From an incredible and extensive collection of vinyls--to an incredible and extensive knowledge of product management and strategy--Ben is a joy to talk to. I'm excited to share the insights he discussed on the show with all of you. - Feel free to stalk the XD Podcast on Instagram and as always thank you for listening, and if you enjoy what you're hearing, please share with your friends and co-workers :) -
Tony: Howdy friends. Welcome to the XD podcast, a show that explores how design shapes the way we experience brands, products, surfaces, and our everyday lives. As usual, I'm your host Tony Daussat. Whether you're joining me for the first time or have come back for more, I want to take a moment to thank you for tuning in--and if you find value in this show, I would be honored if you took a moment to share this episode, hit that subscribe button wherever you're listening, or left a review. It's always greatly appreciated. And with that, what do you say we just jumped right into the interview?
Here we are with Ben Newell. Thank you so much for being here on a Saturday, sitting down with me. Before we start, I just have to say that you have maybe the greatest music collection of records ever. Um, if you, if you follow him on Instagram, you'll see that this guy's just collection-- It's like boggling. So what do you, what do you a spinning right now? What are you playing?
Ben: Oh Man. Uh, I just got on discogs. This is a record player market studio. And so I've been like buying all this stuff from the early two thousands when vinyl was kind of dead and no. Yeah. Uh, stuff he couldn't get. So like Ray and Christian, um, man, I just got, we'll butler, who's a, the other part of Arcade Fire. Uh, he's the of breath from arcade fire and his album was amazing, um, from just a couple of years ago. But Leon bridges is just a good things. The latest record is constantly in our house constantly.
Tony: Yeah. Do your kids like the LP thing?
Ben: Like, yeah. You know, they got into it. They, uh, it was really under my own kind of laziness because listening to records, one of the things you forget is that it means getting up every three songs and a turn the record over if you want to keep listening to it. So I had to get the kids into like, hey, kids, go flip the record over a, so they had to get that figured out pretty quick. Um, but yeah, they get into it. Family, you know, Friday night is like our time. We listened to records.
Tony: Oh, that's cool.
Ben: Yeah, it's fun, man. So thank you for the compliment on them. That means a lot to it.
Tony: I, I remember running into you at, at the Allen Stone concert and I was like, oh yeah, yeah. Anyway. Um, so let's dive into some goodies. You and I used to work together on TripCase. It's a itinerary management app. And with that and beyond that, what's a little background on you, what you do now and how you got there?
Ben: Sure. Um, well today I'm the vice president of product at rewardStyle, which is a technology platform for influencers in the influencer marketing space. Uh, helping them monetize their content. And a really, you know-- people we work with are a bunch of entrepreneurs who have decided to quit their day jobs and really do what they love and, and we support them in doing that. Um, so it's a new technology platform, but getting to that, yeah. Point in my career is, um, you know, I think lots of people ask me about product, like how do you get into product management? How do you kind of escalate into that? My story is not too dissimilar from lots of people. I was an engineer by training. I got my degree in industrial engineering, Illinois. He now calls that systems engineering and I think that that's pretty indicative of how I think about things. Uh, I tend to be very big picture and that served me quite well in my career to move into product management. But you know, my first few years were in consulting and custom software development.
Tony: Oh really?
Ben: Yeah, uh, and then kind of found my way into our research and development labs area at Saber and uh, and then stumbled upon TripCase with a great group of people who were working on that. And uh, and really just pushed it from there. And My desire to see things get better and see things holistically really pushed me towards product. And, uh, over time I, I started to really care a lot about the experience of making software and that's kind of led me to today.
Tony: What methodology or style or approach to take for product management?
Ben: Yeah. Uh, I have created my own little style, but generally it revolves around agile philosophies and principles of product management. Um, you know, transparency is really important to me. Uh, customer focused research is a big part of what I like to do to make sure that what we're building are the right things in almost any situation in software development. Your investment, you wish it was more. And so every single thing you decide to do, you decide to put time against. Um, I love fail fast and I totally agree with that, but I want to fail less often and we can do that with advanced work and some research to really make sure we understand our customers and, and what they're looking for. So, uh, you know, those are some of the core elements of the philosophies I practice from a product management perspective.
Tony: And that is something that I, that I sort of live by is that that failure is not the opposite of success. It's just a stepping stone to success. And it's true if you do everything after that, right? So you can win at failing and you can fail at failing. Yeah. That's really well said. Uh, I might steal that from you too.
Ben: That's really good. It's, uh, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to be successful with the things that we build and as designers and as product management, architecture, uh, developers, we really want to make sure that we'd get it right. And I think that that initial is what drove a lot of people towards this fail fast. Because when you, when you have that approach, you tend to overthink things. You tend to analyze them for long lengths of time and, and really only, um, put yourself out there with your product when you feel that it's perfect or when you feel that it's right. And so, you know, fail fast as soon as the agile methodologies came from the fact that, well, you're probably never going to get that right the first time. Uh, no matter how hard you think about it. And so get something out there so that you can start learning from that.
And then really perfect that over time, uh, with customer feedback and you know, it these days, that sounds, uh, at least to me anyway as like so basic and so we'll, how else would you do it? Um, but I come across people in our community or I come across situations in my own company where it's like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, we're not doing that and we need to make sure that we are. And so even though those things feel, um, fairly common or are fairly obvious, he's still got to work to make sure that they happen.
Tony: What is your team comprised of right now?
Ben: I actually really love my team structure today. When I came to rewardStyle, had an opportunity to build out my team, kind of define how I wanted it to exist. And so I have product management and design, um, pretty, pretty core, uh UX team. But I also have two other components which are maybe a little different that I really like, which is customer success. So our, our support team as you might think of them. Uh, and over time I've had our business intelligence team, uh, work with me as well and work in reporting to me. So, um, those might seem a little odd at first, but when you think about that philosophy that just shared, which is how do we connect with customers, how do we make sure we listen to what's happening in the market? You really get both the quantitative and qualitative versions of that via those teams. And, uh, it's been something, it's, again, it's a little weird, it's not something that every product manager would, I would expect to have, but I really enjoy it because it makes sure that we are connected to our customers.
Tony: How do you inspire your team to sort of all work together with all of these different departments? Are they bouncing around or is it siloed?
Ben: We're a small enough company, we have about 250 people worldwide today.
Tony: Oh Wow.
Ben: That it allows us to really connect with each person inside the company. As a, as a product manager. And I really liked this size. It's really nice for me. Um, you asked her about how I inspire teams. For me, that's my, that's my voice. That's my personal connection. Um, I love to speak. I love to spend time in front of the teams talking about why we do things. Really helping them understand who our customers are. Putting faces on those customers, putting real problems that those customers are experiencing. Um, and then laying out a path and a direction that they can see as to how we want to try to help them solve those problems. Now that that path is still a little foggy as they look down at, you know, I don't like to lay down a very prescriptive, this is exactly what we want to do. I like to lay down a little bit, uh, more strategic and longer term direction so that people can understand where we want to go, but at the same time, give them the latitude to feel that they can define that path. When you talk about inspiring people, to me it's about giving them clear direction on what that looks like, but at the same time, the latitude to define that for themselves and leverage their own skills and their own backgrounds and their own practices and bring those to the team and really help the team think about how we push those things forward. So, uh, inspiration for me is really that personal connection. And so size of the companies important for me.
Tony: The more people that are in the company, like something like Saber, you know, 10, 12, 13,000 people and that is just a mountain.
Ben: Yeah. And it's, you know, relative that's still like a medium sized company. I mean, you could imagine 100,000 people companies. Um, yeah, I did that if for a few years of trying to evangelize product management at Saber and trying to push that forward. Um, and it's tough, uh, especially when you take, you know, the way I feel most effective is with that personal connection. And so it's a lot of work. And, and getting around to each of the teams, there are great strategies that, you know, people have deployed at, at those size companies to help them share that message, whether it be video or whether it be, um, you know, kind of the written, uh, written word. Uh, I was just reading recently about a CEO and startup space who had taken the time to write a weekly message every Friday of just here's my thoughts, here's what I saw happen this week. Um, here's what's happening inside our company. And a very kind of loose just connection that they could form with people. So, you know, if you can't touch every person or talk to every person individually are still great ways to help connect.
Tony: Yeah. Just be human. Really.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah.
Tony: Especially cause we're, we're all designing for humans. I think really cool that I heard that I think MailChimp does is they actually print out their users on these massive posters with all these different words and bio's and they sort of become their personas. And uh, they, they pointed that on a daily basis. You know, these are the people that we're designing for. And I think there's some power to that cause a lot of times when designing we uh, we forget and we get a little too close to the canvas as it were.
Ben: Yeah. I was at uh Airbnb a few years back and they had their personas printed out and they brought in Disney animators, uh, to really put this like beautiful visual against their personas.
Tony: That's really cool.
Ben: Really pushed that. I just, uh, one of my team members, David Reams, he teaches up at UTD and he asked me to come up and do a session on persona creation and how valuable it is. And I think you hit at the heart of it, which is what we tend to either one way or the other, we start designing for data and developing for the data. How do we move these numbers, which you know, you need to do ab testing, optimization. These tools give us an opportunity to design for data or you go the other way and you end up in lots of cases, especially if you're close to something and you love what you do, you design for yourself like, well I would really love this or that would really make me happy if our product did this. Uh, and neither of those are very good.
Ben: So personas help you kind of land in the middle there. We do continue to have that human presence, but at the same time they are informed with data and they, they uh, can really help you make sure you get it right for style.
Tony: Is it, is it a living evolving persona or does it stick for like a year or a six month sort of thing? How often do you check that and say, okay, is this, does this still ring true for the humans that we're designing for?
Ben: Yeah, we've got a couple different customer sets and you know, we've got our consumers via the light to know it product, which is our consumer application and the consumer changes a lot as that grows quickly. Right. Adding a bunch of new users to that, that one changes more frequently and it's harder to keep a good persona like informed. We, we, we tweak it, we evolve it. That one changes a lot more in our, uh, what we might call B to B space or you know, just thinking outside of our business and the B2B world, they tend to stay a little longer for us. That would be influencers or that would be big retailers or brands who we would work with, but that tends to stick around for about a year I would say is about enough time where we want to be sitting down with it again and kind of reviewing it. But those tend to stay a little a bit longer. Well, quite frankly, you just have less number of customers than you do on the consumer side. Uh, and so the consumers, I can change, you know, millions of people in a year. And so that, that certainly evolves your profile for you designing for.
Tony: I'm not the first to say it, but I definitely think that there's some truth to this where we're all designers. You know, some of us might have designer on our title, but in effect we're all moving this thing in this design capacity city. Do you think that's true?
Ben: You talked about experience design and can a year you're opening podcasts in the experience, the experience and what that means. And I believe across a company that touches everything and the product is a big part of that. So the experience that customers have is informed by the marketing, is informed by obviously your product and the, the user experience inside of that. Uh, it's also informed by your customer service and the support that they get later. And everyone should be thinking about what that full experience is that your customers have. And so in our product and design space, yes, I do think that's true. I absolutely think that everybody needs to consider how we're designing that experience.
I've often inside my own team and across other parts of the organization over my career, we've tried to draw lines between UX and product management. And I have found that it's one of the hardest lines that I've tried to draw people like people like clear guidance on what their roles and responsibilities are. Uh, it has value for sure and in some cases it's pretty easy to draw those lines. But I have found that between UX design and product management, it's the hardest line I've tried to draw. And in fact at this stage kind of given up on it and just said like, Hey, you've got expertise and experience in this particular side of it. You've got expertise in experience over here. I want you both to work on it together and bring both of your expertise and skill sets to the table to make that successful.
So yes, I do think everybody ends up being a designer, but at the same time recognizing that UX designers have expertise and the skill set and uh, and training in some very specific areas. And sometimes that's hard for people to cross those lines. And it's important for a designer, so to feel that recognition of their expertise as well.
Tony: How much of your role is strategy looking forward with the product and how do you plan that out like roadmapping, etc.
Ben: At the VP level. So I have directors of product management and then they have product managers under them and at the, at the VP level, really almost all of my work is around strategy and helping our teams understand where we want to take our products. How do you plan? Strategy is always a tough question and I'll always have uh, people across the organization come and say, Hey, I'd really like to help provide some thoughts or, or sit in on some of these strategy discussions.
So can you just, can you plug me into that? And the answer is always yes, I want your feedback. I want everybody to feel like they're part of the strategy. But despite your thoughts of how it might function, there is no strategy meeting. Like sometimes I might take dedicated time to sit down and really honed my thoughts on what those things look like. But strategy is occurring all the time. In every meeting, it's occurring in the standup where I get a chance to listen to the teams and the problems that they're facing. It's occurring when I'm out at an event meeting customers, it's occurring, uh, as we work closely with our marketing counterparts on how we craft message. And so it's tough to really say, oh, strategy occurs in this one place. Uh, it's occurring all the time and helping inform where you want to drive those things.
So how do you convey it? How do you bring everybody involved? I have found from a product perspective that a roadmap is a great way to do that. It gives everybody clear understanding of where we want to go. But you can structure roadmaps in a way that they have less rigor and less date driven than I think lots of people are used to seeing. I have always said for our roadmap that within three months we're about 80% accurate. Within six months we're about 60% accurate and beyond six months were about 20% accurate against those roadmaps. And so setting clear expectations with everyone in the organization about what this thing really means. It's not a Gantt chart, it's not a, it's specifics, uh, set of deadlines for the organization. It is directional. And in turn, what I have found that a nice way to convey that is via just the form that it takes.
I'll create this great big wall of posted notes and you probably remember this from our days, but um, I've continued to do that and I have found it to be really helpful. And so I lay out streams for our organization kind of loosely based around the capacity of our teams or our investment. Kind of put that on its side over time. And then rough kind of how long do we want to invest in this thing? So maybe we want to invest in it for a couple of months. Um, let's lay that out. And then the next thing after that, we think that's a little bigger. We're probably going to have to invest in it for four months, but don't spend a ton of time on that because beyond six months it's 20% accurate. And so I've always used that as a great way to convey transparently what we're doing. Putting it up on the wall.
Everyone has it in a spreadsheet and I'm sure everybody says, oh well everyone has access to this Google sheet or everyone has access to this drive and they can pull it up anytime they want and look at it, but I bet if you looked at how many people actually pull it up and look at it, it's quite small and so I have found printing it out big. We're talking, you know, 12 feet by six feet big and pasting it on the wall, right where everyone walks by to me is one of the most effective ways to communicate that more clearly and give everyone every day a sense of where we're heading and then doing it in posted notes says, I'm going to change it, right? We're going to take these down, we're going to put these other ones up. That to me has been a really great way to convey the roadmap, which in turn is it is a reflection of your strategy.
Tony: That's really cool. I couldn't agree more with being able to visualize it, you know, on a huge wall. And that's such a good point. The post-it note, like what that represents as this can be moved and moved rather easily. When we're talking about ideas-- there's some industry terms we're going to throw out there that might make some people cringe because they're overused. So there's some ideas that you come to the table with that are less sort of blue sky thinking and then others that are like low hanging fruit. How do you validate and prioritize those when, when some people are really jazzed by the blue sky stuff cause it's cool and it's, and it's forward thinking but then this low hanging fruit stuffs like we gotta get this done because it's easy, it's quick, it's low effort, but it might not have a huge impact.
Ben: Yeah, I think this is, and one of the hardest challenges of my career is to, to combine these two things together into a structure of the the hard things that take a long time to do but are really differentiated and really unique and, and they're hard and others can't do them. And so by you tackling them, you create some differentiation, whereas at the same time you recognize that you didn't get that product perfect the first time he rolled it out back to our philosophy. And so how do I continue to iterate on that in small improvements that make that better and how do I deal with those low hanging fruit? I have to say, I don't have a perfect answer for this. It's very challenging and it's the constant kind of back and forth. I've used the analogy many times of a story I heard and I wish I could remember exactly where it was from, but I don't think it's totally necessary.
It was a professor in front of a class and he laid out a big glass jar and he put big rocks in it and filled it up to the top. And asked everyone if the jar was full and they all said yes. And then he got out a bunch of medium size rocks and he poured those in and they filled around the big rocks and he asks if it was full and everyone said yes. And then he got out a jar of sand and he poured that and, and it filled in around the medium rocks and the big rocks and uh, again then asked if it was full and everyone said yes. So what I like to try to keep that mantra for our roadmap, which is let's lay out those big rocks or uh, sometimes I refer to them as anchors. These are the big initiatives for the company that we have to maintain a focus on in order to be successful.
But they are, they are going to take a long time. They are big things that require really hard work from us in order to make them successful. And then I look for those medium sized rocks across the organization and tend to really try to pull from the other parts of the organization. What are these kinds of things that you're looking for? We'll take in, you know, a hundred of those ideas and maybe get to 10 of them on the year, right? That's an area where I want everybody to feel like Dave shared lots of ideas and that will respond to some of them and then we work hard to try to create space for these, for these little rocks, the sand and the scenario. And there's a couple things I've done over the years that I've liked. Uh, we did an initiative that Emily Tate reminded me of the other day called good to great new, you may remember this too Tony, but we would get people together and we would just walk through our product and we would really focus on the Polish and the small things that could really drive the product and just make it feel a little bit better.
These were often things we could do in less than a week's time. They really quick and we'd build a great big list of them and then we would dedicate some time and iteration. We would say this is the good to great iteration. And for this two week period, we'd go to that list and we pull off the things that we thought were, you know, quick and easy to do at the same time they were valuable and we would just spend and time box that and say, we're gonna spend two weeks ago. That worked extremely well for us. And I think it's something that, you know, really anyone can do. We also would do something that we call developer's choice, which was really, um, to acknowledge that there were great ideas inside our engineering organization that that may not necessarily be getting to us. And we want it to create space for our development teams to feel empowered to make the changes that they wanted to make.
Um, and that maybe they just didn't want to bring to us. Maybe they were too small to really for them to think that they were important. Um, but we always felt that was really important. We've got a lot of value out of that. So again, we would timebox and say, hey, for this iteration, it's developer's choice as products. We're just going to sit back and relax here for these two weeks and you guys have got it. You're going to decide what you do, you're going to write the stories for it, you're going to lay it out and execute it. Um, our teams always loved that on the engineering side, but one of the things that I always found interesting as product is that the appreciation that they gained for some of the challenge of our job, uh, when they went through and tried to size things or tried to break them down into smaller components, uh, or tried to articulate why something was valuable, we always came out of that with, uh, some of the developers come in by going, hey, uh, I really appreciate everything you guys do.
Cause that was actually pretty tough. And uh, that's important. It's really important. I had read a tweet, it is Jeff Gothelf who was one of my favorite writers. He wrote ‘Lean UX’ and a, a great book called ‘Sense and Respond’ just recently. And he was talking about if the team owned the budget, would they hire the product manager?
Tony: Oh, interesting.
Ben: And I just really liked that and I've stressed it a lot to my team members, which is you gotta be value. You are, you're a member of the team and you got to provide value. You're not inherently there. If you're not bringing value to the team, uh, then they're not going to spend the budget on you. And I really liked that mindset for the teams to make sure that they understood they're an important valuable member of the team and they bring a unique skillset to the team.
Tony: So what gets you up in the morning? What does some of your passions right now?
Ben: I'll, I'll maybe like work and then personal and because we already talked about vinyl, old vinyl, a loan for a little bit, but uh, at work right now it's, it's about how to set good objectives and goals for the company. I'm really trying hard to figure that out. We've adopted an OKR process to spend a lot of time researching that, trying to understand, to me, you think about, um, as you get further in your career or higher up in the organization, it really becomes about putting people in the right place, a helping point them in the right direction and then getting out of the way. And in order to do that, you have to set clear goals. You have to have a good scoreboard. We talk about measures. Are we talking about key results?
To me, I think of that as a scoreboard and I use that analogy a lot at work and I always think about what if you had no scoreboard in a game, what would happen? What would that basketball game look like? If there was no scoreboard, you'd have no idea who was winning. People would generally kind of quit playing like then they're just kind of goofing off. Or what if halfway through the third quarter, the core, the scoreboard stopped keeping score and the game continued. What does that create for the teams on the court when the scoreboard isn't working or it's never really set up at all? And if you put that analogy to the organization and you kind of think about that same thing, if you're not setting clear objectives and you're not setting measures and you're not setting clarity around the key results that you want the team to drive towards, then there is no scoreboard.
And that if you can envision what that basketball game would look like in your head, that's probably a lot like what the organization looks like if you don't have a good score board in order to keep that in mind. So I've been pushing really hard and spending a lot of time just researching and trying to understand how others are doing this. Uh, in order to get that set up inside the organization. I think we've made great progress. I'm excited about what we've done, but we still have a ways to go and it still doesn't feel perfect to me. So my passions and my, my background thoughts, uh, spend a lot of time coming back to how do I set up that scoreboard properly.
Tony: That it's really cool. I know nothing about sports and I mean nothing. I know there's a ball involved with basketball.
Ben: Because it’s in the name.
Tony: Right?! And like, soccer--I don't know what's going on. And I've never heard that metaphor before but that is so interesting and insightful and I think the more we can think of it in terms like that, I mean I'm, I'm a big metaphor guy. Some people work that way, some people don't. For me it just starts clicking in areas that may be too nebulous.
Tony: All this to say you inspire me. This is really awesome stuff. But I can't end without my question that I ask every guest, which is: what object or thing that you own means the most to you or has impacted your life the most and why? Non-Digital I should mention non-digital.
Ben: Well it's interesting. You talk about the non digital... I just finished this book by David Sachs called ‘the Revenge of Analog’ and it talks about how physical things are making this comeback into society. That for a while we thought everything was going to go to check our books. We're going to be a digital art. Obviously hard movies in our stream is just our music, you know, big one for me, our film, our photography that all of these things we're going to go digital and that no, no physical goods would exist anymore. And the whole book is about how these things are actually making a comeback. And, uh, it is a fairly obvious answer for me, but vinyl is, is where it lives for me. And I spend a lot of time and reading. The first chapter of the book is about how vinyl is making a comeback. And if, if you're not aware of this and certainly has over the last 20 years, it's really made a push.
But I bought this amazing, uh, vertical record player. It's upright. That's from a company in Chicago called Gramma Vox. And, uh, it sits in our living room and plays and spins upright. And my wife got it for me for our 10th anniversary, our 10th wedding anniversary. And we had spent some time talking about what we wanted to get and we wanted to get some art and we struggle to come together on what are, we only have like four or five pieces in the whole house because that's how many over the last 12 years we were able to align around. And so we're spending time with it. We were trying to look for stuff. We couldn't really find anything. And she comes in and she says, Hey, I found something for you. And I thought that our art could be your records. And, uh, that was just an amazing gift from my wife.
Ben: You're like, oh, well what did I get you? Like, oh no.
Ben: Uh, but that is, it now sits in our living room. We spend the majority of our time listening to music and, uh, just, you know, sitting around as a family playing games and talking. And so that's, by bringing that into our living room and, and creating that space for it, it's really changed a lot of our interaction as a family and our love of music. And then my love of music and vinyl can come out as well. So that's probably the thing that I, the physical thing that I, uh, put the most stock in in our house.
Tony: That is great. Yeah. The thing that I love about vinyl is when you listen to songs or albums on Spotify, etc, you can skip ahead. You can select your favorites to listen to, go back, skipped forward, go on shuffle… But if you think about how artists create their records, they tell a story from start to finish and vinyls force you to experience it that way. The way that it was meant to be listened to. Much like reading a book.
Ben: Amen. We should shift this whole podcast and talking about yeah, just do the whole thing. But like, you know, artists set those up: side A, side B, there's a, there's a whole point of where besides came from, it came from the other side of the record and they would, most artists, especially those who are making music that relates well to vinyl and they recognize people are probably going to listen on vinyl. Um, create different moods for each side. Societies typically, typically this is like a more a beat side a and side B's a more mellow side and there are sides of records. That's how I think of music. You know, side B of ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ has three of the most amazing songs in the world on it. And we will, you know, we don't think about putting on particular songs. We think about putting on sides.
Tony: It all goes back to creating experiences.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely.
Tony: Well, I want to thank you again for being here and I hope we can chat again.
Ben: Thank you Tony. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it. And uh, hope. I think we got into some fun stuff there. Hopefully if people get a couple of nuggets to take away.
Tony: We did. And I'll, I'll put your Linkedin in the show notes so people can find you.
Ben: That'd be great.
Tony: And with that, we will call it a week. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and if you did, be sure to share it with your friends, family, or coworkers. As always, you can find the show notes and full transcript at xdpodcast.com or stalk me on Instagram @xdpodcast. I can't wait to have you back next week, but until then, friends… stay curious. The XD Podcast is part of XD Media LLC, and it's produced and edited by me, Tony Daussat. Hosting and publication of the podcast is through Buzzsprout.