When Anna and I started Unfinished Business at the start of 2013, the format was just us talking to each other. Although our friend Rachel sat in for me early in our run, Anna and I didn’t want to talk with guests on a regular basis. We certainly never wanted to interview those guests about what they were working on or what was inspiring them. There were, and are, already plenty of podcasts that do that.
As I bet that no one would enjoy listening to me talk to myself, when Anna left the show after episode 35 I decided carry on with a roster of regular guest co-hosts like Ashley, Brendan, Elliott, Laura and Josh. For another sixty-five episodes, I was also joined by dozens of guests for plenty of entertaining and interesting conversations.
A new ‘after-show’
Anna and I mostly talked about business but we had plenty of good natured banter too. In post-Anna episodes, guests and I talked about business less and less and the show became more about what was going on in the lives of my guests and I. Unfinished Business became more entertainment than a business show and the tagline “…and guests have unfinished business” now means “have plenty left to talk about” rather than being literally about business. I know that not everyone’s been happy with that shift and although I never want to lose the banter that I think gives the show its personality, I want to attract more listeners that alienate them.
I’ve asked for feedback from listeners and when the show returns in February, guests and I’ll still talk about apes, soap and stupid burgers, but in a new section, after the main show has finished. This will give the people the chance to know when the banter starts and to tune out if they wish to.
Many people have said that the episodes they enjoy the most are when I speak to two guests. Having two people on the show leads to lively discussions, especially on topics that everyone’s enthusiastic about, so from now on most episodes will have two guests.
I’ve already lined up some fabulous pairings for the new run:
- Dan Mall and Jeffrey Zeldman talking about art and creative direction on the web
- Harry Roberts and Jonathan Snook talking about practical (OO)CSS and working as a CSS consultant
- Stephen Hay and Trent Walton talking about what designing in a browser means today
These should all be lively discussions and I really hope that listeners will enjoy the new format.
Perhaps the biggest shift is that Unfinished Business is moving to a bi—weekly (every two weeks) schedule. This will give me more time prepare better content for each episode.
I’m looking at other ways to reduce the time I spend on the business end of Unfinished Business too, including sponsorships, which absorbs an enormous amount of time. Ideally I’d like just one main sponsor for all twenty-five episodes. If you think that your company might be interested in putting your product in front of thousands of discerning web professionals each week, please get in touch. Rates are more reasonable than you might think.
I’m really looking forward to the new year and this new start. If you’re a regular listener, I hope you’ll enjoy the changes too. If you’ve not listened before, or haven’t for a while, February is the time to start listening to Unfinished Business. I think it’s going to be a really good year.