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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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 4: Courage

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 4Here's the 4th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, it gets awfully emotional, as Toronto Mike reveals something personal and the gang talks about movies that make them cry. This episode is exactly 25:43.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 3: Freak Turbulence

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 3Here's the 3rd episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about my Irish cardigan sweater, Sam the Record Man and television shows we're digging. This episode is exactly 27:28.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 2: Ahead By A Century

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 2Here's the 2nd episode of my new podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about the early feedback we've received, concerts we've dug and Ward crashes the party. This episode is exactly 36:55.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 1: Yawning or Snarling

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 1Here's the very first episode of my new podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about Twitter spoilers, the elderly and technology and what the podcast is and is not. This episode is exactly 35:09.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought, what you'd change for future episodes and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Toronto Mike'd (City Love) - A Podcast Theme Song From iLLvibe

Toronto Mike'd (City Love) - A Theme Song From iLLvibeI've dropped a few hints about the podcast I'm going to start. It'll be a half hour a week, discussing a few Toronto-centric topics that are also covered on this blog. I'm doing it because I think it will be fun.

Originally I was going to use Lowest of the Low's Rosy and Grey as the theme song, but then I had a better idea. I had local musician and producer extraordinaire iLLvibe produce an original track I could use without having to deal with any licensing issues. Here's the new theme song from iLLvibe.

Toronto Mike'd (City Love)

Download the MP3

Honestly... what do you think?

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Humble and Fred Join Rogers Radio

humble and fredI probably teased this one a little too early, but the big announcement from Humble and Fred has just been made on Breakfast Television.

Humble and Fred have signed a very cool distribution deal with Rogers. Humble and Fred will continue to podcast but will be promoted by Rogers as a 56th station of sorts. Here's a bit I stole from some pr document:

Rogers Radio now offers listeners free access to Humble and Fred Radio.com, available on 19 Rogers Radio websites – granting unrestricted access to the popular podcasts, 24 hours a day. With just the click of a button, fans can tune in and catch up with Humble and Fred on the following Rogers Radio station players: Jackfm.com, 1031Jackfm.com, Sportsnet960.ca, Jackfm.ca, Rock977.ca, Rock979.ca, Rock106.ca,92CitiFM.ca, Sportsnet590.ca, 1023bob.com, Chez106.com, 923Jackfm.com, KRock1057.ca, foxradio.ca, Q92Rocks.com, Q92Timmins.com, 680News.com, SONiC1029.com, and Rock1053.ca.

Also available on the exclusive Rogers Radio app, Humble and Fred Radio.com can be caught on-the-go with this all-access pass to their made in Canada podcasts. App users can browse by station, location or genre, connecting instantly with stations nationwide. At the tip of their fingers, listeners can check out recent playlists, request songs and directly link to station websites.

Aw heck, here's the whole press release.

(TORONTO – January 24, 2012) Rogers Radio today announced the debut of Humble and Fred Radio.com across 18 Rogers Radio websites and on mobile devices through the Rogers Radio app.

"We are thrilled to partner with Humble and Fred and are very excited and proud to be able to offer this unique, innovative show to our Rogers radio listeners." says Julie Adam, VP Programming. "It's like having a 56th station... it's just that this radio station lives solely in the digital space."

Humble and Fred Radio.com is an uncut, uncensored and irreverent podcast baked fresh daily and delivered to listeners around the world. “Humble” Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson offer up a variety of special guests, hot-topic discussions and very funny content.

“We’ve never had so much fun” says Patterson, “And to have Rogers recognize our efforts and want to give us access to their millions of listeners is flattering. Rogers vision of the future is very impressive.

“We’re very happy to be part of the Rogers Family” says Glassman, “In fact from now on we’re going to call Bob McCown dad, and Erin Davis can be our mom.”

There's more to it than just availability from Rogers digital property. There's also regular on-air bits with Bob McCown on Primetime Sports and a neat little thing with 680 News. But most importantly, this is the beginning of something bigger.

Not bad for a couple of guys rolling their own in Etobicoke.

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The Motts and Me: Friends Forever?

itunesThe Motts were a popular husband and wife radio duo on CFRB for years and years until they were let go by Astral back in August of 2009. They're now podcasting daily at themotts.ca.

I've been working with Humble and Fred, who are now podcasting daily at humbleandfredradio.com, and when Carol Motts heard I had the guys in the iTunes store, she reached out.

When The Motts call, you accept the charges. I'm happy to share the news that you can now subscribe to the Motts on iTunes and Carol is now managing her own XML feed.

I don't think there's any conflict of interest here, there's very, very little overlap between The Motts' target audience and Humble and Fred's target audience. if you've heard both shows, you'll know what I mean.

But, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you to listen to Humble and Fred radio. Subscribe and give it a whirl. It might just change the way you listen to radio.

Toronto Mike: Podcast consultant to the stars.

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Podcasting 101: How Humble and Fred Get Heard

podcastHumble and Fred Radio has been in the works for a while. In late July, Fred Patterson was dismissed by Corus, and the planning began in earnest. I managed to keep it completely on the QT until August 4th when I wrote Humble and Fred's Perfect Storm - A Radio Revolution?

It's a perfect storm of sorts. There is a plan for Humble and Fred, a future for the duo. No, I'm not about to announce they're the new morning show for < insert station here >, but they are on the brink of what I believe is a radio revolution.

Are you ready for Humble and Fred Radio?

We planned our attack over lunch, and shared the specifics with you all shortly thereafter. Humble and Fred were to record a show every weekday and share it with the world. That's where I came in.

Humble and Fred took care of the studio, perfecting the acoustics and setting up the mixing board and recording software. In other words, Humble and Fred were responsible for content and creating the .mp3 file each day, but I was responsible for ensuring the masses could easily access and hear that file. Here's how I did it....

The Savvy Will Subscribe
I wanted to take care of the savvy first. The savvy would want to subscribe to the podcast, via iTunes or an Android or Blackberry app. Luckily, there's an RSS 2.0 specification they all accept, although iTunes does recommend some additional iTunes-only tags. This RSS feed is an XML file, so I wrote one, made it easy to update via the CMS and taught Freddie P how to update it each day.

That feed can be found at http://www.humbleandfredradio.com/podcast.xml and was submitted to the iTunes Store for approval. We were approved and that's how we got our own iTunes Store page.


If you're listening to the podcasts, you know there was a delay getting Thursday's episode in there. That's because Fred put the date as Thur instead of Thu. That's how sensitive the XML file is, but everything was corrected and updated by Friday afternoon.

Speaking of the iTunes Store updating, that's one of the frustrations. iTunes reads our XML file to update their store on a schedule only known to them. So Fred might update the XML file at 1pm, but the iTunes Store might not update until 3pm. I've learnt there's nothing we can do to force this iTunes Store update. All we can do is update our XML file and ensure we're adhering to the RSS 2.0 standards.

The Less Savvy Just Want to Push Play and Listen
The XML file satisfies the savvy subscribers, but there are plenty of Humble and Fred fans who just want to click a play button and hear the show. I licensed a Wimpy MP3 player for this purpose, and it lives at http://www.humbleandfredradio.com/mp3player.html. After Fred updates the XML file that drives subscriptions, he updates this Wimpy player, dummy-proofed in the CMS, not that Fred is a dummy. In fact, as I learnt when we launched CanadianThinker.com, the man catches on quick!

The Wimpy player lets you list several episodes, so someone can just pick their episode from the list. By default, it auto-plays the most recent episode, but you can pause it and come back to it anytime. I'll often play episodes this way when I'm hacking away on the computer.

When All Else Fails
The XML file satisfies the subscribers and the Wimpy player satisfies most of the rest, but there needed to be one more catch-all that truly doesn't care what OS you're on, whether you can see Flash or not or what application you're going to use to play our MP3. I've been blogging 9 years because I love the format. Every entry gets a permalink that will never, ever change. That's the spirit behind this catch-all for sharing the Humble and Fred podcasts.

After every episode is recorded, converted to MP3 and uploaded to our coreFusion server, that episode is given its own blog entry on HumbleandFredRadio.com. This permalink always includes a link to the MP3 file, so even if you can't see Flash on your device you can always download or stream the audio. I've yet to encounter a set-up where this didn't ensure Humble and Fred got heard.

And that's how we do it. It's a three-prong approach, and I'm quite proud of the design. It's holding up very, very nicely, if I do say so myself.

I grew up listening to Humble and Fred on CFNY, and I've been trying to find a morning show I like as much since they left for Mojo Radio. I'm honoured and tickled pink to be a part of Humble and Fred Radio, because it's the show I've been searching for this past decade.

The boys are back, and if you haven't heard them yet, you really have no excuse. If you're listening, how do you access the audio? If you're not listening, why aren't you?

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A Podcast Experience Like No Other

podcastWe've been recording the Humble and Fred podcast every weekday for a couple of weeks now, and it's been an experience like no other. The early results are encouraging, the content has been top notch and it's the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on. Yes, we keep our clothes on.

Today, while in iTunes, I was met with this "New & Noteworthy" section under "Comedy".

Humble and Fred Radio

That was thrilling in its own right, but then, a little further down the comedy podcast page, I saw this...


As I type, iTunes is listing our Humble and Fred Radio podcast as the #4 bestselling podcast in the iTunes store. Number freakin' four... and climbing, I'm sure.

Humble and Fred, it's been a pleasure being a part of this. I thoroughly believe content is king, and you guys bring the content day in and day out. After that, I just have stitch a few bits and bytes to make sure you're heard.

Two weeks in, I'm more optimistic than ever that this will succeed. It's simply too good not to.

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