Let's gather round the wireless

[00:00:00] Brendan: Welcome to bit rate. Oh wait, do I say

[00:00:03] Mark: welcome to no, we just, we just go. Cause there's a robot that introduces the show. That's right. I already forgot the show. Well, let's go in.

[00:00:22] I'm Brendan with podcast advocate. I'm Mark with Podiant

[00:00:25] Brendan: and with us today is Arielle Nissenblatt from the earbuds podcast. Collective, thank you so much, Arielle, for joining us. Well,

[00:00:31] Arielle: thanks so much for having me glad to be here this early on the west coast. Yes.

[00:00:35] Brendan: Thanks for recording early with us. Uh, so I was thinking that we could talk about, um, live in person podcast type events, whether it's listening together or recording them or talking about them.

[00:00:49] Um, Uh, a lot of people have been talking lately about, um, about that kind of scene. And, uh, it's just kind of sparked some curiosity in me, Arielle, like you are hosting. Tell us about like you have. Coming up on and you host them occasionally. Uh, tell us a little bit about that and like what, what you

[00:01:12] Arielle: do. So I run earbuds podcast, collective, which I bill as a listening movement.

[00:01:19] And what does that mean? Um, I make it up as I go along, which is fun. Uh, we send a weekly email with a theme and five podcast episodes on that theme. Any tweak is curated by a different person. And the idea behind that is to listen to podcasts that are outside of our. Normal realm of thinking it's to get ourselves thinking about things that, you know, we're not used to thinking about, and maybe that's something that's like politically completely opposite from what we like to hear, or maybe that's just listening to something about science when we don't think of ourselves as a science minded person.

[00:01:53] Um, so it's all about opening your ears and listening to stories and listening to. Just content because there's so much out there. Um, and then further than that, I wanted to figure out a way to actually learn about listening. You know, what does it mean to really shut off your brain when somebody else is talking and really let them talk as opposed to waiting to insert your own piece?

[00:02:22] Um, I had a friend last night who. Was complaining to me that he didn't like how he did it in a softball game. And I, I had actually just listened to a podcast about how we were we're so ready to insert ourselves into conversations, but, you know, so my, my, my instinct was to say, oh, it wasn't that bad. You were fine.

[00:02:47] But I just learned in this podcast that you're supposed to, in order to be a quote unquote, good listener, One thing that you could do instead of say, you know, how, how does that make you feel, you know, without trying to get to therapists, like I'm just learning all these new tactics about listening and then taking that to a stage is interesting too.

[00:03:09] So, um, What I do for earbuds podcast, collective is we have a live show. This is going to be our third one. Um, and we have five storytellers who tell a five to seven minute piece on the theme of listening and they can interpret that however they want. And some, some do it very strictly, some have more. Uh, interpretations of the term, and it's just a way to get people in the same room,

[00:03:37] Mark: listening what you were saying actually, um, brings to mind, um, about sort of the, the right kind of listening.

[00:03:44] And I know there is a, there is a term for it. Uh, and I, my, my mind is just blanked, but I, yes, I think that is, that's probably exactly what I was going for. Um, there was a lovely bit in, in parks and rec a while ago, um, in which, um, one of the main character. I was going out with another and every time she had a rubbish day, he would try and make the day better.

[00:04:05] Whereas all she actually wanted was for him to say, oh, that sucks. And sometimes that is what you need. You actually want someone to go. Yeah, I hear what you're saying. I'm not going to try and rate against that because I think that's what you want to hear. I'm just going to say. That that sucks. And, and either let people talk about it or, you know, let that be the conversation that that's just been had to move on to something else, instead of like you were saying that sort of knee jerk thing of no, no, no.

[00:04:31] You know, you've said this, know it wasn't that bad, it was this, or, you know, whatever. And I, I think I liked that approach. I'm so

[00:04:37] Brendan: bad at that. I always want to comfort.

[00:04:42] Arielle: Right? Apparently, apparently there are a few ways to be, there are six ways to be bad at listening. I should figure out. Let me, there are six ways to, um, be mediocre at listening is more how it is.

[00:04:55] It's like you think you're listening and you think you're being a good listener, but you're not actually being a good listener. So, and what

[00:05:01] Mark: type of listener are you when anytime anyone references something you're on your keyboard? Because you're trying to find a link to put into the show notes. Does that, is that one of the six.

[00:05:13] Arielle: Distracted. You're

[00:05:13] Brendan: distracted.

[00:05:17] Arielle: I named Graham hive who goes around. Um, he went around the country last year. He filmed, um, himself, uh, just talking with people who are outside of his demographic and just like kind of sitting there and listening, really giving, um, other people, the spotlight. So this is his. Uh, episode with Dr. Kelsey Crowe.

[00:05:41] Who's an empathy expert, and coauthor of there is no good card for this. So, um, Dr. Kelsey Crowe is talking about, um, you know, That we think we're a good listener when we, um, when we try to be optimistic, oh, it's not that bad. We think we're a good listener. When, um, when we try to offer Sage advice, oh, there's something we can learn from this.

[00:06:05] And she offered a few others like that, but really, um, if you really want to be a listener, a straight up listener, the best thing to do is. Just like shut up, look, show that you're actively listening by nodding along and really meaning it. And then, um, you know, just letting your, um, letting your friend or person that you're talking to feel what they want to feel.

[00:06:30] Brendan: When you were saying earlier about, um, hearing from your friend about the baseball game, and you're like, oh, I just heard a podcast about that. Uh, or just heard a podcast about X. I have constantly like that. That is like a running, um, uh, program in the back of my head. That's constantly like, oh, I, you know, w whatever interaction I ha I, I think, oh, I just heard a podcast about that.

[00:06:53] And, uh, and it. It's great because I get all this extra, uh, knowledge and experience and perspective and everything, but it's also obviously distracting and not allowing me to be in the moment and listening

[00:07:08] Mark: as well as I could be. I think it's, it's bad form for a podcast, but silence is a big part of that.

[00:07:13] And it's one of the things that I've started to do more and more as I do more collaborative podcasts. I mean, every. Uh, virtually every show I do now is, is collaborative. And a lot of the time I'm now more willing when someone's finished speaking to not say anything and just wait for a few seconds because, uh, and it's something I've picked up from a podcast called the comedian's comedian and it's, um, it's interviews with comedians.

[00:07:39] They're not necessarily funny and they're often. Um, introspective and quite interesting. And one of his techniques is when someone says something that it might be more interesting to explore rather than, you know, delving into that himself. He will just not say anything and let them carry on. And that in itself, Intimidating if you're on the other side of it, but it's, I think it's also quite powerful.

[00:08:07] Brendan: okay. So do either of you go to live podcast events, like, uh, just to, to go listen to, uh, people perform a podcast and record it, or, um, like a listening party where you would all get together and listen to a podcast together. I

[00:08:24] Arielle: have been to a handful of. My podcast recordings that then become, you know, welcome to our live show, um, on the podcast feed.

[00:08:34] And then I've been to a few, um, podcast conferences, conventions, however you want to call it. And then my dream is to create some sort of. Uh, event, but, you know, without calling an event where you get together with friends and actually just listen. But, um, I debated the possibility of this with many friends.

[00:08:57] So in Los Angeles, it's awesome. How many podcasts come through so many, um, Love beloved speakers. Um, so, uh, Radiotopia live came through last year and I saw a memory palace, a 99% invisible. Uh, Helen's Altman was there and, um, a few other people and oh, uh, Leah tau was there with, um, what was her show that is still going, but no longer, yes, stranger.

[00:09:26] So that was, that was really lovely. Um, and you know, Do a great job of figuring out a way to make it also visual for the people who, um, are unable to just sit and listen, which is probably most of us. Um, and me too. It's a nice idea that I can just sit and close my eyes and listen, but who knows? It's always nice to have a visual, um, So, those were really great.

[00:09:54] They make them really cinematic, beautiful artistic experiences. Um, and they're, they're being like at least 500 people there. It's really an awesome experience of just people who love podcasts and love for Radiotopia. Um, I've also seen, um, so here's the thing with Alec Baldwin, which was really just the taping of an interview.

[00:10:17] Um, Interesting to see what happens when, um, the raw audio is created and then how it's distilled down to the final product that we hear. Um, so I'll just say alcohol and talks for a long time. They definitely cut that down.

[00:10:35] Brendan: Yeah, I've been to, uh, I've been the only podcast event really I've been to, to hear a podcast would be pod con and I went to.

[00:10:45] Like a couple of the different events that have, um, live podcast recordings. And it was fine. I mean, it, I, I much, I mean, I was there to be as, as more of a producer than as a fanatic and listener, so I wasn't in that mindset as much, but. Uh, I like, I like my method of listening. Not, not just that I've listened at crazy high speeds, but just, I can listen to whenever I want to, and I can do it while I'm doing something else.

[00:11:19] And it's more of an experience for me that way, like by podcasts recordings, I mean the, the listening to the live podcast recording later, I love, but, um, being there at the, in the, in the moment. It doesn't really do anything for me. How

[00:11:34] Mark: about for you mark? The only ones I've done were at dragon con in 2015.

[00:11:38] Uh, certainly the ones that I can remember anyway, uh, I don't think I've done much cause there's not a lot here. Uh, and we may get onto, uh, my remedy for that a little bit later, but, um, Uh, dragon con I saw certainly the two that stand out where the daily tech news show, um, which was, which was really cool because, uh, I, I got to, you know, have a question asked, um, and then got to meet Tom Merritt afterwards.

[00:12:05] And he was gentlemen, and now we. Exchange occasionally emails. Um, it's not that he writes to me, but I will write to him and he'll write back. Um, but you know, it's sort of actually putting your hand up in the room and asking a question and that kind of stuff's really cool. Uh, but that was kind of, you know, like he knows like that show is on rails and he, you know, he, he sort of goes through the topics really well.

[00:12:27] And, and so there's little difference between that kind of show and why he would do. Usually every day over Google Hangouts. Um, the next day I saw night attack, which is, um, sort of adjacent to that show in that there's some shared, uh, collaborators. Yeah. Um, yeah. And that was very different. And I think I, I subsequently listened to that show live or listen to it back.

[00:12:54] Then their live shows. They, they are quite visual and they have games and they do bits and things like that. And they, I mean, they had a dance competition and all sorts of stuff that I think when you come and listen back to them, that they're a bit strange to listen to. But, um, they, yeah, they were, that was raucous fun.

[00:13:12] I think it's the best way to, oh, in fact, another one that I saw, which was a, sort of a culmination of another show, um, Was I saw a guy's wedding on a podcast.

[00:13:24] Arielle: It was my thing. I would love to be able to come home and sat down on the couch after a long day and listen to a podcast with my roomies, as opposed to a TV show.

[00:13:40] Um, and a few like a year ago when I was a little bit less entrenched in the podcast listening scene, I. Was adamant that this would be the next thing to happen. I just didn't understand how it wasn't. Um, and now, you know, I understand a little bit more, I think. I think it's a discoverability thing. Most people are not aware of podcasts.

[00:14:06] And if more people were aware of podcasts, um, it would be more all encompassing. And my roommates who know what podcasts are, but aren't some of them have it in their daily routine. Some don't. Um, I think when it becomes something that's more on everyone's radar, that's when, when the new cereal comes out, we have to listen to it no matter what.

[00:14:31] So I think that's, that's what it is. And that's the job of, um, Content creators to not fix, but create for if that

[00:14:41] Brendan: makes sense. I think a lot of it also has to do with the way people enjoy listening to podcasts and that it's not yet a communal experience because it's, um, it has, it started out so individualized, you know, where, you know, is.

[00:15:02] Video and TV, and that is all a visual medium and, and the video and audio, and it's out loud. It's easier for the, the it's the norm that multiple people would be around in the same area. Whereas. Um, at least for me, you know, podcasts have always been a mobile thing. And so it's always been a thing where I've had headphones plugged in and it's not, I'm not playing out loud.

[00:15:25] Yeah, exactly. So the only time that I ever listened to podcasts with other people, uh, which is super rare, it would be on a road trip with my wife. We would queue up, had to have her queue up the list of podcasts that she'd want to listen to because I'm listening to all the weird ones that I want to listen to all the time.

[00:15:43] And, uh, And that's a really fun experience. And then we can stop at the end of it or pause it in the mid to talk about it. Um, but there's never a time like just at home where we'd just sit and listen to a podcast and I would love to do that, but I would, I could also see. Um, different people having different attention, spans and tolerances for long periods of sitting and just listening to, because I could just sit and listen to an album as well and just close my eyes and absorb it.

[00:16:13] But I know others close to me are not the same way.

[00:16:17] Arielle: The way you just described your experience makes me think maybe. Maybe we should never go towards not in a negative way, but maybe pockets really are meant to be solitary. Yeah. I

[00:16:30] Mark: don't know, because I think of, um, radio before TV. Well actually even, even when TV was still, I think people would still gather around the wireless.

[00:16:41] Yeah. And, and some of the old radio comedies that I used to listen to, that they were gone and dead before I discovered them. These are things from the, the late sixties, early seventies, uh, in, in the UK, they were event to listen, um, programs and people would gather around and, and sit and listen to the entire show for half an hour.

[00:17:06] Um, you know, that, that would just be that the family would gather and do that. And so. As much as it's not necessarily something I can think, uh, I could see an example of straight away of how that might happen. I think there are certain types of shows that would benefit from that kind of communal listening.

[00:17:23] And for me, I think those would be shows that would elicit some kind of emotional response, uh, and usually a positive one or usually something that's a bit more of a Sephora. So there's something that's going to spark debate amongst the group also that it's just gonna make people laugh. Um, because I, I think.

[00:17:40] We are now out of the habit of gathering around the wireless. Um, and so doing that now will probably feel a little bit awkward. So if you've got something that's funny or something that's actually gonna, you know, spark people to have the conversation and, uh, you know, maybe pause it and say, I can't believe he said that.

[00:17:57] What do you mean? That was a perfectly good book. You know, those kinds of things. I think that would be quite fun. Whereas sort of listening to something that's maybe a bit more considered, a bit more sort of slow paced and NPR stuff. I'm not sure that that would work as well, because part of it is just, I wouldn't know where to look.

[00:18:15] Arielle: You think of an example of something that might make for a good.

[00:18:20] Mark: Yeah. And it's oddly enough, it's, it's very much in keeping with the kind of, um, shows that I was talking about from the seventies is it's no longer around, but I know there will be shows of a similar nature is things like the thrilling adventure hour, which helped because they're performed or they were performed in front of a live audience anyway.

[00:18:38] And so that, that you have that feel. Um, but it may be even things like now we have, um, podcasts, like mission to XYX, which are, although the. Improvised the production quality and everything around around them gives them a bit more slickness. And so I think, uh, it's something that you could, you could pay attention to.

[00:18:56] And, and, you know, I think comedy podcasts are perhaps the best to share. Everyone can, you know, can can really communally, um, enjoy them in a way that, that, you know, laughter is meant to be done out loud. Um, and it's contagious. Yeah, absolutely. You

[00:19:16] Arielle: think there are any, uh, non-fiction podcasts that

[00:19:18] Mark: could fit this bill?

[00:19:19] I would think. Yeah, like political discussion podcasts, I think could be interesting.

[00:19:27] Arielle: Political

[00:19:27] Mark: is interesting. Go jazz.

[00:19:32] Um, if you had to have enough diverse opinion, but. Listen, a group a that would make for sparking of conversation or if you as a collective or hate listens to something or, um, then you know, then, then maybe, uh, there, maybe that's.

[00:19:54] Oh, we do that as part of a group. Um, I, yeah, I quit listening to a show a while back. Not because I hated it, but just because I didn't, I stopped really liking it and I stopped really kind of ultimately respecting the host because I kind of just thought actually that they're kind of dump. Uh, politesse where I could, I could say that they're not bad people.

[00:20:13] They're just kind of a bit dumb. Um, and I didn't want to have. Oh, the screaming at my, uh, my Amazon echo, um, or sending off tweets, they're like, look, you can't say those things or you haven't thought about this. Um, and so, yeah, but, but getting in a group where you can all correct, collectively roll your eyes, uh, I think could be quite fun.

[00:20:36] Brendan: Yeah. Oh, that's an interesting point that you tangentially brought up is, is the echo, uh, I wonder if. It's possible that with more home assistant devices, cylinders, that people are going to start listening to podcasts out loud more. And there'll just be, it'll just be a thing that's in the house playing a radio station or something like that.

[00:20:59] Arielle: No, and this is a podcast I believe is how they define themselves. Their whole model is contingent on the. Fact that voice will basically take over in the next few years. Um, You know, you're going to be listening to a podcast in your, your buds, but then you will get to your car and have to jump into your car.

[00:21:27] And, um, what do you do? You know, you're going to lose the podcast, but now, Hey, please pick up where I left off. And it was nice that I said, please,

[00:21:38] please, I'm here to your new voice assistant in your car. And, you know, no problem, you don't lose the listenership. It's so, um, try to have some cast. Um, I had a conversation with them a few months ago and they really made me believe that that is going to be how we listen

[00:21:59] Mark: in the future. I think there's, um, there's a couple of nice solutions.

[00:22:02] Um, but I think something that, that works across, across all devices, I think is great. And as much as I, as I love. Overcast and think Marco is great. He's never gonna make a, uh, an Alexa. The compatible app, um, because it's just, it's just not within, you know, what he wants to do. And also delivering other people's audio is, is difficult because he would possibly have to have some setup where he pipes audio from other podcasts through to his system.

[00:22:33] And then it goes through to the, the cylinder, I don't know. But, um, having something. A bit more cross-platform by default, I think, uh, is, is nice. And yeah, being able to just pick up where you left off. I mean, even for me, it's just, uh, you know, I work from home and I don't drive, but I might have a podcast that I'm listening to on my phone or my, um, or my, my laptop or whatever.

[00:22:56] And then just being able to walk into the kitchen and say, Hey, Dingus, carry on playing that show. Um, without having to pay via Bluetooth is. And it brings it back to that, that communal listening, I think is a w we should be, which would be nice.

[00:23:11] Brendan: And he'd have you gone to just meetups where you're, you're meeting with, um, podcast hosts or creators or other types of producers, but not necessarily to listen to the podcast.

[00:23:28] Arielle: In LA, we are blessed with our rich array of podcast, producers and radio people. Um, I do hear that the scene in New York is even more. Fruitful and, um, friendly and they get together more often. But what we have in LA is, um, a few different meetups. So one of them is called podcasts in pizza. And it's put on by it's put on by, um, this man named Ben Adair who runs Western sound.

[00:23:58] I don't know if you've heard of that production company, but, um, So they've been to a different location every few months, get together, have pizza. And then the idea behind it is that there's always somebody from somebody who's relatively well-known, who will come and do a Q and a, uh, and maybe a little presentation.

[00:24:15] So last time Jesse thorn came from bullseye with Jesse thorn. That was really great. Um, and then he made himself available to answer questions. It was really cool. And mostly what people go to get out of it is a networking experience. So, yeah, it's really great. Um, I also went to a pitch panel that KCRW the, one of the local NPR stations did.

[00:24:41] Um, and that was a, an interesting meetup of audio producers, not necessarily podcasts. A lot of it was for a radio program. But nowadays a lot of the radio programming on the local NPR stations are syndicated as podcasts as well. So, um, that was a another interesting networking experience. And then I am working on putting together a meetup with local podcasts, producers, um, people who have decision-making power in their companies or in their, um, And their industries.

[00:25:12] And what we want to do is we want to talk about the future of the podcast industry, because there is so much yet to be discovered and discussed. So I think the idea behind it is let's discover some stuff. Let's make some decisions like. Let's define some terms that haven't been defined yet. We always say, you know, actually that's funny that you say that because there's not really a term for that yet, because this is all just so new.

[00:25:38] So, I mean, I w I hope a lot more people around the country and around the world have conversations like this because, um, yeah, it's, I mean, it's a relatively new medium compared to. TV and we don't have terms and we need terms. Yeah,

[00:25:55] Brendan: well, actually to that point, after the episode that we did with, uh, my unplowed, um, I created, um, bitrate, bitrate.podium.co/glossary, which has a whole bunch of, uh, the terms that we discussed on that episode.

[00:26:11] And I've been adding to it since then. So if any listeners are curious about that, because. Um, so some of them are kind of jokey and fun, but some of them are actually kind of serious or not serious, like doom and gloom, but serious, like

[00:26:24] Arielle: legitimate. We need it, we need it. Um, I think, I think your conversation with my own cloud about the future of the word podcast or the non future of the word so important.

[00:26:36] And I keep trying to, um, explain. To people that it will change because it's just so apple

[00:26:44] Brendan: centric. Yeah. Actually I'll include a link in the show notes, um, to a, a Twitter feed that she was just a part of that she's kind of coming back around to a. Uh, excepting that the word's going to stick around. So

[00:27:00] yeah, the

[00:27:01] Arielle: biggest, I don't want me to push for another change,

[00:27:10] Brendan: Well, Arielle, thank you so much. Um, give one last plug for, uh, the earbuds podcast collective and where people can

[00:27:22] Arielle: find you. Oh, sure. Um, go to earbuds podcast, collective.org. Um, find out more about what we do. We have over a year of curated lists of podcasts, according to themes. So if you're looking to learn something or if you just reel a podcast and want to discover a few new ones, choose a theme.

[00:27:43] And, um, check out the podcast. Um, you can also sign up there to receive our email and for, to get notifications for our storytelling shows. Um, I also. Uh, manage a podcast studio in west LA called village workspaces. So if you need a place to record or, and, or to develop your show, I bumped to talk to you.