Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi

Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 08, 2015

Discussion

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
I host Note to Self: a tech podcast about not losing your mind in the digital age. You can hear me have an anxiety attack while testing UX, break down after deleting my favorite app, and confront developers who turned me into an obsessive gamer. You’ll also get crazy REAL stories that will make you rethink dry issues like privacy, surveillance, and big data. Audio often heard: nervous laughter.
Brianne
Brianne@bree__ · Marketing assistant, The Economist
@manoushz Hey Manoush! What advice to have you for a recent college grad to get into podcasting as a career? Love your show (maybe want to be you) :)
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@bree__ Hey Bree! The most important thing if you want to get into podcasting (well, into anything) is to just go out and DO it. Use the voicememo app on your phone and interview your mom.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@manoushz @bree__ this really reminds me of what Megan Tan did on Millennial!
雷多
雷多@new_user_d10492cf4d
@manoushz @bree__ wonderful
雷多
雷多@new_user_d10492cf4d
@bree__ @manoushz Hi Manoush! What have been some of your biggest challenges with Note to Self? How did you overcome theses?
Kamil
Kamil@kamilszybalski · Growth Entrepreneur. Was @Hootsuitelabs
@manoushz Manoush, what's on your bookshelf and what are you currently reading?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@kamilszybalski Hey Kamil! I just read Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle (she's on next week's show). I'm reading Harry Potter (so is my 8 yr-old) and Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance. Got any good suggestions?
Kamil
Kamil@kamilszybalski · Growth Entrepreneur. Was @Hootsuitelabs
@manoushz @kamilszybalski Just finished Modern Romance, 7/10 IMO. I'm currently reading the martian and Zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance. Would love if you tried our app (http://Shelfie.com), you might even find your next read ; )
Irina Jordan
Irina Jordan@irinajordan · Director of Inbound Marketing
@manoushz Do you take breaks and totally unplug? How do you unwind? Thanks!
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@irinajordan Hi Irina! I STRUGGLE with this constantly, despite knowing all the research/stats etc about why unplugging is so important. I've stopped giving myself guilt trips when I don't respond to emails immediately and REALLY try to do no electronics an hour before going to sleep. I feel better when I do. Thanks for the Q :)
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you used to fervently believe that you now see was completely misguided?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@eriktorenberg judging people's parenting. I HAD NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS and used to hate on moms giving a toddler their phone while in line at CVS. Now, I realize we're all just trying to get through the day. Mostly.
Wendy
Wendy@wendycita · Webmarketing Enthusiast @SmartHalo
thanks for the previous answer ! 2 other questions : If you could launch another podcast, what would it be about ? And what is your favorite podcast (except yours haha) ? :)
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@wendycita not sure about the first question. will think. As for the second, Jad (Radiolab) and Brooke (OTM) are my idols, friends, and colleagues. I learn from their shows every week. (after writing those words I was tempted to add #blessed but then thought better of it :)
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@manoushz What's the craziest thing you've learned since starting the podcast?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@russfrushtick oh man, Russ. Guess what I learned? That being just myself is not only easy, it makes a better end product. If you had told me that 5 years ago I wouldhave thought you were NUTZZZZ :)
Nicki Friis
Nicki Friis@nickifriisw · Entrepreneur. Former Partner @ Ideanote.
@manoushz Hey Manoush, why is focusing on customer experience a good idea? And how do you define it?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@nickifriisw Nicki, I think about this A LOT. True customer experience makes a customer feel GOOD about what they are using. Not that icky, whoa-I-Just-wasted-4-hours, feeling.
Tim Smith
Tim Smith@ttimsmith · Frontend Designer
@manoushz I'd like to take my experience with producing podcasts and work for public radio. Any advice you could give me?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@ttimsmith no reason to necessarily work for public radio, Tim! Lots of orgs looking for people with those skills these days. Where else have you looked?
Tim Smith
Tim Smith@ttimsmith · Frontend Designer
@manoushz To be honest, I haven't looked elsewhere. I really would like to produce a show, and continue to do the show I do now with some funding. Where do you recommend I look?
Wendy
Wendy@wendycita · Webmarketing Enthusiast @SmartHalo
@manoushz What makes a great podcast story ?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@wendycita aha! One word. For me, anyway. Conflict.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Hi @manoushz, thanks for joining us today! Recently Jenna Weiss-Berman, BuzzFeed's Director of Audio, mentioned that the demographics for podcast listeners are white males in their 30's. Do you have any thoughts as to why this is and how to make the podcast audience more diverse in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity? Thanks!
@alexcartaz what percentage? Where'd she get that data?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alexcartaz Hey Alex! Thanks for having me. Thrilled to be invited. Excellent question and frankly, one I'm trying to solve myself because I think there are a lot of people (especially Gen X'ers) who will LOVE PODCASTS. But are too lazy to figure it out. Right now I'm on a personal mission. Anyone I meet, I ask them if they know what the purple button does on their iPHone.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@eteare @alexcartaz i'm not sure, but I heard it in this interview with her: https://www.producthunt.com/podc...
Ariana Tobin
Ariana Tobin@ariana_tobin · Producer, WNYC
@eteare @alexcartaz I can't speak for Jenna, but I've seen the stats from Edison Research. Here's a round-up that looks fairly legit: http://maximizesocialbusiness.co...
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@manoushz So happy to have you on! That would be an episode topic I'd love to listen to. For high schoolers and college students, I wonder if not having a commute (eg personally experiencing the gateway use case) might play a large role.
Clarissa León
Clarissa León@clarissaleon · writer
@manoushz Where did you find inspiration to keep getting better at speaking, radio, presenting, etc? Feels so much easier to quit while you're ahead.
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@clarissaleon Hi! If you quit while your're ahead you run the risk of getting left behind. Things are moving too fast in media/tech for that to be an option. Constant tweaks/adjustments/iterations are now professionally required. Madonna knew this early on :)
Clarissa León
Clarissa León@clarissaleon · writer
@manoushz @clarissaleon Sorry, I guess I mean when your work ... sucks. Probably not when you're ahead.
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@clarissaleon ohhhhhhhh. When your works sucks, GET OUT. It doesn't have to be immediate or rash or financially stupid but make a strategy and then take the baby-steps to get there. Keep moving forward. Helpful?
Clarissa León
Clarissa León@clarissaleon · writer
Hi Manoush. It's great you are on WNYC. But, how does one actually get to have one's show on WNYC? Has the time passed for getting such a cool gig? Like 10 years from now, what does getting into radio programming look like?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@clarissaleon WNYC's just had a podcast contest actually and 2 people are in the midst of piloting their ideas! pretty cool. I think for most people podcasting remains one piece of their work, not the whole enchilada. But if this is what you want to do fulltime, I've seen great jobs posted on Slate, Gimlet, and WNYC too. Just don't expect to get rich :)
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@manoushz thanks for taking the time! You mentioned that some developers turned you into a gamer. What's your favorite game? And would love to hear the story!
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@corleyh 2Dots was the bane of my existence. You can hear the episode (it's called Delete That App; in February) and me take it off my phone. FOR GOOD. I miss it every day like a smoker misses their cigarettes :)
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
Product Hunt peeps, this was the most fun I've had all week. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking questions! Happy to answer them anytime @manoushz
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hi, Manoush! Great work on Note to Self. I'm particularly fascinated by how technology influences our lives and relationships (hopefully for the better but sometimes for the worst). Increasingly it's important for consumers to understand how tech impacts their behavior and enable people to fight addictions. @nireyal writes a lot about this in Hooked and on his blog. Can you talk about a technology-influenced addiction you've faced and how you overcame it?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@rrhoover Ryan, I'm so psyched to be here. Thanks for having me. I think Nir is great. We had him on an episode where I confronted the makers of 2 Dots-- the game that I was ridiculously addicted to. Turns out 2-5% of us can't handle some of the more mind-controlling elements of these technologies and have to go cold turkey. 2 Dots has been off my phone since January. (applause accepted :)
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@manoushz I love Two Dots (cc @paulbz). 😀 To follow up on this question, what responsibility do the makers of Two Dots, and other "addictive" apps or games, have to consumers?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@rrhoover I guess one could argue absolutely none but I think Nir's suggestion is good: total transparency and labels that let people know the worst case scenario. @tristanharris likse the idea of a consumer seal of approval
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
Hey @manoushz - Love Note to Self and especially the Bored and Brilliant project. I have a couple questions - Why'd you feel the need to change the name? I loved it as New Tech City and I'm JUST now getting used to the change. Also, speaking of the Bored and Brilliant project - I participated and it really helped my detox a bit, but now I'm more involved with my phone than ever. To the point where I broke my phone last week and had a mini anxiety attack. Any ideas on how I can be less compulsive?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@jeffumbro JEFF! So sorry to hear about your phone-induced panic attack. I totally get it. This is not a yes/no thing--living with your technology, I think, requires constant diligence and thoughtfulness. It's like getting good sleep and eating healthfully. We gotta play the long game. As for the name change--people kept thinking it was a show about urban infrastructure or sensors or just NYC! We wanted to be more welcoming to people who get freaked out by the word "tech" too. Those listeners may not realize how into tech they actually are even though they aren't "techies" per se. Glad to hear you're getting used to it and thanks for the Qs :)
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
I love podcasts, but they're just another form of technology I'm (not yet letting myself become) addicted to. In your opinion, when is the best time to listen to podcasts? I'm trying to make them interchangeable with my pre-sleep (book) reading.
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@andrewmettinger Andrew, I use them as bait for myself. Podcasting has completely changed my relationship with exercises. I'm not a huge fan but now my jogs have become intellectual self-improvement as well as cardiovascular. Does your house need a good cleaning? Got a dental appointment coming up?!
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@manoushz I love the premise of your show! Since you focus on tech influencing our daily lives and habits, I was wondering if you had any thoughts around what the future of podcasts look like. Do you think there will be an Instagram for Audio? Do you think the current apps are sufficient or do you think there will be compelling, emergent ways to discover, listen, and share podcasts?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alexcartaz Oh, Alex. I hope so. I'm not in love with any of the podcasting apps out there. But maybe this lack of infrastructure is keeping us "indie cool" for now? Honestly, all I want is an easy playlist that I can control without too much fuss. When that happens (and we are on all car dashboards) maybe we'll be more mainstream. What do you think??
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@manoushz I mostly agree! Not in love with the existing apps, but in addition to a playlist, I want to easily be able to see what friends and influential people I follow upvote. I also want a way to easily share directly with friends, in-app. Basically I want the social interaction and discovery of Twitter, but just for podcast episodes (in an audio player app).
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Manoush! What have been some of your biggest challenges with Note to Self? How did you overcome theses?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@ems_hodge The biggest challenge was actually figuring out what the show was about. At first it was about NYC's tech economy. Then it was about how tech has changed everything in society. We've finally nailed down our mission: it's a tech show about being human. But I think the show has evolved in tandem with our relationships with tech in real time! We are finally at a moment where we are over the initial shock and awe phase: NOW we are ready for serious (and fun) reflection and decision-making about how tech can actually make us better people.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What do you do when your not podcasting? What are some of your other interests ( / do you have time for any!).
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@ems_hodge 2 small children. That's it :) Oh, and I started working out again a year ago after a 7 year (!!!!!) hiatus.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@manoushz it seems like podcasting is really starting to gain mass appeal and great new shows are being created all the time. are there any topics or sections of society you feel are underrepresented or could benefit from a podcast with knowledgeable people in that area? (eg a podcast on GMOs or popular science topics, social justice, video games, etc.)
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alexcartaz a podcast for teens to help them with all the crazy decisions they have to make.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
@manoushz Hey! I tend to struggle to focus on listening to podcasts while working - do you have any advice on tips of how to do both efficiently? Or shall I just come to terms with the fact that I am not a multi-tasker :(
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@bentossell Ben. None of us are multi-taskers :) I would suggest listening to podcasts while doing mundane physical tasks (jogging, folding laundry, sit-ups). Your brain will thank you. And maybe your abs too.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What would you tell the 25 yr old version of yourself?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@eriktorenberg chill the f*ck out.
Ariana Tobin
Ariana Tobin@ariana_tobin · Producer, WNYC
@manoushz @eriktorenberg what about the 27 year old version of yourself?
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@manoushz @eriktorenberg but how?!? meditation? drugs? sex? religion? literature? majoring in asian studies?
Allie Habeeb
Allie Habeeb@alliehab
Hi @manoushz! Your podcast has become one of my "must listen to" podcasts. Seriously amazing work! I wanted to see if you might be doing an episode on virtual reality (and/or augmented reality) sometime in the near future? I've tried all of the major VR headsets currently available, and while I see the awesome potential for VR & AR, I do wonder what aspects of human interaction (and everyday life) will be lost in the mix. If you have any insights on this, or are planning an episode on VR/AR, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alliehab YAYY! thank you so much, Allie. I've been thinking about doing a VR show, just haven't quite figured out how to tackle it properly. What are your suggestions?? I'm so conflicted about it.
Allie Habeeb
Allie Habeeb@alliehab
Thanks so much for your answer @manoushz! I'm not sure what would be the best approach, but what I do find fascinating about VR is its ability to change expectations around conventional storytelling. Never before have we been able to actually be a part of a story -- we've only ever been passive viewers of a story that plays out on screen. Even video games don't quite get to the same level of personalization & interactivity. In VR, another person can look you straight in the eye, which can't happen with video games. There's also this great TED Talk by Chris Milk about how VR can become a way of making us more human and empathic than before, which might be interesting to explore: https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_...
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@manoushz Hi Manoush! 😀How often do you listen back to your own shows? Is that a good idea if looking to improve?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@mscccc YES. Mostly I hate listening back to myself and have to force myself to do it. But it's the only way I can get better. You can't improve a problem you don't know exists. just do it. but be kind to yourself.
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@manoushz "but be kind to yourself" - I love it 😀. Thank you!
Parisa Mansourian
Parisa Mansourian@ppmansourian · Designer, GLUCK+
@manoushz Hi Mansoush, I LOVE your podcast and in general, i'm so addicted to listening to WNYC. Don't have any particular questions at this moment, just wanted to join the chat and say hello:) Also, I saw you've been talking about books, "Everyware" by Adam Greenfield and "The Glass Cage" by Nickolas Carr are on my top suggestions list.
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@ppmansourian hey Parisa! Thanks so much. Agreed that Carr is up there and I will totally check out Everyware. You will love Turkle's new book.
Parisa Mansourian
Parisa Mansourian@ppmansourian · Designer, GLUCK+
@manoushz Thanks Manoush, I will definitely check it out. I am an architectural designer and maybe i shouldn't be interested in these topics;) but nothing makes me more exciting than researching/reading about human behaviors and human computer interaction, and I totally got the idea that why you had changed your podcast name from "New Tech City" to "Note to Self". All it matter is US:)
Melissa Joy Kong
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
I keep thinking about this old article on "Attention Deficit Trait" from 2005. I couldn't help but finish reading the article thinking, "This is totally me! I have ADT!" (1) How do you think technology and the massive amounts of information people have access to now has impacted our personal abilities to process information? (2) How can we better manage the flow?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@melissajoykong Melissa, I can't share all the details but THIS TOPIC is exactly what we're going to tackle with our next big engagement project in February. The overwhelm of information is CRUSHING ME. We need to figure out a way to deal with it and FOMO. Did you hear our show about the digital ad exec who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 45? He blames his gadgets. Doctors say he must have always had it.
Clarissa León
Clarissa León@clarissaleon · writer
How do you find/hone your ideas? And, to that note what are some of your worse ideas that you would be privy to share?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@clarissaleon my producers, Jen and Ariana, vet my craziest ideas. They also come up with a lot of good ones too. But mostly (and I'm really lucky) WNYC bosses have told me to follow my bliss and I think that's when you can really hear the joy in my voice. On the flip side, I've definitely had some ideas that were total turds. Simply scroll back in your podcast feed about 18 months ago to hear the real stinkers :)
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How and when did you know you were good at podcasting? Is it a natural skill or can anyone learn?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@eriktorenberg I was a news person...really good at getting soundbites. I had to really slow down and get better at listening before I was able to kill it longform. I guess anyone can do it but to really do well you also have to LOVE it.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What are your favorite interview questions?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@eriktorenberg to ask? I guess they would be: "and what happened then?" "god, what was going through your mind at that point?" "what didn't I ask you that I should have?"
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Not to hog this AMA but....Who do you think are the best interviewers in the game?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@eriktorenberg Ira Glass, Terry Gross, Brian Lehrer, Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jad Abumrad, Brooke Gladstone, Bill Moyers, Krista Tippet, Alec Baldwin, Anna Sale, Marc Maron....sheesh, this is so public-radio heavy but it takes time and practice talking to in-depth to people.
Clarissa León
Clarissa León@clarissaleon · writer
What kind of questions do you ask yourself before submitting your final podcast to the masses? Is there a quality check you always go through?
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
What's your origin story? How did you get into creating audio? Did you work with audio in undergrad?
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alexcartaz I was a TV and radio producer in the BBC's Washington bureau. We cut tape with razor blades. I am THAT OLD :)
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Who has the best voice in radio / podcasts? =)
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi@manoushz · Host of WNYC's Note to Self podcast
@alexcartaz every single lady behind the mic :) #vocalfry http://www.theonion.com/article/...
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Thanks for joining us @manoushz, we really enjoyed it! Looking forward to sharing your collections soon!