Jason’s Early Life with Podcasting

Jason’s Early Life with Podcasting

Evaldas: Yeah, it’s close. So, what do you think changed from that time, if you compared?

Jason: Well, back in the day, I was an engineer. I wrote software for 20 years and then started to get into podcasting. I actually got into podcasting as a listener in probably around 2004 or 2005. I had a really good friend, Kevin Marx, who was one of the first people that ever got fired for blogging. He was working at Apple and he wrote a blog post that got him fired. But, he’s the guy that wrote the first Python script to actually take RSS enclosures and move them onto your iPod.

Because, back in the day, that’s what we were doing, and I worked with him at Technorati, which was a blog search engine back in the day. So, he’s the one that actually got me into the whole podcasting thing and I wanted to do it for years and years and years, and I spent a decade waffling over it, and then finally found my co host, and I started Grumpy Old Geeks about three years ago. We just hit our three-year anniversary, so it’s one of those things where it’s just like, “Ah, I should have just got started back then. It would have been a whole new career.”

So, yeah. I’ve been podcasting with my own show for three years. I’ve done a multitude of shows in between then just because I wanted to learn the technology. Like, there was a show we did called “Does It Have Legs”, which was a three-person movie show where we would watch a movie that was at least 20 years old, and we’d have three of us around a round table and figure out if it was a good movie, and that was just so I could learn the technology on how to do a three-person show. I’ve always been trying to learn the craft from how to do audio recording and just going to get those skills in place.

*Photo Credit: ThePodcastingGuy.com*

*Photo Credit: ThePodcastingGuy.com*

Evaldas: Yeah, so the best way to do it is actually trying to do a thing you don’t know.

Jason: That’s exactly it. It’s like I just wanted to learn how to do it, so I did it.

Evaldas: Yeah, that’s an amazing story that you actually knew almost the father of podcasting, if you can call it like that. So, the guy I said, was he still involved somehow, or he just also finished —

Jason: I missed the question.

Evaldas: The guy who you said first did the RSS feed.

Jason: Oh, with Kevin Marx?

Evaldas: Yeah, Kevin Marx. Was he like –?

Jason: Kevin Marx, he’s been a podcaster for many, many years. He worked for the BBC for a while. I mean, he’s not even bi-coastal. He’s bi-country. He flips back and forth between England and the U.S. and he does a bunch of podcasts. But, his claim to fame was the fact that he wrote that first Python script to actually get things onto an iPod, and I think he gave that to Adam Curry and Dave Winer, who were the — when you think about podcasting from the early days, that’s really where it came from. Adam Curry, they call him “The Podfather”, which I think is a terrible name, but he really was the start of the whole thing with podcasting. So, that’s when it got on my radar and I’ve known about it since literally the day that Kevin wrote the script, because we were friends back then and I didn’t get into it until I finally decided to pull the trigger and found my co-host. That’s actually a really hard thing to do because I bought all the equipment, I was ready to go for years because I ran a blogging platform called Metblogs, and we had hundreds of authors who were doing daily news on the ground. This was before Huffington Post. We were Huffington Post before Huffington Post was a thing and we had people around the world reporting on news and I thought, “Oh, man. This would be great if we could do a podcast about this,” and then I got the microphone, I put it in front of me, and got complete stage fright. That was it. I’m just looking at the microphone going, “Oh my god, what am I going to say?”

Evaldas: Yeah, even when there’s no stage, if you think about it.

Jason: Yeah, that was exactly it, and when I finally got a co-host, we did the same thing. We got in front of the microphone and we were just like, “Oh my god, these are terrible.” We threw away like four or five shows just at the beginning to figure out, “Okay, we can’t talk about this, we can’t talk about that.” We were name checking really horrible clients of ours and we were like, “Oh, you can’t do that. We forgot about that.” You can’t say that company A was some of the most terrible people you’ve ever worked with because then company B will be like, “Well, I’m not going to work with him if he’s going to name check us after we become horrible.” Things like that is what we learned in our first round table.

Evaldas: I was actually pretty surprised. I listened to your first episode on Grumpy Old Geeks.

Jason: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m terribly sorry.

Evaldas: No, I mean, I really enjoyed it actually because you are so free with what you’re talking about. Everything around like you’re bashing with those internet marketers or internet folk.

Jason: Oh, yeah. If somebody says they’re a social media expert, we eviscerate them. I think the first episode was “How To Make Money On The Internet”. It’s like, “It’s really hard. You can’t.” But, yeah, since we’ve got, between the two of us, Brian and I, I met him in ’95 when we were working at a company called Box Top, and we were working on things like guests, Stone Temple Pilots, then we worked on Barbie, and a bunch of other — this was back when those brands were like the brand leaders in trying to get on the internet.

So, we worked with that agency together and we just became best friends, and then I quit and moved to Paramount Motion Pictures, and he moved into the music industry. So, I went into motion picture marketing for the next like 15 years and he went into music marketing. But, we still are, even to this day, we are like stone cold coders down to the brass tacks when it comes to building websites. So, we have both built — between the two of us, we built over probably 1,000 websites. So, that’s our kind of skill set and that’s where the show comes from. The show comes from us really knowing the ins and outs of how things are made on the internet, and how to really name check people who are doing it really poorly. Like the tagline on the show is “What went wrong on the internet, and who’s to blame?”

Evaldas: I think it really works well between you two. It doesn’t seem like that?

Jason: It was one of those things where it wasn’t even like — I wanted a co-host and I wanted to start a show, but we just ended up going to the pub for three hours and just complaining about everything that’s wrong with the business, and I’m like, “You want to do a podcast?” He’s like, “Sure, okay,” and our initial goal was, “Hey, if we don’t make money from this podcast in the first 10 episodes, we’re not going to do it again.” We’re on episode 156 that we just recorded today and we still don’t make any money, but we do it for the love of it, you know?

Evaldas: Yes, I think why my greatest passion of podcasting that you do it and you just enjoy it so much, and you get to if you like doing things, you’ll even get to meet people and people as well near you probably wouldn’t have a chance if you wouldn’t do it.

Jason: Yeah, yeah. I mean, for the most part, the way that it worked out for me that was actually really interesting is I was the technology guy for a company called The Art of Charm, and I was their WordPress guy, and I would run all the business side of their technology, and part of that company was half of it was a podcast, half of it was live training, and in the middle was the website, and I just ran the website. I was like the tech guy that ran the website, but since I was doing the technology, but also doing my own podcast on the side, the host of the podcast, Jordan Harbinger, and I, we would just sit there and talk tech all day. We’d be just like, “Hey, what kind of mics are we doing? What preamps and software?” and all this stuff.

When they decided to spin off the tech side to another company, I’m like, “Well, I guess I’m gone,” and Jordan’s like, “No, no, no. Why don’t you come on and produce the show?” because you have all this insight into podcasting that you’ve put in the years, like learning how to do it, and I’m like, “Oh, great. I am going to become a podcast producer full-time now,” and that is my job now. I am a podcast producer.

Evaldas: Yeah, that’s even great because it lines up very well with your passion of podcasts.

Jason: Yeah, it’s great. So, to your question before about talking to people that I would never ever get to talk to, the Art of Charm podcast, which is a top 50 iTunes podcast, we have millions of downloads a month and I get to talk to New York Times bestselling authors, I get to talk to crazy scientists who are doing cutting edge research on communication, I get to talk to all these people who are people that I would never ever get to talk to.

Also, from doing that podcast and doing my podcasts, the multiples of podcasts that I do, I also work on Tim Ferriss’ show. So, he just got an award for the best podcast of the year of the Golden Kitty from Product Hunt. Best podcast episode of the year for Jamie Foxx, which is a show that I edited. So, it’s like a complete change from writing code all the time, and now I just do podcasting all the time.

Evaldas: Yes, like they say, you’re transforming your — you reinvented yourself.

Jason: Yeah, totally reinvented, and as the kids would say, I pivoted.

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About Evaldas Miliauskas

Evaldas Miliauskas is the founder of CastSource - a startup that provides transcriptions designed for podcasts. He is a passionate podcaster listener, host, and a entrepreneur.

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