In the scheme of things, listening to a podcast is a fairly passive thing. You hit play and listen, but there exists a few, like me, active listeners. And while most social media is akin to screaming into a void, sometimes actual connections can occur.
In the case of the two main hosts from 7 Days A Geek; The Angry Ginger and TK1, or as I now call them Ginger and Grant, being an active listener and tweeting with them has, with the help of a “bold experiment,” turned us into friends, and there are others in the group that have become a family of sorts.
So, let’s start at the beginning. I’m not sure when I started following The Angry Ginger on Twitter, but our first conversation on the platform happened back in November of 2012. We spoke on and off until I tweeted:
— Agent Palmer (@AgentPalmer) January 20, 2015
From there, the conversation started to include Grant. That first episode I listened to was Episode 108: Luigi Know’s John Wick and Stranger Conversations. I didn’t go back through the archive, I just jumped in. Then, Grant finally launched his solo podcast The Stranger Conversations, to which I was advanced a copy of Episode 0.
I continued listening and tweeting new episodes of 7 Days A Geek for a few months before I initiated The Interrogation of The Angry Ginger. Then I appeared on my first podcast ever, The Stranger Conversations and somehow ended up with Grant’s cell phone number…
It was then, during the editing of Ginger’s Interrogation that it got… weird. I went down The Last Podcaster Standing (TLPS) wormhole, live tweeting the whole 76 episode run over the course of a few months. Ginger’s Interrogation was released and in short order not too long afterwards, my Behind the Mics expose on The Last Podcaster Standing was published, as well. Though at the time this didn’t quite endear me to Grant, it must have done something.
I’m not sure why, but after my TLPS binge, I decided to listen through the entire back archive of 7 Days A Geek episodes. I’m almost back to where I started at 108, but a lot has happened since then.
I was pulled into the writer’s room of 7 Days A Geek presents Podtoberfest and the rest is history.
Through Twitter, as the main platform, and while listening to them on various podcasts, I have come to call Ginger and Grant true friends. Through them I have also added Bill, Stef, Doug, and countless others.
I bring this up because despite the sparingly held conversations I had with Ginger from the first tweet back in November of 2012, it all really sparked off on January 19th, 2015, which was basically a year ago. And it is safe to say while many things change in a year, things come and they go, the addition of friends and a new inner circle in my life has been astounding and it all started with a podcast, 7 Days A Geek, and Twitter.
Why does any of this matter? Or why should it matter to you? Fair enough questions, but it matters and it should matter to you. I was able to become great friends with a new inner circle separate from the one I’ve always had through a podcast and social media in less than a year! So there’s that.
It should matter, because people see podcasting and social media as wastes of time. Or they see podcasts as mere passive entertainment and social media as a void. As is the case with most presumptions, this isn’t always the case. Just like I am an active podcast listener, and just like I have met and built friendships on Twitter, so too can you.
Taking a look at the two vehicles separately doesn’t work in this instance. I was an active listener of the podcast because of Twitter, and without the podcast there is nothing to be an active listener of. So we have to look at my progression through the lens of both mediums together.
Does this work all the time? Will you become friends with Chris Hardwick or Marc Maron or Kevin Smith? Probably not, but insofar as “independent” podcasts go, most of them are approachable and in many cases, hungry for the engagement. I won’t go so far as to say desperate, but it can sound like that at times.
These are people putting out something that may or may not be heard by ten people tops. So when you reach out to them, it’s a good thing. Independent podcasters don’t have millions of followers, they have thousands tops. So when a small percentage of them reach out they are grateful to have the interaction and hear feedback.
That’s what social media and specifically Twitter is all about. It’s about interaction and the conversation and sometimes, it’s about the connection that can happen to end up in friendships.
So, did I know what was going to happen in one year’s time on that fateful night of January 19th when I hit play on my first 7 Days A Geek episode? I did not. But I am thankful for what has transpired. All of the friends I now have through my association with that podcast have helped me through the rough times and even helped me celebrate the good ones, like my recent 300th post will show.
So don’t be a stranger, don’t hesitate to reach out. You never know what can happen.