Welcome to Stuff I Learned Yesterday. My name is Brian Meloche, and I once sold a story premise to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and I believe that if you aren’t learning, you aren’t living. In today’s episode of Stuff I’ve Learned Yesterday, I’m going to talk about what happens when you share your passion with others, specifically my passion for the TV show The Walking Dead.
For today’s fun fact: Thursday, October 20th is Get Smart About Credit Day. Now, Get Smart About Credit Day encourages you to take control of this very important aspect of your life and learn how to manage it properly. Get Smart About Credit Day was established by the ABA (American Bankers Association) to help encourage young people to get a handle on their credit from the very beginning. By educating people on the forms of credit and how to properly increase, manage, and protect your credit score, they ensure that the coming generation will have smart investors who are able to improve their lot in life without being buried in debt.
I would be negligent if I didn’t urge you to be a part of the Friday Forum! Friday Forum is your opportunity to share what YOU’VE learned, so that other listeners and I can learn from YOU. It can be a message as short as 30 seconds or several minutes long. It really doesn’t matter just as long as it’s something that will benefit others. You can participate in Friday Forum by visiting our Feedback Page or calling our voice feedback line at 304-837-2278.
Now, if you’re a long time listener of this podcast, you may remember me from a Friday Forum contribution of mine way back on Episode 130, where I shared the lessons I learned from my mother over many years, while she battled with chronic leukemia. If you listen to other GSM podcasts, and Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon mean something to you, you may know me as the co-host and producer of The Walking Dead Talk Through and its sister podcast Fear the Walking Dead Talk Through, which I started shortly after that Friday Forum. Speaking of that, I thought I would mention, especially with my favorite show in the world returning this Sunday, October 23rd, and that it’s a topic of this podcast, that my co-host and partner in crime, Ruthie Rink, has been doing our podcasts with an eight year old MacBook Pro. It’s broken down before, and in recent weeks, while we’ve been doing episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Talk Through, Ruthie’s computer has been showing signs of failure. She’s had audio where she comes out sounding like a synthesizer, which I’ve shared in our latest episode, problems connecting to the internet, corrupted audio files, and other signs that it’s just a matter of time before the computer fails for good. As the producer of our podcasts, I can tell you… it’s bad, and she needs a replacement ASAP. She doesn’t have the means to buy a new or even used computer on her own, so at my urging, she has started a GoFundMe campaign. She could use our help, and I am not just asking. I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and I am contributing funds as well. Even a $1 contribution will help to get that computer replaced. If you want to help Ruthie, check out her GoFundMe and donate, at gofundme.com/ruthiepodcasts. That’s plural, as in what does Ruthie do? She podcasts.
I am a longtime listener of podcasts. I think I started listening to them when they first appeared in 2004. Most of those were tech related, until 2010. I was hooked on a show called The Event, which was a great show that only lasted one season. I started listening to a couple of podcasts on The Event. While that show debuted, another show was starting on AMC about zombies. I thought, I’m not a “zombie guy”, but I thought the idea of doing an entire show about a zombie apocalypse could be cool. I missed the first few episodes, and when I finally tuned in for episode 4, it was difficult to know what was going on. I had heard good things about it after that and when it appeared on Netflix just before Season 2, I watched it, and I was immediately hooked. By the middle of season 2, I had started listening to every TWD podcast I could find. While I loved listening to them, even the not so good ones, I would get upset when a host would get something wrong or completely missed a point. That seemed to happen a lot.
As the show continued, it quickly became my favorite on TV, then perhaps my favorite of all time, or at least tied with my former all time favorite, Star Trek: TNG. By the end of Season 3, I knew that I wanted to podcast about it. I had done a podcast about the CFML programming language called CFConversations between 2008-2010 and before it faded, I had won a Best Podcast award at a ColdFusion conference. I wanted to podcast again, but there was nothing I felt passionate about… until The Walking Dead came along.
But, I was too busy at work. I didn’t have the time to build a website and host my own podcast again. I was going to have to keep that desire on the back burner.
Then, Season 4 came and went, and it ended on a big cliffhanger. By then, I saw that Darrell, who I had become a fan of via The Revolution Podcast and before that the Cutting the Cable podcast, and after the Almost Human podcast, and he had recently started SILY, which I became an immediate fan of, and a little Golden Spiral Media network was starting up around him. When I saw he was adding new shows, I sent in feedback, asking if he was going to do a podcast about The Walking Dead. Nothing had become of it. Several weeks later, I knew I was determined to, somehow, start up a podcast of my own. I wrote Darrell again and urged him to start a TWD podcast. Then, thinking nothing of it, I threw out a bone, and said that I loved the show, and had done podcasting in the past, and if he wanted to do a TWD podcast that I’d consider being a host. I didn’t think anything would come of it.
Weeks passed, and Darrell got back to me, and he also included in that email someone else that I had vaguely remembered from the Almost Human podcast named Ruthie. That night, The Walking Dead Talk Through was born, and the chemistry we’ve had was there from the start.
From there… it was rough. My podcast editing skills were… rusty. I had forgotten most of what I had learned. I had to learn all over again, and learn correctly this time. I had also never done a show with a co-host before, so those first “trial episodes”, and even our first couple of episodes that we released, were rough, but it was evident that Ruthie and I had really good chemistry, even then. We also LOVED The Walking Dead. We were passionate about it, and wanted to share that passion with others.
Those first episodes, we didn’t get a lot of feedback. There were occasional iTunes reviews, but not a lot of anything else. However, I could see we were getting downloads.
We didn’t do much with our Facebook group to start. Initially, we didn’t accept feedback from the group, only via the feedback page or the voicemail line. When we got frustrated about the lack of feedback, I suggested, “why don’t we try accepting Facebook feedback?” The difference was instantaneous, and, over time, most if not all of our feedback came in via Facebook. The numbers started to grow. Our Facebook group was small, and still is relatively so, but we’re an active, passionate bunch.
As our podcast has grown, our Facebook group has grown… and it’s been a warm and inviting place, and many of our listeners and members remark how it’s like a little family in there. It’s so awesome to be able to share our passion with people as passionate about The Walking Dead as we are.
Over the weeks and months, while I struggled to become a faster editor, the interactions with our Facebook group kept me going. I think it kept us both going. We persevered, and kept improving. Today, with new techniques and equipment, editing the podcasts aren’t nearly as difficult as it had been. Feedback is pretty much guaranteed, and we love the community that’s grown around our podcast. That community is growing as we await Negan’s bat. We see that community grow in its passion, as we continue to share that passion.
We’ve had more than one podcast where we actually get in more feedback than we do talking about the episode! I fully expect that to happen next week when we release our episode about the season premiere, so much in fact that we may have to change the format of the podcast to cover all of it.
Here’s What I Learned
If you are passionate about something, and it’s difficult, persevere. You’ll find your way. Share that passion. People are drawn to passion. When they see you be passionate about something, they want to join in and experience it with you.
I don’t want to speak for Ruthie… but for me. I can’t believe what it’s like to have so many people listen to us, and share feedback with us! They tell us they love us, and we love them back!
All I’ve done here is talk about The Walking Dead Talk Through. I guess I should tell you that you can find that podcast if you go to www.goldenspiralmedia.com, or you can go straight to walkingdeadtalkthrough.com. And, that facebook group, once again, is www.facebook.com/groups/WalkingDeadGSM.
I’m Brian Meloche and this has been Stuff I Learned Yesterday.
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