RIP Mick Stanic

I’m coming up to the 18th anniversary of G’Day World in a couple of weeks. It was my first podcast, and the first Australian podcast ever. Blah blah blah. But I was shocked tonight to learn that the guy I started it with, and then started the world first podcast network with a few months later, Miroslav Mick Stanic, passed away in early 2020 at the age of 51. Apparently he had early onset dementia. 

Mick and I were introduced by my old Microsoft mate Frank Arrigo at some point after I left Microsoft in July 2004. We would catch up for breakfast from time to time. When I mentioned on my old Typepad blog that I was thinking about starting an Australian tech podcast, Mick put up his hand to help. And I couldn’t have done it without him. I knew nothing about how to host an mp3 on a website. And as he was living in Sydney at the time, the two of us had to figure out how to record a Skype call and edit it together. There wasn’t any software to record Skype calls in those days and nobody had done it before, so we had to kludge something together using sticky tape and string. 

Together we innovated and developed the podcasting medium. We were the first to record a podcast over Skype, the first to start a podcast network in February 2005, the first people to ever sell advertising on a podcast (I’m sorry) and the first people to record podcast interviews. It was a crazy, exciting time. 

Sadly the relationship didn’t last very long. We parted ways a year later and that was the last time I spoke to him or heard anything about him. So when I had the urge to look him up tonight, to see what he was up to, and maybe record a special reunion podcast, I was shocked to learn of his passing, and doubly shocked that nobody had told me about it. 

Old podcasting colleagues from the early days of TPN like Ewan Spence and Wayne Turmel might also want to make a toast to him. 

So… cheers, Mick. Thanks for everything. Our brief friendship really was a catalyst in my life. 

Media Is Politics

I’ve been saying it for 20 years. If you want political influence in a democracy, you need to control the media. That’s why I started TPN. That’s why Murdoch is king. Don’t blame the voters. They get their opinions from the media. Don’t blame the politicians. They were chosen by the media to do a particular job. It’s the media. If we want change, we need to control the media. We need to invest in independent media. Not the ABC. Truly independent media. That’s why you don’t want advertising to find your podcasts. That’s why you don’t want VC firms to invest in New Media. That’s why you don’t want Facebook to be the new publishing platform. Those things just subvert the opportunity to wrest control of the future from the rich white psychopaths.

What can you do? You can make the media. Make podcasts. Write blog posts. Write books. Make documentaries. Make comics.


How The Syrian Civil War Started

I’m quite proud of our new in-depth podcast series on how the Syrian civil war started. I think it’s the best work I’ve done so far. We’re 13 episodes in already and only up to March 2011. But we started back in 632 CE with the death of the prophet Muhammad and explained the Sunni-Shia split, then went on to explain some of the history of the Middle East, including the end of the Ottoman empire, the French mandate, the creation of Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the creation of the Ba’ath Party, the rise of Hafez Al-Assad, the Lebanon Civil War, the OPEC crisis, the duplicity of Henry Kissinger, and the transition of power to Bashar Al-Assad – because unless you have an appreciation for these events, there’s no way you can really grasp what’s happening over there right now. Start at episode one by clicking the image below or going to our iTunes page.

How To Make Money From Podcasting

How To Make Money From Podcasting

I just published a small book about my experience in podcasting and how my new business model works.

Over the last 12 years I’ve tried different ways to make an income from podcasting – from selling advertising to asking for donations – but over the last couple of years I’ve tried the premium subscription model and it’s worked far better than anything else. So much so, that our premium shows now bring in a six figure income (which I share with Ray, so I can’t retire to my yacht just yet). But pulling together the technical infrastructure to make the premium shows work wasn’t easy. It took my months of trial and error to work it out. So in this book, I share how (and why) I did it.

The hard truth is that 99.9% of podcasters aren’t going to make anything more than beer money out of advertising on their podcasts (until the advertising industry changes its mode). But I believe most podcasters *can* make a solid income from premium subscriptions *if* they get the model right.

Listen to the panel I was part of at OzPod2016 where I discuss advertising versus subscriptions.

Oh and our journey in podcasting was covered by Monty Munford on FORBES.

If anyone wants a review copy, shoot me an email.