought this was true, but now it’s something I’ve totally learned and earned. It is your job as the host to bring the best out of them.
As one final note, I decided specifically for the Conversations on Applied AI Podcast that I would have a short 10-20 second clip that summarized the theme of the episode to the listener and have that pulled into the intro section of the podcast. While it’s extra work, I would say that if you are doing your own podcast, that you consider doing this. It could be the host reading it or the audio from the podcast. I’ve learned that you only have a short amount of time to get the attention of the listener. It’s far too easy for them to tune out and hop to another podcast. Like websites, podcasts are a dime a dozen these days. If you are curious, here’s some additional information on how to create a good intro.
Thanks, everyone for taking the time to read about what I’ve learned during my #30DaysOfLearning. I hope you enjoy the Conversations on Applied AI Podcast and please reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to get my feedback on starting your own podcast!
~ Justin Grammens