Aaron Lammer

Co-founder, Longform

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 22, 2015

Discussion

Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
Hi, I'm of the host of the Longform Podcast. We interview non-fiction writers about how they do their jobs. We try to cover a broad swath of different kinds of writing happening on the internet, from the bigger magazine writers to editors and people building new publications. I'm curious as to what people would like to hear about from the writers they read online.
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@aaronlammer thanks for joining. Given your focus on non-fiction who are your favorite authors? And what are a few of your favorite biographies? Finally, do you also use video as a source of inspiration for Longform? (Thinking of Ken Burns)
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@corleyh Wow, tough question. I'm not sure there is anyone alive who does magazine writing better than David Grann. I recently read a biography of Cortes called "Conquistador" that I would recommend. But I actually read so much non-fiction for work that I tilt more towards fiction in my civilian life. I watch a lot of documentaries (the Frontline piece "My Brother's Bomber, which I watched recently, is brilliant) and I would like to represent video more on Longform sometime. The divisions between telling stories with text, audio, and video are eroding. The same publishers are doing all three, and I expect artists of the future will be fluent in them all.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
How long do these things go? Do yal serve sandwiches?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@aaronlammer Here's a link to the Longform Podcast for anyone now curious http://longform.org/podcast
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer if you do the LIVE Chat from our HQ in San Fran! =)
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz fax me a sandwich Carter
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@aaronlammer Who was your most surprising interview?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@russfrushtick Rukmini Callimachi, who covers ISIS for the New York Times https://longform.org/posts/longf... Her job is endlessly complex and brings up some of the most difficult ethical issues in reporting today. She's brilliant and has thought a lot about what she does for a living.
Will Roper@wwr228
@aaronlammer @russfrushtick Awesome. I am going to have to give this a listen. I heard her on Reply All and have been looking for more info.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Aaron who would you most like to interview - that you haven't already and why?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@ems_hodge Very curious about John McPhee. His Princeton writing seminar has turned out everyone from Tim Ferriss to John Seabrook. Whatever he teaches (or, taught) is the secret sauce.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@ems_hodge John McPhee. His Princeton seminar churns out the best writers in America. He has (or had, before he retired) the special sauce.
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer @ems_hodge is anything stopping you? I feel like there are a lot of fascinating people who haven't surfaced on podcast episodes who would make excellent guests, like John.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz @ems_hodge We're working on it. He's in his late eighties so it's tricky.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What has been the best / funniest and most surprising moment for whilst hosting the Longform Podcast (they can be three separate incidences). Thanks!
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@ems_hodge Best moment: Post-taping dinner with Gay Talese Funniest moment: There is an episode where handjobs are being discussed and I spontaneously spilled a drink all over myself.
Brent Summers@brentsum · Founder, Code-Free Startup
How do you approach the writing process personally?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@brentsum Nude, if possible. I haven't written hardly anything since Longform started. And before that I was ghostwriting professionally, and in that context I mostly approached it as a way to pay my rent.
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Thanks for joining us today Aaron! What is most exciting to you about podcasts right now? The most frustrating?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz I think the most exciting part is how wide open the format is. It feels like the Wild West. There are so many things that haven't been done with audio yet. The most frustrating part for me is how poorly audio interacts with the rest of the web. Sharing is a drag, it's hard for it to exist socially. And it's hard for someone like my parents to even listen to my show. They can't figure it out. But maybe that's also what makes it special? That it's a bit of an island?
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer totally agree, very well said!
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz that's what makes things like your podcast tab exciting
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer absolutely! hoping to ramp up recommendations from podcast hosts soon too =)
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
Hey everybody! I'm here!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@aaronlammer Hey what would the you of 3 years ago think of you right now?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@bentossell "You fat motherfucker"
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@aaronlammer @bentossell likewise :( haha
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
If you could change any one thing to make the world a better place to live today, what would it be and why?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@melissajoykong Awww shit I dunno.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@melissajoykong I guess I'd shift the US to a more democratic socialist political framework?
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@aaronlammer @melissajoykong elaborate please!!!
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@aaronlammer When my friends who don't listen to podcasts say they don't have time, I suggest they listen on their drive/walk to work/school. Generally speaking, this turns people into podcast listeners. When is your favorite time to listen to podcasts?
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@andrewmettinger Also, favorite podcast that you can't get enough of?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@andrewmettinger I love a good road trip listen where I can just fire through back to back episodes.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@andrewmettinger How Did This Get Made.
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
IF you were us right now, what question would you be asking yourself? What would be an interesting question to ask? or 5
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@jacqvon Hey Jacq. I like those flowers in your hair. Well I went to Japan for the first time this year and that was a huge one for me. I'd like to see Morocco next I think.
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@aaronlammer @jacqvon Morocco is amazing!
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
It seems like you're really busy. What do you do for entertainment? Do you have a cable subscription? What are you favorite shows?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz Nah, I'm a lazy stoner. I'm in the band Francis and the Lights so I spend a bit of my year writing songs for that. I don't have cable but I have a buffet of streaming options and a 12 foot projector screen in my apartment, so I watch a lot of serial TV. Recently I enjoyed "Show Me A Hero" quite a bit, I watch "Empire", been watching "Project Greenlight" and of course "South Park" has been a part of my life for many years. I watch "Game of Thrones" and just about anything HBO puts out I'll give a shot. I think multi-season serial TV writing is incredibly difficult and when someone lands it, I bow to them.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@aaronlammer @alexcartaz This is a Francis and the Lights song I co-wrote if anyone is curious
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@aaronlammer @alexcartaz I also did a sorta anonymous solo EP this year that I wrote and recorded entirely on an iPhone 6 https://soundcloud.com/herrobes
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer @alexcartaz very cool, will check it out!
Adam Muller@muller_adam · Co-founder ADHD Collective, MullerCast
@aaronlammer @alexcartaz Man this is great. Some of those lines are just fantastic. Video also grabs attention. Really liked the plane (and the crop-dusting?)... Thanks Aaron!
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@aaronlammer what is one of the unintended consequences you think society will face as a result of the increase rate of technological change?
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@corleyh I think that generations are going to be increasingly distant from each other. It's gonna be wild.
Nicholas Quah@nwquah · some guy
Hey Aaron, what are your feelings on pumpkin spice latte
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@nwquah Well, I know my co-host Evan Ratliff is partial to Brooklyn Roasting Company's 'Maple Shay-Shay' when he is stressed out. I have never had a pumpkin latte. I had some pumpkin pancakes on my cheat day from my diet and they were bomb.
Nicholas Quah@nwquah · some guy
@aaronlammer @nwquah MAPLE SHAY SHAY
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@aaronlammer thanks for joining us today! This was a whirlwind of awesomeness. Maybe we can do another in the future! =)
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@alexcartaz ANY TIME
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
Thanks everyone. This was cool, I love all the attention. You're the best.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@aaronlammer I love Product Hunt. I go on this damn website every day.
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@aaronlammer I'm seriously a total p-hunt Stan. I have a bookmarks folder of like 900 products that I want to remember to go back to.
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@aaronlammer and we love longform + the podcast!!!!
Tim Cigelske@teecycletim · Social Media Director, Marquette Unive…
@aaronlammer I'm curious about where writers are building their following online these days. It seemed like Twitter was such an important platform for building new audiences, but today it might not be where you start. Is it Medium? Tinyletter? Facebook? Product Hunt??
Aaron Lammer@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@teecycletim I think it's all of those places in aggregate. The best way to build an audience seems to be writing things that spread. Medium certainly can facilitate that, but so can a personal blog or literary journal. People find stuff that's interesting. I haven't found a lot of great stuff that stays undiscovered.