On October 23, 2015, the Microsoft Cloud Show hit a huge milestone with its 100th episode. Hosted by Microsoft gurus Andrew Connell (AC) and Chris Johnson (CJ), the Microsoft Cloud Show is a recognized source in the industry for all-things related to Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and SharePoint.
In honor of the 100th episode, Andrew and Chris were kind enough to sit down and tell the story of the podcast from inception to present-day.
IT Unity: Where did it all begin?
CJ: I got started listening to podcasts in a bigger way in early 2013 after AC suggested a few that I might like. After a few months I thought, “Why not do one?!” and I started bugging AC to see if he would be interested. Initially he wasn’t given other commitments, but after a while he came around to the idea and we discussed what it would be about. We were both SharePoint people at the time, but didn’t want to limit ourselves to just the product, so we landed on a show about the Microsoft cloud.
IT Unity: Where is the show at now?
AC/CJ: We just wrapped up 100 shows with a special show recorded by our wives who took the opportunity to laugh about our geekiness. We have been pretty consistent, or at least try to be, releasing a show every week. I think we have only skipped one or two weeks over the last two years. We are pretty pumped about making it to one hundred!! In all honesty, I thought recording every week wasn’t going to last, but actually recording a show more frequently is easier as it’s just part of our weekly routine now.
IT Unity: What have you learned along the way?
AC/CJ: The biggest thing we have learned is to be personally passionate about the topics. If you don’t have that, it’s very hard. That sounds obvious, but when we are talking about something we really both love, the discussion is vibrant and gets emotional. It’s much more fun and I am sure is way more entertaining for the listeners too. Also, forcing a weekly frequency is really important. That way news isn’t out of date and the content is fresh. That’s important for us as many of our listeners rely on us for a roundup of the latest news and things going on in the Microsoft Cloud world.
IT Unity: How have technology changes driven you one way, or another?
AC/CJ: When we started the show, the main focus was on SharePoint. Today, SharePoint is certainly discussed, but it is secondary to many other topics. That is partly because of our backgrounds and focus at the time, but also as the cloud has developed and it has become a lot more commonplace. The lines between products has blurred, technology has changed and our personal interests have broadened as a result. We spend a lot more time talking about Azure and Office 365 now as opposed to just SharePoint.
IT Unity: What are your favorite shows? Who have been your favorite guests?
AC/CJ: We both really like the interview shows we have done. There have been a few standout interviews with people like Andrew Liu and Stewart Kwan from the Azure team that were really interesting; one about Document DB and the other about Identity. Getting the guys from Microsoft who build these services to talk about their products is always interesting and we both learn as well as our audience.
IT Unity: What are your plans for the next hundred shows?
AC/CJ: We would love to keep going! We want to bring the latest news and interesting topics fresh every week. We would love more audience participation integrated into the shows like Q&A sessions and feedback. We would also really like to cast the net wider and make sure more people find out about the show. Although we have thousands of people that listen to the show every week, we know we can reach more. We have a number of ideas on how to improve our listenership, such as competitions, some games and things like that.