Episode #55: Alabama House of Turkey, Russell Johnson, and Skunks

It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with Rome Maynard, due to sickness, travel, and birthday parties. We have a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from identification of wildlife in National Parks, Attack of the crab monster, and executioners.

Source: Episode #55: Alabama House of Turkey, Russell Johnson, and Skunks

Be more productive

Over at CRM Audio, we launched a new podcast series with Matthew C. Anderson. Matthew is one of my colleagues and probably the most productive person I know.

I am fascinated by finding ways to be more effective at what I do and take control over the things like e-mails and meetings that can sometimes fill up my time and get in the way of being effective. There are some good resources out there about productivity, but there is also a lot of hype and many “productivity” tools that don’t really make you more productive.

I’m looking forward to these episodes with Matthew. ProdCast will be released every other Wednesday.

ProdCast is available from the following sources:

Or if you subscribe to CRM Audio, you will receive ProdCast episodes along with the other podcasts on the CRM Audio Network.





Podcasting Part 1: Why I Podcast

I have been a fan of podcasts since I heard my first podcast in 2004. This was prior to iTunes adding podcast support and unlimited data plans, and finding and subscribing to podcasts was a much more cumbersome process. You had to download a podcatcher app, find the RSS feed for a podcast, add the RSS feed to the podcatcher, then add the downloaded files to your music application or MP3 player. Back in those days, podcasting was more of a niche/geek medium.

What attracted me to podcasts was the sheer variety of podcasts, and how virtually anyone with a microphone could podcast. They provided an amazing variety of content compared to the stale world of local radio.

In the subsequent decade, podcasting has become much more mainstream, with many of the top podcasts lists comprised of recordings of professional radio broadcasts. Yet it remains a medium with a low barrier to entry, allowing anyone with an idea to create a podcast and be listed in the same venue as popular podcasts like This American Life.


But my love of audio broadcasting goes back further than 2004. I grew up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota. When we had a television, we only got three television stations, two of which were CBS. When the president or Billy Graham were speaking, they were the only thing on. When I was in second grade, our television broke, and my parents didn’t replace it.

This meant that my entertainment medium was radio. I spent many nights when I was supposed to be sleeping listing to my radio, navigating around the AM band. In the midwest where everything is flat, during certain times of the year, you can pick up AM radio stations from across the country. I heard many broadcasts of CBS Radio Mystery Theater (which is pretty scary if you listen when the lights are turned off during a thunder storm), I heard weird late night call-in talk shows from Denver and WLS in Chicago. When my friends were watching He Man and the Masters of the Universe, i was listening to Paul Harvey The Rest of the Story.

I had dreams of working in radio when I grew up, and I studied radio broadcasting in college. When I found out more about the reality of how modern radio industry works, reality took over, and my career took me into sales and then software consulting.

Fast forward to 2015, some friends asked me how to start a podcast. While I theoretically knew that podcasts were audio or video filed distributed via RSS feeds, I didn’t know the specific steps to take a recorded file to a feed that could be downloaded in one of the common podcast apps. And I also found most of the guides out there explaining how to podcast to be incomplete or overly technical.

So I decided to learn how podcasts work by creating one myself.

In this series of posts, I will detail my podcast journey, including how I podcast, equipment you need (and don’t need), podcast production tips, getting listed on leading podcast applications and directories, and how to avoid mistakes that I have made.


Attn: PR People

When you write blog posts about technical topics, you will receive a bunch of emails from PR people who want you to cover their clients’ products and services. However, most of these don’t usually pertain to the topics that I blog about. This post is free advice to any eager PR folks out there–target your messages to bloggers and opinion leaders that care about what you are trying to sell.

Some examples from my inbox over the last week:

Hello Joel,

The Super Boring Sounding Conference early bird price expires this TOMORROW—register by midnight November 20 and save $550 off the full conference price.

Sorry, I’m not going to be in Phoenix that week.

Hi Joel,

[Insert timely sounding news story blurb]. I’d like to offer the analysis of John Guyyou’veneverheardof, who is a very important research analyst. If you or any of your colleagues are working on related stories, Jim is available for comment.

Wow–I wish I could talk to more research analysts. I have some research to be analyzed.

Hi Joel,

I thought you might be interested in the news from Who’sThat Research. The company has named Bob SomeIdiot  as President to help build the company’s new Voice-Driven Research strategy. Bob has an extensive background in consumer market research and will be guiding the company to make the most of its new speech-to-text IVR survey platform.

Maybe you should call John Guyyou’veneverheardof. He’s a very important research analysist, and perhaps he would be interested in doing his research in a voice-driven manner.

Hi Joel,

I know that you cover trends in customer service for the trucking industry, so I wanted to share some super interesting research that shows [some boring stuff]. This is under embargo until Dec. 1, so don’t tell anybody yet.

I have never blogged about customer service for the trucking industry, and do you think that if you tell me that something I don’t care about is under embargo that I will want to tell people about it?

Hi Joel,

An impartial HPC technology intelligence and analysis subscription service will be launched at DR15 by the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) and Blue Spruce Consulting. The NAG HPC Technology Intelligence Service will deliver technology insight and risk-reduction to help HPC buyers and users make better decisions and optimize their HPC investments.

You know what we need? More acronyms.