A day with Ron Jacobs

I got to spend Monday with Ron Jacobs in Chicago.  For those of you who don’t know, Ron is the host of the popular podcast on architecture arCast and its sister video show arCast TV.  Ron is on an 8 city in 12 days tour that is taking him from Boston Remix to Nashville Devlink to the Heartland Developers Conference.  He stopped over in Chicago to record some arCast shows with some local customers.  He recorded one on SOA and Agile development in the Enterprise and one on a Silverlight application that is under development (for those of you that were at SilverlightDevCampChicago, you saw a glimpse of the application during one of the discussions).  When the shows get mixed down and posted,I will be sure to point you to them.

In between shows we had some time to record “B” roll footage, which is the slang term for unrelated footage that is mixed in with the primary footage.  Ron wanted to give the audience the feel that he was in Chicago, so we walked down to the Tribune building and the Wrigley building, as well as shooting some stuff down by the Chicago River.  I would have liked to take Ron up to the Sears Tower, but we just ran out of time.

On Monday night we met up with some local architects for a conversation about architecture, in keeping with the “unique to Chicago” theme, we all met over at Harry Caray’s.  My colleagues Robin Mestre and Beth Patton joined us and 8 other architects for some fascinating conversation.  I don’t think we get architects together enough to have just casual conversations.

On Podcasting

I am a “wanna be” podcaster.  I have started doing some recording and I have some ideas about the type of shows I want to do and the format of the shows.  Spending the day with Ron has simultaneously inspired me and intimidated me about the whole podcasting experience.  Ron seems like he is a natural at the art and science of podcasting, but he has been doing it for years.  He also is constantly studying.  A lot of our conversations as we walked around downtown Chicago were about things that he learned by studying how professional film makers shot movies (like how outdoor scenes have the audio recorded in the studio and mixed in with some ambient noise).

I got a lot of insight from Ron on how to record good quality podcasts (well at least how to technically record a good podcast – you can still record a bad podcast even with good quality sound).  Here is the best part, you don’t have to spend a whole day with Ron to get this insight.  Ron is working on a special edition arCast where he is going to walk everyone through all of his tips and tricks for recording good podcasts.  I shot some video of Ron shooting some video of him recording a podcast for a podcast on how to podcast (it was very existential).

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