Jennifer Briney Interview Transcription
Corey Coates Interview Transcription

Harry Duran:
Podcast Junkies episode 43 with Liz Covart of Benjamin Franklin's world and it's a podcast about really the 18th century and American history and Liz used Ben Franklin as a representative at of the time, because I think a majority of his life was in the 18th century and he's such a well known figure and it makes sense to have that as a reference point for people that are new to the podcast. Oh, I knew Ben Franklin and it gives them an entry into the podcast and the topics of American history.

I met Liz through an online group as I'm prone to do and being in so many and having similar friends and we run sometimes in the same circles and I was drawn to her interview on the Podcast Producers, a series that I may have mentioned earlier that was created by Corey Coates and Jessica Rhodes and it was one of those podcast series where they released all ten episodes at once, so that's like the first season and it really induces some serious binge listening, which is what I did when I downloaded the whole ten. Liz was on there and I just loved her take on some of the topics that were covered there and I just I really thought that I wanted to just dig deeper, so I asked her to be on the show and so, it's interesting because it's at a time where I had a guest on that's not the entrepreneurial circle and I think it's timely as well, because it's something that I seriously think about in terms of moving the direction of the show.

I know that I've had a lot of my folks on previous that were friends or people that I've met through the space and referred me to other friends and just because of the conferences we attend, we're likely to run into the same circle, but Liz was different in terms of the entrepreneurial space is not her topic. It was actually American history and it coincides with a renewed interest that I've had and some of the NPR type shows that have come out – I have consistently been a fan of 99% Invisible and of Radio Lab and it's turn me on to some new shows that I've been listening to recently.

Shows like Nocturne and a new one that came out today called, I have to look it up on my phone, but the quality of the shows just blows me away and I think one of the things I want to do is start to reach out to some of those folks, because obviously they are podcaster as well and it'll add a different flavor to Podcast Junkies.

So, looking forward to that happening and really wasn't disappointed with the conversation I had with Liz. She just knows her subject matter so well. She's got a PhD in history and her ability to rattle off historical facts is just amazing and very impressive and we cover a wide range of topics. The fact that she grew up in New England, the impact her parents had on her and how they used to take her to museum and the national parks and just her love about all types of history, the detail in which she digs into her guests and how she does her research, how she reads the books of the authors she has on the show, her love of Game of Thrones. We tend to geek out on that for a couple of minutes. So there's a spoiler alert here if you haven't seen it and it was just a really relaxed and fun conversation. I'm glad we had it, I'm glad I got to know a little bit more about Liz Covart and you will have as well as a result of listening to this episode. So, enjoy.

Liz Covart, thank you for joining Podcast Junkies.

Liz Covart:
Thank you for having me, Harry. I feel very honor to be here among my people, fellow Podcast Junkies, that is.

Harry:
Yeah, it's funny for me because for fans of the show and listeners of the show, I think I started out in an area where I'm comfortable with, so I talk to a lot of folks in the entrepreneurial space, but I think lately I've been making a concerted effort to see where I can branch out and who knows maybe this conversation is sort of a jumping off point where we don't have to talk about lead magnets.

Liz:
That's good, because my knowledge of lead magnets is not very great.

Harry:
And if you don't know what a lead magnet is, don't worry about it. That's about all we're going to say on that topic. So, you picked a topic of history because history is your background, correct?

Liz:
Yes. I am an historian of early America. I have my PhD in early American history and I just love researching and writing and talking about history.

Harry:
I heard you on the, forgot the show, the podcasters, the one with Corey and…

Liz:
The Podcast Producers.

Harry:
Podcast Producers, yes, and I was on it as well, I should remember it. You were in a couple of those segments and I think I was – it was really interesting some of the answers you were giving to Corey and Jessica and I said, well, I think this merits a deeper conversation about a topic that's been selected for podcasting that some people may not even think that you can have that as a subject for starting your own podcast. So, given that you had a historian background, who was it that motivated you to take that initial step forward and to think that you could actually start a whole show based on this topic?

Liz:
That's a very interesting question. I mean, I came to podcasting as a podcast listener, like everybody else, I'm a podcast junkie. I was listening to all sorts of entrepreneurial and social media podcasts, because as an academic, I had no idea how I would make money and they were all really helpful and I looked around for history podcasts, but a lot of them were a bit basic for me and they were lecture style than conversation. I was like, ugh, there's nothing really American history. There's nothing conversational style.

I'm like, wait, maybe I should start a podcast and so like a good historian, I spent 18 months researching, not everyday, but I'd listen to podcasts and be like, what do I like, what don't I like, you know, what will my format be and yeah, Ben Franklin's World was the result and I've been having so much fun and there's so many people who love history and I'll never run out of topics.

Harry:
So, really, 18 months into researching it?

Liz:
Well, not actively everyday, but yes, yes.

Harry:
Was part of that the syndrome that most beginning podcasters face, that whole affect of not feeling that you have enough to start or you're not ready to start?

Liz:
I think for me I wasn't sure what kind of format I wanted. I knew I wanted conversational style, but I didn't know whether I wanted to have, like, a co-host and present history back and forth and I spent many months thinking about what it would take to prepare that kind of episode and I didn't really want to prepare lectures and notes and all that sort of thing and then I realized historians who have books are anxious to talk to you or if they have a historic site with some sort of important event, they are anxious to get word out about it, so I was like, wait, I don't have to spend so much time coming up with content. I can just have a conversation.

Harry:
And was it hard getting guests on your show in the beginning?

Liz:
No, I had some really supportive people. The library company in Philadelphia that was founded by Benjamin Franklin, they were really supportive. In fact, I asked them for one interview, they gave me three. So, my first episode is really three different episodes. Tom Foster who had this book called Sex and The Founding Fathers, he graciously was my first interview and that went okay. I've got a lot better since then, but I've had a lot of support from my follow historians. It's been really nice to have, it's been fantastic.

Harry:
Have your fellow historians seen what you've done and have they been motivated by that and said, hey, maybe I should start a podcast?

Liz:
There are some historians with podcasts, but they tend to interview other historians about how we work. I am trying to bring quality history to fellow history loves. I don't know if you've been in a Barnes & Noble likely or your favorite independent book store, but I'm tried of Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck being sold as history. They write historical subject matter, but it is more akin to propaganda than it is to actual history and I don't think there's, there's no good reason why we can't have access to good history because there's plenty of it.

Harry:
Yeah, that's an interesting point, because obviously they are just going to give you their interpretation and their slant on what they think their history topic should be.

Liz:
Yeah, unfortunately, we will never know what the founding fathers would think of our present day, just as we can really never understand the world that they lived in. We can get close, but we will just never be able to understand it and our world is just so far removed from theirs, it's almost not worth speculating on, because it's just so different.

Harry:
So, is there a function because of the technology, I mean, a lot of people think because so much time has passed since and we get, like you said, farther and farther away from the actual events. Is that really the historians role to make sure that all that stays preserved for future generations so that with the advent of new technology we can share that with a broader audience?

Liz:
Yeah, I think in some ways. I mean, our job is really to make the past relevant and to understand what happened back then so that we can understand where we are today. I know we love to think we're new and novel people. We certainty have lots of great technological innovations, but when you look at gamut of world problems or economic problems, it's really just variations on the same theme. So, we an learn a lot from history if we look at it and study it in the right way. They won't offer us exact solutions, because obviously our context is different, but they can offer us suggestions.

Harry:
Is there someone that was pivotal in your life growing up either a teacher or a mentor that made you realize that this is something you wanted to puruse?

Liz:
You know, I grew up around history. I'm a New Englander and it's hard not to love the American revolution. We just get It in school. We're taught that Boston is the center of the universe and all things revolve around New England and my parents really helped feed that, because we were always going on vacation and we were never beach people, we were always museum and culture people. So, we would fly into one area of the country and we'd see like all the museums and national parks and that area.

So, history was always something I was around and then high school, I had a teacher, Wayne Johnson, who encouraged me to get into the archives. He was an antiques dealer on the side and he had found this poster that he was looking for more historical context on and I found the records. I was so proud of myself, they were in the New York public library and I lived in New Hampshire, but my grandparents lived on Long Island, so at Christmas break, I made my parents take me into New York city so that I could go into the library and look up the records and I found what I was looking for and then an undergrad at Penn State, the late William (?), he sat me in his office and he said, you know, one day you're going to graduate school and I was like, and do what, Bill? He was like, get a PhD in history and I was like, oh, you're crazy, do you know ho long a PhD would take? But he oversaw my honors thesis, which was on the history of the Bunk Hill Monument.

It brought me back into the archives and it was like, you know what, I love it, it's like a treasure hunt every time I go into the archives. I have questions and I'm just looking for the answers and I had so much fun, so then it started to make sense.

Harry:
You talked on, I think, on the show about attending a Boston Tea Party enactment.

Liz:
I did, that was about two years ago. It's fantastic. The old staff meeting house and the tea party ships museum in Boston offer every year and they hold the debate in the old south meeting house and there are enactors to get the debate going, but they give you like a little card when you walk In with a political position on it and it's so fun to watch people stand up and participate.

Not everyone was a patriot, there were a bunch of loyalists and you have your fellow Americans standing there talking about, well, of course we have to pay tax on tea. If we don't, I'll lose my lively hood and then after the debate, it's really cool, and I mean that both literally and figuratively, because it's December in Boston, but you line up outside and then you get a police escort.

You start walking down to Old Griffin's Wharf where the tea party ship museum is and you're charting things like no taxation without representation or dump the tea! And then when you get there, I recommend you bring a seat warmer, because the bleachers are metal and, again, it's December in Boston, it's very cold, but they complete the enactment on the tea party ship and they actually dump real tea into Boston harbor. It's outdated tea lives from like Tetley and all these major tea brands, but it's pretty cool.

Harry:
It's funny. I wonder if the tea makers see it as a branding opportunity.

Liz:
You do get a little tea bag when you walk in with your ticket.

Harry:
So, the actual Boston tea party was in December?

Liz:
Yes. December 16th, 1773. 342 chests of tea went over board.

Harry:
So, that just beg another question, are you always this accurate with your historical details?

Liz:
I tend to know Boston and, you know, details related to my work better than most. When I was an undergraduate at Penn State, I spent my summers working for the national park service in Boston, so I gave a lot of Bunker Hill battle talks and I learned the sites on the Freedom Trail well and then when we moved back to Boston via California and New York State, I signed up to be a (#14:50?) with Boston by foot. So, I give tours about Boston's role in the American revolution. So, these facts tend to be top of mind.

Harry:
Yeah, we like to go to some of the national parks as well with my wife and friends and we recently went to the Grand Canyon. She's from Colombia, so I like to take her to historical American landmarks. We also went to Death Valley. It's interesting when you always have the folks that work for the national park service and their level of dedication, because some of them are on the job two-three years and I'd imagine your can route different assignments, but they never get tired in terms of their enthusiasm and when they start talking about the park that they're in or when they have to describe some of the history that goes with that area.

Liz:
Yeah, you form a connection with the site. It's also a talent, because you get some really weird questions. So, learning how to answer those, you know, seriously, when you're going, ‘what', is a talent and I'm grateful that they gave that to me.

Harry:
So, what's one of the weirdest questions you've been asked?

Liz:
The weirdest question that I have been asked. There's a little story that goes with this, so part of the Boston National Historical Park, there is a World War Two destroyer called the USS Castin Young and I was standing on the quarter deck and greeting visitors as they entered on board and this woman came and she had two kids in two. She went to the back of the ship, after the ship and she came back and she just looked like she had panic on her face and my co-worker and I were standing there and we looked and we saw she had her kids. So, we knew the kids weren't missing and then we're like, ma'am, is everything okay? Can we help you with something? And she goes, I just can't find them. We're like, calm down man. What is it that you can't find? She's like, the dents.

The maintenance guy was standing there too and Ed was like, the dents? We're looking at each other puzzled and we're like, the dents? She's like, yeah, from the canon ball and we're like, thinking about it and we're like, oh, I think you mean USS Constitution, which was right across the pier. She's like, yeah, you know, from old iron sides and we're like, we're a World War Two destroyer and USS Constitution is over there and before we could tell her any parts of the history of the Cassin Young, she was off the boat and going across the way so she could get on Constitution.

Harry:
She wanted nothing to do with that ship.

Liz:
Yeah, it was just, it was just bizarre. The dents.

Harry:
What is the history of the Cassin Young?

Liz:
I have to think back, because it's been many years since I worked at the park, but it was built in the San Pedro ship yards in California, so there's California connection for you and it served in the South Pacific and it was actually hit by two kamikaze attacks and I'll give you a rough, I think it's 6 sailors died total, but it maybe a little bit more, a little less than that, but it served in World War Two and then afterwards was renovated and refitted for service in the cold war. So, a lot of what you'll see on the Cassin Young, I believe, is still cold war era, but will interrupt usually the World War Two aspects, because that's what people find most interesting at this point.

Harry:
So, with all this, obviously new technology and the rapid change, sometimes I like to call it the quickening, because I feel like things are – technology is improving exponentially, like, with every generation and, you know, they always have that graph that shows the years in between the industrial revolution, the radio, and then the TV, and the internet and they keep getting shorter and shorter. So, what affect, if any, you thin it has on new generations interest in history or access to history or their proclivity for wanting to become a history.

Liz:
Well, there's still children and young adults who want to become historians, but their number is, you know, a little less, and I think that's on the profession. I don't think we've done enough to make history relevant. We spend a lot of times talking to other academics about history and not doing enough outreach, which is really why I wanted to do the podcast, but I think it's also exciting. There are museums out there. The Massachusetts Historical Society is among them. They are putting up all sorts of digital exhibits and interactive exhibits. I've been to other museums where they'll have tablets that you can touch and pick the facts in areas you want to know.

I know there's, you know, someone sent me an email. Now I can't remember. I think it's called the Eye Beacon, but basically it's got a proximity sensor in it, so when you walk in, it'll send you a push notification to your phone so it can tell you the painting you're looking at or more information about the exhibit. I think it's exciting. I know virtual reality is coming. I can't wait to see the apps that are available for that. We may be able to hike the Grand Canyon without this sweat and tears just from the privacy of our home. It'll be great.

Harry:
It's funny. You mention hiking the Grand Canyon, because they have the huge warning signs like, do not go down past a mile or certain places without this much water or they will always say it's going to take you like twice as long to get you back up as it does to get back down and we took that advice to heart, but it's always funny to see tourists – we literally saw a group of girls, I think with a water bottle, maybe not, and they were hiking down in flip flops.

Liz:
People do that on the freedom trail. The freedom trail is two miles long and I do not recommend doing it in flip flops. Put good foot wear on. The other thing is, you know, you need to be aware of your surroundings and that goes to the Grand Canyon too, but in New England you have to bring layers because it can be really hot, it can be really cold, and it can be somewhere in the middle, so.

Harry:
I think it's fascinating, especially when you talk about the national parks and all the aspect of this country that give you sort of taste for where we came from and I thought that was important and one of the reasons why I took my wife to Philadelphia. We took her to see the Liberty Bell and then we went to see, I think, the oldest paved road in the United States and just to say you've walked on that and just to provide some sort of context and she eventually, a couple of years ago, because actually a US citizen and so she had that aspect of having seen that and the history of the Declaration of Independence and the sort of things you take for granted when you’re younger and you sit in history class and you're like, uh, Bill of Rights and I mean, there were some good shows on TV that actually helped with that. I think it was Electric Company or School House Rock, I think it was, right?

Liz:
Oh, School House Rock is awesome.

Harry:
Yeah, so they helped you kind of absorbed kind of those lessons easier, but I think a lot of people don't put enough importance on the history, or at least, the country where they're from, right?

Liz:
I think some places do better a job than others and obviously it varies depending on how you luck out with teachers. I do think that in some ways we put a lot of emphasis on dates and it should be on stories of the people and the lessons they learned and their adventures. I think if you have an approximate date, it'll be okay, like it'll be nice to know that Benjamin Franklin lived in the 18th century and not the 20th century. I think that's important, but I think it's more on the stories and the people that lived. I think people connect best through history when it's through people.

Harry:
Yeah, you mentioned new technologies and you’re right, it is called Eye Beacon and obviously they use it in things like retail. It's the Minority Report when Tom Cruise is walking into the mall and it says hey Tom and it shows him something like a relevant aid and that's a good point. That's exactly going to happen with museums and making them more interactive and more engaging and I think holograms are going to be pretty interesting when they put those into use.

Liz:
I can't even imagine holograms. Wow.

Harry:
You'll have like, obviously the Star Wars example comes to mind, but you're going to have a face-to-face discussion with Benjamin Franklin if you want to.

Liz:
Possibly. There actually is a really fascinated museum that almost does that. It's the Ben Franklin House in London. It's where he stayed while he was in London and there is no furniture in that house, but they give you like a brief overview of the house and Franklin's history in London before you go on your tour and then Polly Stevenson, who was the daughter of his landlady, meets you when she takes you throughout the house and you enter a room and then it's like a projector and it might show you his amonico, which was the musical instrument Franklin invented or it might start with a conversation and then they use his letters and primary sources to tell you about his time in London, so you get a really accurate view of what it's like for him to be in London and yet you're in an empty room. It just kind of odd, but it'll sound like there's people around.

So, yeah, it'll be interesting to see when he just pops up from the floor, maybe using his records. We'll have the technology, you can ask him a question and he'll pull up some relevant quote from one of the plethora of papers he left behind.

Harry:
Yeah, because the individual pieces already exist, obviously things like IBM's Watson has the natural language processing capabilities and the actual technology for projecting the hologram and just marrying those two together and the spend at which you can pull data from the internet, for example, I think we'll probably not that far away from something like that happening.

Liz:
You know, then we're going to have to get serious about the answer to the question like who is the historic figure you've always wanted to meet because it'll be possible to meet them, but I guess you won't have to choose just one, which will help.

Harry:
I mean, the fact that you have folks doing like civil war reenactments and Boston Tea Party reenactments. So, there's no shortage of actors or voice over actors who will lead their talents to this sort of thing and I'd imagine this is just the whole cottage industry that's going to sprout out.

Liz:
Yeah, have you ever read Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic about civil war reenacting?

Harry:
No.

Liz:
Years ago, it won the Pulitzer Price, I think,but Tony Horwitz is a journalist an he loves the civil war and he went out to find out why Americans are still obsessed with the civil war and he, part of his adventure is he starts reenacting and so he goes through the different levels of reenacting from farbing it to like, you're the most fake person out there to like, I'm going to put my pee in a cup and soak my buttons in it so they get the right color and then stitch them on my uniform to get the right accuracy for whatever uniform they are wearing.

Harry:
That's obviously something you can't make up, so I'm assuming that actually happened.

Liz:
It's crazy. Yeah, I mean, it was in the book. I don't doubt him and I've had the honor to meet Tony once and I don't think he makes a lot up.

Harry:
Wow. Well, I mean, it's those people that go to the renaissance fair are actors as well. I'd imagine of that mentality, because when they're in that, I mean, they are wholeheartedly, like, immersed themselves in that world.

Liz:
Yeah. I can see it. Actually, when I was at Penn State, Gods and Generals, which was that pretty poor prequel to that big Gettysburg film was out and I went to the theater. Like, I knew a bunch of people from like the Blue Band, which is the Penn State marching band and others and they were all in the film. That's how they sent their weekends is that they were Union and Confederate reenactors. I'm like, wait, that's Jeb and there's Mike. It was just weird, but hat's what they do on the weekends. I like to think about the past. I don't really have a desire to reenact it that far. I have fired a musket, but I like conveniences like warm water, toilet paper.

Harry:
Internet.

Liz:
Yeah, internet.

Harry:
So, you've never dressed up as a historical figure for Halloween?

Liz:
I wanted to be a pirate as a kid. I guessed up as a pirate.

Harry:
That sort of counts.

Liz:
Yeah.

Harry:
So, moving on to the podcast, in general, how are things going? I know you recently published the stats. It's been about six months and closing in on 200,000 downloads.

Liz:
Yeah, it's been really awesome. I've been really fortunate, I don't know whether it's the subject matter or how I launched or the confluence of things, but I really lucked out. Ben Franklin's World has done well. There's a lot of people who love history who listen to the show, they are willing to spend 45 to 60 minutes each week and then the emails they send are just awesome. Like, sometimes it's just their family tree, because talked about, you know, an event or person that they're related to. Sometimes it's just, I live in this really historic area and they want to share it with me and other times it's just like, I think your show is awesome. That's very flattering to hear.

Harry:
Do you get a range of folks – is it just folks from this country or people from other countries that you hear from.

Liz:
I have downloads from other countries, which is natural. I take a very expansive view of Ben Franklin's World, so I picked Ben Franklin because his life pretty much spans in the entire 18th century and because he was an inventor and a diplomat. He was into science, he was into politics with his newspaper, he wrote a lot. He traveled the world. He went to Europe, he went to Canada. So, I feel like that gives me the freedom to be like, okay, if we're talking about the French revolution and that aspect of the French revolution plays into American history, we can talk about it on the show. We can talk about the Caribbean.

I have an episode about Canada and the way the American revolution played out there coming up soon. So, I take a really expansive view of Ben Franklin and I did pick him for branding, so the podcast is not about Ben Franklin, which I try to explain to every academic, but luckily they're not the demographic for the show. None of the people who listen to it seem to have a problem with the fact that it's not all about Ben Franklin.

Harry:
as you said, you're using Ben Franklin as a way to set the context for the topics that you're covering on the show.

Liz:
Yeah.

Harry:
When you do get feedback from folks that listen to the show. Do you ask them how they found out about it?

Liz:
No. That would be an awesome question, thanks Harry. No, I mean, we talk history. We send emails back and forth. They even contact me now. I have one listener who every time he's in a different city, he travels a lot for business, and he emails or tweets me and says, hey, I have three hours, what should I go see? So, if I can help him out, I try to help him out. I have other people that we talk books. So, we talk about a range of subjects, but I really should start asking like, how did you hear about us.

Harry:
I noticed on the site you have the Poor Richard's Club as well, your private Facebook community. Talk a little bit about that.

Liz:
Well, I really wanted to call it The Junto, which was the club of betterment that Ben Franklin and his fellow Philadelphia artisans founded, but that's taken by my friends, a few other early Americanists and they have a blog called The Junto, which is a great blog and early American history and then they have Junto Cast, which is a monthly podcast of early American history and they have like roundtable discussions. I'm like okay, well, they've taken the most natural name, like, they don't have a Facebook group, I can take it, but then it would just feel wrong.

So, I went with Poor Richard's Club. People knew Poor Richard's Almanack and I thought maybe we'd have some wit and wisdom just like in the Almanack, in the community and that's been a lot of fun too. There are about 120 history lovers in that community. We share articles. We talk about them. We talk about when we visit a fascinating historic site and I'm not the only one starting conversations, which is great. So, we're small, but we're growing and it's been a lot of fun.

Harry:
Yeah, it probably just gives you another opportunity to dig deeper in some of the topics that you cover in your interviews with your guests, right?

Liz:
Sure and I invite my guests to join in the club, so like Shelby Balik's interview about the New England migration into Northern New England and the establishment of religion there. I had two listener questions and the interview was just so rich. We never, we spent an hour and we didn't get to them. SO, I asked her if she would answer them in that community and she did. So, we talk about that and it's also a great place to post questions.

So, every week, if I can, I try and post, hey, I'm having so and so on the show. We're discussing this, what questions do you have? So, for like the John Quincy Adams interview, I almost didn't have to come up with questions, because there was just so many questions people wanted to know. I do try to shape a narrative ark when I ask the questions to try and give people a bit of content and chronological order when we ask things.

So, everybody is on the same page. Everybody should be able to understand our history, but I do try to get to as many listener questions as possible, because ultimately it's our show, so I want to honor them with that.

Harry:
You mentioned John Quincy Adams. What's your take and do you have a favorite when it comes to the history documentaries for these figures and John Quincy Adams came to mind, because I know Paul Giamatti had that recent series on HBO, I think it was.

Liz:
He actually played John Quincy's father, John Adams. He was the second President. John Quincy was the sixth President and he was actually a better diplomat and congressman than he was President, but John Quincy Adams is fascinating because his life as a child he witnessed the American revolution and then his father took him to France, so he met Benjamin Franklin. He thought Thomas Jefferson was an uncle until they had a falling out during the political escapades of his father and Thomas Jefferson. He met so many important figures. He was also the first minister to Russia. He had this really close relationship to Emperor Alexander the First. So, he's a fascinating individual.

I used to think John Adams was my favorite President. I love John Adam's candor, because I don't tend to beat around the bush when I want to ask something or have an opinion about something and neither did Adam, so his journal entries and letters are very frank and I appreciate that, but after thinking upon it seriously, I have to say that George Washington was my favorite President, because if it weren't for Washington, I don't know if there would be a Presidency. The country may have fallen apart and he did a lot of work to establish precedence like Mr. President and to give the power the office has today.

Harry:
Yeah, it's always interesting and there's no shortage of documentaries that continue to come out and you'd think there's been enough said about all these historical figures, but I think they'll never be a shortage of showing a different take or unearthing some nugget or aspect of these historical figures' personality. So, is there anything that's coming up or that you've seen or watched recently from a documentary perspective that you've liked?

Liz:
I haven't seen any documentaries lately because I read so much for the podcast. I read every book thoroughly before we do an interview. I only see about an hour of TV a night. In fact, the only thing I watch live is Game of Thrones, but the great thing about history is no matter how much we try to be objective, the present always colors the way we view the past. So, I'm fascinating bad regionalism and the development of regional identifies and that makes sense, because I was born in 1981 and throughout my life time I have witnessed us going from a congress and government that was kind of consensus driven to know we're on the fall extremes.

So, regional identity plays a role in that and I'm fascinated by that, but other people, you know, during the 1940s, they were interested in the depression and what about economic panics and, you know, what about economic panics happen. How did the country forge forward during tough economic times or during times of war. So, the present always colors our view of the past, even if we try to portray the past objectively as possible.

Now, Harry, who's your favorite historical personage?

Harry:
Well, I think I probably don't know enough about historical figures to have an opinion. I think I'm drawn more towards the inventors. So, I watched, of all things, I recently saw something on Harry Houdini, because I used to grow up and I used to dabble in magic, so I was fascinated by Harry Houdini when I was growing up, but then I saw The Men Who Built America, have you seen – I don't know if you've seen that on Netflix?

Liz:
I haven't seen that.

Harry:
Yeah, that's the Carnegies, the J.P. Morgans, Vanderblits.

Liz:
The robber barons.

Harry:
You know what's funny about that documentary is almost like a necessarily evil as much as I hate to say it because they almost needed that sort of presumption that I could do whatever I need to do and I'll just step on as many people as I can just because that's sort of will is almost what the country needed at the time to lift itself up. You could argue back and forth, but the things that they did in such a short period of time, the establishment of the railroads, you know, the inventor of electricity, and just all these modern conveniences that we take for granted, I don't know, I don't know.

Like I said, you could argue it and whether the fact it was a monopoly at the time or not benefited the country and it's something we needed at that time and obviously we've grown out of that and we're more advance now. Obviously a lot of that stuff wouldn't fly, but it was a very interesting to watch for that period of time and one of the things they were talking about is Edison's role and this partnership with J.P. Morgan and how they created General Electric, but what I've found more interesting – I have always been more drawn to Tesla, Nikola Tesla. I think a lot of the things Tesla was doing was so, so advanced.

I mean, he even dabbled in like free energy and just his Tesla coils and it was so ahead of its time that it just scared the crap out of like Edison and that's why they undermined him and eventually I think that's why Tesla died broke, but I would have to say probably from an innovation standpoint, Nikola Tesla is someone that I'm continuously fascinated by.

Liz:
That's great.

Harry:
So, yeah, I probably should dig in a bit more and do a little bit more reading and see what else is out there in terms of his life, because I am sure there's stuff – I've only scratched the surface and from the stuff that I've known or read, so that's probably a homework assignment for me now.

Liz:
It sounds like a fun one, though.

Harry:
Yeah, yeah. So, as far as the podcast, you recently put out an article called, How Do We Monetize Digital History Projects? And I'd imagine that was something that's been bubbling up in terms of your thought process and seeing what other podcasters are doing and obviously we're in some of the local online Facebook groups and chat rooms and so these topics always come up and a lot of times all the other podcasters obviously in the entrepreneurial space, a good portion of them are. So, what prompted that article and what's been the feedback so far since the time you've posted it?

Liz:
I haven't had a lot of feedback yet, but I was hoping to start a conversation, because I have a podcast and that's not the only type of digital history project. I have friends with digital magazine, digital exhibits, there's all sorts of projects out there and a bunch of us do it without institutional support. As a society we have this idea that, universities and the government support history and history should be offered for free and I agree with a lot of that, but the problem is we don't have a lot of funding and part of that is historians own fault. Like, we stop talking to the public.

We used to be – history used to be very top of mind for Americans and it's not anymore, instead science has moved in and stem has gone up and they have all the funding in the world that they can do some great projects worth, but learning history is just as important, so with the podcast, I hope to try and change that and push other historians to engage with the public more as well, but I don't have institutional support, so there's no one funding my podcast and granted this is some of my own creation, I wanted to produce the highest quality podcast I could.

As I listened to podcasts and I did my 18 months of research on how to create one, I came to the conclusion that if you really want to succeed, you need to in this day and age have a high quality podcast that people want to listen to a podcast that sounds like it could be on radio and so I hired an audio engineer and Toby Lyles is absolutely great and he helps me out a lot and sometimes he discounts his rates for me because he loves history too, but between his fees and hosting and I used Edgar to help promote the shows, it cost me about $90 an episode and my partner Tim, he's like the patron saint of Ben Franklin's World. He funds every episode and he's happy to do it.

So, Ben Franklin's World is not going away, but I feel guilty. This has become a very expensive hobby. I'm dumping 30+ hours a week by the time I read the book and prep for the interview. So, I'd like to get paid for my time eventually, but it's this question of how do we support these valuable projects that are making a difference and keep them going, you know. What do we do if universities and the government aren't paying for them and so it was really a thought piece of, here are six ideas I'm thinking about, but I don't have any solutions yet. I was hoping somebody might come up with a better idea or better yet say, I love history, I want to be your patron. Maybe that'll happen, I don't know. Maybe there's an angel out there.

Harry:
Yeah, I've talked about it on this show before. I'm a firm believer of putting it out into the universe that in which you want back and return and I think you have to put the intention out. It's so funny, I just saw a Jim Carrey – Have you ever seen that Jim Carrey commencement speech? It sort of makes the rounds every couple of months. It's very…

Liz:
Oh, with the check, right?

Harry:
Yeah, he talks about the check and he just talks about, you know, you can't predict or anticipate what form the response will be, so you just have to say this is what I want and this is what I need and it'll just come from the strangest place where you've just been like, what? It'll just leave you scratching your head like, I would have never have seen that coming. I have no idea how I just got connected to this thing or to this person, but I think as long as we continue, like, just the fact that you're mentioning it here that you put out the blog post episode. I think just do more of that. Just say this is what needs to happen. I need this to change and just magical things happen sometimes.

Liz:
Yeah, what was it, didn't he write himself like a check for a $100,000 or 10 million dollars and that's what he made for Dumb and Dumber?

Harry:
Something like that. Yeah, like a million dollars or something like that and I think it was him and Will Smith did something similar, but yeah, I'll shoot you the link and I'll put it in the show notes as well. I literally just saw it today and that's why I was reminded and it's hugely, hugely inspirational and it's another reminder of doing the things that you're passionate about. He talks about some discussion he had with his father and he said, you know, life's too short for you not to be doing the things that you love, right.

Liz:
Yep and I think that's a number one rule of podcasting, right, find your passion. Like, if you're passionate, then you have something to say and it'll carry through on your episodes and it'll help make your show a success.

Harry:
So, how much prep do you do for each one of your guests?

Liz:
It varies. If I'm doing a historic site, I look on their website and I'm devising questions about their site as well as the history it interprets and I try to do it in such a way, I don't want a dumb history down, but I try to give people context. So, anybody can listen to the episode and understand what's going on and then I'll build from these more simple questions to these more complex issues so we can dive down deep and I do read every book. If you ever read a history book, I'm sure you know that most of them are not written well.

Again, it's the fault of the profession and I'm lucky I had an adviser who took the time to teach us how to right. He's won two Pulitzer prizes, so it's fantastic training, but I read every book as bad or as great they are and I write down all sorts of questions and then at the end I sit down with my questions and I figure out which ones make the most sense to ask and then if I have any submissions, I throw in the listener questions it make sense to ask and we just roll with it.

Harry:
Do you find you've gotten better in terms of the flow, like you said with episode number four, you probably, you were living to the fact that you were a little uncomfortable with the interview and I'd imagine now 30+ episodes in, you're getting more and more comfortable with these interviews.

Liz:
Yeah. I'm much more confident now. Tom wrote a great book. Sex and the Founding Fathers was a very interesting book and it talks about how we try to understand the Founding Fathers by learning about their sex lives and he believes sex makes the Founding Fathers more relatable and he writes a very convincing argument. It's a very readable book and it was so good and I just wanted to do it justice and I stuttered and I was nervous and Tom was very gracious and someday he'll have another book out and I promise to do it better.

But like all podcasters, I've just gotten better with each one and now I can be a bit more free flowing and ask questions as they come up, but one of the interesting feedback I have, if you listen to an interview show. I mean, it hasn't been so much in this show, but a lot of interviewers like interject and interrupt their interviewee, their guest, and I didn't because I was waiting for them to finish and then I started getting feedback. It was like a nervous thing. I just wanted them to finish and then the feedback, I love how you let them speak.

So, now I will let like a bit of silence go between my question and their answer before I ask the next one and try not to interrupt, like even with a yeah, you know, I maybe sitting there shaking my head and acknowledgment, in agreement, and I just let them talk because people love it. I still get that feedback, so I am to please and so if that's what the listeners want, that's what they get.

Harry:
That was my dramatic pause.

Liz:
It was well done.

Harry:
It's interesting because that's how real conversations are, right, there's just this natural flow and people do it when they edit their shows too, they take out all the ums and the ahs and you can hear it, because it sounds like they're not even stopping to breathe.

Liz:
I do take out some. Most of it is subconscious like misspeak. The more and more I listen to myself, the more I'm like, I use so to begin like every question, so I've edited some of those out because now I just find it another and I have eliminated some of it, but then it's like now. I don't tend to um too much, but every once and a while, but I'll leave those in, that just sounds human, but it is interesting, the more and more you podcast and the more you hear yourself speak, I would hope that it would compels us all to be better public speakers in a way.

Harry:
I think it does because I've had that same phenomenon myself when I've edited my earlier shows and I listen to my shows now and I think part of it comes down to wanting to fill the empty space and trying to express to the listener that you're still here, because people might tend to freak out like is the podcast still on? Are these still talking or did it end or did something happen?

So, the thing that I've done to combat that is to just slow down and if I don't know what I'm going to say next then I'm having the conversation with my guests, so I don't think, that's one of the reasons I do it with video Skype, because we can see each other and we can sort of see the body language and I can see when you're animated and on a topic and you're really on a role where it's like, okay, I'm going to let Liz finish and you can sort of tell by body language when someone is done with their thought and then you can interject at that point and that's why I like the video aspect, but I think like you said it just comes with the practice and being comfortable in our own skin.

Liz:
Yeah, it's also a culture issue. So, academics hate Skype, because they conduct a bunch of job interviews on Skype and they always watch these horrible job interviews, so they don't want to be on Skype, so I actually use Google Voice and Audio Hijack Pro to record my interviews. So, it took me a while to get the hang of not having body language and now I've sort of gotten the hang of it. It's tough to do an interview without it, but it's also cultural.

I've interviewed a few Britts and where we will feel, as Americans, we will fill the empty space with ah or um, they just stop talking and then I moved on to another question, like I waited maybe like a second or two and I asked the next question and somebody else answered it and then he came back and he was like, I wasn't done. So, I have had to edit that back in and I felt bad, but it's a cultural thing, like in America we want to fill the space, but in Great Britain there's a lot of Britts who they just stop talking and let their thoughts come to them and resume.

Harry:
Which is awkward for a podcast interview.

Liz:
Especially one without video! But that's the beauty of editing, right?

Harry:
Yeah, you can make all your guests sound so fantastic with the right editing.

Liz:
Yeah.

Harry:
One thing I do want to talk about was the fact and you brought it up so I feel to mention it, you're a Game of Thrones fan.

Liz:
Yeah. You know what, with each episode, Daenerys is looking better and better to me. I hope she's going to win. I liked Tyrion a lot, but I think he's just, he's meant to be like the hand of the king, but I've been obsessed with dragons. Like, I want Daennerys to free the dragons, like take off those chains and the shackles and I was just tickled pink last week when we saw the dragon finally come out and see Daenerys. I hope in this season finale she finally frees the other two.

Harry:
Do you watch the after on HBO? They do the sort of like director's five minute take of like the episode. We watched it on HBO Go, so it immediately plays afterwards. I don't know if you watch it as well, but obviously once you're into a show that much, you just consume everything you can, so it always provides a little bit more insight into the mind of like the director and the writer obviously. I don't know if you've watched those.

Liz:
I haven't. We have HBO on our satellite and like I said everything we watch from our DVR, but that show we watch live and then after it airs it's like 10 or 11 o'clock at night and we have to take the dogs out for a walk.

Harry:
Yeah, so what they were saying is one of the writers or directors was saying when he read that episode, he knew it was going to be one of the most exiting moments in the history of the show, not even just the season, because it was so dramatic in that way that it was played out and he was just thinking in his mind like, how the heck are we going to pull this off, because the way they built it and the fact that you could, you know, they had aerial shot of the stadium – I guess I should say spoiler alert, right? I just realized that people that do movie podcasts are like spoiler alert, don't listen.

So, yeah, spoiler alert if you haven't seen Game of Thrones, you can stop now and watch, you know, and get back to this or fast forward about a couple of minutes, but they did the aerial shot and he as basically saying this was a movie quality type shot on a TV show. Obviously, HBO has a great budget, but he was saying like the production value for what they were shooting is something in what you'd see in a James Cameron movie or something like that.

Liz:
They've done a lot of their shots, because the episode before with the White Walkers storming the Wildlings' home, that was amazing too. I didn't think it could get much better and then there were dragons and, Harry, we're coming upon the season finale this week, like, where do we go from here? How can it get better, but it has to, right?

Harry:
It's funny. My wife and I held off on watching for the longest time. We actually just started this year. So, we binged watched a couple of months ago. We started one and then the first couple are hard as with any new series, because you're just like, it's so like hard to get into new characters that you have no connection to and so we actually had to start watching it three or four times and then finally everyone's talking about it, okay, this is it, we're just going to bare down and get through those first four or five episodes and then after the first season you sort of get into the flow and you're like, you can start to find out who your favorites are, which is a dangerous thing to do in Game of Thrones, because you quickly realize there are no favorites from a writer's perspective and heads start getting chopped off and it's just crazy.

Liz:
Yeah, it is crazy. I mean, I have a confession. I actually started with Game of Thrones. I started to read the book, but I didn't finish it by the time the first season aired and then it was so close to the book, I just stopped reading, but my partner, Tim, read them all and I was going to start with like book two or pick up with book one, I don't remember, but I was going to pick up the books again. He finished all five and he was like, oh, I have to wait for book six, and I was like, you know what, I'm going to wait till George R.R Martin finishes writing them all before I go back to find out how much better the book is to the TV show.

Harry:
Yeah, they've already mentioned that they've diverted from parts of the book anyway. I think they do that on purpose and they do that with the Walking Dead as well because I think they don't want to be a little interpretation of the events in the comic or in the book in this case.

Liz:
Yeah and it makes it more exciting. You can enjoy both types of media that way.

Harry:
What I did want to ask to tie it into the podcast and you being a historian, do you ever watch that show with an eye towards history? You know, in terms of like, how, I know he talks about a fictional world, but a lot of the topics that are cover are very political in nature and there's a lot of dynamics you can easily translate to current world politics and I'm wondering if you ever watch the show and it's hard for you to take off your historian hat.

Liz:
That one is not too bad because a lot of it seems medieval to me. I mean, the messages are current, but medieval and that's not many area of expertise, so I can watch that one and have no problem. TV shows like (#51:30?) or I couldn't even finish that Sons of Liberty mini series. I know it was fictional, but that was just so inaccurate. That drove me nuts. So, if it's in my period, I'm like the worst person to watch it, because I just sit there and, if I'm at home, I just pull it apart. So, Tim is like this is totally non enjoyable, but if it's removed from my area of study and I studied really 1715 to the early 1800s, I love the American revolutionary period. As long as we're outside of that, that's okay. But with that side, I enjoy John Adams. I was like, Joseph Warren died at Bunker Hill. They buried him there, there's no way he was in that cart, but aside from that, you know, it was okay.

Harry:
You remind me of Neil deGrasse Tyson when he's commenting on Gravity or Interstellar and he's like, no, there’s no way that debris could have happened in Gravity because of like, some aspect of the way it works in space and the way it travels in orbit and all that sort of stuff. He gets a little bit harassed with that sort of stuff, but I mean, that's his job and that's what he studies day in and day out and I'm assuming it's the same way with you.

Liz:
Yeah, he's inspirational because he's a science communicator and I consider myself a history communicator, so we know the field and we're trying to help everybody who is interested just understand it, but I think everybody can relate to this problem. Like, my partner Tim works for Google, he's a computer engineer. He writes code and he'll watch hacking sequences from movies or he works for Google right and he watched that Internship movie and he's just like, he's ripping it apart, you know, and he's like, that code is bogus. Like, they couldn't do that. So, I think everybody when it's something related to something they're passionate about and they know a lot about it, it's tough to watch when Hollywood dramatizes it.

Harry:
Does he watch Silicon Valley?

Liz:
We do watch it. We watched the first season, but we haven't – the second season is sitting on the DVR. So, I think as soon as Game of Thrones ends, we might start getting back into that.

Harry:
I heard that's pretty – I mean, I've seen it as well and from what I've heard it's fairly accurate.

Liz:
There are some parallels with the startup world and Silicon Valley that I've noticed. Tim will refute this, but I notice some of the social patterns, like, computer geeks, the stereotype is kind of accurate, more or less. They tend to be a little socially awkward and quiet. Like, genius, fascinating to talk to, but like really, you don't know how to say hello or look up from your computer or what do you do when a woman walks in the room?

Harry:
Yeah, exactly. There was one comment about how they always travel in packs and there's – it was funny, I don't remember the exact dynamic, but he's like, there's always one heavy set guy, one Asian guy, one Indian guy, and one like white guy with like really long hair and then they cut to a scene where the guy is looking out the window at the campus and you see the groups and identify like three or four different groups and each one has that exact same dynamic and from what I heard from the writer, Mike Judge I think was talking about, that really happens and it's so funny you can't even make that stuff up.

Liz:
It kind of sounds like high school too, like all the clicks.

Harry:
Back to the podcast, I was looking on your site and you have that section where you have guests and you've listed out all the guests that you spoke to, which I thought was an impressive enough list, but what was more impressive to me was your future guests. Those people that are coming up on the show?

Liz:
Yeah, so I committed to one episode a week and I don't want to let my listeners down, so because a lot of the episodes revolve around books, I need to give the publishers lead time to do it, but I am booked out through interviews almost through October. I think there's one interview time left in October, but I already have all the content I need for 2015, so when I start booking again at the end of October, early November, I'll actually be recording for 2015 and now that historians and publishers have sort of found out about me, I'm getting a little bit more interest, more historians pitching themselves, which is great, because historians are horrible marketers, they don't now how to market history, but the publishers, that's tough, because they send me a catalog and it's like, you can have any book in that catalog, so it's like being a kid in the candy story where it's like you can have it and it's free! So, that's pretty cool.

Harry:
That's awesome and I recently double downed on my frequency. I think I was of the opinion early on, it's my show and I can do it whenever I want and I can have guests whenever I want and I can release whenever I want and I've just been reminded more and more by some of the podcasts I listen to and people that I respect that consistency is really big for your fans and to have some sense of when the episodes are going to come is really important for them and I'm assuming that's something you found to be true.

Liz:
Yeah, during my 18 months of research I found out that once a week was the best way to build a stable audience, so that's what I produced that. Next year, I've been using Trello and I've been creating an editorial tool, so the show really started with, hey, I really want to leave that book and I invite the historian on the show or they were a friend and their work was fascinating so I wanted to help them highlight that, but next year I want to be more well rounded, so I'm trying to get more Western history, some more South Eastern history, more diverse topics, so it won't just be the North Eastern show. There's like a block of episodes where it's like I never leave New England or New York, but we will be leaving it. I have episodes in the South East coming up, but next year I want to do a better job of that, so that tool has been helpful for that.

Harry:
Yeah, I've played with both. I use Trello and I use Asana as well. So, most of my stuff is in Asana, but I think for forward looking projections, I really like the visual aspect of Trello.

Liz:
Yeah and that's why I like it for that.

Harry:
As we get into the home stretch, what, and you may have touched upon this earlier, but what are your biggest challenges as you look to grow the show?

Liz:
I would love to, I mean, right now it's financing. Like, if I had financing, I don't even know if I'd pay for the episodes now. I would probably pay for some help, because I'd like to do more of them. There is a demand for chronological series. People are kind of looking to brush up on their history at a more basic level than they can get in the show. I mean, anybody can understand the episodes, but they would like a series on the American revolution and we would chart it from the 1750s to, you know, it's end point somewhere in the 1790s if you want to go as far as the found of the Constitution.

So, there's a need for that, you know, you can say the same about the civil war, Colonial America or maybe I will do series, build those in the show. Everybody is fascinated by everyday life. What was it like for average men and women to live, so I'd like to do more episodes like that, but I'm just still trying to get word out about the show.

The show is still young and as well as it's doing, I still think there’s a ton of people that don't know about us. I still get emails everyday with, not everyday, I wish it was everyday; of people saying, I just found your show and I love it. So, I'd like more people to be able to find us, so I think, like a lot of podcasters, it's word of mouth and getting the word out.

Harry:
Very cool and when you think about podcasting in general, what are the things that have gotten you excited about the way the technology is developing as you think about the next six to 12 months?

Liz:
I'm pretty excited that there are more avenues opening up to us like Spotify. I'm excited about the way it's going to be integrated into cars, that to me is very, very exciting. I'm excited about how, I'm actually excited about how much NPR and NPR trained people are moving into this space, because they push us all to be better and they producing such high quality shows like Serial and Startup and Reply All and all of those type of shows that they're attracting more people to the medium, so I think all of that is great. I think that's probably what's exciting me the most.

Harry:
Yeah, that whole NPR factor. It's funny. It's two schools of thought, because I've heard someone say, well, NPR and those types of podcasts are not doing anything innovative, because I think somebody asked what's innovate in podcasting right now and someone answered, oh, Serial and Startup and they said, well, what they're actually doing is just taking the NPR style of delivery and just bringing it to podcasting, so it's like there's nothing exciting about that, because we are listening to the same type of show, the same type of delivery. Obviously for us what's interesting is the level of professionalism and the level of production that they're putting to these shows, like each on is a mini TV episode. It's just crazy how they suck you in.

I mean, I recently just because of 99% Invisible, I was just tuned on to three or four other shows and I think in the past two to three days added like five or six shows that I absolutely don't have time to listen to. It's in my iPhone and I got to figure out a way to listen to that, but I think something that I want to do is just use those folks as an inspiration and maybe even start to reach out to those podcasters and start to have them on this show, which would be pretty exciting.

Liz:
As a new avid Podcast Junkies's listener, I would love to hear from Roman Mars. Always look up, Harry.

Harry:
Yeah, exactly. I do have my dream guest list and folks like Tim Ferriss and Roman Mars and Dan Benjamin, I think, are on that listen. People that I've long admired in the space, but yeah, there's no reason I can't start with some of the folks who are just new in the space and who probably worked on some of these shows like This American Life and that might be my intro to the higher ups.

Liz:
Yeah. You know, I have a philosophy on that. I always shoot for the stars, because I figure the worst they can say is no. I mean, it's a little disheartening, but really, that's the worst thing that could happen, they could say no.

Harry:
Yeah, I follow some interesting podcasters in comedy. Duncan Trussell and then he's friends with Joe Rogan, who ultimately probably would love to have on the show as well and then they've friended an author of a book called Sex at Dawn, Chris Ryan, who has got a fantastic podcast called Tangentially Speaking and I reached out to him after like working up the courage and listening to this episodes. I think he was giving one of his listeners some grief, because he took so long to send in an email. He's like, dude, just do it, you know, whatever. I sort of took those words to heart and sent him an email. He's actually finishing up a book now, but he said he'd reach back to me. He responded within 20 minutes and he said reach back to me in a couple of months. I am working on the book right now, so I'm like, that's like a warm yes.

Liz:
Anybody who has a book to sell, like has a book out, they are pretty easy, but then it's also annoying, because there's several podcasts I listen to and it's like the same guest and I listen to two or three interviews and I'm like, alright, now we're just doing variations on the same questions. Yeah, I found it easy to get historians who have a book out to talk, but it makes it problematic when people are like, I want to know more about the Regulator Movement in North Carolina and it's like, the last book was like 15 years ago and they've said no, because they've moved on. Historians moved on.

Harry:
That's interesting, because you mentioned that and I was going to talk about it earlier, but you're working on a book yourself.

Liz:
I am. I'm turning my dissertation into a book. I'm not objective about it at all, because I've been staring at it for like ten years, but my goal is to get it down by the end of the year and it's called America's First Gateway and it looks at how the people of Albany, New York, created First Dutch and then British and American identities and it's looking at cultural wars with the New Englanders and the Britains and before there was Saint Louis, Albany really was the gateway to North America.

You could go to Canada, New York City, you could go to the Great Lakes using the rivers and portages before they built the Erie Canal, so it's a very fascinating place. I know people are like, Albany, isn't that in New York? But it's a truly fascinating place and it has a very different heritage than most would assume, because it started out as a dutch settlement and it's actually older than Boston. It was settled, starting around 1614, so Boston is 1630.

Harry:
Oh, wow, interesting. Yeah, I grew up in New York.

Liz:
It's older than New York City, Harry.

Harry:
So, I'm actually familiar with Albany and I went to school in Syracuse, so I'm somewhat familiar with the area as well. So, yeah, that should be interesting and best of luck and that means you'll be asked on all these other podcasts when your book is released.

Liz:
There aren't a lot of other history podcasts that'll have me on there show, but I will likely say yes to any that do, or maybe they'll be more by then.

Harry:
Yeah, I think there will be. So, last completely off topic question, what would you say is the one most misunderstood thing about you?

Liz:
I don't really know. I guess I don't know myself that well. I mean, I can tell you this. So, I have a PhD in history, which means I get to use that title doctor and I never use it because it does sound a bit pretentious, but I'll go to a conference to deliver like an academic paper and they're like, and Dr. Covart and there's always that second where I'm like, what, who are they talking about? Because I never use it. It's actually a joke in my household, but I don't really know what the most misunderstood thing about me is.

Harry:
We can let the listener interpret from that comment what they think it should be. So, where can folks track you down for more info on you and your happenings?

Liz:
BenFranklinsworld.com is a great place to start and I love Twitter. Next to being a Podcast Junkie, I'm a Twitter Junkie, so at @LizCovart is where they can tweet me.

Harry:
And thanks for listening to the unusually long – my last podcast episode and I threw my Easter eggs in there to see who actually listens and use a hashtag in a tweet, which is fun. So, I always geek out when folks listen to the episode in its entirety.

Liz:
Yeah. It's a lot of fun. I can't wait to hear what the hashtag is for this show.

Harry:
I think it's going to be #DrCovart.

Liz:
Good one, good one. Then I'll be really confused.

Harry:
So, #DrCovart if you made it this far and you enjoyed our conversation. So, wishing you the best of luck. I think we will have a follow up chat on what we can do to get more of an audience to your show. I mean, you're doing well. Those numbers are fantastic, but I think if any listeners have any idea, I'm sure you can reach out to Liz as well for ways in which you can spread the world, but wishing you the best of luck.

Liz:
Thank you very much and I wish you luck.

Harry:
Thanks, have a fantastic, Liz.

So, thanks again for coming on the show Liz and I hope you had a good time. I think you're wondering how this show is going to go since most of the episodes or interviews you had are structured, so I hope you had a good time. I had a fun time talking to you. I think the listeners had an enjoyable and an informative experience as well. So, if you want more details on everything that we talked about, head on over to PodcastJunkies.com/43 for show notes. You can subscribe at PodcastJunkies.com/iTunes.

It's probably the easiest way, but we're also available on Stitcher for those of you that have Android and if you want to leave a review, you can leave a review on said Stitcher and on said iTunes, just head on over to the same link, PodcastJunkies.com/iTunes, hit subscribe, five stars, and tell us why this show is so freaking awesome! It's not that hard. Thanks again for constantly coming in.

I'm really happy to get these shows out to you on a more consistent basis and I'm excited about my plans for getting a wider variety of guests on the show. I still don't know who that's going to be in the short term, but I'm pretty excited about some names I have in mind and again, I'm just looking to expand it out beyond the entrepreneurial space and get some of the more prominent names in the story telling genre and in the audio drama and just folks that I've been listening to recently that are inspiring me.

I'm going to start to ensure that I give credit where credit is due for anything that's happened on the show or for folks that are helping me or for people that been with me from the beginning, one of those folks that I want to call it is Seeder and Soil, he's the musician responsible for the shows intro music and outro music.

I think I'm going to hit him up for some original music for me to play out towards the end. It's been something I've been inspired to do and he's the first person that I think about because he's been with me and supporting this show since the beginning. He actually was curating some of the songs we were playing at the end of the episodes towards the beginning of the actual podcast until I discounted that. It was just more of a headache from a copyright perspective and I ran into some challenges when importing the episodes over to YouTube, so I had to stop that for now.

So, we're going to pick that back up again, sorry, not the songs, but I think some music at the end of the episode would be really nice and some original music to boot and so stay tuned for that and I'm excited about where that might end up.

If you want to sign up for the newsletter just send a text message, it's the easiest way, 33444 and send the word PodcastJunkies to that number. PodcastJunkies, all one word, 233444 and then you'll immediately be given instructions on how to sign up. I've been focusing on that method of sign up recently, because I think what I’ve seen are a lot of listeners are coming to the show via mobile, because I think it's the most convenient way to consumer podcasts, at least it is for me. If that's not the case, then you want to sign up from your desktop or your browser, you can always do that, just head on over to PodcastJunkies.com and you'll see a link at the top of the page that pops up. You can drop your email in there.

Another push for the ebook that's out. It's on Amazon now if you head over to the website, you'll see that as the top link in the top right side bar, it's on Amazon. It's called Around the Podcast Campfire and it's just a nice recap of the first 25 discussions I've had with some fantastic guests on the show and I definitely see that as a continuing series when I get the next round of interviews lined up.

So, the other thing I've dabbled with is maybe even taking that ebook that was a result of the conversations I had and then taking the recap that's in Around the Podcast Campfire and making it na audio book as well. So, fun things happening and just experimenting all around and see what works and what doesn't and I count on your feedback to keep me honest and to keep me on my toes.

So, as you heard with the end of the episode with Liz, #DrCovart. I'm sure she'll enjoy it. I know I will, just want to see who our true Podcast Junkies are, so send that tweet out to our Twitter account, Podcast_Junkies with that hashtag, let me know that you made it this far. So, that's it. Have a fantastic week and looking forward to chatting with you guys again next week, bye.

Jennifer Briney Interview Transcription
Corey Coates Interview Transcription