Today marks the first birthday of the PolicyViz Podcast! I posted the 39th episode with Alberto Cairo yesterday. Oddly enough, Alberto was my first official podcast guest a year ago, but I didn’t realize it was going to work out that way until I was getting the episode ready for posting.

It’s been a pretty amazing year with the podcast. I originally started with a couple of audio blog posts because I wanted to talk through some things–namely 0-axis charts, aesthetics, and maps–with some smart people. But some of you suggested I turn it into a podcast and because I was already doing the Rad Presenters Podcast, I figured I’d just go ahead. 39 episodes later, I’ve had amazing guests, covered terrific topics, and most importantly, have had great support from you, the listeners.

I still call it “lazy man’s blogging” because I try to find interesting people doing interesting work and ask them to chat with me for 20-30 minutes. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some amazing data journalists like Scott Klein, Ben Casselman, and Sarah Kliff. I’ve chatted with legends in the field like Edward Tufte and Nigel Holmes. And I’ve talked about all kinds of data and data visualization-related issues with other amazing writers, teachers, and practitioners like Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, Andy Cotgreave, and Kim Rees.

Pulling together a podcast is not an easy feat:

  • You need to find a guest–and schedule that guest;
  • Generate a list of interesting questions;
  • Get a decent sound and recording set-up (I use Call Recorder for Skype and the Blue Snowflake microphone);
  • Record the sponsor mesage (fortunately, I have someone helping me with that), edit the audio (yep, I have someone helping me with that too), and add the intro music, outro music, and sponsor message (I do those on my own in GarageBand with music from Poddington Bear);
  • Write the blog post, SEO search terms, and embed the sound file; and
  • Promote it (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Fortunately, I’ve had friends and family help me with some of these pieces, but it still takes a lot of work. I’m also grateful for the support from my sponsors, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Juice Analytics. I also have a few other sponsors coming in the next few weeks.

What does the future bring? Well, I’m nearly scheduled out through the end of July, and then I’ll take a month off. I’m hoping to interview more people in the open data and civic tech areas. I may head back to the every-other-week format, but we’ll see how things progress.

Naturally, I also want to get more people listening to the show. That’s why I’m offering a little incentive on this birthday. The next 10 people to rate and review the PolicyViz Podcast in iTunes will receive a PolicyViz Swag Bag. You get a Desktop Graphic Continuum, PowerPoint Cheat Sheet, and a PolicyViz sticker mailed directly to your home.

Here’s how you get it (oh, previous podcast guests are not eligible):

  1. Rate and Review the show on iTunes (preferably five-stars!);
  2. Take a screenshot of your comment and post it on Twitter using the hashtag #PolicyVizSwagBag; and
  3. Email me that same screenshot and your mailing address.

The first 10 people to do so will receive a swag bag from me. (And if you don’t get it, please don’t delete your review! I’ll still appreciate it, I promise!).

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed listening to the show as much as I’ve had creating it.