Welcome to Relay FM

Relay FM is my new home on the internet.

We told you that we were working on something special and this is it. Relay FM is where you're going to find all of my podcasts from now on. This includes some new projects that I'm working on and the shows that you've known and loved for the last few years — rebooted and evolved as part of this brand new podcast network.

When I look back over my last five years of podcasting, I can see how all of the choices and decisions that I have made have equipped me to do this. Every success, every mistake and every failure have given me the knowledge and expertise to do this. I take a look at where I am now and where I have come from and I see how much I've progressed. It excites me to think where I could be in five years from now.

Right from the very outset, I knew that I wanted to work with Stephen Hackett on this. We have been partners for many years now. He helps me make smart decisions and we are an unstoppable team together. It just seemed like a natural decision for me to want to have him by my side to work on this new project together, there was literally no doubt in my mind.

Why a Podcast Network?

There's been a lot of talk recently about whether podcast networks are necessary today. On the whole I am in agreement, to have a successful podcast you don't need to be a part of a network. Too many people believe that they either have to start a network or fight their way in to one to be a success. But really, you just need to work on creating a great show. Networks can help with a lot of things, but if you don't have the basics nailed down then your show won't last too long regardless.

Podcast networks are not pots of gold. They don't guarantee you success nor advertising dollars. That still has to come from the hard work that you put in. Joining an established network today does not necessarily make you a runaway hit tomorrow.

These days it's so easy to start a show of your own. There are great services like Libsyn, Simplecast, Squarespace and many others that can help you easily get your show off the ground. This definitely was not the case a few years ago, it was a lot harder to work this stuff out on your own, if you didn't already have the necessary skills in place.

So why do I want to set up a new network? For me there is one clear reason. I host six shows. Working on one show is a simple enough affair, but once you start to grow from there, it becomes a lot more tricky to scale. I don't want to set up separate webpages for all of the shows that I do. For me, it makes most sense to put all my shows in one place that I can point people too. It's as simple as that.

I feel that I'm in a rather unique situation, as over the five years I have been podcasting, I’ve experienced all the usual approaches. I've produced standalone shows, I've run my own network and been a part of a bigger one too. Because of this background, I feel like now I know what the right choice is for me going forward. That choice is to once again be the master of my own destiny and operate my own podcast network.

Personally, I would prefer not to use the word 'network' to describe what we are doing. But it has become the accepted term, so it's what I'll use. I'd prefer something like 'collective' or 'syndicate', but I'm not going to be the guy that tries to force a name change in an industry. That stuff kind of grates on me in the long term.

What's the goal?

I plan to continue recording fantastic shows every week and I want to increase my output. I have other great ideas that I want to see hit the light of day. Some are small things and some are big.

But to do this, I need to be able to go full time with Relay FM. That is something we are working really hard at, trying to find the right sponsors and companies to work with to enable this to become a real business (by the way, send us an email if you think you are one of these companies). Truly, I think this is going to possible, it's purely a matter of time.

But on a day-to-day basis? We just want to become the place you think of when you want to listen to some cool, interesting and fun shows. I want you to be able to see a show on Relay FM and know that it's going to be good. That's what we strive for every day.

We still have a few more things to tweak, some episodes to record and some shownotes to write. There'll be all new episodes for you to listen to on Monday, August 18th. I really appreciate everyone being so patient during my time off. This was done so we could make sure we had everything ready and it's going to be worth the wait.

Here's to the next episode (yeah, I went there). It's time to Switch On.

Time For a New Challenge

Today I am announcing that I will be departing 5by5 on July 16th 2014. 

The last 18 months have been a tremendous experience, but it is time for me to move on to new things. I have new goals that I want to tackle, and to be able to do this I need to be independent again.

I am very grateful to Dan Benjamin for all of his help and will always be thankful for that. When I told Dan a month ago that I was going to be departing, he was nothing but accommodating and encouraging. He has been a great help for me throughout my time at 5by5 and I hope our good relationship will continue in to the future.

I'm currently working on something very exciting, but I'm keeping that a secret for just a short while longer. If you want to be the first to know what I'm doing next, follow me on Twitter or sign up for the mailing list below. As soon as there is something to say, you'll be the first to know. 

My departure from 5by5 will spell the end of all of the shows I am currently hosting. However do not unsubscribe just yet. I am working with Dan to make sure that when the time is right, your feeds will automatically update to the new shows we are working on, so you don't have to do a thing.

I hope that you'll all come along on this ride with me. 

The future is bright. 

Update: Dan Invited me on to QUIT! to talk about this. You should give it a listen.

Need

Today, Matt Alexander – one of my absolute favourite people on the planet – officially launches Need

Matt Alexander on December 15th 2012

Matt Alexander on December 15th 2012

Need is a startup that is focused on finding beautiful men's lifestyle products, presenting them in a truly unique way and selling them at fantastic prices.

On December 15th 2012, Matt was in London and we went out for coffee and lunch together. Over coffee, Matt was telling me about this idea he had for a company that helped fashion-conscious nerds take the hassle out of looking good. He started telling me about his idea and I fell in love. It was the exact kind of service I had been looking for; I like to look good but haven't got the time to shop or keep up with trends. 

The more Matt was telling me about this idea, the more I loved it and I could see he really believed in it. 

What ensued was me and Matt running around a department store in Central London in pursuit of a notebook and pen. I told him that he had to write all these ideas down. I was worried in case he forgot any part of it. 

The rest of our time together that day was spent in a pub, with Matt brainstorming ideas for his new venture. 

11 months later, Need is a reality. I have watched Matt turn this thing from an idea in to reality and I am astounded. He has made big decisions along the way and has done amazing work. It's incredible to me how similar the end product is to his original idea. That just shows how strong an idea it is and how excellently Matthew has executed it. 

I really want you to go an check Need out, I honestly think you're going to love it. This Matthew kid is going places and boy am I proud of him.

 

70Decibels Is Moving To 5by5!

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When I started podcasting, I set out to emulate those I admired. I began learning everything I could from podcasters like Leo Laporte and Dan Benjamin. I didn’t know where it would lead me, but I immediately connected with the medium. I enjoyed doing it and kept looking for ways to do more.

As time went on and my skills grew, I knew that I wanted to make a career out of creating fine audio programming. I started this podcasting network with my friend and former Bro Show co-host, Mr. Terry Lucy. Since then, I have worked tirelessly with other amazing hosts to build 70Decibels to where it is today.

As the network continues to grow, our ambitions grow with it. Our hosts put out shows that deserve a larger audience, and my dream of a career in podcasting is within reach. To get to the next level, we need help. We need a better infrastructure and even more great people to support the network we have created. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that 70Decibels is going to be moving to the 5by5 Podcasting Network.

Our shows deserve a solid platform to continue to grow. In my mind, there is no better place for this than 5by5 and no better person than Dan Benjamin to help us continue moving forward. When he first reached out to gauge our interest in joining his network, I was floored. As I said, Dan is a hero of mine, and I was honoured to have our network considered to join 5by5. As we continued to talk, and as I spoke with the other hosts, it was clear that this was the right opportunity for us.

So What’s Next?

All of the shows that you love are moving over to 5by5 so they can have a shiny new home, and so I and the other 70Decibels hosts can focus on what we love: creating great conversations.

The move will allow me to shake off the pressures that come with running a podcast network, while freeing me up to create some of the new shows that I’ve been dreaming about.

70Decibels is nearly 18 months old. It’s amazing what has happened in that time and we all know that we owe it all to you, the listeners. Without you tuning in every week, getting involved, asking questions, promoting us and letting us know when we fall short, we wouldn’t be here. I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done to get us to this point. All of us at the network cannot wait to share what comes next. Thank you all so much.

If you have any questions or comments about the move, please Tweet or email me. I’ll be happy to help in any way that I can. Make sure you tune in to the shows and follow me on Twitter to find out more about what’s coming next.

Big week, you guys. Huge week!

A Dream Realised

Over the last few weeks, I have had two dreams realised—I have been a guest on both a 5by5 and TWiT show.

I am a podcast producer, but first and foremost I am a podcast fan. I have been listening to shows on these networks for many years—before I started recording myself.

I always wanted to be a guest on these shows, but I never thought – in my wildest dreams – that it would ever become a reality.

This really tops off an amazing first year for 70Decibels, and right now I feel extremely positive for our future.

I hope that these kind of guest appearances can become a regular thing.