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177 Nations of Tasmania update : Some wins, some disappointments and some gradual progress

Progress with the podcast has been quite fitful over the past few months as the momentum I had gained earlier in the year has stalled. I thought it was high time that I wrote some sort of update about what's been going on, where things are at right now and possible future directions.

The last time I wrote about the progress of the podcast, things were starting to look up after a much-needed flurry of media coverage by SBS, ABC and a few local papers. This lead to easily the most productive period I've had in doing the podcast and I was pumping out 8-9 episodes a month for a little bit. Of course, the more you do something the better and more efficient you get at it, and that was the feeling I was getting. It was a very satisfying period.

It's also incredibly rewarding from a personal standpoint to connect with people from all sorts of different countries, some which I hadn't expected to find in Tasmania. It's especially pleasing when you unexpectedly find you have a really good personal chemistry and as a result the conversation comes quite naturally. In at least one case, my interviewee commented that he was normally quite shy and hadn't expected to talk so much ( which his partner later confirmed), but he was so engaged in the topic that he forgot about his self-consciousness.

So there were a few months where it seemed I was going to quickly reach 100 episodes by the end of the year, but at a certain point the momentum stalled to almost nothing. Many leads I had resulted in dead ends, and sometimes this can sap my energy a bit. But at the end of the day, no one will care if you don't, and you have to just keep on pushing, hopefully without becoming a pest !

So in the last few months, I've only done a handful of episodes, although there have been some really interesting nationalities and interesting stories in there. How's this for a combination ? Fiji, Lithuania, the Maldives, Republic of Congo and Uzbekistan - I don't think you can get too much more diverse than that ! I guess there's no one from the Americas there to cover the whole globe.

In the past six months I've also had the opportunity to do presentations for the Rotary Club of Launceston and at a Tasmanian Leaders workshop, and it's always nice to be able to get a live reaction to clips from the podcast and just the idea of it. Of course, I get the feeling that half the people are only partly concentrating, but it has been nice on occasions to get informal feedback and to make connections through these events. One of the many challenges of doing the podcast is to promote it and get more listeners, and I feel I owe it to my participants to give their stories a larger platform. It's a slow process but something I have to keep plugging away at if I want this podcast to have some value.

That being said, I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking to set an end date on the podcast. Although I enjoy doing it, my resources are not infinite and this could potentially go for years at this rate. I'm not earning any money from it, and it can be very time consuming to do. It's also important to consider the end goal, and many people have suggested making book out of it. So my rough plan at this stage is to reach 100 nationalities and then to compile a book that combines audio and text - but it needs far more planning and thought than I've put in so far.

Having this goal helps me to stay focused and motivated, it's important to know when the end is sight and exactly what you still need to do, just from a psychological point of view.

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