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Picking a Pro Podcast

Not everyone can be the next Chris Neto.

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I just finished reading through Sunday’s edition of #AVintheAM, the weekly Twitter question-and-answer fest hosted by Chris Neto. It made me reflect on the time, effort, and passion Chris has put into the industry. He is a humble man and I am proud to say a good friend of mine. Chris is the voice of the commercial integration industry. He has earned that title honestly with commitment, integrity, grit, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. If you are not listening or participating in his weekly #AVintheAM twitter conversations on Sunday mornings, I strongly suggest you check him out.

With so many integrators with so much time on their hands, there are an enormous number of people throwing up videos, chats, interviews, podcasts, etc. on Facebook, Youtube, and other mediums. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain ugly. I wanted to share some of my favorite, can’t miss podcasts and industry media personalities. Some have been around for years and some are just getting off the ground.

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For example, Ken Vanemon and Will Saxton have started a semi-weekly podcast that airs on the Crestron Home Facebook forum every Tuesday and Friday and that focuses on Crestron Home, including new features, success stories, tips and tricks, and how to get the most out of it. It is a must for Crestron Home dealers. It is well produced with quality microphones, no distracting backdrops or noises, and provides detailed, valuable information in a concise, informative format.

I also love Jeremy Glowacki’s podcast that he does for Residential Tech Today. Jeremy has the contacts and the gravitas to schedule some of the biggest names in residential technology and beyond. He has the likes of Richard Glikes from Azione, Jon Robbins from HTSA, and some smaller names, like Penn Jillette, the famous magician and entertainer, and Joe Perry, the Hall of Fame lead guitarist of Aerosmith. His podcasts and so entertaining and informative, you won’t want to miss any.

Then there is all of the content from AVNation and the always venerable Tim Albright.  From ResiWeek with Matt D. Scott and the latest news and information in the residential market to A State of Control with Steve Greenlblatt, focusing on control and programming. A bit of an esoteric show with a deep dive into the details, this show is perfect for those passionate about programming the best systems and solving thorny programming issues.

Another great show I was introduced to by my friend Mark is the Digital Ramble with Kris Gamble and JJ Cannon. Kris and JJ each have their own integration firms. Both used to install traditional professional-grade systems with control from companies like RTI and others, but have transitioned to a more DIY product base, focusing on what they refer to as the NULLS or NELLS (Nest, Ubiquiti/eero, Lutron, Logitech, and Sonos) with a SyLo (system local) approach. Their podcast is very informative and, to be honest, I really learned a lot about the DIY products listening to it. I do not foresee taking my business in that direction as I can’t see how to provide world-class remote support with such a model, but it works for them and is a very informative podcast.

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Mark and I have discussed starting our own podcast. We love to banter about our experiences, the products we use, the successes — and the failures — we’ve had with customers, products, and services. We would only do it if we could do it right. We would want to make sure we kept it informative, interesting, to the point, short (30 minutes or less an episode, preferably 15 minutes), and fun. We had a great time presenting on the AVNation Learn From Home Summit and enjoy our guest appearances on ResiWeek. But we want to make sure we are not one of dealers out there who put something out just to do a vanity project. Most of them end up hurting their brand’s image with customers; they look unprofessional and it comes off as a poorly executed marketing piece. We love the podcasts I’ve mentioned above because they are all about the audience, not about the hosts. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

And keep an eye out for Mark and Todd’s Excellent Integrations (the name is a work in progress)!

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