Behind the scenes of Random but Memorable
by Anna Eastick on
It’s Random but Memorable’s first birthday, and while we’re already into the third season of our security advice podcast, it feels like just yesterday we released the first episode.
“Random but memorable” is good advice for creating a strong Master Password, but it also applies to the discussions Matt Davey, Michael Fey (Roo), and I have on the show. Each episode blends informative discussions with humor as we talk about what’s new in the world of security.
In this post, we’re giving you a peek behind the curtain at how our podcast comes together.
You can’t just wing it when recording a podcast. That’s how you get long tangents about where to find the best tacos in Toronto. Which, while informative, isn’t exactly the breaking security news we want to cover. That’s why we have a list of items we need to complete before we can sit down and record.
Each episode focuses on a single theme or security topic. Since our goal is to help our audience make the best security choices, we keep an eye on the hot topics in security and privacy. This not only gives our guests an idea of what to talk about, but it also helps keep Matt and Roo on task during the conversation.
Once we’ve selected a theme, we research the latest stories for our Watchtower Weekly segment and decide which hack we’ll be revisiting that episode.
We’ve been lucky to have a wide range of insightful and fun guests join us for the podcast, including Troy Hunt, Bruce Schneier, and Dr. Jessica Barker. We look for guests who are experts in their fields, have valuable insight to offer, or have knowledge of a specific topic we think our audience might find interesting.
We like to keep things informal, but we also want our guests to feel comfortable and prepared when they record their part. We send them a list of questions before recording, as well as a Random but Memorable guest checklist to give them hints and tips so recording goes as smoothly as possible.
With our hosts located in different cities and time zones, scheduling can be tricky. We use a Zoom audio conference to bridge the distance and record each episode. Each host records the session locally to capture the best sound.
Since a podcast relies on good audio, one of the most important things we’ve learned is how crucial it is to invest in a quality microphone. Matt and I both use Rode mics, while Roo favors an Audio Technica ATR2100.
Editing the podcast is the most critical – and often challenging – part of the process. This is where I take a 90-minute recording and condense it down to a neat and clean 30-minute show.
I go through the content our hosts and guests have recorded and cut any content that’s not relevant, like unnecessary umms and aaahs that are inevitable during the course of a conversation. I also keep an ear out for any foul language slip-ups that need bleeping to keep the show family-friendly.
It’s also my responsibility to create the show notes that we share alongside the audio of each episode. These comprehensive notes are great for skimming over and referencing after listening. We often cover so much content in a single episode that this document can reach a double-digit page count.
Once the final edit has been cut, we’re ready to release! New episodes are available every other Tuesday on all major podcast channels and apps. You can listen and subscribe to Random but Memorable on Overcast, Pocket Casts, or iTunes.
Once the episode has gone live, we’re straight onto the next one, and the whole process starts over again!
If you love listening, please rate us or leave us a review on iTunes. Your feedback and suggestions mean the world to us.