What if your favorite conference’s hallway track continued year round? That’s the vibe we’re trying to capture with Changelog & Friends, a new Friday talk show from your friends at Changelog. In this intro episode, Adam & Jerod talk all about our new MWF plan for The Changelog , discuss what this Friends flavor is all about, and have a lot of fun along the way.
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|Chapter Number||Chapter Start Time||Chapter Title|
|2||00:38||The new place for...|
|3||02:59||Trying new things|
|4||04:27||The first experiment|
|6||11:57||"2 minutes or less"|
|7||12:48||Playing with a new toy|
|8||14:50||Missing a talk show|
|9||17:37||More timely plz|
|10||20:04||Trying to simplify|
|11||21:12||The rename that wasn't|
|13||26:02||Something worth sharing|
|14||27:25||The private public beta|
|15||29:45||The Changelog feed|
|16||31:46||Adam's long-winded questions|
|17||32:22||How we manage|
|18||33:32||News is a lot|
|19||37:02||Send in your requests!|
|20||38:04||What we're looking forward to|
|21||41:13||Capturing the vibe|
Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
I think Changelog & Friends could be the new place for Backstage.
It could be the new place for game shows.
Ooh, game shows.
It could be the new place for debates.
Movie reviews? I don’t know. Is that too far afield?
Maybe once in a while.
Maybe sprinkled in, not featured. Gotta keep it on point.
Yeah, not a weekly movie discussion, but just like every once in a while, so…
Well, I mean, we wanna get Film Girl on, and that’s going to be on & Friends, you know? So internally, we’ve been calling this & Friends, because it’s like too hard to stay, and too long to say Changelog & Friends every single time. We just say & Friends.
Right. So we have that part figured out, Changelog & Friends. We just call it Friends, or & Friends. Changelog.com/friends, we’ve got that figured out…
Fridays, we’ve got that figured out… Talk Show? We’ve got that figured out.
Yeah, that’s figured out…
Which is a pretty broad umbrella, right? As long as we’re talking, we’re on a talk show. Not interviews –
Well, that came from a conversation, we were missing out on like this idea to have diverse discussions on this show in particular… So the Changelog has traditionally been about other people and their projects. Not that we want to navel-gaze, but we have things to say too, and we have friends to bring in to say some fun things… And it’s not always one topic. It’s not always a project. It’s not always just this one person’s one thing… And the show has been a little limited. And so you and I were both expressing our frustration with the format. While we love it, it is our bread and butter, we wanted some – you know, some steak, too. Some potatoes.
Some veggies, maybe.
Yeah, I mean, the Changelog has always been and will continue to be an interview show. You and I sit down with a special guest, sometimes two, but usually just one, and we discuss them, we discuss what they’re up to, we ask them what they’re thinking about what’s going on, and we do that for 60, 80, sometimes 120 minutes… And it’s a good time. And that show - we don’t want to mess with that formula, because that’s what the Changelog is. We like that, obviously our listeners like that most of the time, and we don’t want to futz with that. But we do want to futz around. Is futzing around – is that a good thing? I guess that’s when you’re complaining…
I don’t know. Sure.
I always tell my kid “Stop futzing around.”
Would you say that our time at All Things Open influenced this at all? So just to prime the audience who is not aware, you and I now stand for eight hours a day when we’re at these conferences, where normally you always do it anyways; I’m sitting down right now…
I do. I have a standing desk, I stand while I record, which sometimes makes me ready to be done before you are.
Right. Which is kind of what we discovered even so with this conference coverage. So we go to these conferences –
Well, it’s nice because you can’t stand for very long.
Yeah. Well keeping it too long, of course, but… So we go to these conferences, we stand, we talk to folks in the hallway track, and we probably record 10 or so conversations… And of those 10 or so conversations, maybe six get published.
Something like that.
Some of them hit the end of news, in other places, but six get published on this show. But I feel like that kind of even lended to our desire to want to change up the format, because it kind of gave us some looseness… I don’t know how to describe it, but like less straightforward – a new format to play with, basically.
Yes. Room to experiment, room to try new things. I think also just my enjoyment of some of the creative freedom that I’ve had on JS Party to make up new stuff, and try things… We have a lot of recurring segments over there. Some of them fall by the wayside, other ones are big hits; and it’s just - I want to do that with you, and with other people. And I think the Changelog has room for that.
So I guess some of the confidence or some of the, I guess, freedom for us to try this came from our news experiment… Because for the longest time, it was just a weekly interview show. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Right? Once a week, we shipped an interview show, for 12 years, 13 years…
14 years… Well, I was trying to think pre-News.
Oh, that’s true. Yeah.
News started last June, so it’s been almost a year now.
Yeah. So 13-ish years then, prior to News…
With our fits and starts, you know, because we have a long history… But for the last five years, we’ve been super-consistent; like 50 episodes a year. Until we added News last June, which was an experiment. And people liked it, and we did that for 38 episodes in the Changelog feed, just as a special edition… And then we decided to split that out – I guess, maybe we could tell a little bit of that background, because you and I were not necessarily…
We kind of very subtlety… We didn’t share the full story yet really, what’s happening here…
Yeah, we were kind of not of one mind on that. We came to one mind, but we were kind of on two minds.
I was more dramatic and harsh, and you were more like “Let’s chill us out a little bit”, and I think that we came to a middle ground. So we wanted News to have its own life, because it seems like it deserves it. People like it. It’s a different show. I mean, fundamentally, it’s quite a bit different than what the Changelog is, right?
In terms of the format, for sure. But so many people who liked the Changelog News - it seemed foolish to like totally just break it off into its own thing, and start a brand new feed, brand new podcast… Which was what I was thinking we should do… Was like “Hey, let’s just split this out, let it live on its own”, and you said “Hold on there, bucko.” I’m like “Adam, quit calling me bucko.”
But I held on, and I thought about it, and I was like “Well, can we have the best of both worlds?” This is a kind of your “Why not both?” philosophy, which you’ve said to me like umpteen times, is like “When you have to decide, why not both?”
And sometimes the answer is “Because you can’t have both.” But in some cases, you just can. You just have to find out a way.
Yeah. You can, so you should yeah. Both is amazing.
And so that’s what we did. We’re like “Well, what if we both leave it in the Changelog, as just a flavor, a Monday flavor, and split it out into its own podcast for those who either don’t like our interviews, or more likely just find it different ways?” They’re not looking for an interview show, they’re looking for a news show, or something they can listen to in the shower. Maybe you take a six-minute shower, I don’t know…
No one’s listening to you in the shower, Jerod…
[laughs] I bet somebody does.
Not a single soul, I bet. If you are, if you’re listening to Jerod in the shower, I want to know.
Holler at ya boy if you’re listening to this in the shower. Not this, but News. Anyways, a quick hit. Some people just want that quick hit. Even some of our longtime listeners and friends, like Quincy Larson, admitted recently News is the only thing he listens to, because he doesn’t have that 90 minutes, but he’s got eight minutes. [“You ordered this thing, the eight-minute abs?” “Yeah, sure. Eight-minute abs, yeah. The exercise video.” “Yeah. “Well, this is gonna blow that right out of the water. Listen to this… Seven-minute abs.”] Anyways…
Well, that was the key though too, this short format. We wanted to have a news show for a while. Can we go back many, many years?
We sure can.
…just to kind of share how long we’ve been trying to figure out a way to do this. And sometimes you’ve just gotta sweat the details too much, and then you’ve just got to ship it. Jason Seifer.
Remember when we had Jason Seifer? He was gonna work with us on this.
He’s since passed away. We miss him so much. But…
Hey, Jerod here in post-production… And I got to thinking, you probably don’t know Jason Seifer like Adam and I do. He was this hilarious guy who teamed up with Greg Pollack back in the day to make viral videos in the style of Apple’s Mac versus PC ads. But instead of comparing Macs to PCs, the guys compared Ruby on Rails to PHP, to Java, to Django etc. Here’s a quick clip of one such video that shows Jason’s sense of humor. Oh, and so you know, Greg is Rails, Jason is PHP.
Hi, I’m Ruby on Rails.
And I’m PHP.
How’s maintenance on that going, PHP?
Oh, terrible. I was up all night, rewriting all the SQL, because the client wanted to switch databases.
Ooh, that’s rough. [phone ringing] Hold on a second… Hello? Yeah. I can do that.
Who was that?
That was the client. They want to switch databases from MySQL to Oracle.
Sucks to be you… How long is that going to take?
Well, actually, with Ruby on Rails, switching databases is as easy as editing a configuration file and running a script. So I can change from MySQL to Oracle, just like that.
Oh, cool. I’ll try that then.
Oh, it’s not gonna work with the… No, it’s alright. I got this. Okay, man. Well, I’m done here. I’m headed to the beach.
Are you going to the beach? That’s cool. I’m not jealous or anything that you get to go to the beach and I stay here…
Hello, client? Yeah, it’s me, Rails. How’s it going? Oh, things are going great here. I finished every single thing you needed me to do in like five seconds. Yeah, all of it. Well, I guess a raise would be cool if you want to give me a raise… Sure, I’ll take a new yacht. The 87-footer is getting kind of small and cramped lately… Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, if you really want me to, I’ll cure cancer, but…
Have you seen my phone? Oh… What are you doing?
We were gonna do a version of this, and you and I just - I guess we weren’t confident. I don’t know, what was the deal?
Well, okay, so I remember the idea, and he even – he recorded a pilot for us.
He did – I cannot find. I looked so hard.
That idea was “What if somebody just reads Changelog Weekly to you?” which is our weekly newsletter, which is now called Changelog News; they’ve been merged.
It was Changed Weekly. And the idea was, “What if you just had an audio edition, just read it?” Someone just reads it. Which, that’s a thing now. Some people will just read up a newsletter as a podcast companion. Not super-compelling. But then we thought, “But if it’s Jason Seifer, who’s enigmatic and charismatic, automatic…”, really funny guy, really fun to listen to… What if we had him just reading Changelog Weekly, and adding his own little flavors here and there? And that was probably like 5-10 years ago; I don’t know what that was. Forever ago.
It was forever ago.
He recorded one, I think it was harder than we thought it was going to be… And maybe just because it was a pilot, maybe slightly not as good as we thought it was going to be… I can’t remember why it kind of just stalled out, but we just – both him and us kind of were like “Cool experiment”, but we didn’t really pursue it super-hard.
Well, some things just don’t take off. I think it was a matter of flow. It’s one thing to produce a weekly newsletter, as you know, consistently, for years… I mean, probably the most consistent thing of anything we’ve produced in the last, I would say almost a decade, has been Changelog Weekly.
And that’s a lot of work, to put together the content… And it’s gone through iterations of how it got produced… And I think that was the old way; it was pre current CMS, so a lot of workflow stuff had to get figured out. And so I think it just fizzled because the uphill battle of anything new that’s out of workflow - to bolt on, how do you do it?
Right. Plus, you had to justify it in terms of effort, and everything else. Like, how does this thing eventually pay off, or whatever?
We were also pretty key on brand too, which - not to say that Jason was off-brand, but it wasn’t… He wasn’t part of the organization…
He had his own style.
Right, exactly. But we’ve been trying to do this for years. It actually began – well, it began again, potentially, with two minutes or less. Remember a couple years back I did a pilot, I’m like “This is the news, two minutes or less.” Like, we wanted something where it was like “You have to listen to this. It’s so compelling. It’s short, it’s informative, it’s worth your attention, it’s good… And you can’t say no.” If you’re a developer that cares about these things, it should attract you.
Yeah. It’s like “Why not?” Like, you have to answer “Why not?”
I think the “Why not two minutes or less?” is that’s a really short; it’s almost like that should be a TikTok, not a podcast.
It was very short. Well, you know, all good ideas begin somewhere.
Yeah. And you recorded something like that one time as well, which I think ended up being three minutes or so, and it was like two stories, maybe three stories, and they were just headlines. And then it was like “See you next time.”
It wasn’t as good as I think what you’ve come out with, really. I think you kind of began with JS Party and the ability to experiment, and how that led to Changelog News, and I think that’s – you’ve gotten more confidence over the years with JS Party, and being able to experiment and deliver something compelling, that people want to listen to. And so you just translated that same energy… This is my assumption, at least…
…to Changelog News. And you’ve brought memes into it, which is always great, right? [They’ve done studies, you know… 60% of the time, it works every time.] You’ve brought pop culture in, you’ve brought clips in from other things, you bring in audio from shows… Every week it’s the same, but different.
Yeah. And it’s funny whenever you have a new toy; you just use it and abuse it… And so I’ve definitely gone in on the sound bites, and then kind of like slowly chilled out on them. I don’t know if people noticed, but I definitely have had the feedbacks like “Oh, the sound bites are great, but dude, sometimes they’re too long.” Or sometimes there’s too many of them. Or “I don’t get most of them.” One guy on Spotify was like “These soundbites are worthless. Unsubscribed”, or something. It’s like “Well, sorry, man…”
[13:59] Yeah, he was not happy about it. I like them. But I’ve also been like “Let’s make sure they’re super on point.” Or let’s not overwhelm. Let’s make sure they’re dressing, or like garland, and not the main show. It’s like when you get a new programming tool, or technique, and you’re like “Oh, I learned about dependency injection. I’m going to inject my dependencies every time”, you know?
And then later on, you’re like “Dang it, why did I do all of this dependency injection? It’s such a pain in the butt in this case.” And you kind of just chill out and use it only when it’s appropriate. So definitely evolved a little bit, even inside this first year of news. I think it’s getting better, but I don’t know.
Yeah, I think so, too.
Regardless, it’s finding its audience, and both inside the Changelog and outside… And then we’re like “Well, if this goes well”, which - it has gone well, now we have a Monday show. Then we have an interview show. And it’s like, what we’re really missing is a talk show, a show where we can talk about what’s going on, we can have our opinions, we can bring in new friends, we can have recurring guests… Because sometimes we have certain people that we’d love to have on the show more often, but you almost need an excuse to interview them…
Here’s an example - Mike McQuaid from Homebrew; I was just talking with him. He’s going to be on a upcoming Changelog & Friends. He’s gonna be reacting to WWDC stuff with us here in the next few weeks… And I was telling Mike - and we’ve been friends with Mike for years, online friends…
Yeah, for sure.
And he’s been on the show a few times, and he’s always wanted to come back on the show… And we were kind of like “Well, we need a big Homebrew release, or some sort of thing to happen…”
Go do something, Mike.
Yeah, go accomplish something already. By the way, he has done something. He’s got a new project, which I won’t reveal here, because he’ll probably want to talk about it… But it’s like “We kind of need an excuse to bring you back on again.” Because that’s what interviews are about; we can’t just talk about the same thing over and over again. But talk shows - we don’t have to talk about Homebrew with Mike McQuaid. We can talk about whatever we want to, or whatever is topical; or maybe something he’s super-into that’s not Homebrew, and that we’re into, like in the case of your home lab stuff… There’s homelabbers all over the place, that would love to talk about that stuff. It’s not exactly an interview, but it could be a compelling, interesting talk show; at least we hope so. And so that’s the plan.
I love it, man. I’m excited. I’m excited for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And you mentioned the fact that we left Changelog News in the Changelog’s feed… And so now we think of the Changelog as three flavors of the show. On Monday you get your news, on Wednesday you get your interview, some deep-dive into somebody innovating in some way, shape, or form, and discovering their experiences, their journey, their straight line, the technology, how it’s shaping things, how it’s shifting things… And then on Friday, relax and chill with us. We kind of mix Backstage, we kind of mix in some Go Time and some JS Party flavors, the way that those have had rotating –
…panelists… Exactly, recurring segments etc.
Yes. And now we have a Friday show. Even more so, I think, with Changelog itself, the way it has been, the interview show, it’s been challenging to release something timely when something is breaking, in terms of news. So I’ve gotta imagine at some point on this Friday show - which is still in the works of how it will actually function and form once we edit it and whatnot… But there’s gonna be a place in there for “Hey, what’s current for you?” So that way we can kind of keep up with the pace at which tech moves.
Yeah, that’s the other thing, which - News has been really nice for that, because for those who just listen to the Changelog and don’t really know how we do it, a lot of times our interviews are delayed. I mean, they’re always delayed some. A lot of times they’re delayed a while; I mean, we can get a backlog. And of course, your intro and your outro can be fresh, because you’re going to record those pretty much the day of shipping, or maybe the day before we ship… And so you can put something fresh in there. But the content itself has been recorded - at this point the minimum is about nine days. Sometimes we’ll turn one around fast, just because it has to be turnaround fast, to line up with a launch, or something… But generally, we record on Wednesdays, and we ship the following - has been Friday, and now we’re scooting it up to Wednesday. So it’s seven days minimum.
[18:23] In the case of OS summit, we recorded 12, 13 things, and that was last week. We were in Vancouver last week, as we recorded this – today, we’re recording this one out of schedule, May 17th. So it’ll be a little delayed. But generally speaking, the nice thing about Friends, the way we’re designing it is it’s going to record and ship the same week. Like Tuesday to Friday. And that allows us to be more a part of the conversation when the conversation’s happening, and not after the fact. And News has been nice for that, because every Monday morning we get to talk to our audience, we get to talk to our listeners, and ship it out that same exact day. And so if there’s breaking news, or if there’s something that we want to say to people, or ask people for feedback and stuff, it’s just really nice to have that quick feedback loop, like “Hey, I can ask our listeners a question on Monday”, and they start sending us emails that afternoon, or whatever, or tweeting at us, or tooting at us, or…
What’s the new one? Skeeting?
A little closer to real-time.
Yeah. So Friends will be like that. Friends will be more topical and timely, because we’re gonna record it on Tuesdays and ship it on Fridays, which is going to be a challenge for production, but worth it.
So what, right?
It’s all about scheduling, right? It’s all about workflows. If we can keep a day open for the work that needs done to get it edited… It’s what you’ve got to do.
There’s a lot of content creators who are working 9, 10-hour days creating the content, editing the content, publishing the content, and then being there for the follow-up, too. So it’s a lot of different angles to this stuff. Now, we don’t want to run a rat race though, do we, Jerod? We still want to keep things simple. We were trying to simplify. Were we not trying to simplify? Or are we trying to add things to our plate?
Trying to simplify.
But so far, we’ve just added a new show to our weekly plate. We think this will eventually be a simplification, but for now, it’s going to be additional, and we’ll see exactly how that plays out. But it will simplify us, I think, on the backend, which again, our listeners don’t care about too much, but just on the partnership side… Having this Changelog bundle to offer to people, of these three touchpoints a week…
It’s already working out, yeah.
It just simplifies our messaging to our partners… And it’s just too easy to say yes to. Whereas bundling the Changelog with Go Time, with Practical AI etc. now you have different audiences, you have different demographics, you have all this blah-blah-blah… And it’s just a harder thing to talk about with people. Whereas this product offering - it simplifies our business.
Yeah, it does.
So we like that, even though y’all might not care about that so much…
Let’s talk about economics a little bit, because we do have Changelog++ out there.
And we did have Changelog News, even though it wasn’t called Changelog News…. Let’s just say it was the news. It was the news… Was it Changelog News the whole time? It was, right?
I called it Changelog News, I think, the whole time. We were going to rename it, and we also backed off on that, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but…
We dodged the bullet on that one.
The problem is it was such a cool name.
It was a good name,
It’s just like “Why start a brand new brand when you already have a brand?”
Yeah, it muddied the waters.
It did. Like, a lot of this was honestly just because we twiddled our thumbs a little bit and didn’t move too fast… Slow down and check yourself, right? We kind of changed our minds late on not renaming it…
Because we were set.
We were gonna rename it and split it out entirely.
[21:57] Yeah. We had artwork in motion, we had things in motion. We were trying to buy domains, and stuff…
We bought a domain.
We did buy – okay, we bought a domain even…
That’s what we do.
We went that far… Which is kind of easy, I guess, to buy a domain.
But we put effort into the change, and then we decided to not make that change.
We were excited about the name, and it is a good name, it’s just not the right name for this show.
We’re not gonna say the name, right? We’re gonna keep the name here…
No, we’re not gonna say the name.
No one’s gonna know. Okay, good.
No one’s gonna know.
Just in case you’re gonna let it, I’d be like “What?”
Maybe our Plus Plus members can find out somehow. Anyways, you were saying we have Changelog++.
Right. So we have Plus Plus out there, and we had – what I’m trying to get to is our plan; though it may not be pertinent necessarily to our audience, I think it’s important to understand how the sausage gets made, to some degree. And not just how do the shows work, but how do we finance this entire operation. Because Jerod, you don’t work for free, do you?
That was a good, long delay. I thought it’d be really quick. No. Okay… So we put Changelog News out there for the better part of a year; you said - what, 38 episodes?
Yeah. I think 39 was the first one that was on its own.
Right. And this might be a glean into how we think, and then also how we operate. We didn’t want to have Changelog News be sponsored right away, because we were still experimenting. Like “Will this survive? Will it thrive? Will it exist beyond this experiment? Will our audience like it?”
And then, once we figured that out, how does it have a long-term story here, and then how do we incorporate the brand partners we like to work with into the mix? And so we have obviously Changelog++ out there, that’s our membership… [Changelog++. It’s better.] 10 bucks a month, 100 bucks a year, closer the metal, no ads, directly support us… That’s what I love most, honestly; I love the “Directly support us”, because it might take us a little bit to get Changelog & Friends to have a couple sponsors. Our plan is to have midroll-only sponsors, so nothing in the pre-roll. And as many as two midrolls. This is kind of in the weeds, to some degree, but… We don’t want you to have Plus Plus guilt, by any means, if you’re listening to this. You don’t have to be a Plus Plus member. But if you like what we’re doing here, then the best way to support us really is to become a Plus Plus member.
Bonus content, directly support us… While we’re in this in-between stage, between launching this & Friends… This is the zero episode, essentially. This is just Jerod and I, sharing with you our thoughts, our plans, our ideas, and where this is going. And if in between now and then we’re gonna have probably no sponsors, maybe some sponsors, but… You could become a Plus Plus member, the point is.
Now, we do have sponsors on news, and I’m kind of excited about that. That’s like four weeks in… We’ve had Postman and Sentry as sponsors. I’ve just signed two deals this week…
…for new, brand new names, brand new problems…
New logos, for Changelog News specifically. And I’m actually working on a blog post, Jerod.
Oh my goodness, it’s been years.
Check this out. You’re gonna like this.
Alright, share this with us.
“Launch with Changelog News.”
“Launch with Changelog News.”
I like that.
So if you have a new feature out there, if your org has a new feature or a new thing happening, launch that with us. Let us help you share that launch story.
That’s a cool idea.
Why does the feature matter? How did you twist and turn it, etc? And I’ve loved how you’ve delivered these ads, because we started with more, and now we’ve kind of whittled down to less. The last time I just gave you one link, and like maybe one line of like direction, and that was it. I kind of liked that, because it’s like, well, I don’t want it to be my voice, you don’t want it to be my voice or their voice. We just want it to be the news, like normal.
So that’s the rough economics I wanted to share… Because it might be a bit until we have that sponsor, but we do have Changelog News sponsored. And it’s important for us to have that listener-first approach. I mean, every conversation I’m in, “Hey, we’re listener-first.” “What does that mean?” Well, if our listeners don’t like it, or won’t like it, then we’re not going to do it. That’s what that means.
[26:02] Right. Yeah, so I would love to have feedback on the news sponsorship from our listeners. What do y’all think about how we’re going about that? It’s right in there, in the mix, it’s like another news story, which means it’s brief… I try to keep it as similar to the other ones as possible. Of course, it’s also in the newsletter as a story, very similar content… But we are experimenting, we are trying new things. We want it to be valuable for everybody. Of course, the Plus Plus people are like “What are you guys talking about? There’s a new sponsorship? There’s sponsors in Changelog News?” Because they’ve never heard one before. [It’s better!]
That’s right. They’re like “Liars!”
Yeah. So there’s that. But yeah, I would love feedback on that, and specifically how we’re doing with that; because it is experimental. We don’t know exactly what’s best for everybody involved. So I like the idea of “Launch with Changelog News”, because it’s lik “Hey, here’s some big news we have. We’re willing to pay some money to get it out there.”
So that’s a good idea.
“We’ve got a new course coming out”, “We’ve got a new thing happening over here”, “We’re gonna be at this event…” Just something that is worth sharing. And those may not have been the best examples, but something worth sharing, I guess, is the point. And we’ve also priced it to the point where it’s like – it’s a can’t-say-no price, in my opinion. All that to say is that we do have to pay the bills, and so sometimes you’ve got to do the ka-ching…
Like you do in the News show, which I love… That’s cool. Gotta pay the bills.
So Changelog & Friends… This is your introduction. This is not what the show will be. I mean, I guess it is insofar as it’s you and I talking; but we’ll have things to talk about, we’ll have friends with us… If you enjoyed the episode, by the way, called “Git with your friends” with Mat Ryer, that was the prototype. That was the test, the private public beta for Changelog & Friends. That is the idea, where it’s like “Let’s get a friend of ours, Mat Ryer from Go Time, let’s get a topic, which is cool Git tools, and let’s just hang out and talk about it.” And I know people liked that, because we got a lot of feedback on that episode. I listened back to it, I enjoyed it… Obviously, Mat is a hoot… Not all of our friends are as unfunny as Matt is… [laughs]
I don’t want to give him too – you know, his head is big enough as is; it’ll explode if we keep talking about him. But maybe we overshot; maybe that one was too good for a typical Changelog & Friends. I don’t think so. I think we can bring the heat. And so expect things like that…
No, you’ve gotta give a mountaintop, right? I think that’s what it was. Songs. There were songs in that one. It’s definitely different than what I would expect every other one to be that doesn’t have Mat on it, but… That was the idea. And we did the with-friends.
Mat’s ready to come back on. He even asked me the other day, he’s like “Can we do another show?” I’m like “Yeah, we’re –”
Is that right?
Yeah. I said “Get a topic. We’re ramping up for a talk show.”
So he’ll be on. I think we’ll have just a few people that people can expect… You can definitely expect Gerhard to hang around, you can expect Mat Ryer, I think you can expect Mike McQuaid will be on coming soon…
Mm-hm. Simon Willison, I’m sure he’ll be back…
Simon Willison may be back… I think Justin Searles is interested in hanging out and talking about – now that he’s back, he’s an IC once again… He put himself back into the driver’s seat of his own coded editor. He’s back at IC, he’s no longer running the show over there at Test Double… So he has more time on his hands in terms of being able to contribute to stuff like this… That’s just a small list of people that we think we’ll see recurring. Many others… JS Party panelists, of course…
Maybe a debate even. A non-recurring friend, you know…
Absolutely. Debates… It’s gonna be good. So let us know what you think. Obviously, you don’t know what you think yet, because you haven’t heard the show yet… But here’s the idea. Changelog & Friends talk show - it’s part of the Changelog feed. So this is like a flavor of the Changelog podcast; on Monday you get your news, Wednesday you get your interview, Friday you get your talk… It also will exist, just like News does now, as its own separate podcast, called Changelog & Friends. And so if you just want talk shows from us, have at it.
[30:07] Also, if you hate all this new stuff we’ve been trying out, and you really like our interviews still, there is a separate feed called Changelog Interviews, which is just our Wednesday interview show. And so if you hate all these new-fangled episode formats we’re doing, but you just want to keep the OG interview show in your podcast app, we’ll meet you there as well. I think that feed exists, but hasn’t been submitted to the indexes yet, so…
Yeah, it’s possible…
It’s not quite out there, but it’ll get out there.
We’ve created the infrastructure for all three to have their own feeds, and then the regular Changelog feed that everybody knows and loves has all three shows in it.
That’s right. So if you’re subscribed, do nothing. Or if you want less, do something.
That’s right. If you’re listening to this, you probably already are subscribed to the Changelog, because this is episode one of Friends, and there’s no way anybody subscribed to that. I guess in the future they might be, and go back and want to hear…
Yeah. I loved how we got the word Friends in the Mat show, “Git with your friends.” That to me was the best, really, because we had this thing we were cooking up behind the scenes, and we didn’t tell anybody, obviously, and now we are, and that show was blatantly named, “Git with your friends.” Not “get” - if you’ve gotta go back to listen to that episode - “git”.
Oh, my gosh… Dan-tan. Dan-tan! That was a hoot, man… People loved that, too. That was a lot of fun. People probably want to hear more of you, maybe a little bit more of me… And we don’t give them any of us. We just only ask questions, and occasionally put our opinions in there as we ask another question on the interview show. My long-winded questions, as you told me in Vancouver recently…
Oh, you took that personally…
No, I just remembered, that’s all.
Oh, you just remembered it, yeah…
Made a note…
Sometimes - I’ll say this because we’re here amongst friends… Sometimes - not always, but sometimes, Adam’s questions, especially on Founders Talk, they take a while to percolate. He circles the wagon a few times before he lays it out there. And he asked me for feedback, and I gave him that, so…
Gotta provide that context… And I was happy with the feedback. I just am sharing the note here with everybody else now.
[laughs] Not everybody knows that, I think.
Now everybody knows. That’s okay, though. Well, if you go back and listen to the show we just shipped today, which is literally Wednesday, May 17th…
…with Sarah Drasner, on there we were talking about engineering management. I said, “Jerod, who do I manage? Who do we manage?” And you’re like “Well, I think we manage each other.” So that’s kind of like that, you know?
Yeah, pretty much. We manage each other…
…to some degree.
To some degree.
But hey, I’m excited about Changelog & Friends, I’m excited to have this talk show, this thing with a workflow, really. To get a Friday show out there, every week, that has some variety, has some fun, has a current to it in terms of being timely, some timeliness to it… It’s right now, and I love that. A Tuesday to Friday is not a long wait. A Wednesday to a Wednesday is a long wait to ship something.
Yeah… The only challenge is like what happens when breaking news hits on Wednesday? I was like “Dang it, we recorded yesterday. It ships on Friday. We’re gonna sound like dummies.
Yeah, that’s quite possible…
[laughs] We need to turn it around faster. Nah, I’m just kidding…
Yeah, maybe we might have to.
That’s just part of it. I mean, what are you gonna do? You can’t record daily. Oh, by the way –
That’s the nature of the beast.
…our initial idea for news was a daily thing, wasn’t it? That’s the other thing that changed…
Oh gosh, was it daily?
It was three times a week.
Maybe it was three times a week. Honestly, Changelog News, plus the newsletter… It wears me out. That sucker wears me out, by the end of the day. I do that on Monday, I get it done… And I’m just like “If I had to do that every day, or even three times a week, it would not sustain, no matter how much money we made.” It’s just… It’s a lot.
Can I be honest with you?
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am somewhat dreading your next vacation.
Just skip it, man… Just skip the episode.
Just skip it… We can’t do that. You can’t do that. I’ll probably spend Saturday, Sunday and Monday, shipping it on Monday.
I’m kind of kidding. Yeah, it’s a lot.
The last… I guess we’ve done it five – we’ve done it five times this way. By the way, so the other thing that changed for us - so this is internal, again - is the website has changed, it simplified… It’s not like a feed on the homepage. For the longest time we have this news stuff fresh on the homepage, daily, multiple times a day. And that was very much a hamster wheel. And so part of this change from weekly to news in terms of the newsletter is that we wanted to escape that hamster wheel just a little bit… And so we’re not writing on the website daily. We’re actually just writing once a week for the newsletter. We’re collecting, we’re reading, maybe we write ahead of time…
The way we used to do it.
Yeah, exactly. Well, even back then we had a Trello board that was doing more work, and stuff…
Yeah, but it wasn’t like a real-time polish.
It had some sections that were finished. But anyways… Now it’s like on Monday is when the writing happens, and then the recording and the audio and everything. And so that’s made the rest of my week nice and chill, in terms of watching the news, writing about the news. I don’t feel like I’m pressured to do things daily. But it just means if I don’t do things – I still have to work on it throughout the week, because otherwise Monday is just gonna be way overwhelming. I’ve done it five times, and I’m trying to get it out by noon, and I just don’t think it’s actually possible… Because I’ve tried really hard. This week was my – I went out to breakfast with my mom for Mother’s Day, so I was like an hour later than usual… But even if I get up and just work on it straight through, two o’clock is the earliest I’ve been able to do it. I would love to get it out by noon. I think I’d have to write it on Friday, or something. Anyways… Inside baseball. It’s just a lot of work.
It’s a lot of work creating the workflows, and the systems, and the habits even. To create content at a clip for 14+ years, really. So there is a way you can directly support us, by the way - Changelog.com/++. Seriously, don’t have guilt about that, but that does directly support us, and it does get us through the lulls and change… And there has been some change, but this new system, as also Jerod alluded to it earlier, it helps us enjoy it more, but it also helps us package it better. We’ve already seen positive feedback from various brands we work with that like the simplification. Like, “Let me just buy all three”, that kind of thing. Or “Let me just start with News to learn how to trust you, and see that you’re going to do good by me, or understand my story and help me share that with developers in a way that helps them understand who we are and gets their attention, but also just moves that ball a little forward.” “Let me buy more now.” “Okay, great.” And that’s a positive thing for us. So I’m happy about that already for us. So Changelog & Friends coming to you on a Friday.
I guess one last thing. In terms of actual content for Friends, we’re of course taking requests. We do have that request form. It’s on the website, changelog.com/request. And by the time you’re listening to this, Changelog & Friends will be a drop-down option there. It probably already is, actually; it’s in the system as a draft, or as a coming soon podcast. So I would definitely love to hear ideas on cool things to talk about. What do you want us to talk about? Who do you want us to have on the show to talk about such things? We’re open for getting multiple guests on, it doesn’t have to be like one person every time… We can have a topic about a broad-sweeping thing, maybe with people who have different projects in that category… So lots of different opportunities to talk about different things. And we’re gonna be putting out a weekly show, so we’re seeking your ideas and your desires. Who do you want to hear from? What do you want to hear about? Changelog.com/request. Select Changelog & Friends from the dropdown and holler at us; we’ll definitely listen and read all of those.
What are you looking forward to most from this, Jerod? Number one thing.
[38:07] Experimenting… And I just like the idea of having fun with it. I’m going to be mastering this show once we get it up and running, and so just like adding cool extras. [It’s all about put-put-putting on a show] Pullin’ in cool stuff, making it fun to listen to. That’s what I’m looking forward to most. What about you?
I think getting to convene with our friends more often. I think the last time we did the “Git with your friends” episode with Mat Ryer – you talk to him more often than I do, because you work with the Go Time team more often than I do… Yeah. And I think it had been at least a couple of years since I’d seen him or talked to him.
That’s one of the things that I noticed, is like when we have people back on the Changelog, we’re always like “It’s been six years… It’s been seven years…”, and that’s unfortunate. I’m not sure – we could probably fix that on the Changelog, but there’s so many things to talk about. We get 50 interviews a year, and you want to give new voices opportunities. You don’t wanna go back to the same people all the time. But yeah, I think that’s gonna be awesome.
Just as an example - Cory Doctorow, we can get him on for an & Friends episode. And we can say, “Hey, Cory, who else should we have on that isn’t a friend of ours? You’re a friend of ours… Who would you like to bring on with you
to talk –”
“Bring one of your friends.”
Yeah, exactly. And talk at length about some of these hot and pressing – now, that may be a challenging one, because Cory is quite prolific in his writing, as well as his speaking. He’s got lots to say, and you want to listen…
As one listener said, “We only said three words the whole episode.” That’s what one person said.
We didn’t get that many, that’s true. But we did say a lot. So that may be an ambitious & Friends episode, in the fact that Cory has a lot to say, and usually when he’s talking, it’s things that people don’t get to hear too often, because… I don’t know, he thinks differently than we do.
I said Chickenizer versus Centaurus and he went off for like 15 minutes. I was like “Wow…”
Yeah. It was a good 20 minutes later… And he’s like “That was the long-winded version of what is a reverse chickenized centaur.”
I didn’t realize there was so much depth in that term. I just thought it was a cool thingy –
So much compression.
Yeah, that was hilarious.
Yeah. Well, that’s what I’m looking forward to, is that; is these folks we get to meet, and I think we now call friends - getting them back on the show in a way that doesn’t have to be like “Okay, well, tell me about the project you’ve done for the last five years, that has not much changed”, or nothing really worth coming back on, because that story has been kind of told already… Because that kind of sucks. Even - I was thinking with Duane O’Brien recently; we haven’t had him back on because the FOSS Contributor Fund is kind of baked. Can we have him back on to be like “Okay, tell us more about it”? Well, I already told you, just go back and listen to the last show we did together. That might be an example where it’s like “Well, we didn’t talk to Duane for several years because there wasn’t much change there.” So that’s what I’m encouraged by, is the ability to talk to our friends more frequently… Bring some of that hallway track stuff, that reserved gold that you find only at conferences, in the hallways - kind of bring that atmosphere to this show, this hallway track meets talk show, meets game show, meets recurring segments… All the fun stuff.
That reminds me… I forgot all about this - the working tagline, which we’ve been kind of spitballing or workshopping for this is “What if your favorite conference’s hallway track was on repeat all year round?” And that’s the vibe. I love that.
I’ve had a hard time actually wordsmithing that into like a sentence that sounds good… But that vibe is what I’d love to capture with this.
Let’s do it, man.
Let’s do it.
Let’s make it happen.
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