Tim Kay: The Comments Section

Interviews with the anonymous, random people behind the wildest Internet comments

Paul Trenton · 12 Dec 2018

Who are you?

My name is Tim Kay. I study engineering at Cleveland State. I don't give out more information than that because the people I interview can sometimes have mental illness. So I have to keep a psuedonym.

How did you get started? Where did the idea come from?

I used to be a professional audio engineer so I already have the technical background. I'm a creative person who always has a new hobby. When I started listening to podcasts I knew I had to try. I struggled to come up with a theme at first but it came soon enough. I love digging through comments and arguing on the internet. But I also realize that my view of people online is not the same as in real life. Seeing a disconnect I wanted to explore who all these trolls and controversial commenters really were. So I decided to interview the people who raised attention and controversy.

What are you hoping to accomplish with your podcast?

I hope to humanize the people behind the internet. I often find that the contrast between the comment and the poster is stark. The most shocking part of my podcast is how normal and self-aware some of my guests really are compared to their post. I hope that this helps people realize the vitriol we see online doesn't need to be extended in to real life. I try to highlight the contrast by naming my episodes after the meatiest part of someone's comment.

How many people are involved in the production of your podcast and

what are their roles?

It's just me.

How do you promote your podcast?

Thankfully my podcast promotes itself. If I ask someone to be a guest they listen and tell their friends. If I interview a guest they share it on their social media. It attracts a great grassroots following. Other than that I try to tell as many people as possible and trade promotions with other small podcasts. Our following has been steady and surprisingly fast growing. People like the idea and are attracted to the eccentric ideas discussed on the show and the people who hold them.

How do you find guests (and convince them to be on your show)?

I spend a lot of time on the internet as it is, so It's not so tough to find a topic I want to talk about and then look through the relevant communities to find a comment that represents the controversy well.

Do you want to make a living with your podcast? If so, how are you pursing that goal?

Eventually it would be nice if it made some supplemental income but I don't plan on it being a career.

How are people likely to discover your podcast?

They are likely to discover it through SoundCloud playlists or by word of mouth.

How much time do you spend in a month working on the podcast? How much time per episode?

Each episode is about 30 minutes and takes about two hours to produce all together.

What is the best and worst feedback you have received so far?

I haven't gotten any negative feedback about my work yet. Although I do occasionally get snide remarks from people who confuse my episode titles with my beliefs. I have to explain that my guests views are not my own.

What is your favorite episode (and why)?

My favorite episode is probably 'Who do you think Q are part 1'. My guest is very open about his past, his time in a cult, and his struggle with mental illness. It was a good interview.

Links

 

Paul Trenton is the founder of Votable (the publisher of MediaFilter).

MediaFilter is a blog that features news, reviews and interviews related to new media. We're especially interested in independent, entrepreneurial content creators.

We are always looking for interesting people and things to write about. If you have a pitch, feel free to contact us. (Self-promotion is encouraged.)

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