The Robservatory

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So I’ve been doing this podcast thing…no, really!

As someone who works at home and has younger kids, I've found it difficult to get into listening to podcasts—it just seems there's never a good time for them. During the work day, I find it impossible to listen to a podcast, probably because my brain is easily dist…hey, look what's on reddit now…er, wait, what was I saying?

And in the evenings, the kids tend to take up much of the free time, and once they're in bed, I'm not usually in the mood to listen to a podcast.

In any event, given that background, you may find it surprising to learn that I'm involved in a new weekly podcast. Not only that, but that I've been involved for six full episodes now, as of this week's show. Surprising, indeed, but it's true.

Here's the tl;dr version: I'm co-co-hosting a podcast with Ian Schray (@idschray) and Tyler Poage (@tylerpoage). It's called The Committed. So what's it about? It's about tech, and things related to tech, and occasionally garbage cans (no, really).

We typically record on Monday, with the show being available on Tuesday. The exceptions are weeks where someone is traveling and unavailable, or if there's an event set for the Tuesday of that week (as with the upcoming October 22nd event). In those cases, we record on Tuesday for publishing on Wednesday.

During our roughly one-hour show, we strive to share useful information and tips in an entertaining manner—which are pretty much the objectives of every podcast ever created. But still, they're good goals to have, and we're doing our best to achieve them.

I'd love it if you could give us a listen and let me know what you think; never having done this on my own, I'm curious to know if you find what we're doing informative and entertaining—I think we've put together some good shows, but one's comments on one's own work don't really count as usable feedback.

Read on if you'd like more details about why someone who isn't an active podcast listener has chosen to become involved in podcasting, and for more information on the show, its focus, and the cast.

Why me?

As someone who only hangs out near the very edge of the podcastsphere, why would I choose to get involved in creating a podcast? Truth be told, it's probably because I miss running Mac OS X Hints to some degree. I loved the interaction with tip submitters, the sharing of knowledge, and the sense of community. I'm hoping my participation in this podcast can help rekindle at least some of those feelings.

In addition, being an at-home worker in a two-person company (where the other person works on another continent!), I've begun to miss the informal information exchanges that happen with regularity in an office. The Committed gives me a chance to interact with actual live human beings on a weekly basis, and that's got to be better than talking to my cats 100% of the time.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it sounded like it'd be fun. And so far, six shows in, it's been a blast. But I wasn't sure it would be, which is why I've held off for a while before posting this story—I wanted to make sure I was enjoying myself, so that I'd want to keep doing it. The good news is that I've found it even more fun that I had expected.

The shows

We're obviously very new at this, with only six episodes in the books. As such, we're still evolving, but the general gist of The Committed is that we like tech, we like sharing tips about tech, and we try to deliver said information and tips about tech in a fun and useful manner.

In our first six shows we've covered everything from the iPhone 5s (that's "fives," not "5s," dang you Apple!) to managing time and workflow when working alone, to working with everything everywhere, to a two-part discussion on reading. Of particular interest to me was the fourth show, where we talked about working remotely with Jeff Gamet of the Mac Observer. As Jeff has been displaced by the Colorado flooding, his advice was based on presently working remotely 100% of the time.

Future shows could be about, well, nearly anything related to technology, as long as we think it's an interesting topic and one on which we have some expertise to share.

The cast

I've known Ian Schray for many years, since he was at VersionTracker (nee TechTracker). We've kept in touch as each of our jobs have changed, but what finally got us together to kick start The Committed was a chance encounter I had with Ian's dad on a golf course—his dad didn't know who I was, and was quite surprised to find that I knew his son.

Ian brings a ton of podcasting experience to our little venture, having participated in many years' worth of Your Mac Life shows. He also works in an organized and productive manner—his organization skills show a ninja-like level of mastery. I have much to learn on that front!

I've haven't known Tyler for nearly as long as I've known Ian. In fact, I've known Tyler for all of, well, the six episodes we've recorded, plus our pre-launch planning meetings—he's a friend of Ian's, and his work and my work never intersected in the past.

Tyler's voice is a critical aspect of our show; he often seems to be the only one with a balanced perspective on things, i.e. he's not as radically bleeding edge as Ian nor as technologically resistant to certain types of tech (i.e. Facebook) as I can be.

We've had a lot of fun putting our first six episodes together, and I'd love to hear some feedback from those of you who listen—whether that feedback is good or bad.

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