The start of each year is like a reset button for people all around the world. Some take the time to come up with their New Year’s resolution, while some simply reflect and try to improve on a daily basis. As a New Year is upon us, Tom and Tracy Hazzard take the initiative to let us know what to expect with this podcast moving forward. Explaining and letting us in on the process of how the show works behind the scenes, they also share their commitments, passion, and goals for the show.
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New Year’s Resolution
This is Ask Us Anything segment.
We are sitting back and chatting about our New Year’s Eve resolutions. We’ve been talking about this for a while because our friend Ken Rochon of The Umbrella Syndicate had posted this concerning Facebook post that said, “If you want to have an effective New Year’s resolution or resolution of any kind, you have to start talking about it for six weeks prior.” I thought, “That’s interesting.” I did start talking about my personal resolutions six weeks earlier and I started putting it into place. I feel I’m going to hit the ground running January 1st on my personal one. We haven’t taken enough time to talk about the 3D Start Point and our WTFFF?! resolutions, maybe we should share that with our audience.
It’s a good idea. Where would you start, Tracy? What are you thinking?
We’ve been hearing from you guys and we’ve been thinking about what we wanted to do. What we realized is that we are the start point. Many of you readers out there are in the beginning. Maybe you haven’t even started yet. You’re thinking about starting. We want to make sure that we are a full resource for you. We want to pull in as many company directories, event lists, these are the things that we want to keep working on. We want to provide a more complete place for you to go to get information and a place to get information that is also qualified. Curated, would be the way we’ve been describing it.
We’re not an aggregator that is taking any news release or information that’s out there and publishing it in one place for people to see. We’re here, myself and Tracy, to review all these things, think about them in context and give you our thoughts on these subjects issues, products, whatever they are. Hopefully, it means something more to you. It’s a little more relevant. We do independent reviews, even though we are going to be looking at taking sponsorship on our podcast in the New Year, but it’s a whole other subject.
We placed an emphasis on trying to get 3 to 4 reviews a month of something, a printer review, a filament review, any accessory review or a book review. We want to try to get 3 or 4 new things in every month to review for you so that we can go through this. I find a lot of people are like, “Was that book any good? Did you try that filament? Was it any good?” We can only try it in our situation here and give you our opinion on that. What we try to do with those reviews is give you the good and the bad and let you make your judgment.
We’re not here to say, “This printer has a five-star review and this one has a one-and-a-half-star review.” That’s not us. The reason there are many printers in the market is there are many different needs. There are lots of different technical capabilities or choices to be made to meet some of those different needs. I rarely think that a printer is bad or good. It’s more of finding the right printer to meet your particular needs. We may say, “This particular printer is good for students and anybody who’s beginning. This type of printer is a more advanced printer. This type of printer, if you’re using more than one color, that one is the right one.” There’s a specific need. There are many different needs out there from engineering to education, to production, to design.
We want to give you a chance to make your judgment based on your particular use and your particular needs and your particular interest because your what always matters here at WTFFF?!. That’s what we want to do with the reviews. The third thing or our third resolution and that you were mentioning.
We started working on this show years ago. Most of our episodes aren’t grounded in time like that. We started in October of 2014 planning and researching, and then we decided to do it. We built it up and started publishing our episodes in April 2015. It’s no small effort to make this happen.
It’s not without costs. People think, “It’s easy to start a podcast. You record and you upload it and it goes on iTunes.” It’s not without its cost to do it right and do it as professionally as possible. It takes a lot of effort to get the right guests, prep them, get them recording and sometimes they miss their appointments. It takes a lot of time and follow-up.
Not only that, we’ve been going out in the field into our local community in Southern California or in Nevada. We’re doing that again. We’ve been a few years in a row with that for our 3D printing specifically. We’re going out and spending time and money going to these events capturing them and some of them we’re exhibiting at and that’s all to capture a lot of good relevant content and help bring it to you. That doesn’t come for free. We are spending money doing it. We believe it was worth it. We’ve been investing our own time and money in doing this.
We believe your responses have made it worth it for us as well because you’ve been giving back to us great with your comments, your criticisms and your questions for more.
Let’s talk about how that is. We started in April from nowhere. We have not paid any money to market the podcast. This has been organic growth on iTunes and Stitcher and by the people that we interview, share it with their social media following and that’s how people find out about it. Sometimes we go and are interviewed on other people’s podcasts. That’s another way that we’re getting the word out.
It’s primarily through social media, which is not free either.
We’ve gone from, at the beginning, zero plays on our podcast. We’ve gotten up to the point where we’re about 25,000 plays a month on our podcasts, which is significant. Clearly, it’s growing steadily and the curve keeps going up. It’s amazing how quick it is growing. It seems that you, our followers, enjoy what you’re learning at least most of the time and you continue to learn more and tell others about it, which we appreciate. The reality is that this is not our day job. We’d love for 3D printing related work, design, writing and all this to be all that we do, but it’s not now. To continue doing this, we do need to start to have the podcast make a little money to help support itself so that we don’t keep paying. We pay for people to help edit it and the graphic things we do, all that’s related. We’ve had people ask us about, “Can we advertise on your podcast? Are you taking sponsors?”
We are opening it up to do that. We want to make a pledge to you and that’s our resolution to you is that we intend to be picky about who we choose. We intend to also be clear with you if something is sponsored content. We also intend to be transparent about how that happens when you read it on the blog post as well. You’ll clearly identify who is sponsoring what. We want to be clear about that. Our interviews are not paid.
We don’t expect that they ever will be. We’re bringing you valuable content that we hope is relevant to you.
That we found it interesting or relevant.
That’s the information we’re bringing to you in every episode. There may be some advertisements, 1 or 2 per episode from sponsors that would also like you to be aware that they’re out there and what they do, and we think that’s okay. Most podcasts do have sponsorships ads at some point and it doesn’t have to take away from the valuable content that we’re providing.
We hope that doesn’t scare you away, but we hope that also you understand that it’s going to keep us going longer and be able for us to provide even more exciting, interesting and relevant content and get us to more events and other things as well. It’s a factor of growth and we’re going to all have to accept it and go through the growing pains of that.
We don’t have an exact date yet for when the first ones will air. There’s a process that’s going on here. Within the first month or two of the New Year, this is probably going to happen.
It’s just giving you a warning on that, but it is also our resolution to you is to keep up with this good quality content as possible, as transparent as possible with how we operate and what we do so that you’re clear about what is sponsored and what is not.
We want to be the 3D Start Point where you and other people you know or may talk to will want to come to get valuable information to help them through their experience with 3D printing in particular.
We want to keep upholding our end of the bargain for the trust you’ve placed in us providing that information to you. We appreciate that. I want to personally thank everyone for a great year. This has been a banner year in our career. WTFFF?! has given a lot back to me. You have been wonderful as an audience and you deserve my personal thanks for changing our business and changing the way we work and focus. It’s been fantastic for us.
I’d echo those same thanks, Tracy. I would like to add to that rather than repeat it, you spoke for you. It’s for both of us here. I also would like to thank you, followers, who write into us and communicate with us whether it’s over email, voicemail, Twitter or Facebook. We do get your communications. We respond to them directly. I thank you for reaching out to us. I want to welcome new followers or any of the rest of you who may not have written in or commented or asked a question yet, please feel free to do it. There are no bad questions here at all. Whether we talked about it on the air or not, we’re happy to answer for you. Thank you for those of you that have and a hearty welcome an open invitation for others to please do the same.
Happy New Year, everyone.
I’m excited about it.
I am too.
I’m looking forward to it. Let’s do it. Let’s get there.
Let’s bring in the New Year.
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