Made my way up to Stockholm to spend quality time with my pal Martin of the Stocktown Chronicles Podcast. Together we sat back, drank tea, and discussed what we’ve seen emerge and change in podcasting since the very first days. Sit back, turn up the volume, and emerse yourself in this conversation.
If you’ve been alive for a few decades you’ve surely noticed how fast time passes and how things seem to change, sometimes even without us fully comprehending what has happened. Once a year, somewhere in Germany, several thousand enthusiastic individuals get together to consider those changes and look into what else is possible in the future. Beyond that, old and new friends get a chance to catch up, share knowledge, and maybe even get inspired.
This event, known as the Chaos Communication Congress, has brought me friends and acquaintences that I feel very fortunate to have and look forward to seeing year after year. Two such friends and fellow audiofiles, join me on today’s program to kickoff CTRP 2015 properly; by reporting from the congress and evaluating what this meeting is all about and how this thing connects to the big thing out there. Today on the program: Emmanuel and Kyle of 2600 Magazine, Off the Hook and Off the Wall.
Not since the cold war has the world needed to take a time-out from political posturing and the information game to get beyond the gate keepers and speak directly with the people referred to as “Russia”. Not unlike 25 years ago, we in the west are once again talking about a people as if they cannot be spoken with and do not have a wide range of opinions and values. Over in Russia, similar is happening with what the media refer to as “the west”.
Enter the power of the podcast:
On today’s program I am coming to you from Moscow, the heart of the nation that so many are talking about these days with angry and confused tones. But this is not about Ukraine or Putin. This is about the city, life, culture, changes, and other developments that remind us of the wealth of things we citizens of planet earth have in common. Today we speak with my friend Victor, an resident and keen observer of this country and its culture, to hear what he sees and has seen.
I started this blog under a different title and with a different purpose over 11 years ago. Back then I was moving my life from Portugal to the Netherlands, writing about my travels and things happening in the world. Writing both for me as well as my friends and a few strangers who were crazy enough to read me. My philosophy was write when I want, write often, and try to be creative. It was, as always, personal, spontaneous, and honest.
Somewhere along the way things changed of course. As did my life. A neverending list of interesting adventures came my way and a changing outlook on my style of media and what I wanted to do here resulted in a podcast, a focus on what I call “under reported news”, and strangely enough – an attempt to look more professional or serious. I think that I realized I want this to be my career and I got busy trying to make it look like one. Like so many things in life, keeping up appearances sometimes becomes as important (unfortunately) as the real heart and drive behind something. Want to be hired or funded? Put up a front like you’re an experienced pro and the world will believe you’re an experienced pro.
Happily, the experience part actually did happen as time went on, I’ve amassed a unique and fantastic collection of media producing experiences that I’m proud of and make me uniquely qualified in this world. Uniquely qualified sounds more lucrative than it actually is, I still struggle every month to pay my bills and figure out how I’m going to make a living 3 months from now. But that if we put aside that common problem many of us share, this work I’ve done has still led me in a really special direction.
What I do lament is how during this whole process I began to write less. To over think everything out of fear of making a mistake or wasting my energy. This place was once an open canvas for working out ideas together with an audience. But in the name of looking professional and not appearing vulnerable, I shifted more towards publishing my weekly program and in between some first hand observations and notes from the field.
The point? Sometimes I miss the old days. I definitely miss writing without fear or certainty of what my point is. All this posturing as a media professional hasn’t brought me a stable or lucrative career. It may have earned me respect among the more conventional journalists out there. But I lost something essential about who I am and what i love to do. That is to tell stories, to bring forward other people’s stories, and to increase understanding of who we are as humans in this world and how we could do that old cliché thing of making it a better world than it was before we each appeared on the scene.