New Wired Podcasting Article

I’m quoted in a new article on podcasting on Where the first one was an introduction to this new world, this one (same author, Daniel Terdiman) is more of a sanity check after a few months of serious podcasting. Here’s one paragraph that tickled me from the middle of the article:

For core podcasting fans, the most recommended podcasts include the full complement of IT Conversations, Curry’s Daily Source Code, Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles and Kevin Devin’s In the Trenches.

You might think I’m excited about being a most recommended podcast but for me the real kicker is Kevin Devin being recommended. I claim some small credit for mid-wifing that podcast, since Kevin wasn’t sure he was going to do more than a single cast after his first one (which was not In The Trenches as we know it now). He sent me some audio feedback asking for criticism. The show sounded great on a technical level but the only issue was that he spent a fair chunk of it saying “I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again, I don’t know if anyone cares what I have to say”, which is not the way to engender listener loyalty.

I encouraged him to focus on the stuff that was obviously of interest to him, which was the heavy duty IT stuff from the sys admin perspective, and to commit to that. Voila! From that, a very good and popular podcast – on a subject that had to that point been unrepresented in the podosphere – was born. This is why the inevitable charges of “elitism” bother me so much, with the implications that there are efforts to keep people out. That is exactly the opposite of what really happens. It isn’t just that I try to invite people to this party, in some cases I browbeat them to show up.

I’m not trying to sound like a claim jumping egomaniac here, wanting credit for other’s hard work, but I do want to point out that I feel just as happy when folks I encourage succeed as when I do. To me, that’s the absolute best part of this community, the mutual support of the podcasters (for the most part). I suspect this aspect will fade over time but for now I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

Update: I was worried I might have been overreaching but Kevin Devin sent me an email confirming that he sees it the same way. I quote with permission:

You have every right to claim the midwives role with my podcast…
had it NOT been for you, that first podcast would have been my last.
It has been a VERY pleasurable experience thus far as I’ve met some
REALLY awesome people along the way that I would have likely never met
without the podcast.

Thank you, Kevin. I’m delighted to have been able to help, and pleased as punch that things are going well for you.

EGC Clambake Episode for Dec 30, 2004

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for December 30, 2004.

I have a moment of silence for the many dead in the wake of the tsunami and discuss why I haven’t blogged about it; talk about the special relief fund effort from iPodderX; give a shout out to Will Shetterly’s mention of Voices in Your Head and his permission to use Steeldragon Press music in podcasts; I talk about how Mur Lafferty seemed underwhelmed by the mention here; I pull back the curtain on some of my audio trickery editing in here; I talk about how cool it is that Joshua Kinberg used get_enclosures as the base for one of his projects; I play a song by Cats Laughing and say goodnight

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Well Wishes for Tony Kahn

I feel guilty that I didn’t know that Tony Kahn was recuperating from coronary bypass surgery until I ran across that in a post of JD Lasica’s today. Here’s wishing Tony an easy recuperation and a quck bounceback. I’ve just met him in the last few months and we have way too much left to talk about and work on in forging this brave new world. We need Tony’s hands pulling on the rope so I hope he is back up to speed soon.

I’ve been looking forward to continuing our talk on civility in public discourse. I’ve been thinking about it a lot in terms of things I want to talk about in upcoming podcasts, so Tony has been on my mind a lot lately. Get well soon, sir!

iPodderX Philanthropy

I’ve been informed that the guys at iPodderX (sponsors of the EGC clambake) are donating 100% of the proceeds from paid registrations between now and January 8th to tsunami relief. If you register your copy and use the coupon code “HELP”, then all that money will be donated to the Red Cross Relief Fund. If you were thinking about registering anyway, this is a great way to get your program while helping out.

We did our donation to the Red Cross today via the Amazon deal (Update: I’m wrong, we donated straight to the Red Cross not via Amazon). Please, help out in whatever way you can.


After seeing the post on Boing Boing about the mashup of the Beatles with themselves (like, 40 of the songs) I downloaded it and listened to it. My god, this thing is so beautiful and transcendent that it brought a tear to the eye of this fan of the Beatles. The density of the reference and association is such that it brings them all back simultaneously. I find that all the affection I have for the individual songs comes flooding in, even when I can only make out subliminally that I’m hearing them. Just the enormity of all that George Martin production and those distinctive drum sounds and organ licks and guitar riffs, wow!

And much like I’ve had to say over and over in the podcasting world, yes Cory you do get the Bittorrent benefit even with a file as small as 5 megs. Cory expresses skepticism to that fact on his post, but yes it is worth using BT, even for a single song if it is highly in demand and has many simultaneous downloaders as this does. Folks, don’t hold the BT at an arms length, embrace it!

Open Source Audio

Jon Udell, who I frequently hear on the Gillmor Gang, has created his own podcast. The first few episodes seem to be phone interviews from him doing his day job with Infoworld, talking to vendors about what they do. The most recent is entirely different, an audio explication of the notion of open source audio. It’s highly interesting, and a creative use of the medium and found clips from the Internet Archive. Very nice, Jon!

Home Again

The trip has been successfully executed. We went to Augusta and saw the family, hung out and exchanged presents and did all the stuff one would expect. I received the Achewood gift pack, thank you Marilyn! It was fun, but like every time I’ve left lately I just really wanted to get back home. I just plain like it here and want to be around the crib and around my new hometown.

Speaking of which, we’re watching How Do I Look? on the Style Channel (well, someone is – I’m blogging and not paying attention). While I think they all happen in LA, the woman who is getting made over was wearing a Thorny’s Steakhouse t-shirt. There are two branches of this joint, one in Myrtle Beach and one walking distance from the house. Small world, no?

In a slight bit of morbidity, we went shopping in my late aunt’s house looking for things we wanted and reminiscing over photos and items and mementos. We identified a chest of drawers that we’ll get at some point, a clock radio, a small suitcase and a small TV. I also took one of her bowling trophies, which I will display right next to my father’s urn in a small shrine to loved ones that are no longer with us. In addition, I appropriated my late father’s cowboy hat, which I really do want to wear around in a non-ironic way. He gave me his cowboy boots 15 years ago, which I used to wear to rock clubs in Atlanta. Combine them with the hat and we’ll see how I can pull it off.

Merry XMas

Round one of the holidays is complete, as my wife’s family has headed home. Presents were exchanged, much food was eaten, football was watched and naps were taken. Really, how could it be much better? Shortly, we get in a car and head to my family for round two.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Cheer

I suddenly feel full of good wishes for the holidays. May everyone that celebrates this sort of thing have wonderful holidays.

As you might expect, blogging will probably be light for the next few days and podcasting even lighter.

EGC Clambake Episode for Dec 20, 2004

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for December 20, 2004. Yes, I know that’s three days ago. It’s like, you know, the holidays and stuff.

This is the infamous episode recorded in Hartsfield airport in Atlanta that I wasn’t going to publish. In it, I talk about the yuppies with the stink eye in the terminal; I discuss the piece on the power laws and the “pod squad”; I play my newest favorite XMas song by American Heartbreak. In the preface, I mention Mur Lafferty’s Geek Fu Action Grip but fail to note that it is a podcast as well as a weblog. Yikes!

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX!

Links mentioned in this episode:

The Spirit

Earlier this evening, as we got ready for house guests with me cleaning and my wife making candy (peppermint bark and fudge, yum) I decided to drop on the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to Charlie Brown Christmas. That just does it for me, and not just the big crowd pleasers like “Linus and Lucy”. My favorites on that disc are their version of “Fur Elise” and the Guaraldi original “Skating.” I imagine that some of this is imprinting on that music and that show at a young age, but it just does it for me (even when I spin it in June.) Things seem calm and pleasant and right while it is playing. Even if that’s just an illusion that can’t be sustained, I’m thankful for those precious few moments when the biggest worries are a lousy tree and a room full of oddly dancing kids with 4 fingers on each hand.

Voices in the Can

Alright, another episode of Voices in Your Head is in the can. At least, it’s in the can from my perspective. From Doug Kaye’s there is still plenty of work to do. We made the decision (really Doug did and I nodded along) to wait until after the new year to publish it, since we don’t want it to disappear unnoticed in the holiday hubbub. I’ll keep tight lipped about who it is, but this person might be more of a “crowd pleaser” in the sense of being perhaps less “literary” than the first two guests but more in the “ripping good yarn” vein. All those quotation marks are to say that I don’t necessarily subscribe to all the labels, but they are shorthand for what I’m trying to get at. I like all three authors, but mystery guest #3 is demonstrably from a different sector of the genre and almost certainly one more widely read in sheer sales figures.

The long and short is – new interview posted in about two weeks or so, and lots of folks should be clamoring to hear it. These are coming out less frequently than I’d like, but life only has so much bandwidth in it.

Flop is Flipped

OK, I’ve been talked into it. I will post the episode of the clambake recorded in the Atlanta airport. With work and preparation for the holiday houseguests, it might not happen tonight. I’ll try to steal a few moments here and there to assemble this. I normally edit out the rough spots, but when there is this ambient bed of noise, especially the announcements over the airport loudspeaker, it defies smoothing those out. Every time it happens you can hear an audible jump that just screams “EDIT” on each one, and ultimately can be more distracting than the part I edited out.

So, I relent. Expect this one to be posted before XMas, but there probably won’t be another episode of the clambake until the middle of next week.


I am home, and it is wonderful! Even though inexplicably it is in the 20’s here, I’m glad to sleep in my own bed, snuggled up to my wife and listening to my dog snore.

The plane from Chicago to Atlanta was the same one I was supposed to take from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach, but it had some mechanical problem so we got rerouted to a different plane. In that extra time, I recorded an episode of the clambake that in retrospect I’m not going to use. It was too noisy and sounds like crap. So, the snotty yuppie couple at gate A14 of Hartsfield, the ones who made big street theater of getting up and moving somewhere else after I started recording, the ones who were bothered by my talking into the microphone 5 seats away from them but not the people talking into cellphones 2 seats away, I pissed you off for nothing. Merry XMas and kiss my ass. Interestingly, after I stopped recording 3 different people wanted to talk to me about what I was doing and that flexible microphone attached to the laptop. This lends credence to my belief I wasn’t doing anything wrong and the yuppie couple were just assholes.

Voices Review

How cool! Just in time for XMas I see that Voices in your Head was reviewed on The New New Podcast Review. Kinrowan gave it 4 1/2 stars, which is really good. Check it out, this makes me really happy. I like getting noticed for the clambake here, but I really really love it when that show gets a little attention. I definitely put a lot into each one (which is why they’ve only been coming at the rate of one per month for a while.) Thanks, Kinrowan!

Facing Towards Home

I love Chicago and all, but I’m counting the minutes until I can get on a plane and head home. I just want to be there, with my wife and dog, chilling out in our nice home and not freezing. My wishes this holiday season are quite modest.

EGC Clambake Episode for Dec 19, 2004

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for December 19, 2004.

I mention the nut-clacking cold of this weekend in Chicago; I discuss my disappointment in G**gl* ads; I talk about how a cheap USB card reader is revitalizing my outlook on my Zaurus; I play a song by Devil in Miss Jones from the Wakka Chikka Wakka Chikka compilation; I give some of my history with ebooks; I tell how I think Gemstar managed to get dealt a blackjack and still bust the hand in their purchase of Nuvomedia and the Rocket eBook reader; I talk about why I think the eBookwise reader is a good deal; I play a Martinibomb song from the same album; and I tell the anecdote of how John Waters is obsessed with taking Don Knotts to Hollywood functions as his date.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Gaping Void Hits It

Because of the nature of Gaping Void cartoons, being business card form factor and all, they are required to be simple and snappy – usually one short sentence. Some of these are kind of easy layups and not that profound. I tend to ignore all the “Hey, let’s jump in the sack” ones. What I love are the ones where he lands a short sentence that contains a huge insight of blinding truth. One such cartoon is “The market for something to believe in is infinite”. Another is this one.