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Meta: Caroline Crampton joins Hot Pod

Hey all,

As you might have noticed by now, Hot Pod has its limitations. And they are completely mine: my capabilities, my judgment, my tastes, my biases. In some ways, this is an asset: a worldview is a differentiator. In others, it is also a tremendous liability: I only have so many hours in a day, so much elasticity in my views, so much energy to research and analyze and feel and write.

I started Hot Pod in late 2014, on a whim with no particular goal but simple play. That’s changed over time, of course, as the community around me grew and as I grew myself. These days, my goal with the newsletter has a more defined shape: to be a smart and thoughtful living record of the podcast industry. But in order to do that adequately, however, the newsletter needs to grow. It needs to push against my network, biases, and limitations.

In other words, it needs to be more than me.

Today, I’m announcing a new addition to the Hot Pod family: Caroline Crampton.

Caroline is a great writer, reporter, and producer whose words have appeared in The Guardian, Lenny, and The New Statesman. She’s written vividly, and beautifully, on subjects that range widely from a theme park lost in time and memory, to the minor German aristocratic family that proved vital to Britain’s intellectual development, to her experiences with cancer. And she’s been writing about podcasts from her base in the UK since 2014, and some of you might already be familiar with her podcast newsletter, Podmail — which, by the way, will now be absorbed into Hot Pod.

She joins Hot Pod with a few mandates. First, she’s going to help us explore the podcast industry and community in the UK and Europe. (Though not completely — she’ll be free to write about American developments as she wishes.) Second, she’s taking over one of the two Insider newsletters that paid subscribers get every week. And finally, she’s bringing her worldview, her judgment, and her tastes into the mix. In doing so, she will broaden out the Hot Pod scope of conversation. This is where we start. How we work will likely change as we figure out better ways to collaborate. But whatever those changes will be, my mandate with Caroline is simple: to help her do her best possible work writing about the business of making podcasts.

Bringing in Caroline is a big part of my ongoing efforts to grow Hot Pod, to deepen the value of your paid subscription, and to build this thing into a proper publication. Two further points fall from this development:

  • The context mix between the free weekly Tuesday newsletters and the paid Insider newsletters will be switched-up. Caroline’s work will appear on both sides of The Wall.
  • There will be aesthetic changes to the newsletter as a consequence of Caroline’s addition, given the fact that there will now be multiple writers. I’ll be tinkering with layouts over time, so don’t freak out if you see something strange.

I’m really excited to work with Caroline, and I’m so very glad to have another person on the team to shoulder the load (and/or feed the beast). I’ll still be writing copiously, of course (duh), it’s just that I can now allocate a little more attention towards actively improving the Hot Pod experience and growing its business. (And working on a book. And writing for Vulture. And, like, endeavoring to be a more present husband, friend, and son. You know, that kind of stuff.)

Again, this is where we start. If this gambit works out, and if the cost model I built holds up, I hope to continue bringing in more writers over time. Until then, let me thank you, as always, for being a paid subscriber to Hot Pod Insider and for supporting what we do here. You’re great, and I wish you the best.

Okay, that’s all I have for today. Please join me in welcoming Caroline to Hot Pod. Follow her on Twitter. Check out her website. Send her an email to say hello. And most importantly, if you’re based in the UK/Europe, send her your story tips, pitches, and ideas.

Cool? Cool. See you Thursday.

– Nick Quah (in New Haven, CT; August 28, 2018)