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rkudeshi 702 days ago | link | parent

Summary for anyone who can't listen:

* Dan says John emailed him and just said it was time to move on and try something new. Dan says he has total respect and understanding for that.

* Dan says he thought if they weren't doing the show anymore, they would retire it together. Surprised and disappointed that John's doing the show on his own and re-using the name.

* Dan wishes they could have done one last episode to reminisce (120 previous episodes) and to thank the fans.

* Dan encourages fans to listen to the new show at muleradio.net.

* No other sordid details, just some personal anecdotes.

I've never listened to any 5by5 podcasts on 5by5, but Dan Benjamin comes across in this audio clip as a total class act.



pwthornton 702 days ago | link

Dan has always come across as one of the classiest guys on the Internet.

I am genuinely sad to see this happen to him.

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georgespencer 702 days ago | link

Like everyone is saying, Dan comes across really well in this. I don't expect JG will ever give us his take.

RE: never listening to any 5by5 podcasts–I listened to The Talk Show a few times. Maybe it's because I'm used to the dogma of professional broadcasting, but I don't think you've missed out unless you like hearing a couple of guys pause a hell of a lot during an awkward conversation. Almost every episode I heard started with an entirely charmless "Uh, hello?" "Uh is this on?" scenario.

I guess part of the appeal was that it was folksy and just a conversation.

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jcurbo 702 days ago | link

The Talk Show has always been unstructured in my experience. If you listen to some of the other 5by5 podcasts they are much more professionally done - intros/outros, some focus, and sections in some cases. I think Dan is very aware of traditional 'radio' methodology and knows that you do that stuff to guide listeners and give them context. The Talk Show didn't really need that... it was just him and Gruber BS'ing about whatever Apple/tech news was popular that week. Which is fine, because Gruber has some interesting insights on Apple.

Personally, I get that kind of content from the Web already and much prefer deeper analysis of issues. I am a huge fan of Hypercritical because of this, John Siracusa can take a topic and pick it completely apart - and I enjoy picking things apart in parallel while listening. My Talk Show listening was waning in favor of this type of podcast anyway.

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technoslut 701 days ago | link

The Talk Show was unstructured because of Gruber. As a host you have to work with what you have.

The Talk Show is the only deviation from what Benjamin does. Listening to Gruber on his recent podcast explains the reason why.

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pwthornton 702 days ago | link

I think a big part of the appeal of podcasts is that they don't seem like overproduced, substance-less radio. Gruber has some genuinely good insights, particularly about Apple. I also appreciate that this wasn't some overproduced show with sound effects everywhere.

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georgespencer 702 days ago | link

I'm not saying it should be hosted by the tech equivalent of early morning DJs, but I don't think from what I heard they went into enough depth planning the show. Basically it was Dan Benjamin dragging Gruber over topics until Gruber gets to a point he wants to make, and then Gruber speaks coherently and intelligently for a few minutes, and then there's an awkward pause again and it's back to him being gruff and standoffish and Dan chiming in with what he thinks.

There was so much dead air that I found it really actively hard to listen to. There's no natural flow to the conversation for my ears to acclimate to–a natural groove to fall into when you listen–you cannot passively consume it. You have to be actively listening all the time.

Which is a shame because Hivelogic was one of my favourite weblogs back in the day, and I actually admire Gruber.

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chucknelson 702 days ago | link

I agree. I recently listened to Macbreak Weekly because Gruber was a guest on it, but it was so traditional and produced that I actually didn't like the format. I prefer 5by5 podcasts, especially Hypercritical (as others have mentioned).

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MrFoof 702 days ago | link

>Almost every episode I heard started with an entirely charmless "Uh, hello?" "Uh is this on?" scenario. I guess part of the appeal was that it was folksy and just a conversation.

This is called a warm start, though in the case of the Talk Show, it often started off awkwardly instead of seemingly mid-conversation.

If you listen to the old Stack Overflow podcasts (Spolsky and Atwood, before the "new format), they also did a warm start, but often it was extremely well-executed.

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smackfu 701 days ago | link

Oh that's a real thing? It always makes me think they screwed up the recording.

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Tyrannosaurs 702 days ago | link

I like all the people on the 5by5 podcasts but this is exactly why I don't listen to them.

I wish instead of doing 1 hour 15, they'd do 15 minutes planning, 15 minutes editing and a 45 minute show. There's plenty of good material there, I just feel it gets drowned out.

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pooriaazimi 702 days ago | link

John Siracusa ('Hypercritical'[1]) spends 5-7 hours a week researching, 1 hour reading numerous responds, 50 minutes in each show responding to follow-ups and spends the remainder of each show (that are between 1h45m-2h30m) on a new topic (in a highly structured way). Give hypercritical a shot (you can start by listening to episodes 42[2] (18 minutes in) and 43[3]) that discusses Job's biography.

[1]: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical/

[2]: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical/42

[3]: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical/43

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smackfu 701 days ago | link

The funny thing is that most of the complaints I've heard about the show are about how pointless the follow-up responses are. Maybe he should mix up the format to put the new topic first.

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zdw 702 days ago | link

Editing audio or video generally takes a multiple of the original running time, not 15 minutes at the end.

A 1 hour minimally edited podcast could easily take several hours to edit and review properly.

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Tyrannosaurs 702 days ago | link

I don't think it needs doing properly. Seriously, listen to one, if you don't think it could be improved with 15 minutes trimming then I'd be amazed.

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oblique63 702 days ago | link

I don't know about that. Just to even get an idea of what you want to edit, you need at least the amount of time it takes for you to review your raw material, which in this case could be over 2 hours sometimes...

(I work with a lot of audio, though no podcasts, so I may still be underestimating a bit)

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revolvingcur 702 days ago | link

I think you and your GP are right on. I edited a short-lived podcast and regularly spent 1.5 hours producing and editing each 25 minute show. Even if you're using good equipment and have a solid connection, producing a tight podcast necessarily takes more effort than is obvious to the listener. That's kind of the point.

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chmars 702 days ago | link

Final reasons might be another point why podcasts without much preparation and only the necessary minimum of post-production are common. I don't know the economics of podcast networks but a post-production infrastructure similar to traditional media would probably be go beyond the financial scope.

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smackfu 702 days ago | link

I think we are mainly talking about the kind of editing where you delete an entire section because it never got interesting.

Unfortunately, these are live podcasts for the most part so there is no real incentive to do that... you already put it out once as a finished product so why spend more effort on it?

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runjake 702 days ago | link

Possible tip: Use a dedicated podcast app with playback speed-up functionality. I use Downcast on iOS and DoggCatcher on Android.

Gruber, with his slow speaking and uncomfortable pauses, is much more tolerable at 1.5x. Conversely, if you're listening to someone like Merlin Mann, 0.75x speed can be helpful.

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Dramatize 702 days ago | link

I'm listening to all my podcasts at 2.5x speed. That seems like the limit before it starts to sound weird.

Your brain can understand speech much faster than most people talk.

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chmars 702 days ago | link

It's the format and it's not for everyone. More preparation might help – some similar podcasts on 5by5 and elsewhere have more structure –, but was probably not John Gruber's style. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes not. I wasn't too happy about the first episode of the 'new' podcast but I'll certainly listen to some future episodes.

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sebii 702 days ago | link

You have to listen to The Critical Path, Horace Dediu talks just the information, and nothing else, these information are mostly eye-opening. Some are interviews with bad quality and not that interesting, but most of the others are crown jewels.

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mvkel 701 days ago | link

Horace's "interviews" are him asking 45 minute questions and interrupting the respondent's answer.

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aiscott 702 days ago | link

I tried to listen to one once. Just to see what it was about... It started out with Gruber cursing because Dan wasn't on yet or some reason. I gave it a few more minutes; it was like listening in on somebody's private conversation. I didn't get the allure of it at all and killed it.

I don't have the time to internet people chit-chat. I can't do it and work at the same time because I find it distracting. If it was somehow really great and I wanted to listen to it, the best I could offer would be downloading and playing it in the car on a long trip. Just ain't gonna happen.

Do things happen in the podcast that don't make it into a blog post somewhere?

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Hari_Seldon 702 days ago | link

He doesn't mention an email, he says "John expressed to me" which could also mean a telephone call or a meet up.

Just saying

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glhaynes 702 days ago | link

John == Gruber or Siracusa?

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Tyrannosaurs 702 days ago | link

Gruber - this is about the Talk Show.

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erifneerg 702 days ago | link

I didn't hear him encouraging Mule Radio or any mention of mule. He just says Gruber started the show on his own.

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evan_ 702 days ago | link

Then you missed it- starting at 4:17 he says "I do really want to wish John all the best with anything he does, including his new show, and I encourage you to give it a try too. You can check it out at its new home on muleradio.net."

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erifneerg 702 days ago | link

ah, yea totally missed that. thanks.

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anon808 702 days ago | link

"Dan Benjamin comes across in this audio clip as a total class act."

He definitely comes across as that, but I'm not sure he is. My gut tells me there was more meaning behind this that none of us are owed, creating public content from it maybe not be the right move; it shows bigger class not to talk about it.

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JeanMertz 702 days ago | link

Dan is "on the air" several hours a week. He also has several high profile co-hosts on the air 1+ hour a week. He is also pretty active on Twitter. Plus he has million(s) of fans/listeners of his shows.

How on earth could he let this go without mentioning it in any way? He couldn't have possibly instructed all his co-hosts not to talk about this situation.

Him being a radio man through the bones (as he recently again explained on his interview with Jeffrey Zeldman) I think he handled this the best way he can. Plus, he knows Gruber has an ever bigger following, so he obviously has every reason to tell the truth, or at least tell something Gruber can live with.

All in all a good short explanation, now we can "move on" and enjoy the other 5by5 shows (tried the new Talk Show, didn't like it at all, but maybe it'll improve).

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chipotle_coyote 702 days ago | link

While I appear to be in a minority, I thought the first episode of the Mule Radio version of TTS was better than the 5by5 version usually was. Yes, it was still rambling, but Gruber was engaged and animated, and that gave the show energy that hasn't been there for a while. The 5by5 version increasingly came across like "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Phone It In."

I really do like 5by5 in general and at least four of their shows are in my standard rotation -- like everyone else commenting seems to be saying, "Hypercritical" is great, with "Back to Work" a close second. "The Ihnatko Almanac" is a fine not-tech show. I like "Build & Analyze" too, although I'm worried it may exceed my quota for parenting-related subjects. (As a childless middle-aged man, it's just so not in my bailiwick.)

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