Some Sorta Scary Stats and future direction

Last year at this time, I was getting tens of thousands of downloads, and it was seriously freaking me out. So far, the episodes I’ve made this year have a more reasonable listenership: somewhere around 1,000 plays per episode, but it takes a while for the numbers to get up there. The “Ass Hair Burger Festival,” which was the last episode I did in 2006, has been listened to over 4,000 times.

Video viewership is harder to calculate, but between my blog, iTunes and YouTube, the beach video, for example, has been watched over 6,000 times.

But you know what? I don’t feel it. There are maybe 10 people who post to the blog, and those are the people I imagine myself talking to, plus a few very close friends from real life and my parents in the US. Being a quite shy and private person (I kid you not, not in the least), unless I can learn how not to self-destruct when the numbers start getting too high, imagining only a few people listening in is the only way I can continue to do this stuff.

I admire people who can live without fear, or at least feel the fear but do it anyway. Coming to terms with what have always been my two greatests fears–criticism and failure–is the reason I started podcasting almost two years ago, and the reason why I still challenge myself despite very public setbacks. In fact, the repeating cycle of failing, being forgiven by listeners and trying again has helped to boost my confidence a little every time.

What am I getting at? Thanks for reaching out to me and helping me grow personally. I’m hoping that someday soon this experiment will evolve into something beyond just me, and into a community that will help people help each other become happy and successful. I have a few ideas germinating about this, but those ideas haven’t attracted the right people just yet. That’s the next thing I need to learn how to do.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

18 thoughts to “Some Sorta Scary Stats and future direction”

  1. Wow! Tens of thousands! Never realised you were that popular, but seeing as I enjoy the podcasts so much I’m not surprised so many other people do too.

    Don’t worry about how many people listen! Doesn’t sound like a failure if you have so many people listening. Also, don’t bow to any pressure to do the podcast in a certain way. We like it how it is.

    I’m glad the podcasts make you feel better about life in a small way. It does that for us too.


  2. Hey Rich,
    I listen, watch, & read because I want to hear what you think about Japan. I am living in Yokohama (permanently since March ’06). I lived here for 2 years on an ex-pat assignment (from 02′-’04) and then moved back to the States for 2 years. Now that I am here forever living with my family and working as an automotive engineer, I really have no true friends in Japan like I did back in the States. My daughter is only 2 yrs. old, so it’s difficult to get out and meet others when we have time. I listen to your podcast and read your blog to help me feel like there is someone in Japan with a lot of the same thoughts about life as me. I am also preparing to start a podcast of my own. I am not looking for large numbers, but more for therapy and just to talk. If a few people listen…cool, if not…cool. I had so many hobbies in the U.S. that I can not do here in Japan, due to time & $$$. Using my Mac is the only hobby that survived the move…so I started blogging and look forward to podcasting someday (once I get my mobile equipment and the courage).

    Keep it up, if you enjoy it! Stop if you don’t.


  3. Confronting one’s demons/fears may be the most difficult, yet ultimately rewarding journey. Just remember: there really is no failure, for in your attempts you cannot help but learn & grow.

    Hang in there!

  4. As for as I can tell, you haven’t failed once. Your podcast is now the only one I’m subscribed too! Thanks for your “philosophical bullshit”, too. It’s really helped me. It’s funny how your intention was to make YOURSELF a better person by doing a podcast, but ended up making ME a better person. You also think exactly like me; listening to your podcast sometimes seems like listening to myself think. Don’t stop a good thing, Rich. Keep up the good work.

  5. Hey,

    I read your blog ! I also live in Japan and I like your blog because it offers something different…

    Keep up the good work mate


  6. Wow, I had no idea that the numbers were that high. I’m not suprised that it freaked you out a bit. I’m not sure how I’d deal with that.

    For what it’s worth (and I really don’t think that’s a lot since I’m just some random listener), I really enjoy listening to your ramblings on your way to work and I’m really happy you’ve started podcasting again. I hope continue and good luck with the ideas!

  7. Being in a somewhat similar situation but on the other side of the country…I greatly admire your efforts and have benefited greatly by your insights, Rich San! Love the tech tips…cannot live without Rikaichan, by the way! 誠に有り難うごさいます!

  8. Hey Rich. I think you do a good job. The reason I listen and watch is because I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures. Japan has always been on the top of my list though. I hope to one day actually take a trip to Japan.

    But yea I like your podcasts, and your videos. Japan is just a different world than where i am (New Jersey US).

    Oh and also, but of your podcast, I took up an interest in trying to learn how to speak Japanese… man and people say English is hard to learn heh.

    But thankyou Rich. As long as you enjoy what you are doing, I say continue doing it.

  9. I’d be up for a japanese garbage video cast!

    Seriously though, glad to see/hear you back ‘casting’ again – personally, the mistakes/failings you mention, only make the podcasts more listenable and somehow more real and everyday.

    I’m a graphic designer in the south of england (UK) and the culture there fascinates me, I really hope to work there, or with people there in the future – so the opportunity to get the feel of daily life in Japan, especially from a westerners point of view is great

    As above, if you enjoy doing it, keep it up!

  10. rich, i too live in japan, but love your blogs and videos. even though i’m surrounded by much of the same things you are, it’s fun to see your perpective on things… my japanese skills are pathetic and as a result i’m lost in the world around me… lots of times you have really interesting insight into this world, and i learn form them. keep doing what you do…

  11. The way I see it, there is always the option of turning off the statistics. I am pretty shy myself and I find that yes, the people that really matter are those few that you know are there listening.

    Besides, statistics can be inacrurate more often than not in my experience, especialy after running different statistics engins and compairing the results…

  12. Rich, you obviously need an outlet for your feelings + fears etc. You know we all do! thats why we come here to feel part of something, to belong.

    Now im being stupid :/

    I suppose its called therapy.

    You know I feel like bill murray did in lost in translation.

    But I look forward to your rantings mate, so dont give up.


  13. Hey comrade, I’ve been listening/watching your podcast for the past 2+ years, and its really great! Its not special or anything, which is why its great. However, it takes a lot of guts to just record yourself walking around a city talking, so I gotta hand it to you! I’m a normal US university student studying Japanese, so its pretty cool to listen to Japan from a normal person’s perspective instead of TV, movies, etc. Plus, I’ll be studying in Nagoya in the fall, awesome!

  14. “…shy and private person…” yeah, I know. Me too, and nobody believes me. Stats like that would scare the crap out of me. Criticism and failure? Blecch ! Who needs it? But this is The Internets: a magical wondrous place with rainbows and puppies where failure does not exist…criticism does, unfortunately, but you can always delete it.

    Whenever I feel weirded-out by numbers (although never numbers that high–I’m just easily weirded-out) I read my friend Raymond’s blog post regarding “The Audience of Ten”.

    Then I stop looking at stats.

  15. I think what a lot of these people mean and what they are saying when they say we think the same is that it is a great experience to feel connected to a world distant and yet so close. You might get so many listeners because your podcast isn’t overproduced with tacky songs and jingles, or fake commercials and shit, and thusly retains a truly personal quality, which is what I listen for. This is getting a bit Densha Otoko, but I think we listeners and commentors are also looking for an outlet and connection. You podcast with no arrogance, and genuine interest in the things you talk about. Like David N was saying, keep the show the way it is and cast the things you want to. If you thought you had to play to a large audience and keep there attention, that would surely show through and ruine everything I like about it. Don’t feel like you have to go out of your way to do things for us. That would just set you higher than us and ruine the level on which I feel connected. I am ranting by now, so I will stop typing!

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