The Enthusiasm Project

What I've Learned From 10 Years of Podcasting: Season 12 Finale!

May 13, 2024 Season 12 Episode 10
What I've Learned From 10 Years of Podcasting: Season 12 Finale!
The Enthusiasm Project
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The Enthusiasm Project
What I've Learned From 10 Years of Podcasting: Season 12 Finale!
May 13, 2024 Season 12 Episode 10

Send a text message to the show!

As of 2024 I’ve been producing podcasts for 10 years and while a whole lot has changed during that time, there are definitely some key lessons that have always remained relevant.

🎙This week's  mics:
•Lewitt RAY
https://geni.us/lewittray

•The Ray was running through the Rodecaster Duo on the Broadcaster preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
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📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E10 | Series Episode 174

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send a text message to the show!

As of 2024 I’ve been producing podcasts for 10 years and while a whole lot has changed during that time, there are definitely some key lessons that have always remained relevant.

🎙This week's  mics:
•Lewitt RAY
https://geni.us/lewittray

•The Ray was running through the Rodecaster Duo on the Broadcaster preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E10 | Series Episode 174

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, hello and welcome. My name is Tom. This is the Enthusiasm Project, season 12, episode 10, the season finale. We finally hit the finale and it kind of also marks sort of a special anniversary-ish situation. So that's what we're going to be talking about today, because 2024, for me personally marks my 10-year podcast-iversary the first time I started making podcasts 10 years ago, which is just a total coincidence, and I'm going to lean into that coincidence. So that's what we're going to talk about today. A couple things to take care of first, though before that, of course, we need to talk about gear, as the law dictates.

Speaker 1:

So today I am back on the Lewitt Ray. This is my corner desk setup where I'm recording, now running into the Rodecaster Duo. I've been using the Rodecaster Pro 2 sort of at my middle desk when Heather and I are here for the last two episodes. So when there's more than one person, it's easy to set that up, but when it's just me, I like to be over here, and the Ray has been my mic. That's just been over at the desk for a while now, which I quite enjoy. So that's what you're listening to and it's into the Rodecaster Duo on the SM7B preset, which is that's. That's a dynamic mic preset and this is not a dynamic mic. But if I turn that off, this is the the Raise Natural sound, which is actually still quite good. Lewitt mics always sound good and then when I turn on the preset, I just kind of like the way that it cleans things up a little bit there. For some reason, the SM7B preset in the Rodecasters and the you know and all of them honestly, is pretty much one of my favorites. So the other one now I'm just going to go here for funsies was the Broadcaster. There we go. That just needed a second to kick in. And now this is the Broadcaster preset, which I'm actually this is more for a condenser. I'm kind of liking this one a little more in the sm7b. So let's, let's hang out on the road broadcaster preset, even though I'm the lewitt ray and I was actually so sitting right in front of me at my desk.

Speaker 1:

For the past I don't know month and a half has been the lewitt connect 2, which was just announced recently. It's very simple. They call it a two channel is really a single channel audio interface. You could just connect an XLR connection and an instrument connection. So that's why it says two, even though there's only one XLR, but it's a great little simple interface. I really like it.

Speaker 1:

I'm planning to do a video on it. I'm just I've been using it for like a month and I just want to keep using it before making a video on it, because I think that it's really cool, but I didn't want to use it. I was going to use it today but I, you know, I like the Rodecaster all in one. I can play the music and do everything and record internally right there. It's just it's always tough to beat that. So, anyway, that is the setup today. But speaking of brands and sending things and all that, I do have a couple of listener messages from Gil, believe it or not, basically like unofficial co-host at this point. So Gil has two messages on two slightly different topics, and the first one is a response to last week's episode of Heather and I talking, you know, to shill or not to shill and working with brands and all of that hullabaloo happening with brands. So I have double checked SpeakPipe. This time it should work on the first click. Let's see. Take it away, gil.

Speaker 2:

Hey Tom, this is Gil. I hope all is well. I really enjoyed this week's episode, today's Monday, may 6th, your most recent one, season 12, episode niner, I think. All in great episode, great discussion, you and heather uh, what I wanted to say was what I really resonated with was, with you, what you said at the end of the episode in regards to how brands will reach out to a creator and ask them or tell them gee, gill, I love your videos.

Speaker 2:

Your videos are fantastic. You, the way you create content, it's phenomenal. And they'll give us all these praise and accolades and then, immediately when you start working with them, they'll tell you well, can you not do that? Can you say this? Can you like take this off? Can you buy a piece of equipment to compare it to? Which happened to me recently? It is crazy and for me, it resonated to me even deeper because, quite frankly, this is how a lot of the clients that I have been working with respond to me. They love the way I create content, they love my lighting and my cameras and everything like that, but then, when they end up hiring me, they want me to do everything that is not me. They want me to create things that I do not like or resonate with at all, and I just thought it was pretty funny that even brands and clients do that. They like you but they don't like you. They like what you can do for them because you're dope.

Speaker 1:

Thanks, gil. I appreciate the message. I also really appreciate your brand voice, your brand impression voice. It's fantastic. This is a good point. This is something I brought up at the end of last week's episode talking about working with brands, which is that sometimes a brand will approach a creator and say hey, we love what you do, we want to be on your channel because of how you do things and you know they, they compliment you very much. It's like okay, cool. And then, especially if it's a paid thing, where, if they have any sort of creative input which I've avoided using the ethics statement but if you're doing a client creator relationship or you are working with a brand in a paid capacity and they do have some sort of you know, creative input in one way or another.

Speaker 1:

It is funny how quickly going from like we want to work with you turns into like we'll just do this, that and the other thing and part of that, I think, is just obliviousness on part of the brand, unfortunately. But the other part, I do think is it is that they don't really care about you and what you're doing and what you're building. They care about your audience in terms of they want to be in front of your audience and you're a means to that end. So that's kind of what happens there. It's such a weird thing and, like Gil even mentioned some brands going like hey, we love what you do, we want to support you. Can you just buy this other expensive gear to compare it to our piece of gear? No, now, not only are you not paying me, it to our piece of gear, no, no, not only are you not paying me, but now I'm paying to make a video for you. No, but those are all things that, especially you know, when you've been doing this a while, it becomes easier to like see the matrix and you understand what's happening in these situations. But when you're a newer creator, and especially if you're just starting to grow to the point that you're starting to get brand emails, especially if they happen to be from brands that you know and recognize. That's really when it becomes a really tough thing to navigate and you're not quite sure how other people are handling it. It's almost like this is a reason why there should be some sort of group or something where creators in these situations these, you know, small business sized creators can get together and collaborate. That's a good answer. And the last point, too I have been thinking about this a lot recently where Gil was like people hire me because they like what I do, but then they want to change everything. It's a little different than the brand thing, because this could be a client and I have dealt with this multiple times. And it's so funny because I was just thinking about this.

Speaker 1:

I have my channel. I've made hundreds of videos on my channel. They're pretty specific in terms of style and tone. You know they've evolved over time, but they're pretty. You kind of know what you're getting when you click on one of my videos. And I've had, like clients approach me that want to hire me for other projects and that's kind of what they say we want you to make your video, but just for us, like on this topic here or you know whatever, and that sounds great. And then it is like, okay, cool, I will make one of my videos talking about this topic. And usually it's for. Sometimes it's maybe for a different YouTube channel, or it's for even not a YouTube thing, it's for, like an internal use at a company or something Whatever. It's been all kinds of different things like that over the years. But then I make my video, send it in and then there's a whole bunch of changes to it.

Speaker 1:

And what I realized is I was working on an assumption. When they said we want you to make your video, you know one of your videos. But for us I kind of assumed that we knew what each other was talking about. When they said one of my videos, like what one of my videos is? Because I know what that is, they clearly have an idea or an impression. But I failed to clearly talk like, hey, when you say one of my videos, like what do you mean? What is you know? What do you think of? Or what are you? What are you really going for when you're talking about one of my videos, like let's be on the same page about that, and then that, I think, is something that can help people you know avoid these situations, because, as the creator, realistically it's so tricky. No one is ever going to going to like almost not give you feedback, and this is a thing. That that this is almost going into a different point, but this is something. It's a reason why I'm always very careful when I ask for feedback about something, because sometimes when you share something with someone and you ask for feedback, they almost feel obligated to give some sort of critical feedback. Not that I don't want that help if I'm asking for it. If I'm not asking for it, I definitely don't want it, but if I'm asking for it, obviously I am looking for things. But sometimes it's like you know, you painted a wall blue and someone's going to tell you to paint it red because they just need to offer a suggestion, not because it's the better choice, or maybe they want to paint it black, I don't know. And what I mean by that is sometimes you make a thing and you share it with someone and you say, hey, like I made this, I'm thinking about this. Can you take a look at it and tell me what you think?

Speaker 1:

People often forget that that's already a version. That's already something that you've put time, energy and thought into you, that you've put time, energy and thought into. You've probably already revised it, hopefully at least several times yourself. So the thing they're seeing is not the raw dough you know, it's not unformed, just the raw footage straight out of the camera or anything. It's already an edited piece. And so sometimes I think people can be almost too quick to suggest changes or be critical or whatever, not because it actually benefits the thing, but just because they feel like I've been asked to give feedback, so I need to give some feedback.

Speaker 1:

If they say, oh, it looks great, they might be worried about feeling like they're not paying attention or they're not being helpful enough, when sometimes that is the correct answer. And I think that even doubles when you're talking about someone who's doing this in a paid capacity. They've hired you to do something. You've made a video. It's kind of almost like whether or not the video needs any changes. They're going to say some kind of change because then it's like you know they're doing their job. I don't know. That's just sort of a thing. I do have another message, another listener message. Guess who it is? It's Gil again.

Speaker 2:

I landed that joke. Hey, tom, this is Gil again. So I just wanted to share a quick story about working with two different brands. One brand I genuinely and authentically created a video about their product that was just about to come out the Elgato prompter and Elgato reached out to me or one of the representatives did and sent me an Elgato prompter. It was dope. Then I continued to use it. I didn't. I don't think I.

Speaker 2:

I have never made a review for the Elgato prompter, just as a fact. I just would share me using it, share how my clients use it when they're doing remote podcast in my home studio, and I started just sharing me producing podcasts with it. And then Elgato reached out and said hey, we would like to send you more stuff to just try out. Send me a mic, send me a mic arm. They actually sent me the Elgato low profile arms that I own now and it was just all genuine. It was all just pure honesty. I was under no obligation to make a video Still haven't really made a video on the prompter, by the way, but I worked with this other brand and they were very pushy to the point where they made me feel like a nine to five employee checking in every moment that they can. Hey how's the video doing? It's like, what? Like? I'm going to send your thing back if you don't leave me alone.

Speaker 1:

All right, sorry, I was laughing again at the brand voice. This is my favorite. Please read all emails in this voice. Gil's brand voice is the best now.

Speaker 1:

This is such a good example of how these things can differ, not only from brand to brand but sometimes, depending on the brand, from creator to creator, so two different creators can have very differing experiences with the same brand the authentic thing. So Elgato is great. They've offered to send me things, but I haven't accepted any of their stuff. Just, I don't know. A lot of it is because, like, when the prompter comes out, I'm so excited about it I just want to pre-order it and get it. Like I don't want to try to like talk to anyone at the company and some of the other stuff too. A lot of it is just like it's so affordable, I just figure if I can just buy that, and then when something else that maybe is a little bit beyond my budget comes out from them or a different brand, that's the thing they could send me to make it more accessible. But they're so good and so supportive and communicative. They jump in the comment section of my videos and like offer customer support and like clarifications for things. It's great and that's how it should be. And they're so smart, like from from a brand point of view, so from a creator point of view, you can build authentic relationships like you can, and when a company is good, you can kind of tell because you sort of have the same contact at that company for a number of years, versus sometimes you'll talk to a company and every time you touch base with them there's a new person in that role. It's usually a bad sign, but you know, I know companies like El Cato and Rode and like the ones that I work with. They've all had pretty much the same people for ages and I feel like that's a really good sign for those companies. And you can build authentic relationships with them Doesn't mean you say yes to everything. Doesn't mean you, you know that you give them any control over stuff. But you know they can be genuinely excited about what you do. And in the case of Elgato, this is so smart we're, you know we'll just send you stuff because you like our stuff, we're going to support you. But they also know, from the business point of view, if you have these things I mean, how many times do those low profile arms show up in your videos show up in your stories, show up in behind the scenes tours. No, you've never done a review on the prompter, but you should talk about the prompter. You've sure shown it as an option of something to use, which in a lot of ways, is probably better than just a regular review that you might expect from someone when a company sends them something. So that is incredibly smart.

Speaker 1:

A couple years ago, man it makes me sad that this was almost two years ago, but when Peter Lindgren came over and stayed with us for a bit, he and I spent a couple days in LA and I tagged along on this meeting with I think it was a Sony rep, it might've been a Tamron rep, I don't remember, Maybe it was more Tamron, and they were awesome and they were just kind of like it was someone Peter had worked with for a long time, you know, living in Sweden, and he was over here and they wanted to set up a dinner and I was basically the Uber driver, so I got to tag along, but so I was kind of a little bit out of place there. But I was listening to them talk and Peter's great, because he just doesn't he doesn't hold any punches, like you know the person who says like I don't care. You know, I'm going to say what I say about the brand. If they're happy about it, they're happy. If they're not, they're not. That's definitely him, and Tamron has been great. But the thing he was saying was I think it's Sony.

Speaker 1:

When they send out lenses and stuff, he was actually like criticizing them for being so touchy with like you get two weeks to have it and then you ship it back and you know that's it. And he's like that's not enough time to make quality content about it. It's not enough time to fully understand the piece of technology. And what you've done is you've given me a lens that I might look at, I might like and it's cool, but I'm going to send it back to you and completely forget about it. Versus, if you let someone keep it, that means it's going to be in their setup for a while and they're not going to forget about it. It's going to be on the shelf and it might be like hey, I need to do something. This would be perfect. And it could then be that thing that then shows up in a studio tour, shows up in a camera bag overview, shows up just in the comments when someone says, hey, you know what lens or whatever did you use to do this? Like, oh, the blah, blah, blah and I know that's like that doesn't go in the face of you know everything we talked about last week and the ethics statement and everything, but it's just sort of those like channel.

Speaker 1:

And it was when they were starting to do some higher end ND filters. They sent me those and they sent the Peter McKinnon one. They said like pretty much every time a new version of those comes out, they send them because they know that I like them. I did make a video about them like six years ago, otherwise I never have. I really like the filters.

Speaker 1:

I feel that there's something I can talk about now. There's something I would I have spent my own money on in the past and there's something that when people ask, hey, what ND to use, I tell them those ones because those are the ones that I use. But it's like for me I've been able to not only save money on gear, which is nice, but I've been able to build up my knowledge on gear, because prior to that it was like I'm just gonna buy the cheap Amazon variable ND filter. It has the crazy, you know X pattern and it's not great image quality. But you know what is the difference? Why would I spend a couple hundred bucks versus $60 on a filter? Now I know, and now I feel like I can speak to that a little more genuinely and authentically and knowledgeably because of that. So there is a way to do that.

Speaker 1:

And then there's the pushy brand thing.

Speaker 1:

Excuse me, there I had this recently with OBSBot. I thought it was OBSBot, but I think it's OBSBot. I'm just going to say who it was, because they are kind of notoriously pushy. They had reached out and I didn't. I was actually curious about their cameras, because it's like a lot of PTZ webcams and live streaming things and they've been around a long time and it's kind of you know, it's one of those cases where it's like the products seem good but the company is just a little pushy and I was kind of like but I'm not really like a webcam guy, if I was still teaching online I would maybe be a little more into that Always kind of curious about that sort of technology, but not really enough to kind of deal with the pushiness, and so I said no, thank you.

Speaker 1:

And then I think they had tried to reach out again and I just was like, look, I said no, so I'm just not answering these emails. Well, they went so far as to then start DMing other people whose videos I commented on on YouTube, like they would see someone else that maybe they work with. I comment on their video they know that we must know each other and then they start emailing that person to get in touch with me. Like, come on, now I appreciate, like there's a way to do it and that ain't it. And it's like then I'm apologizing to people. I'm so sorry You're, you know you're, you're dealing with this. So there's ways to do it, there's ways not to do it, you know, and some of that I feel like I don't know I'm I'm confused on how to feel about that, but it's different than a company like how Elgato would handle it, for example.

Speaker 1:

All right, let's move in now. We're 20 minutes deep into this episode. We should probably talk about the topic that the episode's about, which is 10 things I've learned from 10 years, not 10 things, sorry things I've learned from 10 years of podcasting. I don't have a specific number of things, I've just got a list right here and it just was a kind of a thing I was thinking about. It's been.

Speaker 1:

I've listened to podcasts for many, many years. You know I wasn't one of the like 2005 podcasters or whatever you know like podcast listeners from the very beginning, but around 2008,. 2009 was the first time I can remember actively, you know, going on iTunes and downloading a podcast to my iPod to listen to in the car on the way to work and that kind of thing. And then I started producing podcasts in 2014, which just happens to be 10 years ago. And so I have this show, the Enthusiasm Project, which I started in January of 2019. So just over five years ago. This is 170, some odd episodes strong at this point. I also have the couples table with Heather, which we started in 2020 after we got married, so that's coming up on just about four years and we're 140-ish episodes into that one. I had my podcast with Peter Lindgren, appropriately called A Podcast with Peter and Tom. We did that in like 2021-ish for about 25 episodes, something I would really love to do again and bring back, especially now that Peter has his studio finished and built out. And then I have the Ska podcast, which ended up being more of a mini series of you know, like seven episodes. So those are like the personal ones where I've been a host or a co-host on a podcast.

Speaker 1:

I've been fortunate enough over the years to be invited on many. I don't even know honestly how many. I should have like kept track, but I really don't know. So I've been on other people's shows a lot, which is kind of cool to be in the guest seat and you know, especially when it's remote. It's cool to do it in person because you can see how other people do stuff you know in person. But it's cool to do it remote as well because then you can kind of get a feel, for you know what it's like to be an Ecamm guest or a Riverside guest or whatever. You'd be on the other side of that, and that I feel like that's a good thing in terms of just building up your knowledge. Then when you invite someone on your show, you can kind of tell them what to expect and know what it's going to be like for them. But prior to that, from 2014 to well I guess, till COVID really, I produced podcasts for school districts and that's where it really started. Even taking it back maybe a little bit further, I started teaching digital media in 2012 was when I moved from English to digital media and the digital media programs that I taught.

Speaker 1:

Our students competed in these national competition organizations. One of them was called SkillsUSA. It's been around forever. Maybe you've heard about it. It's basically vocational competition but it's like every career field and they primarily focus more on like traditional trades, so things like electrical, you know, electrical installation, traditional trades, so things like electrical installation, hvac repair, automotive engineering, welding. But they've been branching out into more of the non I shouldn't say non-traditional, but more of like the media and modern things over the years. So they do have an audio radio production competition that I had a couple teams of students participate in every year.

Speaker 1:

Competition that I had a couple teams of students participate in every year and my students tended to do pretty well. They would usually do well at our local regional competition. I had students win the state competition for California several times, compete at the national level, but we never won nationals. So it always makes me laugh whenever I like watch episodes of Glee and they're always which is an old show but they're always talking like we need to do regionals and semi regionals and whatever, and it's like I always feel like that's what I'm talking about when I was talking about the student competitions, but it was cool, but that was. They would usually be given prompts. So it was more like training them for traditional radio, maybe a little bit outdated. It was cool because sometimes they'd get to go to radio stations and shadow people or intern a little bit.

Speaker 1:

But the stuff that they would make for practice would sort of be like mock radio shows, not really veering into podcast territory, especially because they are underage. So there's only so much stuff to share publicly. And you know, believe it or not, a lot of kids who are, you know, 14, 15, 16 years old not most of them, don't always have the skills to, you know, host long form podcast series. Believe it or not, some do, but it's definitely pretty rare. So it was, it was more like mock episodes of things and their competitions would be usually involving, like you know here's do, a 30 or 60 second promo for something, followed up by you know, a five minute NPR style show that they would put together some interviews and sound beds and all that kind of stuff. So that was kind of where it started.

Speaker 1:

Obviously, like I was listening to podcasts, I'd wanted to create podcasts, never really kind of knew what the heck to make a podcast about. And the school district I was working for at the time was the communications director had a weekly radio show. So I think one of the local stations donated time. She would go on like I think it was like every Tuesday night or something, and have an hour long show to like interview people and you know it's kind of like district propaganda time a little bit. But it was also interesting because it's like you know I'd have like a cafeteria director from a school talking about school lunches, which is like we've all been to school and all kind of like think we know, you know what cafeteria and lunch ladies are like and everything. But when you hear about wait, like how do you feed 2000 people multiple times a day, five days a week, how do you like it's kind of interesting. It's a little more fascinating than you might expect. So it's kind of cool. But, believe it or not, the local radio station shut down and she was going to have to give up her show.

Speaker 1:

We were kind of you know she did a lot of work with our program to like promote stuff that we're doing throughout local media and everything, and the thing I kept saying all the time was like we have so much gear but we just don't have the content. Like we have the equipment, we have the experience, we don't have the content, which is so funny because it's pre-YouTube. So it's like pre-YouTube pre my own podcast. It's just a funny thing that I remember hearing myself saying, but it was kind of true it was like we have all this stuff, we want to do stuff, we don't really know I don't want to just make like an episode of something. This was before I thought I could ever make anything. And you know, working with students, like what can they do? And she's like, oh well, I've got like years of content. I just need stuff to be produced and so things kind of linked up there and we were able to.

Speaker 1:

I was able to have my students produce her podcast, which I believe is still running. So I haven't been at that specific school for a long time and then doing that did actually help me kick off some student-hosted and produced podcasts and then as other schools kind of picked up on this sort of helping other schools get set up as well in different districts. So that was sort of a thing as well in different districts. So that was sort of a thing. That was the first podcast, though, that I really hands-on had to piece together the equipment. I built a Squarespace website, had to do the RSS feed manually because I didn't know.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what other options there were 10 years ago. I'm sure there were simpler ones, but that was kind of the way I did it, which is why I never want to do that again, and I love things like Buzzsprout and, you know, anchor or Spotify, whatever it's called now, because that is it's just so much better. So that's kind of like. That's sort of where I started producing podcasts was for school districts, and that was such a cool learning experience. And especially, it was kind of cool because 2014 podcasting was not as saturated as it is now, especially like the educational podcast market, and so I can actually see our little show like bouncing around the top 100 charts on. I think it was still iTunes at the time. I don't think it was called like Apple Podcasts or anything. That was kind of cool and I always felt really good like because the communications director who hosted it would come in and be like hey, I saw that we're like you know, we're at number 36 this week or something, which is like kind of awesome.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what that meant in terms of actual listenership, but it was cool and it showed me that something's working in it. I guess if they're still doing it, it was working and students got to actually work on a thing. She would come in usually one or two days a week after school and bring in guests and students would record it and then students would edit it over a couple of days and then she would approve it and then I would do all the uploading and everything and just kind of oversee and double check everything. But when we started the uploading and everything and just kind of oversee and double check everything, but when we started the initial thing was just piecing together gear, and so this is now diving in that's sort of my background on like how I started making podcasts. Now I want to dive into like, okay, so what have I learned from those, all the way up to making my own shows, all the way up to right now where I'm sitting here recording this podcast First lesson. Okay, so, contrary to what people say and I've talked about this before big thing in YouTube and the creator world is say gear doesn't matter. I say gear doesn't not matter. But so gear is very important and gear definitely does matter. But it should not stop you from getting started pretty decent with what we have if we spend time to learn how to use what we have to the best of our ability.

Speaker 1:

So when I started producing those school podcasts fortunately we had some equipment. I was only in my second or third year teaching digital media at that point so I hadn't quite built out the full-on crazy equipment studio experience that it would become. But we had some decent stuff. We didn't have any podcasting-specific things become, but we had some decent stuff. We didn't have any podcasting specific things. Roadcasters did not exist. So what we did was I had a bunch of Audio-Technica AT897s, the microphone that I always say is very an underrated shotgun microphone, which is, you know that was for video production and for booming and stuff. But it was like this is what we got.

Speaker 1:

So I went to Monoprice. I bought just for my own money a bunch of you know tabletop gooseneck microphone stands. We had a Zoom H4n. I bought some cheap Monoprice headphones, whole bunch of cables. I spent so much money on cables over the years it was insane. But I always use Monoprice because this is like I don't know Amazon, for better or worse, wasn't what it is today. And then also, like Monoprice Warehouse is fairly close to where we're at and their cables, at least at the time, were like so inexpensive. You could just get any kind of cable, you know one end to any kind of other end, or adapter or whatever. You could just get it there and I could usually get it in a day or two. So that was a lifesaver.

Speaker 1:

And then what I did was I just rigged up the AT897s running into the Zoom H4n and it was so many like splitters and adapters and then to run headphones out because we needed four mics. So to run headphones out I would have actually we needed five mics. I forgot Because she would usually sometimes she would only have one guest, so it would be host and a guest, but a lot of times it would be three guests. So, like you know, multiple teachers from a department or a teacher and two students, you know that kind of thing. And then we had a fifth microphone which was like the student producer, which was just kind of a fun thing because when she hosted the radio show she did the very common radio thing of you know, talking to the producer and having them kind of be a part of the show and wanted to do that with the student.

Speaker 1:

And it was a cool thing to showcase, like, even if I was there looking over the shoulder, especially at the beginning. It was kind of a cool thing to showcase like this is a student produced thing and you can hear the student producing it right there. And so, oh my God, I didn't. I don't even know how all this stuff worked, but I literally would get like headphone splitters, like multiple ones, just stack them on each other, to have, you know, five sets of headphones going out from the one Zoom H4n. And then how the heck did I get all of the mics?

Speaker 1:

How did I get four mics? Oh, we had a little, that's right. We had a little, uh, yamaha mixer, one of the Yamaha MGs. The mics went into that, the output from the Yamaha went into the Zoom H4n. And no, I lied, I'm totally lying right now. We did not have the Yamaha.

Speaker 1:

That time we started with the head from a PA system $100 PA system I bought from Guitar Center that had four inputs and so the mics would go in there, the output from that would go into the H4n and that's what we record. So that was. It was literally just like what do we have in this room, which already you know? We had four mics and a PA head and a recorder. So that's maybe more than a lot of people start with. But none of it was dedicated for podcasting. It was all equipment kind of being used inappropriately to make the show work and it sounded great, it like it really worked quite well and we did that for about a year. And then we got a grant from the, from the school district, because they they liked it. So they gave us a grant to buy more equipment and that I've talked about this before, but that's where.

Speaker 1:

Then I was like, okay, we're going to get you know four SM7Bs and Rode PSA1s and nicer headphones and all that kind of stuff and better cables, but I didn't know again, there was no Rodecaster. I didn't know anything about this. So we're still running everything into the. I did get a big Yamaha mixer at that point, like a 16 channel Yamaha MG mixer, and then things were still going into the. I think we upgraded to a Zoom H5 at that point, which was fine for the recorder, but I didn't know about, you know, preamps and things and should have been running into cloud lifters and weren't. And so we're really maxing out these SM7Bs to try to get them to sound good. I didn't know about any of that stuff at the time and so I was kind of shocked when we upgraded quote unquote from the Audio-Technica mics the SM7B and the audio quality dipped at first because it was like, wow, these don't sound nearly as good as the other ones did. Why, turns out, didn't know those things. But all that being said, we did start with what we have and you know the thing is like what I always think of is like if you're listening to this, you have something to get started, you must have a phone or a computer or a tablet or something, and those either have built-in microphones and internet access or the ability to attach some kind of headset microphone, lavalier microphone, usb microphone, whatever it is to get started and actually sound pretty decent, especially if you just, you know, watch a couple tutorials about, you know how to record audio into whatever specific thing you have. You can get going without spending pretty much any extra money, especially when you jump into something like, you know, spotify for podcasters, which is free it's what Anchor is called now and you can get your show distributed, uploaded and distributed and hosted totally for free. Don't have to do the Squarespace RSS thing, or you could pay for hosting, you know, like using Buzzsprout, which is what I use for my shows. You could do that as well, but you probably have everything you need to get started right now. It could be nice to upgrade over time, but so the gear does matter, and so much of of it, though it when I say it shouldn't like stop you from getting started.

Speaker 1:

It's like I was listening to a podcast the other day and this was such a bummer. It was somebody that I was really excited to listen to and it was on kind of this obscure little podcast. It was like a two-year-old episode, so it's still fairly recent, and I was so excited I clicked the episode and I don't know how they recorded it, but basically it was like they must have used an app to just record a phone call because it just sounded like phone call level quality. It was something I could not listen to an hour of, unfortunately, because I wanted to hear it, but it was painful to listen to and I know the person running the podcast might not have all the gear in the world, but they obviously have a phone and they could have maybe done a little more research and a little more effort into how to use that effectively and get decent audio, even if the whole thing is being done on the phone. Like plug some kind of mic into your phone, go get the tiny mic it's $9 on Amazon, use that, you know. Plug that into your phone and then, even if the other person still sounds like a call-in show, at least that's only half the show and not the whole show.

Speaker 1:

But again, with stuff like I don't know, there's so many different between OBS and Spotify and all that. There's like so many free ways to have people call into a show, so you can probably start with what you have as a good lesson to learn and actually get pretty decent results, especially now. But next lesson, going back to the thing I had said about like we have all the equipment, we don't have content. It's not that I couldn't have recorded an episode or couldn't pull students together to record an episode. It was like what is our actual plan? What is the actual purpose here? And something that I've heard I don't know how many times I mean honestly like I would never have to think about doing brand deals ever if I had money for every time.

Speaker 1:

I heard this one is people say my friends and I are funny and we should have a podcast. People say my friends and I should host a show. That's cool and that's a compliment and I'm sure that things are very fun for you and your friends hanging out. Very rarely virtually never does that actually translate to being interesting to other people to listen to, and it's hard to kind of tell people that. But just because people say you're funny or interesting or that your friends are funny and entertaining, doesn't mean y'all need to have microphones and record whatever you're talking about, because people a lot of times when they're in groups like that, they're horrific at contextualizing. So if you're in the group, things are funny and things make sense and things are relevant, but if you're a listener, you don't really know what anyone's talking about. You don't know the backstory, the context, any of that, and people very rarely go out of their way to provide that stuff and to you. Know it's hugely important to contextualize, bring someone in and then share things with them, and you know just the like we're just hanging out talking as friends podcast, especially in 2024.

Speaker 1:

I think that's kind of dead. I think that was a thing. It's almost like drones. When drones first came out, you could just film anything with a crappy drone camera, but it was in the sky and it looked really cool and everybody loved it. That's kind of the like group hanging out podcast. You know it's like. There was a time where I was like, wow, it sounds like a show. You know, crazy. Same thing. Like DSLRs can now do shallow depth of field, so that's insane that like a regular person can do that. But those that novelty wears off over time and podcasting has matured to a point where you kind of need more than just like it's my friends and I hanging out and yeah.

Speaker 1:

So the way to do that is, to make sure whatever idea you're working with has legs. I don't know a better way to say this. I always say make sure your idea has legs, and that my benchmark for that is can you get past seven episodes? Because that is the average time at which a podcast quits is after seven episodes. So do you have more than seven ideas? Because it's cool to be like I want to start a you know, an anime podcast. I want to start a comedy podcast. I want to do a true crime podcast, all awesome, what did I just knock something down? Do you have enough ideas and episodes to get past? You know seven? This is not talking about miniseries, which is an option If you're like, hey, I want to explore something, but it's you know, I can do it in three or four episodes and it's just.

Speaker 1:

I wanna make a show about this one thing, and it's a mini series. That's different. I'm sort of talking about you know, a lot of people. When they say I wanna do a podcast, they sort of mean I wanna start making a show and continue making a show for as long as possible, make a lot of episodes. Okay, does that idea have legs? I have. This is going to sound like shameless self-promotion, but I am always full of shame.

Speaker 1:

I do have a course, all about this. It's called the Podcaster Idea Book, because this is such a huge problem. And what the course does is it just guides you through the same ways to work with my students to come up with ideas, same things I've done with myself to come up with ideas, flesh them out a little bit and even compare. Like you have multiple ideas, try to figure out which one to focus on first, so you can go to podcasterideabookcom if you want to check that out. But you don't have to do that. The thing, the important thing, that's just a tool to help you figure out if your idea is something that can last for more than one episode or more than two episodes.

Speaker 1:

But the next lesson learned from that is that sometimes ideas do just run their course and just because you feel that it's time to end a show doesn't mean you have failed or that anything's wrong. I mean I did. You know, I did the Scott podcast, which I intended to do for a long time. I did six or seven episodes and then it was like I kind of realized I had said everything I wanted to say about that topic and I was sort of done and so it ended up. It ended up accidentally becoming a mini series that I like a lot, but that wasn't what I intended and I did feel like I failed a little bit there. Sometimes that happens and sometimes you know that that's sort of an idea that I should have worked harder to flesh out when I was starting. But other times you know, like you know, if you're doing an interview-based show or whatever and you've done many, many seasons of it, maybe you've just sort of covered it, maybe the time has come, you know. If you're not enjoying it anymore, if you don't feel like the listeners are into it, or you just don't have much more to say on the topic, that's completely fine.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes ideas run their course. It doesn't mean you can't come back to them. It doesn't mean you can't do something else. In my podcast or idea book course, one thing I talk about is choosing between ideas. Sometimes it's hard to find any idea, but sometimes you end up with you know three or four and you don't know which one to focus on. And the thing that I try to remind everyone in the course is that just because you're not focusing on something now doesn't mean the idea is gone forever. So if you're choosing between a couple ideas and you pick one over the other, you can do that one and if that ends up running its course at some point you can always come back to that other idea that you had. So you know, you're not always permanently shutting the door on things, but sometimes things just run their course.

Speaker 1:

The podcast Peter and I did I think we did close to 30 episodes of that which, considering we live on opposite sides of the planet, it was quite an accomplishment and eventually we just we didn't officially like stop doing it. It just it just became very difficult to fit it into our schedules because essentially it has to be early in the morning for one of us and later in the day for the other, kind of no matter how we flip it, and so scheduling that is tough and it just kind of became tough. But you know, that's something that, like, we would both love to continue to do. And now I'm hoping you know, hopefully, that Peter has his own home studio. It might be something that's a little more possible. He doesn't have to drive 40 minutes to get to a place where he can record, and if we're recording an episode. I'm not I'm stealing him from his family or something at the end of the day, you know. So you know stuff comes and goes. Things ebb and flow. That's all very natural, don't? You know? Don't live and die by that I should have mentioned before going into this.

Speaker 1:

I'm not talking about monetization at all. It has been 10 years of podcasting. I know diddly squat about monetizing podcasts. I know you can put ads on podcasts. I don't really know how that works. I have done one sponsored season of a podcast and I know how I set that up, which was like I get money and then every episode includes a quick ad read at the beginning and the end. That was kind of the deal there and that was season eight was a sponsored season. I just wanted to try it out, see if I could do it. I did it. I decided I didn't want to do any more sponsored stuff on the podcast. You could do ad reads. Obviously I don't know, I don't know this stuff it the podcast. You could do ad reads. Obviously I don't know, I don't know this stuff. It's not a thing I incorporate into my podcasting. I'm horrific at marketing podcasts, horrific at monetizing podcasts. I do podcasts because I like it and it's a fun. You know it is like a hobby to me, in addition to the other stuff that I do, so I meant to make that disclaimer earlier.

Speaker 1:

We ain't talking about monetization today, but what we are talking about, the next lesson I've learned say you start out with your phone, say you jump into. You know I wanna do this for free. I'm gonna sign up for Spotify for podcasters and then for one reason or another, you decide you wanna switch hosts. Maybe you get really into your show and you jump into a paid service and then your financial situation changes you and then your financial situation changes. You can't afford that hosting anymore, but you don't want to stop doing your show. So now you need to move to something like Spotify where it's free Switching hosts. This is where it is so different than the world of YouTube.

Speaker 1:

It is surprisingly easy to switch podcast hosts. I have done it and nobody noticed other than me talking about it. It's something you can do without your listeners being interrupted at all. Every podcast host allows you to redirect feeds to a different host and essentially all you do is you sign up for a different service, add your podcast, you get a new RSS feed and then you go to your current host and everything has. I think it's a 403 redirect is what it's called. I can't remember exactly, but you just but you get a redirect link from your new host, you put it in your old host and then everything will redirect to the new feed. It shouldn't disrupt anything for your current listeners, but you may need to go into your new host. Some of them will import stuff for you, so they'll go through your old host and bring all those episodes over to your new feed, and sometimes you have to do that manually. So just be aware you do need to move your files over, but in terms of what the viewer or the audience and listener sees, at least you know, this doesn't count on YouTube, I guess, but on any other RSS-based platform it's pretty easy to switch. It's. It's not super complicated. Every platform that I've seen does a good job of explaining how to do it. I switched from Anchor to Buzzsprout and that was a pretty, super easy process and it's totally fine it did.

Speaker 1:

I guess if you're an analytics hound it can mess things up, because you know, once I switched to Buzzsprout it was like number of all-time listens, one. You know your analytics start over from scratch, and so it's like, okay, well, how many total listens did I have on Anchor? And add that to. Luckily, I don't particularly care about those kind of stats for my show. Obviously, those analytics exist for reasons and they are more important to other people. So that's, you know, maybe an area where it could get a little tricky. But the good news there is, it means you don't have to like sometimes I see people racking their brains and really stressing themselves out over which host to use and it's like just go with what you feel is best at the time.

Speaker 1:

Like sure, look at a bunch of them, look at the features, look at the pricing, look at the interface and how them. Look at the features, look at the pricing, look at the interface and you know how easy is it for you to use? Does it work with your brain or not? You know, is there a philosophy behind the company you like? That's one reason I really love Buzzsprout is it's like speaking of people who've been at the same company for a long time. A lot of those people have been there for like 15 plus years and they are so in favor of independent podcasting. That, to me, I really love that, in addition to all the features and all the cool stuff that they add versus.

Speaker 1:

You know, anchor was great, spotify for podcasters is makes things super accessible and works incredibly well. But also Spotify, you know, they're kind of more in favor of creating, you know, gated walls for their podcasts and things, which is sort of different than being, you know, the independent, open wild west of podcasting. So for me it kind of made sense to move somewhere that was more aligned with what I believe in when it comes to podcasting. But point being, don't overthink these things, just find what works, dive in there, get your show up and running and know that down the line you can move it and it's not going to affect your listeners or your audience in any way, shape or form for the most part, but what does affect your audience is the quality of your show, not just the audio quality but also the content quality, and I know this is going to be ironic, as there are several things in here I could have edited out and maybe should have, but didn't.

Speaker 1:

One point that I'm adding here is that editing almost always does improve a podcast, fully aware of the irony and the hypocrisy in that statement, but it does, I believe it or not, genuinely do love editing podcasts. This is an area where there's a bunch of different you know software you can use for that. I love using Adobe Audition to edit podcasts. It's for some reason, for me it's like really fun to use, not only processing the audio, but just the way that it works is awesome. I love that it just automatically adds in these perfect little crossfades. If you cut something out and slide audio together, it really sounds like you cannot tell that something was cut out. And it's so easy to do that and it's fun. It's fun to tighten things up. I did. You know, I've edited episodes of this show throughout the years, sometimes depending on if I make a huge mistake while recording or really need to decide that I wasn't happy with something and wanted to cut it out, or if I'm not recording into a Rodecaster, I need to record directly into computer for some reason, edit things together.

Speaker 1:

I edited the podcast with Peter and I a lot because we were separate. No matter what, there was always kind of that strange delay, and so I would always I would literally go through and edit every time. I know there's now like AI tools that do this, but I'm a control freak. I would edit every time one of us talked and the other talked and I would. You know I would switch that out. And there are also things too.

Speaker 1:

I guess here's maybe a lesson if you do a remote podcast, since I do most of mine solo, there's a thing when you're talking to someone, you will do things to acknowledge that you're listening. So you will usually respond. You know he and I were always on like a video call and so I would. I would be nodding and you know if he's talking. And sometimes you say stuff like yeah, you know if he's talking. And sometimes you say stuff like, yeah, you know, you affirm things to the other person talking or I would laugh or whatever, and that makes sense in a conversation.

Speaker 1:

But listening back to the podcast, it was actually like so annoying. Sometimes it fit in for me to you know he'd go on for a long time and say something and I'd say, oh, yeah, totally, and that made sense. But other times it would just be like who's this? There's just another voice chiming in for no reason. This, like you know, hype man in the background like preach, you know, go for it. So I could just cut all that out and then the listener could just hear Peter talking without me, you know, and that you know. That makes a difference, and if there's any kind of background noise or anything, you can not only eliminate that in the audio, but you can, instead of me just having my white noise over Peter talking, I can just get rid of that.

Speaker 1:

So I love to tighten up the transitions where to try to make it sound as much as possible like we were in the same room together, and that was always really fun, very time consuming, and something I've learned when I edit podcasts is sometimes I go like I just need to cut out that one part or just change this thing. Well, once I start doing that, then I could also change this, then I could also do that, and suddenly now I've put you know 1200 cuts into this one episode that I was trying to just take out one little part of. It's very hard for me. I'm very much an all or nothing editor when it comes to that. And that's not even talking about producing something like an NPR style podcast through adding in lots of music and sound beds and different interviews and things.

Speaker 1:

Obviously, something like that, a show like that, needs to be more highly edited than a show like this, which is much more conversational, and that's you know. And so editing always does help Almost always, I should say. Sometimes, the more conversational feel works Like it is a very different vibe to hear the mistakes, to let things breathe, to have somebody sort of process their thoughts in real time. It is a different feel and that's more appropriate for some shows and some topics than others. Appropriate for some shows and some topics than others.

Speaker 1:

I have designed this show specifically around that, because, as much as I like editing podcasts, if I had to put that much editing time into every episode I wouldn't be able to do it, and so in order to make the show sustainable for me, I have to. You know. That's why I love the roadcasters. I can have a fully edited process show as soon as I'm done and I press, you know, stop the record button over there. That is phenomenal. And so the thing I have in my notes says editing almost always improves things, but having a sustainable workflow is key and that's really important. If you know, if you do not have eight extra hours a week to spend editing your podcast, don't put yourself in a position where you need to spend eight hours a week editing your podcast. You know like, do what you can, change the show, the content as much as you can. Also, you know you will build skills over time.

Speaker 1:

Another thing to note is that something being unedited does not mean that it was unplanned or that you were unprepared. Like I have notes in front of me. I have thought about this episode long before I hit record. I didn't hit record and just go like I'm just gonna ramble for an hour and kind of hope for the best there, like no, I have planned this out. I've thought about it for a couple of days before I actually sat down to record the episode, even though I'm not loading this into Audition and editing it and cutting it out. So into audition and editing it and cutting it out. So unedited does not equal unplanned and it also depends on the person you know. Fortunately the roadcaster does have a record pause which I can use from time to time if I need to. But also I mean.

Speaker 1:

I know I had Gil's voicemails already ready to go. I'd already listened to those before the show. You know like things are already, you know, planned out before I hit record, even though the show isn't edited. But also, your skills will build up over time. I am not someone who ever who originally felt I was a good public speaker or like public speaking or any of that, but then I was a high school teacher for 11 years, and then I started a YouTube channel and then I started podcasting teacher for 11 years, and then I started a YouTube channel and then I started podcasting, and so all of those things, plus others sort of like, helped me build up a skill set where I feel like I am now more capable of speaking off the cuff, clearly, relatively concisely, for a longer period of time than the average person is. So it's a skill, and if I can do it, I promise you anyone can do it. But it is a skill, and if I can do it, I promise you anyone can do it, but it is a skill. It's something you have to learn, something you have to practice, something that takes time, and so your show will evolve over time as well. And so that brings me to the last lesson I have here, which is at least for me.

Speaker 1:

In my opinion, I think one of the most important things, if not the most important thing to remember is that fun is first. So no matter what you're doing with all this, if you're not having fun, what's the point, even if you're working on a more serious topic? So I know my, you know this show is more conversational. It's about, you know, creativity and the creator world. That's fun, interesting stuff. But some shows are geared towards, you know, more serious topics and mental health issues and substance abuse and political things. You know stuff where it's like it's not just goof around, hang out. You know wacky times, it's like that's kind of heavy. You can still have fun producing that. You can still. You know, maybe fun isn't the right word, but you can enjoy the process, you can feel satisfied through it, you can feel that it's creatively rewarding and fulfilling and all those great things. I think that is hugely important when it comes to producing your show. And if that has disappeared and if you're not feeling that way anymore, if it's feeling like an obligation, if it's feeling like a sludge, then maybe it's time to reconsider what's happening. And obviously this is a little bit easier if what you're doing is something you're in charge of and it's time to reconsider what's happening. And obviously this is a little bit easier if what you're doing is something you're in charge of and it's independent.

Speaker 1:

But in 2024, something that was not happening nearly as often 10 years ago is a lot of companies and a lot of job positions now require someone to produce a podcast. It's a thing Like so many companies, businesses, organizations have their own shows, have their own podcasts, and so somebody who maybe you know have their own podcasts, and so somebody who maybe you know you might find yourself producing a show that's not, let's face it, even me, like the school district propaganda show, might not be the main thing I wanted to create. You know, like that's not necessarily what I was listening to when I was putting on podcasts in my car, but it was fun to always find ways to have fun with it. I love the process of the production process. I almost didn't care what we were talking about. It was fun to like figure out the microphones, figure out the setup, you know, do the cover, artwork, like all that kind of stuff was was really fun to me, and that was something I definitely did learn when I was teaching was every day I went to work I tried to have at least one thing to look forward to, and fortunately it could be usually a couple things.

Speaker 1:

I'd try to have like a lesson or something that was like, oh, I can't wait to like talk about this, or I can't wait to show the students this, or you know whatever. But I would also try to have something that's sort of like not related to that, something that's like on my lunch break or my prep period or after school, before school, not related to that. Something that's like on my lunch break or my prep period or after school, before school, like whatever it might be. Like even just trying, like I think you know, if we connected this piece of gear to that piece of gear, then that means we'd be able to do this kind of effect on our daily broadcast. Or, you know, like I want to, I really want to figure out like how to use, you know, this feature on this one camera, like something that I was excited to do and that, even on days when it's like, oh, my God, you know, students are being a nightmare, there's a million terrible meetings, I'm exhausted At least it gave me something to look forward to, and I think if you find yourself in one of those situations where you're producing a show that you know you wouldn't necessarily be listening to, it's something that you're required to do, not necessarily something you're excited to do you can probably find things to be excited about, you know, depending on your interests and whatever.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it is trying to level up the production quality every time, get dialed, dive into EQ and processing a little bit more, maybe figuring out microphones, even figuring out a better setup. You know, like you've got people who have to sit side by side to talk to each other. You work things around. Now they can sit across from a table. Does that change the vibe and the dynamic? Like all of those little you know, there's lots of little fun stuff that you can find when you're producing a show. That's not necessarily related to the topic or the content of the show the listener will never even know but it could make a world of difference for you and your ability to enjoy what you're making. And that's ultimately, I think, the most important, because not only is it crucial to have an idea that has legs, but it's important for you to be able to enjoy this, and that's what makes it sustainable, so that you can continue to do it into the foreseeable future as long as you want, until you maybe feel like the idea naturally runs its course.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure there's lots more, lots more lessons I could pull for the past 10 years, but these were the big ones that kind of popped out that I don't necessarily hear talked about a lot. Obviously, we can talk a lot about gear and the production process, but I hope this was pretty helpful and interesting. And, speaking of 10 years, it's 10 episodes. So wrapping up season 12 of the podcast. I appreciate everyone who has listened for all the years, everyone who has sent in messages, text, voice, all the things. It's absolutely fun. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking your time to listen to this show and to help me get better at making the show over all the years. So I appreciate you. I hope you have a safe, happy, healthy, fun rest of your day or your week or your weekend, wherever you are, and I'll see you next time. Take care.

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