Who the Hell is Going to Listen to SQL Server on the Radio
About 3 years ago Matan Yungman contacted me and said he has an interesting proposition. We met and talked about all kinds of things, until I lost patience and asked him about his proposition. “What do you think about starting a podcast about SQL Server?” he said. The best response I could come up with was “What???”
Matan told me about other technology podcasts, such as .Net Rocks and Run as Radio. I wasn’t aware at the time of all the podcast industry, and it didn’t make sense to me that people will want to spend time listening to a podcast about SQL Server. I had just started to lead the Israeli SQL Server user group back then, and we already had several communication channels with the community, such as a Facebook group and a monthly newsletter. Matan continued and explained that a podcast can be another communication channel that we can use as a service for the community.
He got me curious. I started to learn about podcasts and how it works. We decided to give it a try. In the beginning, I thought we should initiate and maybe lead this activity, but not necessarily do the actual talking. We started to think about people in the community who can be a good fit as radio speakers. Then we decided to try it ourselves. Matan purchased a professional microphone, we turned the office into a studio, and we sat down to record the first show in Hebrew. And it was a lot of fun. I still didn’t think people are going to listen to this, but we both enjoyed doing it, which is a good thing by itself.
After a few shows, we began to receive feedback from people, and we began to realize that people actually listen to the show, and then even like it. This gave us confidence to continue, and the listening statistics kept rising. At some point, I remember telling Matan: “it’s crazy, people actually like it”. When we realized that it’s a success, we decided to start an English edition of the radio as well, and one year after we recorded the first Hebrew show, we recorded the first English show. Again, it took a few shows to get attention, but a few months later we already had hundreds of listeners, and with each show, the radio became more and more popular worldwide.
The fun part about recording the shows with Matan is that we get to talk about whatever we want to, and it’s like a casual conversation. In the first few shows, we planned exactly what we are going to talk about it, but later on we realized that we don’t really need it, and the shows get even better when we just talk about whatever is on our mind without planning.
So what do we talk about? Sometimes we just talk about interesting blog posts we read, or upcoming events we’re looking at, or interesting things we’ve been doing lately – like show #44 (SSMS Can Beep). Sometimes, we pick a topic and dedicate a whole show to that topic, going deep. For example, we dedicated show #13 to SQL Server monitoring. And we also bring guests to the show once in a while, like Steve Jones in show #42 and Brent Ozar in show #47.
Today we have thousands of listeners, and we receive great feedback from people all the time. Each time I attend a SQL Server conference somewhere in the world, like PASS Summit in Seattle or SQLBits in the UK, I’m still surprised when people approach me and say “hey, I know you from SQL Server Radio, I listen to every show”. We release a show every two weeks. So far, we have already released 62 Hebrew shows and 51 English shows. We have celebrated our 50th English show by doing something special…
If you have any suggestions or feedback about the radio, we would love to hear your thoughts. Tell us if you there are things you don’t like about it, or tell us about the things you do like. Are there any topics that you would like us to cover more? Are there any specific people that you would like us to invite as guests to the show? Please share your thoughts by commenting on this blog post. Thank you!