I received an email from a listener who has a difference of opinion when it comes to God. Apparently me saying “God Bless” at the end of my podcast is offensive. Here is his email:

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but I've listened to the last episode of School of Podcasting that I'll be listening to.  Normally I'd just unsubscribe and move on with my life, but since you've given me a lot of good advice, I thought it would be fair to return the favor.
Your inability to get through a show without letting us all know what religion you are is utterly insufferable to me, as I'm sure it is to many of your former listeners.  I don't begrudge you your faith, but if I wanted to listen to someone babble about their imaginary sky-buddy, I'd download a religion cast.  With an informational podcast, I should not know anything at all about (a) your religion or (b) your politics.  I'm sure you aren't intentionally narrowing your audience, but you are very effectively limiting your audience.
I would look at it the same way I look at profanity in a podcast (and sorry for comparing Jesus to profanity, but I think you'll appreciate the analogy).  Nobody will ever quit listening to your podcast because it doesn't have enough profanity, but plenty of people will stop listening because it does.  I would strongly recommend you leave the religious references out in the future, and hopefully atheists like myself (and the 20% of Americans who do not believe in God) will feel welcome when listening to your show.
Thanks for all the great work,
Aaron Davies.
ps This would probably make a great subject to discuss on a future episode.
Here is my response:

I listen to George Hrab's podcast (as an Atheist you should check it out). When George talks about the religious morons of the week, he is being George. I wouldn't expect anything else from him. In the United States of America I would fight for the right for George to say his opinion – even if it directly conflicts with mine. You have the right to tune me out, as do I when I listen to George. I know George is a skeptic, and he knows I went to “preacher school” before I quit (religion, not God, drives me nuts). While I could cut George out of my life (we just did an hour live at the NMX) then I would miss all the things we agree on because we disagree on one thing. That would be a shame (and kind of intolerant). I've helped skpetics start podcasts (to not do so wouldn't really be showing God's love now would it?), heck if Jesus was alive today he'd be hanging out with crack heads and politicians. Not that skeptics are crack heads, my point being Jesus hung with everyone. He did not discriminate.It is you choice to unsubscribe, I can't stop you. I wish you the best in all you do. I am Dave Jackson. I'm a Christian. I'm a podcasters. I'm trying to lose weight. I'm a guitar player. I'm a husband and step father. For me to not talk about any of these subjects would stop me from being me, and people can spot a phony a mile away. It was never my intention to offend anyone. Be well,Dave

I could have also added Robert Chazz Chute who was very helpful to me when I was writing my book. He is an atheist. This doesn't mean he is sacrificing goats and small children in the back yard. He makes me laugh. I like his books. We disagree on God.

What Happens When You Worry About Offending Everyone

When you remove all opinion that offend everyone, you end up with a morning news station that talks about the winner of American Idol instead of what is really going on in the world. You end up with content that in my opinion is unlistenable. I once worked for a company where ONE customer complained and the owner made SWEEPING changes. The result? A MASSIVE change in customer service in a NEGATIVE way. While I can name all sorts of people who stand up for what they believe (John Stewart, Ted Nugent, Donald Trump, Ellen DeGeneres), I have a hard time remembering people who never stood up for anything, or stood for anything. This doesn't mean your goal is to BE offensive. You're goal should be to be yourself while you create great content that is a “Must listen” or “Must watch.”

Koodos to Dr. Nina

Dr. Nina and her “Win the Diet War Podcast” is listed in the “New and Noteworthy” after just two episodes. What did she do?

1. She had a professional create her album artwork
2. She spent some money for voice over, and royalty free music
3. She spent money and got a good microphone (2100), and a portable recorder.

She took her award winning content that was on her blog and added her tone of voice and made a podcast out of it.

Healing Our Marriage Podcast Episode 1

Healing Our MarriageHealing Our MarriageAfter talking about it for a while, the first episode of Healing Our Marriage is available, and the Healing Our Marriage podcast is available in iTunes. Here is the description:

Dave and Diane didn't start off hating each other, but a few years into their marriage they were on each others nerves all the time. Their families told them to get divorced, but they've decided to try to apply all the knowledge they've learned in therapy. They share tips and insights that they've learned as they struggle to heal their marriage. Come along for the journey with this non rehearsed, real life, reality radio show.

The Worst Presentation with the Best Message

The LiveLab people at the expo put on a great play call Inventing the Future. Right now when you go to the youtube preview it has a “Click here to watch episode 1” that doesn't work. When I was there live, they promised interactivity (but didn't have any REAL interactivity), they delivered a very polished, scripted play. I feel they have no idea who their audience was, and I felt their presentation was very old media. If we make it sound good, look good, and tell them its cool, they will think its cool. That's old media. How about you give us the facts, the features, and let us decide? That's what Ford did, and I walked out of the expo with a totally new opinion of Ford Motor company. Why? Because they spoke TO us, not AT us. They revealed what worked for them, and then what didn't. By exposing their areas that didn't work, it create an intimacy. I trust them now, because they obviously trust me. Why else would they expose themselves? They were real. They treat me as an equal. They delivered what they promised.

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
14 comments on “I’ve Got To Be Me – Tales From The Expo 2
  1. Hey, Dave!

    I appreciate your mention of Christianity in your podcasts. You admit that you are not necessarily a good Christian, but we would probably say the same if we were honest. I know I don’t agree with particulars of your beliefs, but I think it’s the same with all of the podcasts I listen to. It would probably be different if you had a podcast where that was the main focus (and I probably wouldn’t listen to that one), but it’s different when it’s just dropped in here and there.

    Like you said, it’s part of who you are: you can’t dissect yourself (at least, I would hope not). I agree whole-heartedly. One of my core values is “faith:” and that’s because my faith is interwoven into everything I do. What I believe ultimately determines what I do and what I say. I’ll be starting my own podcast in the near future, and I’ve come to the determination that I won’t be able to separate my faith from the show. I’ll do my best to not offend, but, like you, I’d rather offend a few and be myself.

    Thank you very much!

  2. Dave Jackson says:

    Well, I thought about that statement. Being a Christian is always a bit of a journey instead of a destination. So I’m not sure I’ll ever go, Yep, I’m done. I’ve achieved being a Christian that never does anything wrong. So it’s that whole, “All have sinned and fallen short…” I guess I shouldn’t beat myself up so much.

  3. Billy Delaney says:

    What would be the limit for me Dave, is if you stopped using ‘Really!’ the way you do. It says so much about you.
    Roll on, do as you do; and know that there are more for you than anything else.

  4. Dave Jackson says:

    Coming in a close second is, “Seriously?”

  5. Billy Delaney says:

    Ha! “Really?”

  6. Billy Delaney says:

    I laughed, more than twice… Simply the best.

  7. Florante says:

    Hi Dave,

    I just asked a question about religion in my email, and I didn’t realize that the answer is already here. I think you nailed every point perfectly. We can’t please everybody and we should never try to do so, otherwise, we’ll never really know who we are and what we stand for. Stand up for your faith, and you’ll know who’s with you and who’s not. Disagree without being disagreeable.

    God bless. 🙂


  8. James H. Carter II says:

    Hi Dave, I’m a long time listener and I briefly spoke with you at Blogworld NY last June. For the most part I agree with what Aaron Davies said. I follow the rule “Don’t talk about religion and politics at the dinner table.” I don’t think Aaron was implying that you should be phony on your podcast but discussing such heated topics that do not relate to the topic of a podcast can be not only offensive but also alienating to some of your listeners. Interjecting little tidbits about your family is not the same as talking about your religious and political beliefs. I believe that including off topic content that could be offensive or alienating is the same “bait and switch” you were talking about when you were discussing knowing your audience. I listen to your show to get information and to be inspired “in all things podcasting” and I have been offended when you discuss your religious and political views. My views are the exact opposite and It makes me feel alienated. I believe you have a right to talk about whatever you want on your own podcast but I also believe that there is a time and place for everything. I continue to listen to your podcast because I can handle being offended from time to time but I do wish that content was not there.

  9. Dave Jackson says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it. To better understand what I’m saying that is offensive. Can you clue me in on something I specifically said that made you feel alienated? Or is the phrase “God Bless” offensive? I’m trying to understand. – Dave

  10. What religion are you? I can say I’ve heard you making general statements but not that you are a Jesus freak, cult follower or something inbetween.

    Wait a minute. Now that I think about it you do exclaim “Oh my God” quite often, which is usually followed by “a-kaka a-poopoo” within a few seconds of discussing poor audio quality.

  11. Andrew McGivern says:

    Hi Dave,

    I just wanted to say that I don’t think an “informational podcast” should just present the facts as Aaron suggests. I would rather listen to shows where the hosts are willing to reveal aspects of their personality and personal lives. In shows like yours where you are authentic and personal, I am able to connect more with the show and enjoy the content more. I don’t like cold and impersonal “report the facts only” shows.

    Also, I have never been offended by you mentioning the fact that your a Christian or if you say “God Bless”. I’m totally ok with whatever religious views you or anybody else may have. The only exception is if a the show becomes preachy (on a non religious podcast) or puts down other religions or beliefs. And that would include an athiest going out of his way to make fun of people who have religious beliefs (unless it is a skeptic / anti religious podcast). It bothers me when people are intolerant of the cultural and spiritual differences of others.

    I’m glad I’m not so hyper sensitive to people who are different than me. I’d be missing out on a ton of great content if I only consumed content from people exactly like me. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.

  12. Dave Jackson says:

    I was raised baptist, but after studying to be a baptist pastor for two years I have sworn off all denominations (better known as religion). I want to to be me and God. simple.

  13. Jeff Roney says:

    Wow, first someone emailed you about how you said a word, and now someone emailed you about you signed off with a blessing from an entity that listener doesn’t believe in. To me, in this first amendment, melting pot world it seems like it is getting less so. Maybe it’s the millions of specific niche podcasts, TV shows, magazines, facebooks, etc, we are drawn to who we are most like. The trouble with that is that we don’t learn from others with different points of views than us.

    As podcasters, whether someone teases with their subscription or their 5 star rating on itunes for you to change you (as a podcast host, for example) to suit their tastes or views, it sanitizes life to the point that we can’t be ourselves. It seems like must constantly change “us” to suit those we are speaking to in a podcast. Even if we “know our audience,” our audience stretches way beyond who we podcast to, so its nearly impossible to do that anyway.

    As a side note, I have received emails and reviews about our opening banter (On our Once Upon a Time Fan Podcast) being too long or not about the subject of the podcast, and I have scaled it back, but then I thought “They don’t want us as hosts. They really want a robotic audio blog podcast. Nothing about us to bond with the audience, just a college lecture about the subject”.

    I learned a cool Life Lesson from the show, Wife Swap (Don’t Judge me. j/k). If you surround yourself with the familiar, the same, the agreeable, you never grow and learn about yourself or life (imho). Whether it’s podcasting, Once Upon a Time, or life in general, many times great information is found by people with a different point of view than you.

    Rock on, Dave. Be you (This is a great country for that, by the way.), and keep sharing cool stuff.


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