Veronica Belmont

Veronica Belmont

TV host, podcaster, and writer

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 26, 2015

Discussion

Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
Hi everyone, I'm Veronica! Currently, I'm the host of Dear Veronica for Engadget, where I answer viewer questions on everything from technology to social media etiquette. I'm also the host of Sword & Laser, a science fiction and fantasy book club, podcast, and video show. I started my career as an editor for CNET, and my continued love of technology has found a new outlet as a startup advisor. I've worked with companies such as Goodreads, About.me, Forge, Chic CEO, Trippy.com, and others. I'm currently working on two TV projects right now, and have hosted shows for BBC America and HBO. Looking forward to answering your questions here today about any of these projects and more!
Baratunde
Baratunde@baratunde
How did you get to be so awesome, and has anyone ever quantified your level of awesome??
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@baratunde I believe the measurement is done in burritos, so I'm approximately 33 burritos worth of awesome.
Elise Ramsay
Elise Ramsay@eliseramsay · Head of Community @ Eyegroove
@veronica Hey Veronica! I'd love to hear 1) what you find rewarding about TV vs online video, and how your process is different (or similar!) per medium. Also, 2) Who makes for a better date, Cthulhu or a ghost? 🔮
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@eliseramsay it really depends on what kind of date you're looking for. never bet against the old gods. for the first question, I'd say it's the interactions with viewers that makes it the most rewarding. social media has enabled us to have real-time discussions with fans, sometimes even during the creative process. they have a real say in the content now, which is incredibly valuable.
Josh Muccio
Josh Muccio@joshmuccio · Host of The Pitch
@veronica What do you think of podcasting so far (what are the pros and cons you've noticed as a host) and what are your thoughts on where podcasting is going in the future?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@joshmuccio the biggest con has always been, "how do we make any money without pissing off the fans?" especially for those of us who do podcasting as a job, it can be tough. But services like Patreon have made it a lot easier for both creators and fans to make that possible. I'd like to see Apple / iTunes make it a lot easier for smaller, less ingrained shows get attention, or even to manage their feeds a little easier. They don't offer a lot of support in that area, and that becomes a big hurdle for new shows.
Josh Muccio
Josh Muccio@joshmuccio · Host of The Pitch
@veronica I totally agree. Those are all pain points I've felt myself. I thought perhaps it was just me 😁
Chloe Nicholls
Chloe Nicholls@thatgirl_chloe
@veronica Hi Veronica thanks for joining us today! I'm really interested to hear your thoughts on the "future of TV" and the media industry? There has been a huge interest for live streaming apps i.e Periscope and Meerkat, and Facebook just launched Facebook Live (i.e. comedian Ricky Gervais is usually streaming videos with his cat, Ollie) but I think there is an even bigger appetite for rich content (i.e. Netflix generation who want their content on demand, plus produced by online media companies) which is really interesting! What the TV projects are you working on at the moment?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@thatgirl_chloe I would echo most of your thoughts -- people want their content where they want it, when they want it, and preferably without interruption. And as I mentioned in other comments, the ability to converse with and take feedback from viewers in real time is changing the game completely. Both of my new shows (which I can't talk about yet, unfortunately) have an element of audience interaction.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Hey Veronica, how do you evaluate the arc of your career? Did you know you always wanted to be doing what you're doing? Furthermore, what determines success for you professionally? Looking back, what do you want to say you accomplished?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@eriktorenberg oh boy! that's tough. no, I had no idea that I would end up doing these kinds of things. I went to school for audio production, so I saw myself as a sound engineer or studio tech. I fell into podcasting because I was a listener and understood how the production and promotion worked. Success for me if being able to have fun at my job, and make content that people enjoy. If I encouraged another woman to make her career in tech or media, I'll be happy.
Joe Ketterling
Joe Ketterling@joefitness · Owner, joefitness
@veronica Quick! First 5 words that come to mind! Go!
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@joefitness coffee snack burrito dog bowl
Irina Jordan
Irina Jordan@irinajordan · Director of Inbound Marketing
@veronia What social media platform holds the most promise now for developing relationships and for connecting with customers / fans and in the next 5 years based on the current landscape and why? Thanks!
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@irinajordan I don't know if it's been invented yet, honestly. I like the combo of Google Hangouts and live chat, but there's a lot more there that needs to be fixed first. Moderation is always a factor, and we're just not there yet.
Jim @ CWPBIZ
Jim @ CWPBIZ@cwpbiz · CHANGE with PURPOSE
@veronica Moderation has been my biggest challenge.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Both you and your husband host great podcasts =), do you listen as well? If so, what podcasts are you most excited about right now?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@alexcartaz I listen to too many shows!! I love 99 Percent Invisible, Radiolab, Mystery Show, Song Exploder (I don't listen to a lot of tech shows, weirdly). Though ReplyAll is one of my new favorites.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@veronica +1 for Mystery Show and ReplyAll (love what the Gimlet team is doing).
Matt Wiseman
Matt Wiseman@mattwiseman · Product guy ex-Google, YouTube
@veronica thanks for the AMA! What are the 3 or so most painful things you have to deal with in making your shows that there should be awesome tools to help you with?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@mattwiseman getting people to actually use the collaboration tools, like Slack. sometimes it's like speaking into a void. Great online scripting software would be nice. I currently use Google Sheets for all my scripts, and it's just not a perfect solution. And finally, scheduling! I just need a few extra clones around here....
Elise Ramsay
Elise Ramsay@eliseramsay · Head of Community @ Eyegroove
How is your dog celebrating National Dog Day? 🐶🎉
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@eliseramsay the same way she celebrates every day... by trying to take over the world.
Elise Ramsay
Elise Ramsay@eliseramsay · Head of Community @ Eyegroove
@veronica as she damn well should.
Matt Wiseman
Matt Wiseman@mattwiseman · Product guy ex-Google, YouTube
What are some of the biggest differences between working on TV projects at established places like BBCA and HBO vs. more online focused projects?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@mattwiseman being able to have creative control. even for Dear Veronica, which is owned by AOL / Verizon, I still get to write the scripts, have a say in the edits, and promote it however I want. You definitely don't get that kind of freedom when it comes to TV, unless you're extremely established (and even then...)
Jason Wise
Jason Wise@jawise · Sales & Marketing Leader @ Everstrat
@veronica Hi Veronica! What are some quick tips you'd offer up to someone new to writing for a professional audience?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@jawise well, what kind of writing?
Jason Wise
Jason Wise@jawise · Sales & Marketing Leader @ Everstrat
@veronica Blog posts for a site, medium, etc.
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@jawise I don't write about something unless I have very strong feelings about the topic. I have to know what I want to get across before I start, which sounds like Writing 101. I also try to consider all the other possible opinions that folks may have about that topic, and address those right off the bat instead of waiting to get into a comment war.
Jason Wise
Jason Wise@jawise · Sales & Marketing Leader @ Everstrat
@veronica Thank you!!
Ashrack
Ashrack@ashrack · Training developer, EMC
Awesome that you're playing Heroes of the Storm - so my softball question: which hero are you most partial to? Hardball question: There's such a focus on helping young girls get into science and technology. What about technology are you most passionate about? What kind of excitement would you share with today's youth about building their own passion?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@ashrack I'm really trying to get Jaina to level 10. just bought a stimpack last night to help get the rest of the way, but it's a slog. re:technology, for me it's all about making our lives more interesting, convenient and fun. I think it's hugely important to show young women (and boys!) that there are careers in STEAM that they may not have even thought about. Exposing them to cool jobs that have roots in tech and science can get them out of the mindset that it's all just sitting around a computer all day.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
@veronica if you could pick a character (from book or other media) to live as, who would it be?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@katesegrin all the characters I read have very interesting, very dangerous lives. I don't know if I want life to be *that* exciting all the time. Right now I love Kate Daniels from the Ilona Andrews series, but she gets her ass kicked a lot by all sorts of horrible creatures (and gives it back just as good). I'd like to be good with a sword.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
What's on your homescreen, Veronica?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@rrhoover It's not funny unless I show it as an image.
Pierre Paslier
Pierre Paslier@ppaslier · Founder at Skipping Rocks Lab
@veronica What moments of your work/life make you feel the most creative?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@ppaslier actually physically being in the studio with my producer and editors is always super fun and creative. we bounce ideas off one another and act them out, and it's much more potent than being on a conference call or Slack.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Veronica! Super excited to have you on LIVE. I've been watching your shows since early Revision3. What do you think of YouTube Gaming (which just launched today)?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@rrhoover Thanks Ryan! I'm a fan of your work as well ;) I'm excited about YouTube Gaming, though I'm a terrible Let's Play host. Mostly I just get angry and scowl a lot, which is only entertaining to some. But it's clearly a huge new platform for viewers and gamers -- they love watching as much as they love playing themselves.
Jim @ CWPBIZ
Jim @ CWPBIZ@cwpbiz · CHANGE with PURPOSE
@veronica I've watched my grandson transfixed for hours....just watching. Was a real eye-opener for me.
Toney L Thomas
Toney L Thomas@toneyltom · Pro wow player
Hi Veronica do you still play wow
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@toneyltom I just quit again recently (for the second time). I wasn't playing enough, and playing too much of other games. I'm really into Heroes of the Storm right now, and wrapping up Witcher 3 (which has taken the bulk of my gaming free time). I always go back to WoW eventually though!
Benjamin
Benjamin@hum_annoyed
@veronica are you going to dress up for The Force Awakens premier? And if so, what/who as?
Veronica Belmont
Veronica Belmont@veronica · Destroyer of Worlds (and PM at Disco)
@hum_annoyed I only really cosplay at DragonCon! My main outfit is a demon hunter from Diablo.