Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Battle Rhythm, Year 2!

Hey, it is year 2 of Battle Rhythm!  Today was our 27th episode, marking the first anniversary of the podcast!  Woot!  I am most proud of what we have accomplished over the year and most grateful to Stéfanie von Hlatky who has been a most excellent co-host.  We are grateful to Melissa Jennings for being a fantastic podcast producer; Alvine Nintai for doing most of the research for our prep; Ammar Shirwani for his research assistance; CGAI and especially Dave Perry and Jared Malthais and Jay Rankin; and to all the folks who agreed to be interviewed.  And we are very thankful to all those who listened to the podcast!  We toast them all in the picture to the right.

I am going to resurrect an old Spew theme to discuss the year of podcasting: what was surprising, troubling, enchanting, and humbling about the first year of podcasting.
  • I am surprised that my sister is a fan of the show.  She never seemed that interested in defence/security stuff and especially not the maple-flavoured variety.  I am also surprised that our listenership is more than the seven people we joked about.  The numbers vary and may not be entirely reliable, but I do keep bumping into people who listen to the podcast. Ok, I did until the pandemic reduced the bumping opportunities.  My favorite example of this was chatting with a young DND policy officer as we were both waiting for the helicopter to take us back to the base during last fall's military exercise.  
  • I am troubled by how much stress this process can put on our staff since we tend to record on Tuesdays for episodes dropping on Wednesdays.  Melissa does a great job editing and posting our stuff, but I wish we could give her more time.  The problem is that we often feel overcome by events as things change from day to day.  One of my tasks for year two is to make this less stressful for all involved.
  • I am enchanted by my co-host.  I thought I was going to be the funny one, but Stéfanie makes me laugh far more than I make laugh.  Which is probably not great for our listeners since my laugh is less than soothing.  She also prepares intensely for each episode, is a tougher critic of herself and of us.  In short, whatever quality we have, it is due to her efforts.  
  • I am humbled by this medium.  Recording audio is much different from anything I have ever had to do--it is not like writing, tweeting, blogging, or teaching.  I need to get better about eliminating the uh's and um's, and I, well, hate the sound of my voice.  Stef sounds so natural and professional when she does the introductions, and I just don't feel as comfy.  On the other hand, I am pretty sure she does not feel that comfortable either.  We have gotten much better at this thing, but have much more to learn.  
We started the podcast because the aims of the Canadian Defence and Security Network including amplifying the work of others (our emerging scholars and feature interviews) and to improve the defence and security literacy of Canadians.  I know that we have accomplished the first goal.  Whether we have made progress on the second one is hard to assess.

Thanks for listening.  If you have questions that you want us to answer on the podcast, email them to us at

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