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Evo Terra's Podcast Hall of Fame Speech (For Good!)
Episode 130th March 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

One of the ways we make podcasting better is by holding

Evo Terra:

the people who work in podcasting accountable for doing better.

Evo Terra:

I'm using my induction into the Podcast Hall of Fame to shine more light on that.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to the first episode of season five of Podcast

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Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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So, in case you missed the memo, I was inducted into the Podcast

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Hall of Fame last weekend.

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No kidding.

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And yes, it was quite an honor to join the ranks of the other 30-some-odd podcasters

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who've already been inducted, a good portion of which are good friends of mine.

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Here's to longevity in this space.

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Now, I had planned on just thanking a few people and then gushing about

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what the award meant to me, but then I learned they wanted me to actually

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talk, something I'm fairly good at.

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The length they gave me was roughly the length of an episode of Podcast

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Pontifications, which sure helped.

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Now I know that some of you watched the ceremony as it was streamed,

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or have seen the video posted on Libsyn's YouTube channel.

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But for those that didn't, hear it is, the full - checks notes - ten

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minutes and thirty-seven seconds of what I had to say on stage.

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And as a listener of Podcast Pontifications, I think you'll dig it.

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So here it is.

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And I'll see you next week.

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So when I speak at podcast conferences, I have rules that I follow.

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And one of those rules is the night before I do not go to the

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loud party and drink too much.

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Clearly, I did not follow that rule today.

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So you get to hear this voice, which is a little different.

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Um, but this is quite an honor.

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Thank you very much uh, for inducting me, Bryan, well-written speech - that I wrote.

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[Laughter] Um, I'm going to have a lot more things coming up in just a

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moment, but, you know, the problem is when you give a guy who podcasts about

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podcasting and pontificates about that for seven to nine minutes every day,

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and then you say, "You've got seven minutes to talk on stage," he's going to

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fill every single one of those minutes.

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So I apologize in advance.

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I get asked to talk about podcasting rather frequently.

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And two questions are almost always asked time and time again.

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What was different about podcasting when you had to rub two sticks

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together to make an RSS feed work?

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Uh, and what does the future hold for podcasting?

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I don't have a pat answer for either of those things.

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It really depends, as many things do, on, on the perspective of who I'm talking to.

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From the perspective of the scrappy, staunchly independent podcaster,

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which Dave Slusher embodies, you know, not much has changed.

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I mean, yeah, there are a lot of new tools and services today that help

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ease a lot of the burdens that Dave and me and everybody else that was doing

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this in 2004 went through, but none of them are required to make a podcast.

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And for podcasters like that, the foreseeable future looks a lot like

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what it looked like in the past.

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They can keep doing the same thing.

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They can keep on keeping on basically unaware of the massive upheaval which is

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sweeping through the podcasting industry.

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From the perspective of podcast listeners, almost everything has changed, and

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most of it for the better, I think.

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I mean, it's gotten a lot easier to listen, really.

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And while you, and we, let's be honest about this one, may continue to insist

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that podcasting has a discoverability problem, listeners are spoiled for choice.

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And by all accounts don't seem to have any problem finding something to listen to.

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And both of those things, an ever-expanding library of quality

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content and better ways to find the quality content that matters to them, I

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think that also will continue unabated.

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But a perspective we don't talk about too much is one that I think

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the bulk of the attendees of Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020 share.

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And those are the people who work in the business of podcasting.

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I mean, I started podcasting before there was a business of podcasting.

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Though, that rapidly changed as purveyors of picks and shovels always seem to

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spontaneously appear as soon as any new creative endeavor is launched.

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And if you look around the room, you can see that that's

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happened in podcasting as well.

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Look, look at the booths that are out there.

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You know, today, however, the easiest and fastest way to make money in

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podcasting is get a job in podcasting.

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And that's no secret to the people at this conference.

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I mean, they're living it every single day.

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So am I, weirdly enough.

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But the last perspective I want to talk about before I get to my thank you's is

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from those who are not in podcasting, not creators, not listeners, not service

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providers, the people who still aren't in what we're doing, not in the podosphere.

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What do we look like to those on the outside looking in?

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You know, every one of us was encouraged, if you saw the presentation that Tom

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Webster from Edison Research gave that showed that, at least in the

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states, that diversity of podcast listeners is now nearly matching

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and in some cases exceeding the diversity of the overall country.

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And that's amazing.

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But that's just listeners.

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We still have lots of work to do on the other two parts, the creators and those of

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us who work in the business of podcasting.

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Now, I'm not up here to preach at you, but I do try to lead by example.

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Like, I no longer apply to speak at podcast conferences simply because

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I tend to get chosen, which could mean an organizer has to make the

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difficult decision of choosing between me or someone from an

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underrepresented group to be on the stage.

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So when I am asked to speak, I will speak at a conference that I'm asked

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to speak at it, I do my homework.

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I check in to make sure that I'm not joining another party of old white dudes.

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[Applause] And I make them change, you know, or I simply don't attend.

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And when I do interact with my peers in the podcasting industry who I've

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been with for a long time, my fellow old white dudes, I don't shy away from

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calling them out on their bullshit.

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Or their bad behavior.

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And I do that because I've been there.

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A friend of mine once told me at a podcast conference, oddly enough,

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she said to me, "You get away with so much because you're Evo."

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And I thought it was really funny at the time.

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But it's not.

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And she was right.

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So I'm trying to do better.

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And I'm encouraging everybody in the industry to do better as well.

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All right.

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So now it's time for me to step back from the, make this no longer

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a pulpit, to make it just a podium.

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And I want to thank some few people that are here.

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I can honestly say, and she's been mentioned previously, that were

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not from my lovely wife, Sheila Dee, my podcasting path would have

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started much, much, much later.

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I'd still be podcasting probably, but I wouldn't have started way back in the day.

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Because she introduced me to her co-teacher's husband, a guy named

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Mike Mennengae, back in 2002.

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No, yes, 2002, he asked me to host, to co-host an internet

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radio show he was doing.

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We were basically those two dorks in the basement Dave was

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talking about, talking about D&D.

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We first published a podcast of our radio show that we had, "radio show"

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in very, very serious air quotes, that first happened, as mentioned

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previously, on October 14th, 2004.

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And yeah, I still know the exact date.

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So Sheila, you've been not only incredibly supportive of my infatuation with

Evo Terra:

podcasting, but also my investments.

Evo Terra:

Thank you.

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Yeah, she's also hosted her own show, she's taught podcasting to

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her students, and she keeps my shit in check when we podcast together.

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So thank you, lover.

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My family here is here as well, which is weird, but that's the case.

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So hi mom, my baby sister, Kayla, both who are often puzzled by what it is

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that I do, but not at all surprised by my unconventional career path.

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I want to thank my son, NJ.

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NJ was thirteen, or turned thirteen, five days after I put that first podcast out.

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He's now thirty.

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I know, it's kinda blowing my mind a little bit.

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And he's also done a little bit of podcasting on his own.

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Even worked in the business of podcasting - cause I was paying

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him to do shit I didn't want to do.

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Thank you, son.

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[Audience laughter]

Evo Terra:

I need to say a big thanks to Tee Morris who asked me to co-author Podcasting

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for Dummies with him back in 2005.

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Also to two more authors, Mark Jeffrey and Scott Sigler, who, along with Tee, all

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three had the same idea of releasing their books as serialized audio books, which

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led me to coin the term "podiobooks."

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Get it?

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Podcasting and audio books?

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Very clever, I know.

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Um, and also to Chris Miller who coded up the first podiobooks.com website in

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a weekend when I said on the show I was doing that I wanted someone to do it.

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He contacted me two days later and said, "I've done it.

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Here it is."

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And we became partners.

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And then to Tim White and to Brant Steen who took over

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when Chris was stepping back.

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And I need to thank Libsyn for generously offering to host those media files,

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and, specifically, a big thank you to Rob Walsh who has kept those 700

Evo Terra:

titles still freely available today.

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So thank you.

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I want to thank Gary Leland who convinced Jared Easly and Dan Franks to let me

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be that keynote speaker, uh, at Podcast Movement 2014, even though I know I

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panicked both of you terribly when I got up on stage and said podcasting wasn't

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that much of a disruptive movement.

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Sorry, fellas.

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Thanks for not writing me off, though.

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Appreciate that.

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A big thanks to Lance Anderson who I know was pushing very hard to

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get me in the Podcast Hall of Fame.

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Thank you very much, Lance, you remain a friend after all these years.

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I want to thank Greg Jorgensen.

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Uh, Greg got me back into podcasting after I had tried to

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quit for, I think, the third time.

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And he offered me to, offered for me to resurrect and co-host The Bangkok Podcast

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when I lived in Thailand for a few years.

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I want to thank Ric Gazarian and Susan Schwartz, two of my very first podcast

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- my, my two very first podcasting clients, and to every single client

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since that time who's trusted me to either develop their show, improve

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their show, or implement a solid strategy that incorporated podcasting.

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I want to thank Allie Press, my production assistant for nearly four years who keeps

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things running smoothly at Simpler Media.

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I'm very - [Clapping] - thank you, yeah, she's great.

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She does it all.

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I'm grateful to the companies and organizations who have invited me

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to sit on their advisory boards like Captivate.fm, Maps.fm, Scribl, the

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BIPOC Creators Community, and more.

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I'm deeply appreciative of the multitude of people who I've collaborated with

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over the years, including Sam Walker, Bryan Barletta, James Cridland, and

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a few others I can't mention because, well, we're not quite ready to let

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those cats out of the bag just yet.

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And then thanks to you, everybody in this room, everybody at this Podcast

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Movement who make up such a rich and vibrant, thriving podcasting community

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and industry, which is weird to say now - a podcast industry, here we are.

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Thank you very much for coming along this journey with me.

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Cheers!

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[Clapping and cheering]

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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The links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available

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at podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a corrected

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transcript created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.