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Episode 67 – Building a Community, One Podcast at a Time

Ph.D. student and instructor, Ivan Wayne shares his experience producing podcasts, highlighting unique and interesting community members in the northern Colorado area.

Ph.D. student and instructor, Ivan Wayne shares his experience producing podcasts, highlighting unique and interesting community members in the northern Colorado area.

How did you get into being a podcaster?

I've been a huge fan of podcasts for a while and I worked for the town of Windsor last summer and I was afforded the luxury of getting to consume podcasts during the majority of the time I was at work. So I really like, plunged into the world of podcasts more than I already had about a year ago. And I'd always like to put out things. I've made videos with friends in college, I've written short stories, written a book, and I was always like, I created board games and I was a little kid just for fun. So I like to create things and being in a world of podcasting now and, and it being a big interest of mine, I thought, well I should start one. And I was looking around, I thought, well there's so many podcasts already, right, because this market is like blown up.

And so I was thinking what is a podcast that doesn't exist already. So I started going out and looking for something in the area I was seeing where some holes I looked to see is there a Northern Colorado specific podcasts? I actually found yours. I found Bear in Mind. I found another one where they told ghost stories about things that had happened in Fort Collins, but there wasn't like a cohesive, basically like Denver to Cheyenne style show.

Like, a radius area of podcasts.

Right. So just highlight. And I also wanted to like bring the community together because people will be like, oh, I'm from Greeley. And they think that is very different from being in Windsor, but it's only like 20 minutes difference. And then you've got Fort Collins and Loveland and Estes Park and then you've got Longmont, there's so many communities, but where we could all consider ourselves in the same, right under the NOCO umbrella. So I started The More You NoCo for those reasons and then launched it in August of last year.

And what was your timeline on creating this podcast, choosing your guests, and I know it probably takes some time to, market your podcast. What, what were some of the traits that you had?

So before I started and I reached out, I didn't tell a single soul I was doing this, probably except for my girlfriend. Nobody knew. And I emailed probably 40 to 50 random people in the community and I kept it a total secret. And Danielle Bach, the, executive director, like the lead nutritionist for Greeley schools was my very first person. And so many people assume that I started interviewing my friends, but I didn't, I walked into a stranger's office and she went out on a limb for me and decided to do this interview and had no idea who I was, right? Because the show wasn't even on the Internet. She couldn't Google me, nothing.

Just a stranger coming in.

Yeah. So came in with some questions, ran our episode. I did that for 13 episodes, so 13 people I met with before it ever dropped online. And then once I had a decent library I dropped them all on the same day. And that was early September of last year, 2018.

What was your criteria for choosing people like Daniel Bach?

At first it was, would they say yes? Would they be on the show? Right? Because with no credibility, it wasn't like I had built this repertoire and it wasn't like, oh, I could turn around and look at what type of guests had I already had and who could fill the gaps. Now I had no one. And part of it was that I didn't know what I didn't know. I found guests on this show that I had no idea would be in Northern Colorado.

So I really was just shooting out as wide of a net as you could imagine. I was looking at Colorado, the Greeley Tribune, I was looking at articles they'd write about people. I found out that Greeley does this Ted talk style community thing. So I emailed all those speakers and I just found these interesting little pockets. Band pages. I would look up like guests who are coming to the Moxi in Greeley and I would message all of those artists just to see who would say yes and, and who could I find in the show. And then once I had people recorded on the episode before they left, I would always say, who should I have on next? And that's when the show became 100% recommendations and that's how I function now.

And you started, you said last year, where are you at? How many episodes and how many do you have coming down the line or it, what is, what is your timeline looking like?

So it started back in August. It is now early May, so almost a year. And we have 92 episodes recorded and 89 are published right now. And then we have things scheduled through the month of June. So we'll hit a hundred very soon.

And you're a Ph.D. student?


Do you sleep?

Yes, I do.

How do, how are you able to do so many? I mean some of these they look like they go from, I've seen a 30 minutes to 45 minutes, almost an hour on some. I mean what does that look like when it comes to, well, your freedom?

[Laughs] Right? So multiple things factor into this one. They did start out to be completely unedited, an hour to an hour 20. It was as long as I could go. I want to do free form around episode 40 of my guests pulled me aside afterwards and said, Ivan, I love you show. But I think it's a little long. What if you try to 30 minutes because then people could digest it more and they might be more likely to listen to guests they don't know if they were shorter. So that's why if you look at everything past episode 40 most of them are about 30 minutes long. So that made my life a little easier. And then second, I randomly was contacted by a person named Trevor on Reddit who found the show on the Fort Collins Reddit page. And he said he wanted to be on the team. So around episode like 46, 47, Trevor became our full time editor. So he edits all of the episodes. So all I have to do is schedule, show up record and then I pop over to Trevor and he finishes the episode and when it comes back I record the intro and we put it up. And then my friend Isaac, who I've known since I was six years old, he writes all the music. So I also have that as well.

So you have a great little network.

Yeah, we got, we got a cool little team.

That's great.

And then shout out to Kelsey who just revamped our logo. And now if you look at The More You NoCo's design and the website, everything is modeled after the state license plate was the colors and stuff.

With you doing these podcasts, how does it benefit or maybe become a barrier with you as a PhD student at UNC?

There definitely is always this itch in the back of my mind that the time that I spend on these creative, fun pursuits for the podcasts are taking away from freeform time. I could be doing for research. Arguably I could go to more conferences this year. Arguably I could have written a manuscript already that we could be prepping for publishing. And you know, many students may say that I'm not being diligent enough because I'm not using that unstructured time to work on my research as much as I can. But I've never been a person who likes to have my hands in the same bucket. So I like to spread out my interests and spread out my time with things that I like doing. And to me, at least for my mental health, doing this podcast and having fun with something like this that is completely unrelated to educational psychology is incredibly important for me. I think it helps me bounce back and be more efficient when I am working on my research or teaching classes, etc.

I would agree with you. The academic world, especially when it comes to writing and research can almost be very black and white. And having some sort of free flow conversation on something completely unrelated is just rather a colorful spectrum and it allows your mind to just kind of relax from the black and white before you go back into it.

Absolutely because the podcast is kind of the antithesis to educational research and psychological research because when you submit a manuscript, it is a very specific form you need to follow and there's a very specific pedigree to, okay, we've ran study, now we're going to get it published by writing it in this way, there are no rules to The More You NoCo. If you listened to episode one and you listened to episode 90, you're going to see that it's going to be a very different experience because I didn't read a rule book. There wasn't The More You NoCo for Dummies. I had to every single episode I had to think, what is it that I want to do now?

What are some of the podcasts that, or interviews that have stood out to you that you really took home and took to heart?

Oh Man

I know it's tough.

Yeah, there's a lot. And I, and I would like to think that I've gleaned something from all 92 of my guests and that I wouldn't want to put them above the others. If you've heard interviews for me and other places, you've probably already heard me say, one notion I've really got from this show is that every type of person lives everywhere. So if I set a random city, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, listeners would get this idea in their mind of what a person in those communities is probably like. But this show has really taught me, you know, I thought I knew what in northern Coloradoan would be like.

And I've met people from every walk of life, of every type of opinion, who've worked in every style of career, different philosophies, and has really made me realize just how unique everyone is. And although you can say there's an average, like, you know, maybe the average Coloradoan is different than the average Floridan in in some ways, but you'll still find every type of person and every style of community. But I mean, I've found myself in places... Connie Willis, I interviewed right here in this room actually and she is a world renowned to science fiction author who lives in Greeley who works at Starbucks on 11th and it openly invites fans to come meet her whenever they want. I mean, this person has published multiple things over several decades and has a huge published author and nobody knows that she lives in Greeley and works at Starbucks.

She's just right down the street.

Yeah. And it seems like Distortions Unlimited near downtown Greeley. I found myself in a warehouse surrounded by Zombies, aliens and serial killers cause they make professional movie quality animatronics, and like monsters and creatures. And they had their own show on the Travel Channel, I think it was called making monsters or something for three or four years. They had their own TV show and they're here in Greeley and nobody knows about them. And it's just things like that. I've stumbled upon people in our community who you would just not think that those people are right around us, but they are.

You take the Greeley Unexpected to the northern Colorado Unexpected.

That's right. Yeah.

What is your radius of Northern Colorado? I mean, you mentioned Cheyenne. I mean we're obviously in Wyoming at that point. So what, what are, where is your limit?

So I would say some of it hinders on how far am I willing to drive. And most of these podcasts episodes are done during the week, during work hours that I can fit in between teaching research my own classes. So really an hour to an hour, 15 radius from Greeley is about as far as I've gone. Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, and I have not gone further south in Longmont and I have not gone further north than Fort Collins. And Greeley is the furthest East I've gone so far. I need to get out to Fort Morgan and sterling, but haven't yet.

In due time. There's plenty of time.

There's just, there's more population in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and Greeley that, it just, one of my friends once said, you're going to run out of guests. And I said, no way. There's over 600,000 people who live in northern Colorado. I'm not going to put out 600,000 episodes, so I'm not going to run out.

My name is Ivan Wayne and I am an instructor of psychology courses and a PhD student in the Educational Psychology Department.

I've often struggled with how well I've actually executed this goal, but one thing I've said from day one is it, what I really wanted people to do is take a risk with this podcast. When you listen to The More You NoCo, I think people will be very quick to start scanning the descriptions and they'd try to find ones that they'd be interested in. So let's say like I work in finance, I'm looking for a person who's talked about finance, or if I'm a big fisherman, I'll be looking for things that fit along my own hobbies. But what I ask people to do is just pick random people. I have interviewed people, I had no idea about their realm and I learned so much. But really what I've always wanted the show to do, is make people feel more connected to those around them. Listen to the brewery owners of the breweries that they've gone to. Listen to these people who've started small businesses that you may or may not enjoy buying from, and hey, guess what? They live in your town. They're from your town. And I always wanted people to, after like 10, 15, 20 episodes of The More You NoCo, they start to feel more at home in their own community. So if people are interested, you can Google it if you're not familiar with the podcast, because it is literally everywhere. It's on Spotify, Youtube, any Apple device, any Google device, you can find it on Stitcher. It's out there. Our website is www.themoreyounoco.com. we have an embedded player there. What's also neat about the website is you can support the podcast and it has pictures of every single guest who's been on the show. And when you click on that guest picture, it takes you straight to their website so you can actually connect with them. You don't have to just listen to their episode, but you can actually make connections with the people in our community.


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