We’re now almost a full month into 2016, and recently debuted something new as part of the Small Data podcast: a bonus interview series. In my last post, I touched on the challenge of determining whether we want to be more of a storytelling podcast or a data podcast. Ideally, we want to be both, but it’s no secret that appealing to every listener and getting the best of both worlds isn’t easy. Our solution to this problem is an additional series: short, interview-based episodes with really cool people in the data science world. Our first one, which you can hear on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud, is with Jessica Graves, a NYC-based fashion data scientist who talked to Zac about mirrors that’ll one day help us choose and/or crowdsource a new outfit and all the great brands that are building and using innovative technology to bring you the most incredible shopping experience you’ve ever thought possible. All this is, you guessed it, thanks to data!
As we wrap up our fourth regular episode and begin work on episodes five and six, we’re asking ourselves how we can bring you, our listeners, the best possible listening experience. We want you to hear from the most interesting people, learn about the ways that data is being used in ways you never imagined, and hear stories that are sometimes emotional, sometimes relatable, and occasionally funny, too. To do this, we’ve experimented a fair amount in the first few months. In our second episode, we brought you the topic of homelessness through the perspective of someone who was once homeless. In episode three, we put ourselves in the front seat and took you on a ride through the Tinder universe (comical, to say the least), and in the next episode, you’ll be hearing about addiction in a way that’s probably a little bit different than what you’re used to. Following that, we’re planning a fascinating episode about crime data manipulation - and that’s one you’re definitely going to want to tune in for.
So, we have our plate full right now. Amidst all that, there’s a couple of other important podcasting elements that we’re working on as we attempt to settle into our groove, learn as much as we can about the podcasting world, and bring you the kind of content you enjoy listening to. Here are a couple:
Besides the obvious financial support that is needed to maintain and improve a podcast, sponsorships are a great way to cross promote with other brands and bring our listeners a service they might find useful. Even if we keep recording and equipment costs low, there’s a certain amount of time and money necessary for every episode. This is not to say that a podcast that doesn’t have funding can’t happen, but sponsorship can help support the increased time, work, and resources it takes to keep improving the production.
There’s a lot of excellent stuff out there, but if there’s nobody to see or hear it, chances are it’ll stay right where it is. One of our goals in 2016 is to explore new ways to promote Small Data on more channels than just Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
Carve Out a Niche
While we know what kind of podcast we think we want to have, we also want to make sure it’s sustainable and enjoyable (to produce and to listen to), and that there is enough content available for us to keep doing what we think sounds cool in theory. We’re pretty new at this and are learning every day, so the most important goal we have for season 1 of Small Data is to figure out who we are.
As we work on getting our fourth episode out to you, we’re always researching and brainstorming new story ideas for future episodes. If you have one for us, we’d love to hear it! If you’re a data scientist who’s doing awesome things, we’d love to interview you. Tweet us, email us, Facebook us…we’d love to chat!