Hello folks, it’s been a while but I wanted to update you all on the status of the podcast FLOSS Weekly which I co-host. I have grave news… FLOSS Weekly is dead…. but wait, no it isn’t!!! Let me explain in a little more detail.
FLOSS Weekly (as the name suggests) is a weekly show about Free Libre Open Source Software. It was hosted on the TWIT Network for 17 years and I was privileged to be a member of the team for 14 of those years. I joined when the show was hosted by the one and only Randal Schwartz. I got to speak to some amazing people over the years, including Randal of course. In 2020 the show changed a little as Randal left and the new full time host Doc Searls (of Linux Journal fame) joined. Doc was also a great host but has a different hosting style to Randal and without meaning to cast any aspersions I think some people found that change a bit jarring. Now let me clarify, Doc is a great host and I loved doing the show with him too. It was just a different kind of style to some degree. My Dad always talks about “traditional resistance to change”, he was a work study engineer (in a past life) and likes to use this phrase a lot. I know what he means. Sometimes people just don’t like change for better or worse, change itself is the problem and they won’t accept it. Perhaps that’s what happened a little but the show was still very healthy as far as listener/viewer figures went to my knowledge. So I don’t want to create the impression that we had audience problems, we didn’t. While we’re on the subject of change I’d also like to share a little nugget of wisdom I picked up from Randal. He told me he once went to a coffee shop where there was a sign on the tip jar which read “if you are scared of change, please leave it here” hehehe. I still quote that to people a lot and they usually laugh. One of the many things I picked up from Randal over the years.
In December of last year I received an email from Leo Laporte. The Chief TWIT himself. It was titled “The Last FLOSS Weekly” and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t come as something of a shock. I think to the whole team, not just me. Basically Leo said that TWIT was streamlining and changing their roster of shows. To paraphrase his own words, he built TWIT like a traditional radio station with expensive studios and a large set of staff, advertising income couldn’t sustain it in it’s current form. He said FLOSS was done and the next show (due in a few days at the time) would be the last. We recorded and broadcast that show before Christmas and it was a bittersweet affair. Leo joined us towards the end of the show to discuss why things were ending and he did a good job I thought. I know it wasn’t an easy decision for him and understandably some of the audience were not pleased. I have no hard data or real inside knowledge on this but I do know that podcast advertising revenues have dropped significantly recently and this probably necessitated change for him. You can listen to the final FLOSS Weekly on the TWIT network here.
A quick side note while we’re on the subject of changes at TWIT and staff changes particularly. I met and worked with many amazing people at TWIT over the years and there’s too many to mention individually, but one who I would like to highlight is Ant Pruitt. Ant helped to produce the show for a long time and is a great guy all round. He was one of the TWIT employees who sadly they let go. So I just wanted to say, if you need a great technical producer/engineer, host, photographer, or just all round great guy, definitely give Ant a shout.
Ok back to our story. I thought that was the end of FLOSS Weekly and I came to terms with that. It had been a good run and I suppose I saw it as a chance for a change. Maybe do something else and start some new shows in 2024, who knows. Fate had other things in store though. In this case fate came in the form of Jonathan Bennett, my erstwhile FLOSS co-host. Jonathan works for Hackaday and he approached them about picking up FLOSS Weekly and continuing it, with the blessing of Leo and Lisa from TWIT I should add. Leo said we could keep the name if we found a new home. I’m pleased to say that has happened. Thanks to Jonathan’s hard work he has saved FLOSS Weekly from the brink of extinction and brought it back. It’s now available weekly again on Hackaday. He called it the 4th season of FLOSS Weekly, which I like. The first season being Leo and co-hosts, second season Randal’s long illustrious tenure, third season Doc’s time at the helm, and now Jonathan is the main host. Doc and others (including myself) are still on board as co-hosts. So all of this is a long way of saying FLOSS Weekly is dead… long live FLOSS Weekly!!!
You can find the show over at Hackaday and subscribe now to the new feed. It’s mostly an audio show again which if I’m honest I prefer, but there is live video of the recording you can interact with via the Hackaday Discord should you wish to. The live chat and listener interaction has always been important. I was on a show recently with Neil Gompa as our guest and it was great fun. Hopefully it’s good fun to listen to as well. Jonathan has really revitalised the show and he’s in the process of building up the listener base again. That’s partly why I wanted to write this post. To explain what happened and also highlight what is happening going forward. I will update the RSS feed which imports here on my site to the new Hackaday one. The many co-hosts you’re familiar with from FLOSS Weekly will still be on board and if you haven’t listened in a while I encourage you to give it a go. I’m really enjoying it as a listener, not just a co-host. It’s become a regular part of my weekly listening.
In fact, Randal Schwartz (remember that guy) was on this very week. So you can listen to him and Aaron Newcomb (also remember that guy) chatting with Jonathan. I think you’ll enjoy it, and tell your friends if you do. We’d appreciate it.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back with more news of new stuff I’m up to very soon. Take care out there and oh, by the way, I know it’s a little late but Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2024 for us all.