Ever wondered what the people around you every day were actually experiencing in their every day lives?
People you may never really cross paths with except once on a train or at the supermarket. Greg and Joe definitely did and the Other People’s Lives podcast was born.
We interviewed co-hosts and creators Greg Dybec and Joe Santagato and asked them about running the podcast and all that comes with it.
The Origin Story
Other People’s Lives started with the duo reaching out to personals section of Craigslist and interviewing intriguing posters.
One of the first episodes was “The Naked Cuddler” and explored the intentions and thoughts of a man seeking another man to cuddle with naked — “platonically.”
The personals section of Craigslist has since been shut down and the co-hosts now rely on submissions from listeners to create their episodes.
“Now that the show is grown we get at least 10 emails per day from people who could potentially be guests.” – Greg
As visibility (or audibility?) rises, more people send weird stuff to content creators. We asked what the craziest email OPL has ever received from a fan/hater.
Joe: Sometimes people write in with some wild things that wouldn’t necessarily work as an episode. I’ll never forget one guy who emailed us and said he eats his own, um, I guess you can call it “man juices.” He said he doesn’t know why he does this. Actually, maybe that would make a good episode.
Greg: Two of the craziest emails we’ve gotten we’ve actually done as episodes. One was a high school kid who wrote in with a story about how he found out his dad was a pedophile and he ended up turning his dad into the authorities. Now his dad is in jail. That was one of the first episodes we ever did. Another was an email from a woman who told us her dad was in prison for murdering a man who he thought mistreated her. Both of those were super intense episodes.
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Empathy, to a point
The name of the game when it comes to podcasts like Other People’s Lives is empathy. Greg and Joe both expressed that having a non-judgemental approach to callers/contributors on the show is vital for its success.
Greg: Neither of us is quick to judge or assume, so we enjoy having these conversations and learning about people without just writing them off as weird. With that said, it doesn’t mean we just accept and agree with everything discussed on the show. For example, we’ve spoken to a girl who was pro-anorexia and a man who was part of the incel community and had a pretty terrible perception of women. We definitely made it clear that we didn’t agree with their point of views and we challenged a number of their points by offering up an opposing viewpoint. But at the same time, we don’t do the show to argue with people we don’t agree with. If we truly disagree we tend to save those thoughts for the final thoughts portion when the guest is no longer on the line. We want to make sure each guest has a fair chance to express themselves.
Joe shared that one of the most haunting caller’s he remembers was a professional Ghosthunter. The caller was so matter-of-fact about his experiences and interactions with ghosts which made the conversation that much more chilling.
“It was creepy because he was so serious and straightforward about everything he told us, like how ghosts have gotten violent with him and how there are evil ghosts out there.” – Joe
The takeaway from a podcast like Other People’s Lives the co-hosts tell us is learning to listen.
“I mean how many times has someone told you their name and you never even hear it because you were just preparing for your turn to speak?” -Greg
Joe expressed the benefits of listening as well. The knowledge that can come from just really hearing another person out can have limitless positivity on your outlook.
“You realize that we’re all not too different from each other and judging people only limits your understanding of the world.” -Joe
So how can you get a piece of the wonderful world of podcasting? You do have to put in the effort. If you can’t differentiate yourself from the oversaturated market then why do it at all? Once you know what kind of podcast you want to create you need to work harder than everyone else.
Joe: If you want a successful podcast, just be consistent and the rest of it will come.
Greg: And don’t think you’re going to blow up overnight. Never think that.
Overall, however, the answer to how to start a podcast is simple: Do it.
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