Podcasting as therapy in troubled times


At the end of last year Ed Freyfogle and I started talking about doing a Geomob podcast as a way of sharing Geomob with a bigger audience. Ed had done a couple of podcasts with another friend and had learnt the basics. It seemed like a fun idea, two friends who share a passion for geo chatting each week and interviewing past Geomob speakers.

We recorded our first podcast at the end of January and then started recording each week. We reached out to some friends who we interviewed as well and we built up a small backlog of podcasts before we launched. By the end of February we launched the podcast with a minor fanfare of publicity (Ed and my twitter accounts).

When Ed suggested the podcast, we thought it might help to grow the Geomob community, encourage some new cities to start Geomobs and maybe to lead some clients to Ed’s geocoding business OpenCage and viewers to my hobby project Mappery.

What we didn’t realise was that we would be launching just as the world went into lock-down. Ed is locked-down in his apartment in Barcelona, juggling kids, working from home and trying to stay sane. I am locked-down in North London with no kids at home, tons of space but not a lot to do and only allowed one bit of outside exercise per day. In practical terms that makes no difference to the podcast, all of the tech runs across the internet and we are both used to WfH but the podcast now provides a neat bit of routine to our weeks. It is one of the little fixed points in our weeks that helps to keep us connected with each other and hopefully the growing group of followers who listen to us.

What do we talk about? We start with a look at what is going on in our businesses and projects, the successes and challenges, then we chat about the topic that we have chosen (we have not tried to be overly topical except for the episode we rushed out on mapping the virus responsibly based on Ken Field’s blog post). We keep it short, usually about 30 minutes except for one of my interviews where we drifted off topic and ran a good bit longer, Ed is better at keeping time.

What’s it like to listen to? Well I think it is like sitting in a pub with Ed and me and having a chat over a pint (except you don’t get to chat). It’s sort of like the discussion in the pub bit after the talks at Geomob. I have particularly enjoyed listening to the interviews that Ed has done with Geomob speakers because I had no idea what to expect.

The feedback has been great, we haven’t gone massive and I don’t think that we expect to, we have hundreds of listeners and I imagine quite a few of them are people who know one or both of us.

It’s fun to make and hopefully fun to listen to. You can find the podcast episodes here or subscribe via your favourite podcast thingy.