Constructive With Your Feedback

Constructive With Your FeedbackDid you hear I have a podcast now? It's true. You can visit https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/ to catch up on the four episodes you've missed. I would have recorded more on Tuesday night, but I took my kids to the Jays game instead. I'll be back in the recording studio next Tuesday.

I've never worked in radio. Recording that first episode was the first time I had done anything like this. After each episode, I listen to the show and take notes on what I thought worked and what I thought didn't work. Then, I try to make each show better than the one before. I like to think episode 4 is a great deal better than episode 1.

I also seek feedback from actual professionals. I'm lucky enough to know people who work on radio and television, including producers, and their feedback is always super detailed and interesting. The problem I now have is that I have too much feedback, and a great deal of it goes directly against my instincts. And to be honest, I'm enjoying the fact I'm driving this bus on pure instinct.

For example, I've been told I'd benefit from something called an "intro cart" that would start each show. "And now, host of Toronto Mike'd... Toronto Mike!" I dislike this idea.

I'm in a pretty cool spot here. I'm not podcasting to get rich. In fact, I'd have the same show and have the same fun if there were only a dozen listeners. There happens to be more, but I honestly don't care. I'll consider the Toronto Mike'd podcast a failure when it feels like work and there's no cash coming my way. So long as it's fun, it can't fail.

That ability to ignore the numbers allows me to do things a little differently. I like to start with the theme song iLLvibe was nice enough to create for me, then say hi to Rosie and Wix before stamping the episode as #2, #3 or whatever. Then, I have a short list of topics I want to chat with my buddies about, and all that matters to me is that it remain organic. Nothing is forced, nothing is rehearsed, nothing is faked... and if new topics naturally evolve from what's written in front of me, so be it. I'm the program director. I'm the boss.

This ramble is to say I read all the feedback I get, and a great deal of it I take to heart, but some of it I throw in the "contrived typical radio" bin. I can afford to do things differently. I can afford to fail.



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Declan

Mike, I've been reading your blog for years and have enjoyed the first four episodes of Toronto Mike'd.

I love how natural it sounds. It's like listening in on a fun and interesting discussion between friends. Please keep it natural and don't make it sounds like every other talk radio program I avoid like the plague.

Declan

October 4, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

Declan

Oh, and Rosie is a true gem. Thanks for introducing us to her. She's the ideal co-host that complements you perfectly.

Great job, Rosie!

October 4, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

Lyle Lanley

@Toronto Mike wrote:

"I'll consider the Toronto Mike'd podcast a failure when it feels like work and there's no cash coming my way."

Bingo! If it's going to feel like work it should be helping you pay the mortgage or rent or whatever. And on that front, I'll bet you'll have sponsors in no time. Would you accept sponsorship?

October 4, 2012 @ 11:32 AM

Lorne

Good feedback on the feedback. =)

Interesting point about doing the podcast like a hobby rather than a demo reel for a radio show. I certainly does give you more freedom to be "indie"-- ie: I don't care if Sony Records wants three chords, two verses. I'm making a fifteen minute rock epic with multiple key changes and a single verse. I'm not selling it to Sony. =)

Feedback is good for helping you avoid hard-learned lessons from others' pitfalls, though I think you've managed to avoid most of those. Example, some people will just record the show with an iPhone to make it sound more "authentic"-- but instead you just get washed out voices and lots of static/noise. But you've already got proper equipment. You're ahead of the curve there.

Best advice I can give: I'm part of a writer's group where we critique each others' work. There's always a ton of great, insightful feedback. But sometimes you'll get eight different opinions, and sometimes the same opinion eight times. In either case, the final choices come down to you, the creator. If there's an idea you're married to, or is integral to your vision, or is critical for something else you're planning-- well, then sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

On the other hand, creative people do have this idea of "killing your darlings"... and it's something that's darn near impossible to do without feedback. Think about how many times in a movie, or a TV show, or in a book-- there's been a scene that makes absolutely no sense and doesn't flow at all, but is obviously a pet topic/character/kink of the author. Jar Jar Binks.

On that note, I will point out that there's a distinct lack of Jar Jar Binks in the Toronto Mike'd, and for that I am ever grateful. Looking forward to the next episodes.

October 4, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

Lorne

@Declan: seconded about Rosie. I think she's one of THE distinguishing features of the podcast unique to the medium. Having her interaction is something that could not be done on the blog, and her input/views make the podcast stand on its own (rather than the earlier concerns about it being just Mike "reading the blog").

October 4, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Lorne and @Declan

I love doing the show with Rosie. And I like having a woman's voice in the mix, and her voice is great and opinions always interesting. She's staying.

@Lyle Lanley

I haven't thought much about sponsorship yet b/c I'm still trying to find my voice with this and see what it is. But yes, I'm open for business. And the podcast sponsorship package includes an awesome value-add torontomike.com seo component, which will attract business via Google.

So anyone interested in sponsoring Toronto Mike'd and/or TorontoMike.com just needs to contact me. :)

October 4, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

Sam in Pickering

Add me to the list of folks who enjoyed all 4 episodes. It's really natural and fun.

And totally shtick free so far.

October 4, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Jar Jar Binks

Meesa goin' on da Toronto Mike'd pooood-caast ona Tuuessssday.

October 4, 2012 @ 12:49 PM


Blind Dave

You have a great show and the right attitude. Keep it fun and natural, and yes, keep Rosie!

October 4, 2012 @ 1:12 PM

Argie

Mike,

The shows thus far haven't been bad (I know I'm too kind). I like the topics you've covered but my issue is this: the show is simply 3 people gabbing about stuff. All 3 get along well and most of the time you're all in agreement.

I think you need a dissenting opinion. If only you could find someone who disagrees with you and the mainstream. You know, someone who's a bit conservative, maybe even religious who would contrast you.

I like Rosie, and I'm sure she's a great girl but I honestly think you need a another individual who'll debate stuff with you. Rosie appears to be the female version of you.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

I hear ya... I'm going to start adding guests soon, starting with Elvis on October 16.

Argie, if you're ever in Etobicoke on a Tuesday evening, I'd love to have you on. Write me if you're interested.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

elvis

@Argie - trust me, I will be letting the world know how much his blog and podcast suck.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

This begs the question, am I getting Elvis or the real you?

Because I have serious and interesting questions for the real you. Elvis is a bit of an idiot.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:43 PM

elvis

World's will collide.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

Luckily nobody will be listening... b/c I'm going to interview the real you.

October 4, 2012 @ 2:50 PM

Lorne

Dissenting opinions are great, but I hate it when it's artificial. Any can play devil's advocate, or be contrary just for the sake of being contrary. Sometimes it's nice to hear a passionate debate without it actually being an adversarial argument.

You and Rosie are a good example. You're friendly enough that you can have a civil discussion that's "two cool people talking", but your opinions can still differ. ie: So You Think You Can Dance vs. The Wire.

Best example I can give is 107.9's morning show, Ben & Kerry. They're two different people in taste, style, personality, etc. But they're also two good friends on air and off, and that really shines through. The whole mood of the show is friendly and positive without feeling like an episode of "Hollywood Now" or something. Contrast it with, well, just about any other morning show where the "personalities" are personae and the entire goal is to be mean, offensive and insulting to the other hosts.

October 4, 2012 @ 3:33 PM

The Real Question

Is Flight of the Conchords still recording new shows?

October 4, 2012 @ 4:07 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Real Question

The HBO series we all knew and loved only ran for two seasons. No more new shows, unfortunately.

October 4, 2012 @ 4:17 PM

Rosie

Hey thanks guys for all the kind words. One of the many things I love about Mike's site is this awesome community of cool and interesting people it has created and the dialogue it inspires between everyone. Mike is as real and funny in real life as he is on this site. It's great to be able to talk as much as we want on the podcast without getting in trouble like we used to in school. I'm just relieved he is still friends with me after an unfortunate incident in grade 11 history ;)

I miss Flight of the Conchords too. Any scene with Murray left me doubled over in laughter

October 4, 2012 @ 4:35 PM

Barbara

I heard Ward Anderson on your podcast. When are you coming on the Ward And Al podcast Toronto Mike? We are all part of the same family under HumbleandFred Radio Network now. I like your theme song, it's very cool. It's funny I suggested you as guest to Ward and Al before I knew you were going to have a podcast. I guess I know talent.

October 6, 2012 @ 9:33 PM

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