Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Tag: podcast (Page 2 of 2)

We’re all human

We are all human.

I remember the first time I got to see a professional basketball game in person. We were way up in the nosebleed section. We watched the players race across the floor and it felt surreal.

These giants of athleticism smashing into each other. The speed they moved and the fluids movements were like a dance.

A finely choreographed ballet of baskets unfolded. It was a blast.

Later, I saw another game. This time I was closer. I could see the players better. They were closer and it was more real. And they were human.

From afar, these people were a mysterious persona a mile high standing billboard tall. Up close, they were human. Big, bulky humans but humans.

That’s why I’ve never had a sense of celebrity worship. They’re just people. They do a job. They do it well. But they still get up in the morning feeling sick. They still have to put gas in their car and shop for groceries.

They still eat and sleep. They’re flesh and blood.

I started thinking about this during the follow-up with Marc Maron after his interview with President Obama.

WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: 614 – The President Was Here

When I listened to his interview I was struck by the humanity. This was a carefully orchestrated press appearance. This was two guys sitting in a garage talking about their lives.

Marc Maron and President Obama pose for a photo.

In the follow-up Maron talked about how human Obama was when he was there. He said, here I am sitting there looking at his mouth. Looking at his eyes. His face. He sat right across a desk from The President.

He is human.

When they took pictures afterward, they shook hands and wrapped their arms around each other. Just like you would with a friend or family member.

It’s worth your time to listen to the interview with President Obama. It’s a humanizing look at a man we often see and hear from in our best and worst times. But he’s an imperfect man full of fear and courage.

Photos are from

The Podcaster’s Blogger Press Kit

Austin Kleon posted about his Blogger’s Press Kit that he has put together for his books. Once he finishes a book, he wants to be sure people can share his work easily and with good-looking artwork. This is what spurred him into action. He writes:

Everybody’s heard of press kits, but the aim of a Blogger’s Kit is spreadability—images and videos that are easy to embed, post, and disseminate on the web.

Austin recommends a Blogger’s Kit should include:

  • author photos
  • the book cover (front and back)
  • “3-D” shots of the book in space
  • excerpt shots of the book spreads
  • a video of someone flipping through the book

This is a great idea for authors. In my recent writing about podcasts I run into the problem of not having good artwork for the show. It’s hard to find good artwork. I’ve resorted to screenshotting the album art from my podcatcher to use. Promoting something should be easy and podcasts are no different. With that in mind I now present you…

The Podcaster Blogger Press Kit.

Podcasters, I love your shows. You put a lot of work into them. I want to share them with the world! I want to help you get those coveted stars in iTunes.

Here is what you need for your Blogger’s Press Kit for Podcasters.

  • A decently sized copy of your cover art
    You know, that beautiful art you spent so much time on to for iTunes and podcatchers. I’d like a copy of that too.
  • Podcaster’s photo
    We’ve all heard your lovely voice. Now let’s see your beautiful face. This can be an “action shot* of you talking into the mic or editing tracks. It could be you looking goofy/serious/whatever with headphones on looking contemplative. A good example is imyke’s photo. It’s fun. It’s memorable. It gives the post about your show something visual to grab readers.

  • Photo of your podcast in your player of choice.
    Show your podcast, with cover art clearly visible open in your favorite podcatcher in the wild. Josh Ginter has some beautiful shots from his Overcast review.

  • Recommended episode(s)
    If your podcast episodes reach into the triple digits, it can be daunting to start listening. Do I need to start from 1? Can I listen to any of them and it won’t matter? Give the blogger a starting point to recommend to their readers.
    This is a tough problem and it’s one Merlin Mann asked his listeners for help with. The result was this list by Supertrainee on Huffduffer.

  • For bonus points, include some clips of your show.
    Give a new listener a taste of what they’re getting themselves into. Find 60 seconds of something interesting. Snag a 5 minute clip of an interesting discussion, or funny bit. Make a trailer for your podcast.

Cover image: Overcast podcast app by Kārlis Dambrāns

Eavesdropping on the Dawn Patrol

Dawn Patrol is a fun, new podcast from the makers of Technical Difficulties, (formerly Generational).

If you want to know what it’s about in 140 characters of less, I’ll let Justin Lancy put it better than I can.

When I was in college, my roommates and I would often have rambling conversations about technology, video games, movies, TV and anywhere the threads of discussion took us. I love this podcast because it captures the random threads created by four friends talking. There’s no editing. No caffeination. No polished presentations. There’s real people having real conversations.

I feel like I’m eavesdropping on their conversation when there’s a new episode released. It’s so much fun and I highly recommend it.

Podcasts I Enjoy – Song Exploder

Hrishikesh Hirway has put together a wonderful podcast called Song Exploder. Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

I learned about it from 99% Invisible: 118- Song Exploder. Another podcast I’ve only recently fallen in love with.

Open Mike Eagle is my favorite interview so far. He talks about loving with a beat and how a song evolves as his relationship with that beat grows.

For me to really, really get ready to write a song, I have to let the beat get me pregnant almost. I have to let the beat live inside of me to the point where I can recreate the beat in my head when I’m away from it over and over again.

It’s about finding a frequency and answering whatever the questions this beat is asking me.

The episodes about Bob’s Burgers and House of Cards were fun since I was very familiar with both of those themes. I hadn’t realized just how much the House of Cards theme changed between seasons. And I never knew there was so much hidden in the Bobs’ Burgers theme song.

Brian Reitzell talks about scoring a video game. He has done work for video games prior to Watch Dogs and talks about the particular challenge of video games. How do you write a modular, looping piece of music that doesn’t feel like it’s looping? Video game sounds are interesting to me since the music is often so overlooked or ignored completely. It’s an interesting challenge to score something like a game.

I could not stop giggling during the Garbage episode because they kept saying this sounds like Garbage.

If you like music, I think you’ll enjoy this podcast too. It’s short, about 20 minutes per episode with the artist talking about how they create their songs and sounds. And at the end, the entire song is played so you can hear the song they’ve talked about if you’re not familiar with it.

Subscribe to it at

Since the podcast only comes out twice a month, I subscribed to his newsletter Five Song Fridays. This week’s newsletter was all about Movie Music.

Support Ops – Tech Support with Carl Holscher


I’ve been a big fan of Support Ops since it launched. The idea of bringing humanity back into the world of customer support is near and dear to my heart. My writing about it is what caused Chase to email me to be on the show. I’ve got a diverse background that he thought would be interesting to his listeners.

We talked for about a half hour on what it’s like working in IT Support at the Federal Government level. I’ve worked all over the place, always in customer-facing support work where I had the benefit of showing up at my customer’s desks to troubleshoot their problems. There is a world of difference in being able to see the customer and work with them face-to-face instead of over the phone or with remote tools.

I’d be honored if you’d have a listen to Episode #18 – Tech Support With Carl Holscher | Support Ops. It was an absolute blast to record with Chase and share some of my stories from the trenches.

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