When in this business you are put into contact with some amazing people. There are so many creative minds out there, all with differing specialties and personalities. But in some select instances, you meet someone truly profound. This was the case when I met James Fritz on May 20th, 2016. At this point Ian, Rylee, Cameron, and I had been creating content for about 3 months. Now as you have creative conversations it always comes down to logistics, how can we execute on our plan to make the best product possible. While a lot of names were thrown around during this time in our company, none more than James Fritz. Every time we needed help accomplishing ANYTHING Rylee would bring up his good buddy Fritz who he was confident could help us solve our problem.
After weeks of hearing his name I had to meet the guy. I couldn't risk not taking full advantage of someone Rylee spoke so highly of, it would be bad business. So we arranged for Fritz to not only come and meet us to talk, but to meet us live on our podcast and wow, the conversation just flowed perfectly. He fit in our group like a puzzle without any effort at all. That podcast, (#10 of the Drive By Dogs Podcast) is very special to me. It commemorates a special moment in not only our companies history but my own. That day I gained not just an exceedingly valuable coworker, but someone I would one day consider a best friend.
In the 23 months since that date Fritz continues to be an integral part of our operation. Anything that our company has accomplished can in some way be traced back to Fritz. He went from never even being on a podcast to being the host of 5 Minute Geek, which recently topped the iTunes charts as the #1 Gaming Podcast on the platform. His dedication and work ethic only get stronger with time and I can't wait to see what we accomplish with him on our side next.
This leads me to the solemn portion of the post. It is time to say a temporary goodbye to our buddy. James Fritz has enrolled in our countries Air Force Reserves and will be entirely absent from our content for the next 7 Months. You heard me right, the awesome dude I described above is now donating his time to fight for the rights of others, homeboy deserves a little bit more than a pat on the back when he returns. The current content schedule will not change despite his departure. During his absence Ian and I will take turns guest hosting 5 Minute Geek while he is gone.
I sit here now, just two weeks before our 24th month of friendship finding myself slightly sad that he is leaving, but voraciously excited for whatever the next two years holds. From all of us here at Drive by Dogs, We love you brother.
Exciting New Beginnings
After 2 years of almost exclusively producing podcasts it is time to finally expand our horizons. Yesterday we launched our behind the scenes/ improv comedy series! The goal of the series is to give a clearer vision of what happens when we turn the microphones off, sometimes it's business but it's usually just us making jokes and dancing. The first episode has been released on our YouTube Channel, but as the videos release we will be curating playlists that will be available under the Videos tab on the site.
Now to be clear we are still in the early stages of our video projects. While we can't set a consistent release schedule just yet we can tell you that you can expect a lot more of these. Likely we will release these videos in "seasons" until we can commit to a more consistent weekly-like basis. In the meantime we just hope you enjoy what we are making and look forward to your feedback.
That's it from me guys, I'll see you again on Friday.
We are one month away from entering our third year of content creation. To date we have published 143 podcasts spanning nearly 100 cumulative hours of content, I am in love with this stat. Because after 3 years of hard work building websites, editing audio, dealing with Rylee, I'm still having the time of my life. I would go as far to say that even after 100 hours of being on mic I have more fun. I had somebody ask me recently if there was anything that would make me want to stop, they asked if I would stop doing the podcast if for example everybody stopped listening.
So that got me thinking, why do I do this? What do I like about podcasts? Ultimately for me, it comes down to making people laugh. I've wanted to be a comedian since I was too young to pronounce the word. There is just this amazing feeling of intense connection I get when somebody laughs at one of my dumb jokes. This moments of intense satisfaction that nothing else in the world gives me. But as I really thought about it I don't think that every laugh is equal. There is a certain level of satisfaction when you get certain people to laugh. For me, it's some of the people closest to me. The 3 people that I most enjoy telling jokes to are Ian, Rylee, and my girlfriend Kristen. Then it hit me, all of my effort has nothing to do with getting popular online. For me, this has always been about making the people that I would die for crack a smile when I talk. I more than appreciate all of the support we have gotten over the years. You have helped us accomplish so much, but nothing more true happiness. I wake up every morning so grateful for my friends, my family, and my listeners. I hope that maybe one day I can give you half of what you have given me.
So Many Updates
Beyond the gushy talk above I actually have a lot to share! We are still fairly young as a company so we are altering things behind the scenes almost by the day. It's really tough to know what is and what isn't working but we are working hard to find that information out as well as make our content better. Below I will make some announcements and updates one by one.
West World Podcast
I thought it would be fun to start things off with the announcement of our West World fan podcast! The HBO Original show returns on April 22nd and with it comes our Fan theory/discussion show. We are still working out some of the kinks but we will have more solid information coming up soon. Just look forward to an episode by episode breakdown of the show along with plenty of jokes about autonomous milk.
Discover Pod Podcast Awards
It's not often that a fan-base is so amazing that they nominate you for awards without even telling you they did it. Seriously you guys are majorly dope. After over 4,000 votes our show Poorly Educated was nominated for the Best Comedy Podcast of 2017, along with the People Choice Podcast of 2017. While we didn't win either award we are still more than honored to even be considered. We are so much smaller and newer than all of the podcasts we were up against, this is the first time we have been placed more into the mainstream of our industry and it it all because of you. To people that voted, if you email me here, we are trying to do some special things for you guys. Maybe a Skype call, maybe a bonus episode, not sure yet. Just email in please so I can try to find a way to thank you.
Website and Blog Changes
As I'm sure that you noticed Rylee and I were noticeably absent from our blogs in March, but we are getting back into the groove in April. Rylee's tech Blog is back and will be returning to the same schedule as before, every other Friday. The only really noticeable change should be that my behind the scenes blog will now be a weekly, every Friday event.
We also wanted to make sure things are very consistently accessible so we are making the blogs available at the same time at 12:00AM on Friday. This will also be consistent with our podcast releases going forward as well. You should expect to see every show release first thing at 12:00AM on it's designated release day.
As I'm sure you have noticed we have been making major changes to the website recently. We have been working towards providing more content on our site, along with improving the visual proponents of the site. We are continually making improvements to pages but with that mistakes can be made. If anybody finds any mess ups or links that don't work please feel free to email me so that i can get it fixed.
See you boys on Friday,
I'm slightly cold as I'm writing this. Chugging coffee and pounding cough drops as I work through an unfortunately windy Thursday night. I know, Thursday night sounds bad for a blog that comes out every Friday morning, but this week has been exceptionally busy. D-Day has officially happened, as I am now 100% self employed. Honestly I was expecting to slack off a little after my quitting my day job but I was just too excited. Immediately after walking out of my last job I accidentally worked for 26 hours straight and I didn't even realize it.
This news also came with an unexpected side effect, my sleep schedule being fuckedddd haha. Almost instantly i started working nights and sleeping days but I think I have things figured out now that I am a couple of days in, (I type at 4:48AM)
This week I wanted to talk to you guys about priorities, healthy ones more specifically. To illustrate my talking point let me tell you about a mistake I made just this week and how it set our company back a day or so.
It was Tuesday night and I was working through my newly discovered nocturnal schedule. I had 9 hours to knock out a list of things our company needed accomplished like editing, writing, and bookkeeping. I crossed the first two tasks off the list like in record time and was well ahead of schedule so I thought, "While I'm ahead, I am going to mess around with this audio file and test out some new audio quality settings, since I have time." Well the since I have time thing dicked me, I spent 5 hours on something that only needed 1 hours of attention for a product of the same relative quality. I'm sadly serious, out of 5 hours of messing around there wasn't even a noticeable difference between the new file and the source file. Now I only have 2 hours to do 4 hours worth of work. Not only did it delay some of our paperwork being filed but we had to re-schedule an important call in the morning on account of my lack of sleep. I really hate how much the statement is used but I so frequently get slapped in the face with its truth so i'll say it, you have to work smarter, not harder.
A lot of creators will put a lot of time and effort into what they produce, but they won't evenly distribute how their time is spent. The non-fun parts of the job very often need just as much if not more attention that the fun parts. My biggest problem is that I get too sucked into whatever i am doing. I straight go into a coma and wake up when the job is done haha. Now I am making an attempt to step back and look at the big picture even in the middle of my task. It's really amazing how much perspective is gained by just taking a minute to think.
Anyway good luck with your projects, Happy Creating!
Music to OUR ears
With SeatGeek sponsoring our podcast we have gotten a lot of requests asking what concerts we are going to be at this year. Below those are listed so you can get a feel of our music taste. (Voted Best Music Taste in the business by somebody probably)
Use code "DBA" at SeatGeek.com for $20 your first ticket purchase
To close out this weeks blog like always we are announcing some cool new things! To start our podcast 5 Minute Geek is now available in video form on our Youtube Channel. This is just the first of many video based productions we are working on so stay tuned for more announcements like this one.
Thanks for reading guys, see you back here next time,
Not all sad I promise
This is no sad boy show I can promise you that. That's what I always say is no sad boys on my website. Now let's not discount the value and importance of hard work, especially when in reference to whatever you are passionate about. Hard work is accomplishing, and after you get so used to crossing out job after job accomplishments become addicting. Night after night obsessing over clearing the jobs in my Google Calender. There have been moments where as I am hanging out with friends, family, girlfriends, that they get up to use the rest room and by the time they get back I am already back to work. The line between dedicated and obsessive is incredibly gray.
In my experience, all of my success has been on the heels of support from friends and family. Now when I say support I do not mean it traditionally, where I want to achieve something and they directly help me get it. I'm talking about indirect support, where somebody close to you helps you remember why you are who you are via love or companionship. When you are putting your all into something it's easy to become a machine, a product of routine that loses it's sense of self when focused in it's goals. I have been this machine, but I am fortunate enough to have some really amazing people who can remind me who I am and why I want what I want. It's important to not lose yourself and my best friends Ian, Rylee, and Fritz, alongside my amazing girlfriend Kristen have all spent many hours reminding me how important it is to really be alive. They make me a better friend, a better leader, and a better person and I am eternally grateful for each part.
How to ride the line
Now that I've conceptualized whats important it should be easy to find a healthy balance, it's simple math right? Unfortunately this internal fire isn't as easily stamped out. Honestly I still spend a great deal of time struggling with caring about the right things. The conclusion that I have personally came to is that we don't need to balance things perfectly, we just have to care about balancing things evenly. My suggestion to anybody reading this who struggles with prioritizing their time is to never stop caring about getting it right. Put in time, put in effort, and do so with discipline. Follow this guideline for long enough and what's most important to you will be clearer than ever.
Sponsor Talk/ Video Podcast?
To cut off the serious talk in this weeks blog I wanted to talk about some of our current sponsors, who they are, what that means for you, and ultimately what that means for us. To start we are so freaking thankful for the amount that our audience has grown in the last few months. Like unbelievably stoked. However we have found out the hard way that trying to make better content and more of it is costly in terms of both materials and time. Fortunately we have been lucky enough to work with a few really wonderful companies that we already use personally!
Amazing companies like these allow us to spend more time creating content for you. Ultimately this means you guys as audience members get a better sound for our podcasts, a higher quantity of episodes, and bonus content we previously didn't have time to create. If you like what we do then support that by shopping below.
Finally we can close this weeks podcast with some exciting news. 5 Minute Geek has will be available as a highly produced video podcast starting in March! On March 6th the first video episode will be released both on our website and our Youtube channel. This will not affect the production of the audio podcast as it will proceed as normal.
Thanks as always for reading, love you guys.
Risk assessment. Every decision we make is a conversation of risk vs. reward, Is the action I'm taking going to pay off and would the downside of failing dilute my potential for success? Boring start I know, but these conversations are imperative for growing yourself as a person.
Well my friends I am here to tell you that we are ALL IN on our company. For two years now we have worked long hours at our day jobs then jumping immediately to work on some sort of production and its endlessly tiring, but worth every second. When you truly care about what you do you don't even notice that the sun cycled a time or two since the last time you looked up from your desk.
Loving what we do doesn't remove the risk from the equations, honestly having a fun job like this probably doubles the risk! So how do you take action when the odds are stacked so heavily against you? I always like to view goals in a very quantifiable way. When I want to achieve something I take my big goal, lets say starting a podcast, and break it down into smaller digestible chunks.
-Conceptualize podcast idea
-Record test episode
WARNING! Don not skip the etc. step on your podcast. I can't tell you how many young podcasters I have met that are doing everything right BUT the Et Cetera.
My suggestion is to knock off as many of these steps as possible prior to taking your risk. You can effectively lower your risk of failure by keeping the training wheels on while you build the base of your goal. Do everything you can safely and you will know when the time is right to leverage your risk and build your dream. No matter what even if the initial steps are risky please just take action.
Whats this mean for us? Idiot.
As I mentioned we are in the process of shedding off our day jobs and our biggest focus is added time expenditure on content creation. The most immediate effect you will notice is the added focus towards visual content on Youtube and Drawing Board going back to releasing twice a week!
We are also making big strides towards creating a more user friendly website that has valuable content. We are day by day adding features and updating graphics to make our site more aesthetically pleasing. Some of the features we are working on now include:
-Staff profiles, There is a new focus on community, so we are creating staff profiles so there is a more open channel for communication.
-Start Here, A section of our website for new visitors to quickly find some of our favorite content that we have worked on.
-Topic Submission, There will be an added focus to listener submitted topics as the year progresses. So we are in the process of building out infrastructure to allow for quick and easy topic submission for all of our shows. This will be the new way that we interact with submitted content.
-Bonus Episodes, We will be producing a bonus episode of one of our podcast available exclusively on our website! Listen closely for more news on this.
Added Timehots, Like Time Slots with sex appeal...What dude its freaking funny
Finally for today's blog I wanted to talk about the addition of some extra podcasts! We are like I mentioned above making the Drawing Board a bi-weekly show once more. Now we are releasing a brand new episode every Monday and Friday. However with this announcement that also means that 5 Minute Geek is being pushed to Tuesday to be in a less competitive slot.
Most importantly i would like to announce the return of the Drive By Dogs Podcast! Going forward once a month we will all sit down as a company and bullshit publicly. I don't know why we brought it back but enjoy it while it lasts. If anyone has any comments/concerns over the changes we discussed please feel free to reach out to me so i can clarify anything. Email Here.
Let me start this out by saying that we have the best job in the world, we are very lucky to be in the position that we are in and couldn't be happier. In saying that, today is going to be a longgggggg one. Production can be very difficult to do consistently, especially when the entire staff has to work full time in separate jobs to support the passion project. So today we are recording 10 separate productions and taking new photos for the website, all of this being a record long day in terms of quantity of content produced.
A day in my crocs
I thought it would be fun if this week I walked you through what a week in our companies shoes looked like. Unfortunately Fritz doesn't wear shoes, he wears crocs. I don't need to tell you why exactly that makes him lame, but I will. The team behind Crocs should be imprisoned and tortured. These criminals decided to make a shoe so comfortable that is doesn't matter what you look like. It's like wearing the spirit of Florida on your feet. Solid choice idiots.
Before I start this I want to talk about how lucky I am. When most creators look for help they are met with resistance. Whether it's creative differences, a lack of productivity, or just laziness in general finding good help is hard. I was somehow able to find four uniquely talented individuals who are hard working and earnest.
Now to be clear I didn't know what Earnest meant. I just really wanted to use it. Coincidentally the wording was appropriate and i was very smart. **Pats own back
Currently our network puts on 3 major podcasts, with 2 in the Comedy category and 1 in the Games and Hobbies category. Below I will detail the process for each of these productions.
To start out we are always super stoked to record, it's not just a job its an outlet for expression. We typically meet in the studio four or so days a week to work on various projects. There is actually a good amount of not production work that goes into our work week. In addition to just recording we have to research, write, edit, work on our website, communicate with our sponsors, and do bookkeeping. Don't get me wrong I love every second but there is certainly more work off mic than on.
Recording the content is obviously the most fun so when we get to sit down and do that we are all stoked. We push our desks together and position our mic stands and get to work! Below are some links to our current audio setup.
Following that we transfer all of our separate audio files from three computers to one. We make an attempt to edit every podcast immediately after recording to stay consistent. Our next purchase will likely be an XLR interface to streamline the syncing process so if anybody has any recommendations please email me.
I attempt to work on the website for at least 1.5-2 hours per day. We are rebuilding from the ground up, so it takes a lot of work to build graphics, design layouts, and custom code certain sections of the site. It is very much a learn as we go process. As advice to any creators out there thinking of starting something, Just start. You will never be prepared fully. In our experience it is quicker to just start and refine as you go. In our industry a lot of people stress themselves out over the small details so much that they never even get to start. Seriously just work hard, review your work, then work even harder to improve.
Youtube, I Tube, We All Tube
To finish off this weeks blog I want to announce that we are making a shift to produce more visual content. We have been putting out some shorts on a weeklyish basis. They are super silly but we have a lot of fun making them. I will link a few of them below, watch Ian and I change shirts and eat cinnamon in weird ways.
A Proper Thank You
It's a new year! (And new month i guess but that's less cool) This is the time where we get to reflect back on the last year and everything good and bad that happened within it. 2017 was the year where we were lucky enough to find some really amazing members of our audience. It was the year we were able to put a focus on content production and that showed with the increase in quality and consistency of our shows. Listed below are some of the achievements that we as a community can feel most proud of.
Things that make you go pride.
Orange You Glad I didn't say we should be better? because we should be better.
While we did make many strides toward being better this year it is important to talk about what we didn't as well. There were many times this past year where we were not consistent with releasing episodes and this year we aim to improve in that department. In 2017 we also had some major trouble with keeping our audio quality consistent. For this we have invested hundreds of dollars into new equipment for the studio to help solve all our our audio based woes. Another major issue we will be addressing is website aesthetic and functionality. To better serve our content we have recently done an overhaul on our site to add or change how everything works. We are still in the early stages but we plan to continually make improvements as we work through the new year.
Now I am well aware that these three things are not ALL of the issues that we have. To put it simply we want your feedback. About our site, about our content, about the direction of the company. Please email me at Morgan@DriveByDogs.com and I will personally respond to every critique i receive.
Who's ready for 2018?
This is a HUGE year for our community. We actually have a lot of things going on behind closed doors this year. The guys will kill me if I say too much but expect BIG things from us this year. Expect us to address a lot of the issues we had last year, expect more professionalism and centralization of community efforts, and expect way more video based content. My goal is to put an even larger focus on creating content that is fun to make and fun to watch. We think that we have been successful nailing that formula so look forward to seeing more of us than ever over the next 300 or so moons.
As we progressively roll out new and exciting content, we are also refreshing our release schedule and focusing on consistency with our current production slate. Below is our new production schedule.
Drive By Blog
To start out the New Year Rylee and I will be writing for the site to give y'all some insight on what goes on behind the scenes here at the studio. This will now be the main place to get updates about our production so be sure to tune in weekly. Today is the first blog of the year, and come the 12th Rylee will post his first blog of the year, and then that pattern will continue for the foreseeable future.
To make things simple we could not thank you guys enough for the amazing 2017 you have given us. There have been plenty of highs and lows for us as a company but your persistence as an audience member has helped us push through the tough times. We are going into 2018 with a lot of ambition and energy. We are going to be trying some new things that may not be for everybody so please just continue to stick with us and give us feedback along the way. my inbox is always open for feedback.
Can't wait to kick ass with y'all this year,