Interviews for the Book
July 28 2014, by Karl Oscar Weber,
I'm writing a book, Swift Foundations. It's a beginners book for learning to make iOS apps using Swift. It's going to be pretty rad.
kow.fm is still a pretty new thing. I purchased the domain on a whim, with the intent to broadcast myself via podcasting. It also eliminates the pesky misspellings of my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Although I maintain that domain, kow.fm just rolls that much easier off the toungue.
With the development of Swift Foundations I've decided to conduct a series of interviews to promote the book. Focused on iOS developers, with the rough topic of staying motivated as a beginner, the first round of podcasts will be bundled up as Season 1.
Wrapping the podcast up into seasons relieves a ton of pressure. Producing a podcast on a regular basis is no longer a commitement. Now I can plan a topic, research Interviews, content, and promotions, and then produce the season around that. I can interview whomever I want to interview. I can even interview my mom, which will happen next season.
So I've thought a lot about what I want my Podcast to be. I have a little plan that I follow to produce an Episode.
Step 1: Contact
I've never met most of the people that I plan on interviewing. I was actually surprised that so many of them agreed to an interview with a complete stranger so quickly. I was originally nervous about asking for an interview from so many complete strangers; but I mustered up some courage and began to make contact.
I made a list of names, and "reached out" to each one in turn. This means I cold emailed them or messaged them on twitter. I began monday morning, and by monday evening I had 5 confirmed Interviews and a Pre-Interview phone call lined up. It was exciting receiving so many positive responses to my requests.
Step 2: Scheduling
Scheduling the actual Pre-Interview phone calls with each Guest is difficult. Most live in different time zones. Calls have to be adaptable to their schedule, and My Schedule. It's more difficult for me because I'm also working a full time job whilst conducting these phone calls. Today I have 2 Pre-Interviews, and 2 meetings scheduled, all juggled together like so much Wizardry.
Although I gripe, A quick email exchange with a guest and some creativity and patience yields a mutually agreed upon time for a phone call.
Step 3: Pre-Interview
So I think it's important to do appropriate research about a guest before recording with them. Jumping into an interview without any idea of what we're going to talk about is just silly.
Each Guest has a unique story and perspective, things that only they can share. Their ideas and thoughts are topics of discussion. The Pre-Interview gives us an opportunity to find their unique story. Each Season has a topic, and we find stories to fit that topic. Sometimes we find something even more interesting to talk about on our way to those stories.
One such phone call was with Sam Soffes. Sam Created a little To-Do list app named Cheddar, which he subsequently sold. I have a great love for cheddar and I still use it today. It's the flipping best. Anyway, so after our phone call he made a video requesting feedback on whether or not he should make another to do list app. He mentioned two seperate conversations that told him how much they loved Cheddar.
Poll: Should I make a to do list? https://t.co/DZvz2e43DO— Sam Soffes (@soffes) July 25, 2014
How awesome is that? Now I know what it is that we can talk about in our interview.
Step 4: Define Questions
Now that I have a short, private interview out of the way I go over the notes from the interview and prepare a list of proposed topics and questions. This seems manufactured but I believe that it produces a better interview if a guest has an opportunity to prepare. Preperation + Opportunity = Luck. Or, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Defining the questions beforehand allows us to find any topics that might be off limits, or that our guest would be uncomfortable discussing. It also allows us to really talk about what's unique to them, What perspective or experience do they offer that you just can't find elsewhere. Other questions and topics will arise, of course, it's a discussion.
Step 5: Record & Publish
At the end of the yellow brick road, is a darkish sound proof room with a microphone, and a draft. You just have to do it. DO IT. just make a phone call, start asking questions, and record everything that happens. Recording is good.
Once you have the recording, you edit it and then you publish it. Real rocket science. Around this time you tell everybody that you know that you just posted a new podcast and that you really want them to listen to it.
Wait for the listens to stack up and the feedback to roll in.
I hope that you found this as helpful as I found it enjoyable. If you have any questions, please message me on twitter or send me an email.
Now go forth and record.