Monday, August 07, 2006

Zee and Zed Tribute Post

Brace yourselves, cause I don't know if this'll make too much sense, and if you don't listen to podcasts you probably won't get it anyhow. It's nothing earthshattering, but it is something important, that's upset me that I wanted to talk about. If you listen to my show you know that I can get a bit geeky, a bit overhyped some of the time. Ok, pretty much all the time. Honestly I'm not like that usually, in 'real' life, whatever that is, I'm much more laid back about things. I actually sometimes cringe when I listen to On Hold and hear myself rambling on and on about Optimus Prime or some crap. I wanted to break it down real for you though. I'd like to try to infuse a bit more of that into the show too but its pretty hard for two reasons. Firstly Devon acts as a really good foil for my personality, although I admit I kind of think some of the things he says are a bit offensive, or at the least crass, I know he means well, and his relax-itude balances well off my excited nerdy guy thing. Also, it seems one of the two (when talking duo podcasts) always has to be the nerdy one who does all the technical podcasting stuff, and the other guy is always a bit 'cooler'. Secondly though, I get honestly pretty amped up when someone puts a microphone in front of me. I get excited and I start rambling a lot, I mean A LOT. If I didn't have Devon to anchor me I would talk forever. And I know
that's not a horrible thing or anything, its just mostly that I talk to avoid being nervous. Put my in front of a crowd and I'll do the same thing, if I don't I'd probably have a panic attack. Very uncool...

Podcasting means a lot to me though, It was just about a year ago that I discovered it. Actually it was whenever the updated version of iTunes came down that supported it. I thought I'd try it out, see if I enjoyed it, seeing as I already had an ipod and a long commute. It worked great. I always enjoyed talk radio, and this was like wow, I can just listen to talk radio about things that interest me. cool. It wasn't for another two months or so that I got it. And when I say got it I mean like I all of a sudden had a lightbulb turned on in my head GOT it. Podcasting means more than a silly little talk radio show, it means more than just filling time on the commute, it is the start of what I honestly believe is a technological revolution. For reals. Its not about what it is even right now, the form doesn't matter as much to me as the message behind it. I suppose McLuhan would tell me that in fact the medium is the message but I think that in the context of podcasting, the medium is the form, its the framework and the
people, and their intent is the real message. Podcasting is a million times better than terrestrial radio because in it I can see the future; of not just user controlled, but and this is key here, user generated media.

That is the message, and the promise of podcasting. I am not a corporation, I am a person, just like you, hell I am you. In the larger sense this is really what podcasting means to me, and why I call it a revolution. Because from now on, when the message spreads, when the potential is realized and technology continues to grow and it allows us to say what we want and feel organically, truthfully everything will change.

This is a very big deal to me. And now, a piece of the puzzle, some of the people behind this big moment for me, people that I really respect are leaving podcasting. And I'm a bit upset.

Haha, how very Canadian of me.... oh well. I'm not angry at all, I'm just sad and I don't know how to explain it. Upset. A few weeks ago Dan Klass, host of The Bitterest Pill podcast decided to hang it up, at least for a while. That really meant something to me, not because I'd been listening to him for so long, but because he had something important to say, whether he knew it or not, every time he opened his mouth. The exact same goes for Karen and Ross, of Zee and Zed, who have today after 40 fantastic episodes, called it quits. If you are at all interested in podcasts please check them out, they really had so much going for them. And I don't even know what to say....For me its like they were always there. I found them through listening to Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, which incidentally I don't even listen to anymore (although I suppose that's beside the point). It was a promo, for a show hosted by a sarcastic American and a wry Canadian, quirky funny, about a Canadian living in the states, I could definitely relate.. I remember sitting in SFO waiting for a plane sometime last September, about to head off to a wedding on Salt Spring Island, and I had downloaded episodes 8-12 (which was their newest), Karen talked about cheap box wine, and Ross complained about Don Cherry. I was totally hooked. It was right around this time, these few weeks that I started to piece together in my mind what the true potential for podcasting could be. And it was Zee and Zed, along with another 'cast called Hot Buttered Pop Culture (who are still on hiatus...) pretty much cemented the idea that I needed to be a part of this myself.

I guess I'd have to say I felt compelled. So I started forming a plan, one which would take me to the brink of world domination and beyond... but I'm getting ahead of myself, what I want to explain is why these guys were, are so important to me; so that you might get why its such a shame to see them go. It took me 4 months to get my podcasting plan into action. I got active on a couple forums, mainly HBPC, and chanced to meet another awesome podcaster, Angie, who currently hosts one of my desert island 'casts (those are the top 5 'casts that I'd need if I were to be stranded to a desert island with only my ipod and a podcatcher) Pop Culture Shock. She was just about to get started too, and I really drew inspiration from her, although she probably doesn't know it (until she read this blog I guess ...hehe) But here's the truth of it, in podcasting community is everything. Yes you have to podcast for yourself, just like you have to blog for yourself, but its the community that makes you love it. These people, Mark and Matt, and Angie, and the girls, and especially Ross and Karen mean a heck of a lot to me. And if Mark and Matt were the guys that convinced me I could do a podcast, because I could be as ok as them (well maybe not - but I could try), Karen and Ross were the people that made me realize I should do a podcast, if only to try to be as good as them.

Karen was one of, if not officially our first 'real' listeners. I don't mean like family and friends listener I mean like the first person out in the Podosphere that I know of who actively downloaded On Hold because of me. It was literally the day I registered the cast on Podcast Pickle and Karen mailed me saying "hey Geoff is that you? Are you podcasting now?" She actually honestly remembered me from like one or two little comments I'd sent. Amazing. And so sweet. It really meant more than they know. And then what, despite our total crappiness at the start, she actively promoted our show, on hers! Sounds crazy, but that's just what cool people they really are. Completely genuine.

So I'm sad, I'm sad to see them go. I'm sure they have a good reason, they're very sensible people. I just have this attachment for them that's not going to go away easily. My podcast really isn't anywhere near as good as it could be, and funny thing every time I ever asked Karen what her secret was she always said that they only liked some ridiculous amount, say 25% of their shows!? For real. Those guys are either absurd perfectionists, or they shouldn't be quitting because they have so much untapped potential. Personally I know that their show was great; be your own harshest critic all you want, but Zee and Zed have loyal and devoted fans, not because they tell us about Target Adam, and restart their show 10 times an episode... but because they are genuine real people, and that kind of honesty is refreshing.

I don't know if you'll see this Ross or Karen but thanks guys. Your show will be missed, it was absolutely great.

Americanadian forever.


Anonymous said...

Hey Geoff Its im looking at your email you sent Greg and I and I look at the bottom of the page and notice your links...this being one of them i decided to click and give it a look see...Not only are you a awsome guy with a fresh new funny podcast but you tottaly get it...This Zee and Zed Tribute post is so heart felt and touching...Now please dont think im getting all girly on ya. but everything you wrote about podcasting being a revolution and all is one of the many resons why we started in the first place...This is big, and i know that it sadiness you to see this falling away of podcaster's at this moment but i regret to say that this is nothing new Greg and i have been putting shows out going on 2yrs in December (wow) thats a long time for doing something this long for free..but anyway this has hurts us too. Ross and Karen have become some of are closes friends in podcasting and to see that this thing didnt work out for them bums me out..
If i can say one thing to you and if your willing to listen Please stick in there with your show...This thing is huge we may not be seeing its bennifits now but podcasting is leaving a big mark on this world.
Sorry this is so long its late and my mind get filled with alot of stuff at this time. but i just wanted to say that this post was some sweet words you layed out and there appreciated by me.
oh dont mind the spelling its late and it's me. Greg's the one with the high iQ

Laura said...

bummer, i'm sad to see them go too. but i want you to realize that on hold is just as important in podcasting as zee and zed. i know that you look up to them and that they were an awesome and remarkable podcast, but just know that the listeners of on hold appreciate your ramblings and insights just as much as you respected zee and zed. and like zee and zed your podcast encourages others to consider podcasting as a new medium to spread their ideas and insights. thanks for giving their podcast the tribute it deserves, but remember that by being part of the revolution of podcasting you are continuing what they started for the next generation of podcasters.

Chappy said...

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who publicly or privately responded to me about this post. I feel like such a kid sometimes. Like I don't know what I'm doing, or that I let my emotions get the best of me. But I think that maybe everyone feel that way sometimes. I need to take from this what I can. Learn something. And maybe all that really is, is that you need to follow your heart. Try to do what you love. And don't fear change. I know that I can get kind of wrapped up in things, people tell me sometimes that it's my Gemini nature; total extremes. Keeping perspective is important though, and I shouldn’t sell myself shor. There's always so much more to learn, and I guess that’s why I feel like a kid. Thank you to everyone really. It means a lot, I’ll take the advice to heart :)