Inside TWiT

Forging Our Way Through the COVID-19 Era as an Independent Podcast Network

MacBreak Weekly podcast recording pre-COVID-19 lockdown

When we look back at 2020, how will we remember it?

We were already facing global warming when COVID-19 hit. In the US, society’s fractures were exacerbated by the pandemic and a lack of effective leadership. The scars of racism, misogyny, political chaos, and widespread unrest are raw.

The past six months have challenged us beyond imagination. We believe in our purpose and are doing everything we can to keep our community strong through this global crisis.

At TWiT.tv, we produce 20 weekly podcasts for an engaged community of tech enthusiasts. We are one of the longest-running independent tech podcasting networks. We haven’t missed a single episode since the pandemic began.

But the impact of COVID-19 on our network has been significant, and we’ve had to pivot, be flexible, find new solutions, and remember who we are as a team.

We see fluctuations in our downloads because of news cycles and changes in listening habits under work-from-home and shelter-in-place. We have fearful clients who are worried about continuing advertising campaigns because of economic uncertainty. Ninety-percent of our staff work from home, so we face a whole unique set of challenges. On top of that, online harassment has intensified. Because I am a female CEO of a tech podcast network, misogyny has always been an issue. Now, the trolls are doubling down, trying to disrupt our business in a time where hatred is thriving. These anonymous attacks also target our public support of Black Lives Matter and other social causes. We know trolling is par for the course if you’re in the public eye.

So, what do we do? We focus on positives and keep our eyes on our purpose.

In business, now is the time to be bold, take risks, and be proactive. We immediately reached out to our clients to offer additional value and provide cutbacks to those impacted the most. We did everything we could to help support our business partners to raise brand awareness. Every business we work with stepped up and gave back to their community. The outreach has been incredible, a bright spot in humanity, and we will continue to be part of it.

In the 15 years since inception, TWiT.tv has seen its fair share of ups and downs.

The network began when Leo Laporte decided to capture the magic he discovered working at TechTV, serving a niche audience. A couple of years in, I joined the network, and Leo and I started our bootstrapped journey together. Few knew what a podcast was, let alone what TWiT stood for. We’ve come a long way, and we are not about to stop.

The pandemic has allowed us to reevaluate what’s truly important. For us, that's community, equality, diversity, social justice, awareness, kindness, and honesty.

 

For more articles by TWiT CEO Lisa Laporte, go to her blog at lisalaporte.ceo.

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