Producing a Podcast… or four.

In case you missed me, worry not. I have been hard at work these last few weeks on my latest project, The Mystery Tin Podcast Network. I’ve spent countless hours setting up websites and chatting with tech support. I’ve been transcribing interviews, scheduling meetings, editing audio clips and scouring through the archives for my old “beats.” I’ve set up e-mails and social media accounts. To say I’ve been busy feels like an understatement.

Tomorrow, June 1, 2015, we will be releasing the first show on the Mystery Tin Podcast Network called MAD POTENTIALhosted by Ben Mehl. Ben is a good friend of mine that I’ve known for a few years now. We collaborated on a little screenwriting project a couple of years ago, but since then I’ve been looking for another opportunity to work with him. He is always such a positive and motivating guy, I wanted other people to experience what it was like to be around his energy and help him inspire others the way he inspires me. I felt creating a podcast with him was the best way to do it.

Over the past year or so, I’ve had a daily commute of nearly 2.5 hours, so I listen to a TON of podcasts. Scriptnotes, The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Serial, The Black List Table Reads, StartUp, Podcast Method, Nerdist, the list could go on if I had the time or energy to pull out the entire IPHONE I have entirely dedicated to podcasts (yeah, I’m balling like that). I enjoy the minimalist, discussion podcasts like Scriptnotes and Podcast Method but I am also utterly enthralled by the highly produced, narrative-based podcasts like Serial and StartUp. It’s a return to audio storytelling and I’m all in.

Recently, I was listening to Dan Benjamin talk about treating his podcast network, 5by5, as more of a “record label,” and the opportunity to work with great “artists.” I knew that exact feeling! I once wanted to help great artists get their music out there, so that’s why I actually started a record label, KMD Music, in 2005. This was just the second incarnation of my record label, but this time, instead of manufacturing and distributing compact disc compilations for charity, I was producing interesting podcasts for your mobile phone.

In preparation for the podcast, Ben and I spent hours on the phone (and in person) putting together the logistics of his show. The format would be monologues, structured discussions and interviews, with interjections from Ben in a narrative style. It would require a lot of digital organization, scheduling interviews and drafting questions. We spent time writing and rewriting episode narratives. We recorded, then recorded again, then recorded some more. We took breaks and went out to my car, listening to Ben deliver his narrative through my stereo just like many of his podcast listeners. It was fun to hear his confidence building in front of the microphone. Sure, you can still hear it in the final episode, but he’s come a long way and there’s no shame in his game.

The Mystery Tin Podcast Network
MAD Potential
MAD Potential with Ben Mehl

Now that we had Ben generating content, we needed all the accoutrements. This meant chapter markers, theme music, album artwork, and ultimately, a working RSS feed to link into iTunes. I could handle the easy editing stuff myself, but It’s been years since I had done any real graphic design, so I asked some of my artistic friends if they would help me out. Brian Rose made the cover art for the MAD Potential podcast and Bates Tillman made the logo for the Mystery Tin Podcast Network. How sick are they?

I also purchased a website for the Mystery Tin Podcast Network to host the MAD Potential podcast and all the podcasts I plan on producing in the future (I think the current count is up to six). The biggest problem I discovered was that WordPress websites are only “set up” to establish one RSS feed per website, not an unlimited amount of RSS feeds I was looking for. I chatted with multiple customer service representatives over a couple days before I finally figured out that what I wanted to do was not impossible and exactly how to do everything, smoothly and efficiently. We haven’t tried it out yet per se, but we’ll know tomorrow morning!

The teaser and first episode of MAD Potential are edited and ready to go and I can’t wait to see them off into the digital audio world. How many people will download it? Will people tell their friends about it? Aside from all the speculation, I am already looking forward to starting the process with another friend of mine, Ryan Esbjerg. He’s doing some really great things with the Flex Your Face community and I’m hoping that I can help him continue to follow his passions through podcasting. Oh yeah, and I’ve decided to do my own podcast, but I won’t tell you too much about that here, that’ll be for another post… and the podcast itself.



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