August 27, 2016
by Ariel Adams
aBlogtoWatch audience members who subscribe to our YouTube channel may be wondering why I haven’t yet mentioned anything about “HourTime Experiments,” a new series of videos we have been trying to upload on a somewhat regular basis. For several years, John Biggs and I co-hosted the HourTime Show Watch Podcast through over 150 episodes as an audio-only show. Over a year ago, we stopped for no other particular reason than that the time burden on us to both record and produce the show become far too tenuous given our work and travel schedules. It also didn’t help that we had no particular plans or tactics on monetization to help with little things like having a producer or any type of technical help.
After the HourTime Show podcast stopped releasing new episodes, a lot of you started to react and request that the show come back. Each few days, we would receive an e-mail, comment, or message otherwise asking when the show would come back. For a long time, I wanted to bring the show back, but do something a bit different. One thing that was clear to me was that solely relying on John and myself wouldn’t work given the enormous variation in our schedules and that each couple of weeks we would be traveling to a different country (many of which regularly suffer from crappy internet service – yes, I’m looking at you, Switzerland).
A return to HourTime would have to mean a panel of possible hosts able to record the show on a regular basis, even though I only wanted to have two people speaking at any given time. I also wanted to include a video component. A major issue we faced is the simple fact that we operate in a remote working environment, so anything we did would have to be both recorded via the internet in high quality, as well as in a relatively simple format since efficiency is always important.
One of the biggest items of feedback we received in the old days of HourTime was the fact that people wanted to see what we were talking about. So what we did for the HourTime videos was design a show that was possible to listen to only, but if you wanted to watch, what you would see is what we saw on our computer screens. This, for me, added an important new vicarious element to the listening experience – and it is something that I seek to further refine.
Right now, HourTime will be primarily hosted on the aBlogtoWatch YouTube channel, but is also still in our beta “HourTime Show Experiments” mode. We will test various technical as well as show format techniques, along with different guests. What we really need is some highly motivated technical help, and I’d love a producer as well (doesn’t hurt to ask, right?). The historical feedback for HourTime was very good, as people really enjoyed the show and kept asking for more. The feedback for HourTime Show Experiments is also very promising despite zero promotion to date. Now that we’ve published five episodes of the HourTime Show Experiments series, I wanted to share what we were up to with the larger aBlogtoWatch audience.
I’ll be frank that the show isn’t per se “perfect,” nor are we above soliciting additional help. Most important is that we want to grow the show, and we do need motivated people on the back-end. Finding the right people who can “growth hack” as we need isn’t easy, but we do know that the formula seems to be working well and that once again we have been able to meaningfully engage with our valued audience in a more personal and conversation manner, which is exactly what I’ve been aiming to do for a while.