Open Notes

Issue 11 - Virtual Friends

Welcome. The Waveform is a newsletter from Red Cup Agency about the podcasts we are producing. When we launch a new show or post an episode that stands out, I’ll drop you a note. I’m Lee Schneider, founder and lead producer. Were you forwarded this email? You can subscribe. I’ll write an issue of The Waveform only when there’s news.

Who’s Your New Virtual Friend?

If you needed any further proof that the digital and physical words are blurring, consider Lil Miquela. She is a famous 19-year-old from Downey, California with three million followers on Instagram. Also, she’s not real. She is a virtual being.

Virtual beings have talent managers, endorsement deals, attend photo shoots, have enthusiastic fans and frenemies, and are plagued by hackers who erase their feeds. The people who create virtual beings may well be creating the perfect celebrity. Virtual beings don’t have meltdowns unless scripted, always hit the talking points, don’t care who they endorse, and will date who they are asked to date. It’s kind of like the old Hollywood studio system, but with more control.

Here’s where things go over the cliff: In the online world, a virtual being is just as real as anyone reading this newsletter. The online world is just as much theirs as it is ours.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Problems with Apple Podcasts

A couple of weeks ago, Apple issued an update for its Mac OS and iOS that included a refresh of Apple Podcasts Connect, the platform podcasters use to post their shows on Apple. It was supposed to give us improved metrics, a subscription service, and a nice-looking interface. Instead, we got a buggy platform that erased some producer’s shows, mixed up the order of others, and got really spotty about posting new shows. If you’re having any trouble finding your favorite podcast show on Apple, you might want to check for it on Spotify, or on the producer’s website. The shows are out there. It’s just that until Apple fixes its bugs, you might not be able to find them on Apple.

This is rough on most producers because most podcasts are discovered on Apple’s platform. The silver lining here is that this glitch-fest may cause more listeners to seek out their favorite shows on the producer’s websites. Get to know your producer!

See you next time on The Waveform.


Red Cup Agency. Podcast Production.

Working with teams large and small, I take podcasts from the glimmer of an idea into production and distribution.


I sometimes say that post production in podcasting is a lot like scoring and placing sound effects for a movie. It’s audio-cinema. Here’s a screen snap of the mix for the latest episode of Same Same but Tech showing how we get into this. A conversational podcast has three or four tracks: Two for people talking, maybe another for music, and another for an announcer. The Virtual Beings episode out this week has 31 tracks for sound effects, music, interviews, narration, and an announcer. We like going deep into the audio experience.

Read Freely.

You can read freely at The Waveform. I’m not tracking opens, clicks, or forwards. I’m not analyzing your IP address location. It’s just you and me, writing and reading. This is a small part of the vast Web focused on people and dialog, not marketing data collection.