I’m not a podcasting expert, but I play one on the Internet. Actually, some common sense tips for podcasters from a broadcaster and talk radio programmer that might be good for you! Also a look at Moral AI.
Mostly Somewhat Correct Transcription of John Ford Podcast The Evening Rancor #40
John Ford 00:25 Well, here we go. It's the John Ford podcast number four zero number of 40 so glad you could come along. I am your evening rancorist on the evening rankor, the John Ford podcast kids, I am no expert in podcasting as you can tell. I've only done 40 of these stupid things but my many decades in broadcast radio has taught me a couple of things. And the one thing I'm going to talk about first, it's something I'm not going to do today. How was that for not paying attention to your own advice? What are the things you learn in broadcast radio, especially in talk radio, which uh, a lot of my experience comes from is that you want to jump into what you're going to talk about immediately. As I listened to a lot of people that to do podcasts, it's obviously something that many of them have not learned.
John Ford 01:13 You'll hear the beginning of the podcast and I was listening to a podcast this morning. I listened to about two minutes of it cause that was all I could take. And it's a podcast. It's very well known by a very well known personality. A comedian who I happened to like who I think is very funny, who I've interviewed before and is a very funny guy, but they start the podcast and it's him and his co-host and they just chuckling around and they're talking about inside stuff that nobody knows anything about that they were obviously talking about before the podcast began. And that's a nother thing you learn from broadcast radio is that you've got to give people, you've got to let them in on what's going on. It's okay to have inside stuff, but you have to bring them inside so that they understand what that inside stuff is because they don't know, even though it's all straight in your head, the listener doesn't know what the hell your talking about.
John Ford 02:04 Trying to give you an example of this. Um, even if it's something that you've shared with the people listening in radio, or in a podcast for that matter. Uh, you can't assume that they've listened to everything you've said or that they were listening 10 minutes ago. They could have fast forwarded it a podcast or they could've been listening at just tuned in on a radio station. You can't assume that they heard what you said 10 minutes ago, 10 hours ago, 10 days ago, 10 years ago because they made have just started listening now and talk radio. One of the things you try to do is you try to uh, go ahead and as quickly as possible. This is a really hard thing to teach radio talk show hosts that cause they want to come on the air. They want us, okay, the music starts to come down there.
John Ford 02:46 You're going to start to talk, hey, how is everybody? Boy, let me tell, hey,who who who haha and then three minutes later they're finally going to get around to what they're going to talk about. It's why it's so important that when you first start the podcast or radio broadcast, as I said, I am no podcast expert. I'm just bringing some of the things that I've learned from broadcasting into podcasting that a lot of broadcasters don't even know get to what you're gunna talk about right away. Because that lets the, it brings them in. It brings a listener in, they know exactly what it is you're going to talk about from the beginning of the show as opposed to talking about what color your socks are, what your dog ate for breakfast, what the, the kind of cheese that you like. And then fishing around with giggling with your producer for another 30 seconds.
John Ford 03:34 And then going back and talking about why you like argyle socks and then getting to your topic. You've, I'll take it, why is it every time I do a podcast, my dog get, it starts growing here. There is a cat so I'm going to do exactly what I shouldn't and I'm telling you not to do. There is a cat that hangs out right outside the window of my studio and and He pisses off my dogs and no extent. Yeah. And you know how and so I Egged him on and I go, waste that pussy cat. Get that pussy cat. For some reason we have lots of feral cats in the neighborhood that I live in here in Beautiful Austin, Texas. So anyways, back to the topic. Yes, get to it right away. Start talking about what you're going to talk about immediately because people are going to get bored, man, and you know what?
John Ford 04:21 The chances are you're boring enough anyways and chances are your topic is boring enough anyways, but get to it as quickly as you can and quit fiddling around, quit fishing around. That's just a little something I'm passing along today from my he many years of experience in broadcast radio, especially personality and talk radio. Not that I necessarily have a personality, not that I necessarily would know how to do this crap, but I'm just passing along because I think it's something that will be of use and of value to you as you continue your podcast journey.
John Ford 04:56 Okay. I'm going to follow my advice and jump into what I'm going to talk about very quickly and show you how it's supposed to be done. I think every once in a while you run across one of those articles in the Internet where you just say to yourself, this is going to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. This has got to be the pinnacle of of bad ideas. So I come across this article on the daily fail of the Daily Mail. I prefer the daily fail, but you know, I kind of liked the daily mail. It's sort of like the New York post of the UK papers that a bunch of scientists want to create what they call moral. A Ai in your Google or your Amazon home device that you talk to that listens to you. Like when you say, Alexa, pick my nose. And then it says, I look now like you're talking about.
John Ford 05:38 So anyways, these guys, these want to create smart assistance. It's, it's as nice about it. They want to create smart assistance that will have moral values that we'll be able to decide whether or not to report their owners to the cops for breaking the law. This is not a joke, right? I also found this on Ziff Ziff Davis net. So it wasn't just on the daily fail. So it's a bunch of researchers, a bunch of eggheads, a bunch of scientists, academics at the University of Bergen in Norway, who's name probably is all Shmenn. So they've touted the idea that this conference, which was held in Hawaii, you know, and God blessed them if they live in Norway, you know, they would have probably come up with anything. The push at a conference in Hawaii just to get away from that frozen the hell land and the fjords and have a little tropical thing, you know, on the beach.
John Ford 06:38 So he can't really blame him on that. So they're pushing for this artificial intelligence that will suggest your digital assistance, like your Amazon echo or your Google whatever, uh, should possess an ethical awareness that simultaneously represents both the owner and the authority. So it's going to make a judgment call or even like a minor for your kids. Oh, the kids playing with the stove. Probably not a good idea. Let's call the fire department. And that may be a little far fetched, but so what it'll do is it will listen in on you, which they bought what he do. And I have to admit, I, you know, these things are creepy. They really are creepy. And, but I have one, I have a, an Amazon fire TV and at Damn things listen to me all the time. I very rarely use the voice thing on it.
John Ford 07:25 Like the only thing I use it for is, uh, I say, Alexa, what's the weather? What's the current temp? It's, I want to know how is, you know, should I bundle up? Should I put on a pair of socks as a kid who grew up in Florida, you know, I don't like the worst socks. If it's, you know, below 70 degrees, I, I got to wear socks. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. So these things would listen in and if they feel, if your home assistant, if you're Amazon Echo, your Google home device feels that you're doing something that's illegal or immoral, it's gonna call the cops on, you know, these guys are actually pushing for this. They think it's a good idea. This is proof positive that academia has gone completely off the freaking rails. I mean do you want or Orwellian Society because this is exactly how you get or Orwellian Society.
John Ford 08:13 Now one thing that it doesn't mention in this, and like I said, these guys are serious. They really want to do this. People think about this, okay, so my device at home is going to figure out whether or not to call the cops or whether or not I've done something illegal and should I be turned into the authorities or should I be reported, which you have to remember is with these things when they talk about algorithms and it's going to make this decision, it's going to weigh this stuff out. It can't do it for itself. The only decisions it can make are what the programmer has written into the machine, the machine learning that it has. You can let your mind wander and think about how completely out of control the ski get depending on who, because they can put all sorts of their particular prejudices or what they feel is illegal or what they want to report you on.
John Ford 09:04 A crazy conservative might Oh smoking pot now house got to call the cops a crazy liberal might, oh my God, they said something that's offensive to someone and, and an England, if you say something that's offensive to someone, they can come after you and find you, put you in jail practically. It's already illegal there. Do you know to voice an opinion? So whoever writes the code for this, we'll obviously put their presuppositions into the device. So this idea of this AI having a moral equivalents, it's posed moral equivalents. Is it going to be, that's an even going to the fact where we're dealing with a terminator situation where it's completely gone off the rails and Ed, it's going to turn you in for picking your nose or they did. Caught is allegedly making decisions on its own and let us become self aware. Who the hell wants an Amazon echo or a Google home that's become self aware? I can't think of anything more horrifying except for maybe pictures of Donald Trump naked. So yeah, this gets my award as the really bad idea of the, well so far this year. Well, it's gotta be rank up there in the top three or four smart assistance. It can turn you into the cops. Not a good idea.
John Ford 10:39 So I'm just going to go back to talking about podcasting here for a moment, if that's okay. I know that in some ways there's nothing more annoying than self serving things that just serve themselves well. Wait a second, does that make any sense? I don't know, in other words, a podcast where you're talking about podcasting, but I guess people talk about things that interest them. And, at this point I'm doing the stupid podcast crap so I might as well talk about that for a moment. So I'm going to relate a little story. They, a couple of segments ago, we talked about getting to your topic as quickly as possible, which I am trying to do here. Here's another little tip for you, uh, just to, just to, just to temple. Just put the tip in. A couple of months ago I would, up to a Taco joint has the Taco Tac.
John Ford 11:26 Oh, taco joint. That's pretty close to where I live here in Austin, Texas. We've got good taco joints here. This one I can actually walk to. It's physically maybe a block and a half away. Uh, so I'm standing in line at this taco joint and I'm talking to this guy. I have, I have a tendency to, to talk to people. This is something I noticed here in, in Texas. You can do, you can just start talking to people in the line at the grocery store, at the TACO joint. Uh, you can smile and wave, whereas other places I've lived, you can't do that. They think you're crazy or they think you've got a motive or you know, nobody trusts anybody here. You can just start up a conversation with somebody. It's very, very simple and very easy to do. And it kind of, it's kind of a good thing.
John Ford 12:06 I like it. It's something I like about Texas. So I struck up this conversation with this guy and he says, well, what do you do? And I told him that from money these days. I do voiceovers, uh, primarily, uh, bases all that's kind of interesting. How'd you get into that? And I told him I was in broadcasting for God knows how many years, and he asked me and says, well, why don't do you do anything with podcasting? Because I told him I had been involved in a radio consultancy and had taught people how to do radio talk shows and things like that. He says, would you ever consider consulting podcasters? And I really don't know that much about it and I don't do it myself. The thing that kept me from doing it, I told this young man, this rather handsome young man. I told him that the thing that kept me from getting into it, uh, was the barrier to entry.
John Ford 12:58 Now, eventually I ended up doing it anyways. Obviously I'm doing it now, but I came to the conclusion that the reason I wanted to do it was just, just shoot my big mouth off behind a microphone. I got this groovy microphone. I got this groovy little studio for my voiceover stuff, so why the hell not do a podcast? I figured, I figured go figure. But I told him that I always thought the problem with podcasting was a barrier to entry. And he says, well what do you mean? I said, well, unless you're famous or you have a big name or your, you know, NPR, you've already got this space carved out for you. Uh, there's a huge barrier to entry. So if me as Joe blow does a podcast and it would take forever to get people to listen to the thing. If you ever get to that point anyways, and I have no delusions or illusions of grand on this, you know, if somebody wants to listen, they can listen.
John Ford 13:49 If they don't, they don't have to. And whatever I get is whatever I get. Cause like I said, I do, this is to shoot my big freaking mouth off anyways, but I was starting to think about the barrier to entry thing. So unless you are like a one of those girls with a big rear end, the Kardashians or somebody that's already got a name, you're not, it's going to be difficult to get people to listen to your show without just going out there and just prostituting yourself playbook. Please listen to my podcast and I've never been one of those that was great at doing self promotion anyways. I think it comes from the, uh, the, the, my upbringing was, you know, I don't toot your horn so much in not all that. Don't pretend you're more than you think you are. Whereas we live in an age today where people just get off on pretending their more than they think they are with a Facebook post and how great they are and how wonderful their life is and how exciting it is and all the wonderful things they're doing.
John Ford 14:40 When in reality they're sitting at home picking the cheese out of their toes and they're depressed because they have no real friends. Don't think that's not true. You know, it's true. So the barrier to in podcasting has always been kind of difficult. Uh, it's a difficult concept and I was thinking about how that relates to broadcasting, uh, with broadcasting. The barrier to entry was, you know, uh, as well, I think it was Ben Franklin that said freedom of the press only belongs to those who can afford one. Well, you could only get into broadcasting if you had the dough to buy radio station, which you don't actually even really own your, just own a piece of paper from the government that says you're allowed to broadcast on that thing as long as you don't abuse it. And as long as you serve the public interest. So unless you had a tower, unless you had a stick, unless you had a radio signal, you couldn't get into it.
John Ford 15:31 It was, that was the huge barrier to entry. Whereas the barrier to entry in podcasting seems to be how famous you are, how well known your name is. So basically I had told the guy that the barrier to entry I thought was so high, you know, and it kind of reminds me of the, the statement I used to always make about a recording studio stuff, musicians, uh, it used to be years ago, if you wanted to record, you had to go to a recording studio or literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to build your own. It was a very expensive proposition. I mean, nowadays you buy a Mac a or whatever and you've got garage band and you can kind of create your own music, if you want to call it that. So I used it. It's the barrier to entry to that has come down so far that pretty much anybody can call themselves a quote unquote musician.
John Ford 16:23 I play guitar a little bit of playing in a long time. It used to be really damn good until my hands gave out. I never even considered myself a musician. I was a player, hey, you know what, Charlie Parker and Mozart they are musicians. I was never a musician yet. Any kid with a Mac and a which had stupid sequencing program that begins with the letter R, I can't think of what it is, is it reason I think can create these loops and call themselves a musician. So I used to always say that the greatest thing to ever happen to music was computers so that anybody could create music. And the worst thing that ever happened to music was computers because anybody could create music. So you ended up with so much crap and people convincing themselves that they're great. How this all relates to the barrier of entry to podcasting.
John Ford 17:14 I'm not quite sure, but you know, I read that there's thousands and thousands of podcasts launching each month and I'm sure what happens is people do them, uh, for a few weeks and then figure out, well this is kind of hard and just sitting behind a microphone and shooting your big mouth often. And uh, making even just a tiniest modicum of sense is not easy. And I think a lot of people are finding this out. People used to say, especially desk jockeys, you know this, jockeys is used to, you know, that's a guy's hey talk, but to the records Good bought it will have talking about you, the records up to music. Here's the dough head with a big sign with a big city. Hey baby DJ, right? A lot of them wanted to become talk, show host. And I would say, well go into the recording studio go into the production studio, the recording studio on the radio station, no music and just open the mic and talk for 10 minutes and then recorded and let me hear it.
John Ford 18:09 And so these guys or girls are used to speaking in 15 no more than 30 seconds at a time. And when they have to sit down in front of a microphone naked to the world with nothing but them man, their shorts man, and try to speak for 10 minutes and have something coherent or even mildly coherent or even, you know, just like tiny bit interesting to say or even entertaining. It ain't that easy. And I think a lot of people find that out when they get into podcasting. How this all relates back to the barrier of entry. I'm not quite sure, but I was going to say is maybe we could call it podcasting blogging. Well, I think that's all I got for this week. I could come up with something else to Bitch or complain about like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez in a restaurant with a guy who's eating a hamburger there's gotta be something there. But, uh, I'm kinda out of gas. Thanks for joining us for this week's evening rankor, the John Ford podcast, and until next week, that's the way it is, baby.