As everyone who listens to the LMAW podcast more than knows by now, Eric and I take criticism and feedback very seriously. We always respond graciously and with a genuine desire to absorb the input of our listeners for the sake of improving ourselves and this production. With all that said, I want to address a review we just received; in so doing I will be addressing a feeling I've had for a long time, extending years before we started the LMAW podcast.
This is not a staged photo
This is really me and I'm really asleep at our production machine. I'm working on building a MySQL database for our listener data so that Eric (a DBA by trade) can plot charts and make graphs and do all sorts of fancy things that allow us to make accurate projections and plan for the future. But this isn't a unique image of yours truly. In fact, I fall asleep like this almost every night, tired from a day of doing what IT Engineers do and from the struggle of staving off sleep to spend time on my passion.
Everyone of us here - Eric, Nico, and myself - spend an ungodly amount of time on the LMAW podcast. It shows through in our audio quality, in our responsiveness to our listeners, in our authenticity, in our range, in our commitment to creating something great.
Last night we received the following piece of criticism:
3-stars. Great Concept, but Lazily Executed.
I am more bothered by this stuff than most people, but "irregardless" is redundant. "Regardless" means what you're trying to say. Additionally, "there is lots of examples" and "there is lots of people" are just plain lazy mistakes. Love the myths, but sorting through the "um's" and "like's" gets distracting fast. If you're going to release a podcast education people, please please please speak in an educated way.
This is the review I woke to this morning. There I was, looming over the kitchen counter and lamenting the forthcoming day - another in a career I no longer love or feel happy with -, flicking through the latest reviews, and there it was: confirmation that while we might be trying hard, we're never trying hard enough.
I'm not going to lie: this bothered me immensely. "Bothers me" I should say - because it's not just this guy and it's not just this podcast. I can scroll through any high-quality production and I can find ultra-critical reviews from people who (likely) only value the efforts of these productions to enough of a degree that they are able to criticize them.
I didn't edit out an "um" or a "like"? Do you mean while I was slapping myself in the face to keep my eyes open at 1am on a Tuesday morning so I could get an episode out on time? "Lazily Executed"? We're lazy? Actually, I'M lazy? I'm the one doing the editing so I'm the lazy one. Eric's way of speaking isn't educated? The man has several degrees and a deep knowledge not only of the English language but of Latin and Greek as well. He used a non-word you didn't like? Let me slap him around a bit for you, let's hang him from the gallows! What audaciously preachy judgement we're subjected to for our lack of perfection in the producing of a free product that we struggle to keep "on the air". That we spend $800 a month producing*.
*edit on 2/15/2017: our sponsorship with MasterOfMalt.com, and our decision to produce our own art, has cut this number down to ~$400. This has been the case since October 2016. The most we were spending at one point was ~$1000. This included standard expenses like hosting and such as well as $270 for art, $270 for music, and ~$250 for whiskey.
This reviewer isn't wrong. "Um's" and "Like's" and missed edits are obnoxious and we strive to be better than that. And I realize that this whole post might sound a lot like "We shouldn't be criticized because we try" or "we value criticism, but not this sort" or even "we deserve a medal for how endlessly selfless we are" and of course none of those notions are particularly endearing; nor are they representative of what I am trying to convey. What I'm expressing here is a frustration not with this reviewer or his criticisms, but with the fact that we don't have more time to make things better than they are right now.
That's the real crushing reality of podcasting: you're forever providing something for free that will only ever "get big" if it checks the right boxes (or gets really lucky), boxes that you can't check without significant investments of both time and money, significant investments that you can't make if you don't have the time or money you need to make them. Which becomes this vicious, near impossible to break free of, cycle of feeling like you're not doing a good enough job. And that's what this post is all about, really.
It sucks to get criticism you know is legitimate when you're painfully aware of the fact that what you need in order to correct the cause of said criticism just isn't available to you even though you're running after it non-stop.
So I put this together, to convey exactly how much work we DO put into this show. If you'd like us to do more than we already do, PLEASE support us on Patreon. It's the only way we'll break this cycle, it's the only way Legends Myths and Whiskey, and our newly founded Satyr Productions, will ever be our full-time focus.
And, as always, if you have feedback, please comment below. If you'd really like to let us know what you think about the show, you can fill out this form --> lmaw.co/lmaquestions