“My lungs taste the air of Time Blown past falling sands. …”

Gurney Halleck, Dune

Time is precious, waste it wisely

Religion is your opinion. I can respect that if you respect my opinion and freedom from yours.

Why Do We Fear Witches ? We Should Fear Those Who Burned Them

Why Do We Fear Witches ? We Should Fear Those Who Burned Them. 

Y Do We Fear Witches We Should Those Who Burned Them

Quiet Pay vs Quiet Quitting

The Flipside of “quiet quitting” is quiet paying. Don’t forget this.

Somebody older I know asked me why young people are “quiet quitting” their jobs and not trying to work hard. I told them that quiet quitting is a bullshit term that describes doing what was outlined in your contract, and not more. He started to tell me how you need to hustle and do more than the minimum if you want to succeed. I told him that the difference compared to many years ago is that now hard work is not met with commensurate rewards or opportunities. Then I asked him the following question:

If it is culturally acceptable to push people to go above and beyond what is outlined in their contract, why does the company always only pays what was agreed upon? Why doesn’t payroll ever go above and beyond what was agreed? Shouldn’t it also be culturally acceptable to expect extra salary in this case? Aren’t my company quiet paying me?

He had nothing to say and just looked uncomfortable. He didn’t really agree but he has no good answer either.


Laugh at Your Mistakes, It Annoys People

Laughing at your mistakes and moving on without regret is the right way to live.

It annoys the living daylights out of most people who don’t ‘believe’ in failure and nurse grudges.

Which is yet another reason to laugh and move on IMO.

Why Unsolicited Podcast Guests Are Bad - Earned Media

I’m the co-founder and product of a successful podcast media company with ten years of podcast publishing, seven figure revenues, and solid position in the Top 200 for our category on Apple Podcasts.  You can imagine that we get endless stream of “earned media” requests from companies and agencies wanting to get free coverage for the people who hired them. 

The moral angle of getting paid to ask for free stuff is problematic. Paying people to ask for free stuff is a worse moral position in my view. Most often the sort of people who do either of these things do not have any care or concern about you and your business. Its' all about them and what they can get from you. 

Definition “Earned media is free publicity by third parties. It’s achieved through PR outreach rather than paid advertising”


One last thing before we get into it. The most important thing in podcasting is your audience. Anything that gives your audience a reason to press next your show means you have failed. 

Finding a win/win situation in podcasting is extremely rare. Your audience, brand and work deserve to get something. Don’t give away free coverage. 

Unsolicited Guests Are Bad Guests

  • Guests pitched by marketing / PR firms are most often (~90%) awful guests. Thats why they need a PR firm to pitch them. 
  • People who get free coverage rarely prepare content or take the time to understand your content strategy. It’s —free— so it’s not important to them.
  • These people most often fail to prepare their audio setup or even think about it. At all. 
  • Unsolicited guests have an agenda and will talk about stuff that your audience probably doesn’t care about. 
  • Beware the ‘ego guest’ who hired marketing/PR firm to place them on podcasts so they can boost their resume / profile

Some Practical Tips for Working With Placed Guests 

  • Your brand has value, your podcast is valuable, people want to leverage your work and get that value for themselves. Understand this. 
  • You can and should demand some sort of return - what promotion will they do, where will the podcast be promoted, will they run paid promotion campaigns on Facebook/LinkedIn ? What is the social media profile of your guest ? Can you gain advantage from the guest ? If the answer nothing, why are you even bothering. 
    • If the PR pitch doesn’t mention what amplification they bring then you are getting nothing. 
  • You can tell a free guest that they are not good enough to publish. 
  • If a ‘free guest’ doesn’t prepare then cancel the recording and walk away. Don’t waste more of your time. 
  • Screen the ‘free guest’ with a prep call. If the person is an assclown, cancel the recording. 
  • Expect to delete some/most of these recordings. Its better to not publish than to publish bad content and lose audience. 
  • Don’t ever take unsolicited guests. Find your own, its actually less work than this. 

Business Thoughts

  • Non-profit companies - there are ‘non-profits’ that have large revenues that operate like companies e.g non-profit, membership associations. If they can employ marketing people who ask for free coverage instead paying for it, they have money to pay for sponsoring your podcast 
  • Any  revenue generating organisation should expect to sponsor/pay for a podcast because you like getting paid too. They should respect your time and commitment. 

Earned Media is Over

The idea of earned media is dead. Back in the days of magazines and news, journalists were independent of business of sponsorship/advertising and an ecosystem of people worked to influence the content creators to get “free coverage”. 

Today the content creators are the business and perform their own sponsorship/advertising. Without revenue, creators cannot survive and lose audience. PR agencies and marketing people continue to pitch vendors products that will deliver “earned media” and I’m sure its a tempting sell. The thing is, “earned media” almost never has the money to have a big audience. 



Microphone Recommendation - October 2020

I guess this might make the process look complicated but its mostly common sense and investing some time in your tools.

Personally I view good audio/video as the modern equivalent of a quality suit/tie/leather shoes for attending important meetings (but it costs less than that).

I currently use and moderately recommend the RØDE Microphones NT-USB model -

Rode nt usb micrphone 2

I chose this microphone because its low cost (about USD$150) and USB connected. This makes it easy to use and integrates with apps better. For example, Zoom shows a USB microphone by its name (using audio interfaces is more confusing). 

Also I’ve been happily using Rode microphones for ten years plus our audio professionals highly recommend them.

However, the microphone itself isn’t the success factor. It took me a number of years to use a microphone correctly so I’ll offer some brief tips:

  • You must have your mouth close to the microphone when speaking. By close mean within 6 inches or less. This requires self training for most people.
  • You need a boom mount to do that - Link: RØDE Microphones - PSA1 - is a good choice but a cheap knockoff from eBay or Amazon will work ok for normal use.
  • Know what the microphone orientation is - they are directional. The Rode NT-USB has a definite front/back thing going on.
  • My office has treatment with damping materials which reduces reflected sound. You can’t see them in the camera shot. Most places could use at least some damping (but sometimes you don’t).
  • Take some time to understand levels on a microphone and what is the right setting for your voice.

No I Did NOT Buy A Smart Oven

Bought a new oven last week. I did not buy a 'smart oven'. I bought a mid-range, dumb oven like I've always used. Why ?

1) security
2) obsolescence
3) why would I want a smart oven ? Are you mad ?
4) the features of smart ovens are LAUGHABLE

A whitegoods' company specialisation is profit maximisation by producing low cost, high volume mass market items. Where is the motivation for high quality technology with security, longevity ?

My new oven has a digital timer on the front. That is the pinnacle of 20 years of technology progress in whitegoods.

What Spotify Gets From Podcasting

Its not a single thing, there are multiple positive impacts to Spotify business.

  1. Podcasts replace music listening. A quick win because time spent listening to podcast means less fees to music companies. Music licensing is the single largest cost Spotify has.
  2. Better negotiation power with music companies. Spotify has no negotiation power with big music. A podcast roster can diversify revenue and reduce dependency
  3. Some podcast operators want an ad network where someone else sells the ad spots. Spotify could build a 'Google Ads' for podcasts business.
    • Smart people remember that Google Ads was a key part of killing professional blogging when Google realised they had full control of the relationship and increased their share until the small players were squeezed out.
  4. Having exclusive podcasts might drive people to sign up. This increases revenue straight to the bottom line
  5. Today Apple Podcasts remains the dominant podcatcher and directory service but Spotify could make play to take control of the market. Lets face it, Apple hasn't shown any interest in participating in podcasting.
  6. Spotify gets to test the market for video - could it compete with Youtube ? It wouldn't cost much and would be trying for a few years.

Review of Audry for Podcasters

I've looked into 'Audry for Podcasters' which, from my view, is an lame attempt to aggregate a bunch of low value podcasts whose operators that are incompetent at making their own connections and business.

Why ? So you can to exploit them by spaffing low quality, high volume ads onto their shows while arbitraging the sell/buy rate. Those ads would be placed using programmatic methods ( they claim to have a AI ad spots placement ) so ….. hello Google Adwords spam.

Reminder that professional blogging died when Google decided to increase it's share of the advertising take. Google found it cheaper and better to deal with a handful of large sites instead of millions of small sites.

I mean even Blubrry stopped bothering with this business model because it doesn't work.

Nothing new or innovative here. Simply copying a proven competitor - aka Google. This project is an attempting blitz scale Aubry sales growth by spending money to generate demand for their core business.

Podcasters should be hyper-connected inside their market. Having Audry do that is negative value because, as a podcast owner/operator, those relationships are core business value. If you don't know that that then your podcast will fail soon enough (unless its a passion project).

The principle of cross-promotion of podcasts is a proven losing strategy. You are sending your customers to a competitor. This isn't a job market or personal networking 101, its a competition find, capture and keeps ears.

So 'Audry for Podcasters' is collecting a bunch of not-yet-failed podcasts into a collective pile of failure that might give them some growth. This might give Aubry a chance to attract some of the dumber marketing people (of which there are many) to generate some revenue so they can survive to the next funding round.

Whats worse, podcast owners are wasting their time, preventing their own success and creating false hope by participating. In the last decade, I've seen at least a half a dozen startups do something like this (and disappear). I wasted so much time on those failed efforts.

What Do I Want ?

The things podcast owners should be searching for ?

1) better RSS feed managers. Google's Feedburner is trash, is what I pay for but its become unreliable.
2) audio ad injection for your own sales inventory. don't use a third party for ad sales because they get 90% of money and you get pennies.
3) better analytics platform. Desperate for podcasting analytics that doesn't suck.

If you have those solutions, then I would be interested. Contact me

Empty sets - BBC Archive

These are delightful piece of British culture if you are into Zoom backgrounds.

Give your video calls a makeover, with this selection of over 100 empty sets from the BBC Archive.

Empty sets - BBC Archive :

Pandemic, Epidemic, Endemic

I needed to sort these words out in my mind.


(Med.) Common to, or affecting at the same time, a large number in a community; – applied to a disease which,spreading widely, attacks many persons at the same time; as, an epidemic disease; an epidemic catarrh, fever, etc.

See {Endemic}.

An epidemic may be restricted to one location; however, if it spreads to other countries or continents and affects a substantial number of people, it may be termed a pandemic. Wikipedia


Belonging or native to a particular people or country; native as distinguished from introduced or naturalized; hence,regularly or ordinarily occurring in a given region; local; as, a plant endemic in Australia; – often distinguished from {exotic}.


Affecting a whole people or a number of countries; everywhere epidemic. – n. A pandemic disease. –Harvey.

Alienist = Psychiatrist

I have a personality tick about words. I’ll look up interesting words in dictionaries to find out more about them.


Apple Dictionary

  • former term for psychiatrist.
  • mainly US a psychiatrist who assesses the competence of a defendant in a law court.

Websters 1913

Alienist \Al"ien*ist\, n. [F. ali[’e]niste.]

  • One who treats diseases of the mind. –Ed. Rev.

Apparently the root is French noun aliéniste from Latin for doctors who treat mental patients.

Feb 2020: Music Choices

As we close out the winter months, my music choices take a more upbeat feel. This set from Helioscope is on repeat.


The other set is Mikey B with a Mellow Vocal that I just can't stop listening to.


Soul Stories - Emotional Epic Music



“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, the author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have... Enough.’” 


Ibiza Balearic Rock Remixed & Chilled Volume 3


Guide to Internal Communication, the Basecamp Way

Basecamp are well known for a thoroughly modern approach to running technology teams. Transparency, remote working, short weeks, personal growth are just a few. Thats why its not a surprise that this guide to internal communication is both inspiring and practical. Give it a read and consider what might work for your team. 

Speaking only helps who’s in the room, writing helps everyone. This includes people who couldn't make it, or future employees who join years from now.
Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.
Source: Guide to Internal Communication, the Basecamp Way

Video: Coffee From Around the World

I did not realise how many different ways there is to prepare coffee. I can only imagine how diverse the flavours must be.

Mexico - natural sugar, cinnamon and orange peel. Boiled in quite a large pot. Sweden - coffee with cheese. The heat softens it I think. Vietnam - egg coffee (which looks kind of wild)


Review Avengers Endgame

TL:DR - I found it uninspired and predictable. In places the actors seemed bored, the fight scenes overlong and reptitive and I couldn't engage with the move. Visually, it was great with many excellent CGI scenes but, the storyline just felt tired instead of climactic. 3/10

I'm tired weary of superhero movies. I'm not sure I can vocalise why I struggle to be interested them. In part, its the repetition of the good character being extensively beaten in CGI, and then the bad person is trapped/dies/jailed or whatever one of the standard superhero endings are. And conflicted anti-heroes are hard to relate.

The US-centric storyline didn't resonate. I live in a global world and when Captain America "pines for a rural idyll in a small town backwater with his best girl" I'm not invested. This issue reflected in many areas of the story where the 'world' was limited to a handful of people.

Maybe the franchise idea that seemed so fresh has worn out ?

I'm glad I watched it on an airplane seat and didn't go to the theatre.

1927 - Compulsory Hero (1989)

1927 was the band, Compulsory Hero is the song title. It was released in 1989.


A song about the war veterans from Anzac campaign. Effectively a veterans remembrance anthem that should get more coverage.

Very much a part of my younger life.

Video: The Petard Pinch


The Petard Pinch exhibition at Bletchley Park tells the incredible story of the capture of crucial Enigma codebooks which enabled Codebreakers to break back into the German naval Enigma network, saving countless lives. This video contains two versions; subtitled first followed by a British Sign Language version at 4:20.

A Tribute to Blade Runner 2049

I find myself rewatching Blade Runner 2049 and I keep finding new layers in the story. This tribute was touching and fitting.