This series is all about libsyn’s newest podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Ken Ray has been podcasting since 2005, almost DAILY. Yes. Since 2005! That is A LOT of podcast episodes.
Although this series is about some of the relatively new podcasts out there, we feel Ken Ray also fits in our Podcast Luminaries series, being one of those few that have been able to podcast consistently AND offer so much to the world of podcasting in general.
We are very excited to offer you the wisdom of Ken Ray below!
Q & A with Ken Ray from Mission Log
When did you start podcasting?
I started podcasting in 2005, doing Apple news for “Inside Mac.” Our association ended at the end of 2005, and “Mac OS Ken” started in January of 2006.
Why did you start podcasting?
Initially, because “Inside Mac” wanted a daily news show and I wanted to do something on mic.
I’d been behind the scenes on a number of audio projects and done some production for a few, but didn’t have an outlet of my own.
I first heard about podcasting in late 2004 and thought it would be awesome to have a podcast. So awesome that I kind of got “blank-canvas” syndrome.
There were so many possibilities that I didn’t know/couldn’t decide what to do. But I had done tech news a few years earlier for TechTV Radio, so when the opportunity hit with “Inside Mac,” it seemed like a good one.
When that ended, I took a couple of weeks and started under my own banner.
“Mission Log” is a whole other thing. Rod Roddenberry has been a listener to “Mac OS Ken” for a few years, which still weirds me out from time to time.
He’s a giant Apple and Mac fan and has come to the last two Macworlds in San Francisco.
At Macworld|iWorld 2012 he started talking to me about the idea for “Mission Log,” and I said “I wanna do it” almost immediately. A few months later, we were underway.
What’s your show about?
As geeky as Star Trek can be, it’s important to Rod that people take the philosophies and messages of Star Trek from the show, not just the phasers and teleporters.
One of the things I’ve always loved about Star Trek is the idea that we can get from here (1966 through 2012 “here”) to there (exploring the galaxy in the 23rd and 24th centuries) without blowing ourselves up first. It means we get to put famine, disease, sectarian violence… everything that slows humanity’s progress behind us.
John and I have been tasked with taking each episode apart and pulling out the messages, morals and themes and determining (as best we can) whether they’re still relevant today.
Fun, Fame or Profit? Why are you doing the show?
I’d say fun and profit.
It’s definitely fun. I now have a job that REQUIRES me to watch Star Trek and talk about it.
I used to do that for no reason at all, so that’s a win.
At the same time, aiming towards monetization was important to me and to Rod, I think.
No one expects “Mission Log” to make us rich, but it is important that it be self-sustaining at the very least. And if it can be more than that, that’d be swell.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
Currently using a Blue Yeti USB mic into a 13″ MacBook Pro (early 2011). Capture the audio with eCamm’s Call Recorder for Skype, then edit in Adobe Audition CS 5.5 for Mac.
How have you promoted your podcast?
I have a daily podcast, already, so mentioning it there has been my biggest promotional vehicle, personally.
We timed the launch of “Mission Log” to coincide with the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Both Rod and John had panels there, so they mentioned it from a couple of stages in some pretty big rooms.
And we handed out postcards like mad men. And we just talked to people about the show.
Roddenberry Entertainment has its own promotional avenues, of course, and our association with Nerdist is amazingly huge from a promotional standpoint.
It’s very different than doing your own show. There are two established organizations behind this, plus John’s show, plus my show all working to promote a show for which Star Trek fans seems to be receptive in some cases and hungry in others.
It’s really been thrilling.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
If you hope to make a dime, have a business plan in place before you start or work with people who do.
I did a sort of “if you build it, they will come thing” when I started Mac OS Ken, figuring advertising dollars would find their way to my show.
Have I been able to make it? Yes, though I think if I’d had a clearer idea of how I wanted to do that at the start, things would have gone more smoothly.
Do download numbers matter matter to you? or is audience engagement key?
For “Mission Log” it’ll be audience engagement for me. Download numbers are a business thing on this one, and other people are handling the business end.
I haven’t asked about our numbers yet because, once I do, I’ll never stop asking. And now I’ll probably start asking tomorrow.
How has or has podcasting helped create opportunities for you?
Simply put, “Mac OS Ken” led to “Mission Log.” More than that though, I’ve made friends in parts of the world I may never see.
So many people tell me their day does not start without me, which – six-and-a-half-years later – is still weird sometimes, but amazing as well.
What advice would you give a new podcaster so that they keep going!
Make sure you love what you’re talking about, or at the very least love talking about it. If it goes well, you’ll be doing it for a long time.
It can be a job, which is good news, but if you don’t like what you’re doing, it can end up a job you hate. And who wants that?
I’d also suggest trying a decent run before you ever publish.
Think you want to do a weekly show? Do it for a month first. Four weeks that you may never publish, just to make sure it’s something you can handle and enjoy.
And if you think you want to do a daily show, have your head examined.
There you have it. It’s time for you guys to step into the world of Star Trek and enjoy diving into all those things beyond the ordinary, guided by two amazing guys.
Subscribe to The Mission Log Podcast.
If you want to reach out to The Mission Log Podcast you can do so by emailing missionlog(at)roddenberry(dot)com, calling 323-522-5641 or following @missionlogpod
What are you waiting for? Start your podcast!