When I was considering whether or not to do this show, the reason I agreed to do it was because I had a producer. I no longer do*. So now I need help. Your help, if you’re willing. I can’t do this on my own, and Crowdsourced Producer seems as beautifully ridiculous as the idea of this show to begin with.
Ever since announcing the show, friends and colleagues have said, “Ooo! You should have ________ on the show. They’d be great.”
My reply was almost always, “I’d love to. Want to reach out to them for me?”
Then they’d laugh, or say, “I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
Well, I’ve been working for the past several weeks on everything you need to start. How convenient, amiright?
If you want to help produce an episode of the podcast, this post should contain everything you need to do so, and you have my full permission to run with it. I’ll even happily credit you as a guest producer if your work leads to a successful appearance — only if you’d be happy to be credited, of course.
Everything I’ve put together is down below. But first I want to spell out who I think will make a great guest on the show.
You might disagree. And I’m open to that. After all, you call the shots, Producer.
In my mind, the ideal Heretic guest is someone who…
- Is willing to publicly (and not anonymously) talk about social justice dogma;
- Has experience within the social justice movement, or a meaningful/useful insight from being on the sidelines (or in the crosshairs);
- Can help identify a barrier (or several) the movement is creating that are getting in our own way; and
- Will dive into a complicated, nuanced, prickly, and likely controversial conversation about ways we might move forward.
And 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.
But #1 is non-negotiable, and it’s the hurdle I’ve been most unsuccessful in jumping over so far.
I’ve emailed about a dozen would-be guests (all social justice people), and of those who have responded (which isn’t most), here’s the paraphrased chorus of “No, Thank You”:
Sounds like something we need, and I’ll be listening. But I couldn’t be a guest and talk about social justice dogma, and continue doing the work I’m doing. I can email you my thoughts, but it would have to be anonymous.
Oof. I get it. I probably would have said the same thing a year ago, if someone had asked me to be on this show. It’s a huge risk, and I’m not here to downplay that. But it’s a risk we have to take if we’re going to overcome these challenges.
Producing: Getting Someone You Want on the Show
Here’s the TL;DR: reach out to the person yourself (via email, social, whatever channel is available to you), make your case for why you want to hear from them (and be specific: what about their work, or public presence, led you connecting them with Heretic or social justice dogma), then have them contact me ([email protected] or [email protected]). I can take it from there.
Now, here are the tools I’ve put together that might help:
Heretic Potential Guest Form Letter
I put together a sample email that you can send, with lots of information about the show and myself, as well as blanks for you to fill out and tailor to your ask.
Full disclosure: I’ve been using some version of this as I’ve been reaching out to people myself, and I haven’t had a lot of success. So, it’s a starting place. Let me know if you think something should be changed or removed (especially if you’re a person who would have been a guest on the show, if not for this ask).
Guest Nomination Form
This private form doesn’t require you to reach out to someone yourself, but enables to you provide as much information as you can to make it easier for someone else to reach out.
Guest Submissions & Voting Board
I created a simple, public way for people to submit and vote up guests they want to see on the show. I suspect this won’t really be helpful until the show is out, but I could be wrong. And it’s open right now.
You just need to head over to the Guest Submissions & Voting Page to see it in action, create an account on this site (free, easy), and submit a guest or vote on one.
Heretic Guesting Primer
I wrote a really long page with all the As to expected guest Qs. It’s something that you can link potential guests to if they have questions, or use for your own information/context as you’re putting together an ask.
Each section has a TL;DR that synopsizes it, and almost everything on the page is up for negotiation.
For example, my hope is to have a guest rope off two hours for our conversation (even if we don’t end up using the whole time, it’s good to have for snafus, rabbit holes, etc.), but if a really awesome special exciting potential guest only had 45 minutes, we could probably make that work.
Guesting: Being on the Show Yourself
Want to be on the show? I’d love to hear from you.
Read this guesting primer (or just the TL;DRs) if you’re curious about what being a guest would be like.
Then, if you meet those four criteria above in this post (or a few of them), or you have another compelling reason why you want to chat, reach out.
You can nominate yourself using this form (Just hit enter, then select option D to nominate a guest, and go from there), or by emailing [email protected] with information about yourself, what you want to talk about, and anything else you think we should know.
It’s that simple. I’ll be in touch one way or the other, as soon as I can be.
P.S. I still have a couple episodes in the can. And I’m still hoping to release them. I just don’t want to release an individual episode, and have it standing there on its lonesome, until I have a body of work ready to go, and a plan in place that seems sustainable for the show. My hope is that this will help give people the best chance at a good faith review/appraisal of the show, and it’s value, instead of placing all that on the shoulders of one or two guests.
*My producer bailed back in January and sent everything into a tailspin, hence the exorbitant delay from announcement to release (turns out it was a pipe dream). I’ve decided to continue doing the show because it feels like the most important thing I can be doing right now (I’ve also already lost a lot — colleagues, friends, gigs — just for announcing, so hopefully this isn’t just sunk cost at work).