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Ep. 40 – Life Lessons & Web3 – Robert Riggs

Mich Bondesio interviews Robert Riggs of the True Crime Reporter™ Podcast about his life lessons and how they can prepare us for Web3.

For season 7 of the Creating Cadence podcast, we’re exploring current trends with emerging technology such as the metaverse and AI. Mich is also talking to people about how we should approach working in Web3 with these tools.

Any resources referenced in the episode are listed in / below the transcript.

Creating Cadence Transcript – Ep.40

What can our experiences of working in Web 2 environments teach us about how we need to approach Web 3?

In this episode of the Creating Cadence Podcast, we consider how some things change, but some things stay the same.

Hi, and welcome to Creating Cadence, a podcast for life and work in motion.

I’m your host Mich Bondesio, an entrepreneur who writes, speaks, teaches and coaches.

It’s my aim to help high achievers stuck on the treadmill of hustle culture to transform how they approach life, work, and business. To activate more of their potential and perform better in every part of their life, at a cadence that’s more suitable to them, despite this fast-paced world we live in.

This is episode 40, the fifth of season seven, published in November, 2022. 

For this season, I’m considering Web 3 and emerging technologies, and their implications for our near future. I’ve been interviewing people working in tech, digital, and creative spheres about how we can use these tools to help us transition in both our work and wellbeing.

Today’s episode, recorded a few months ago, is with Robert Riggs.

Robert is a Peabody award-winning investigative reporter and the creator of the True Crime Reporter™ podcast. The podcast features real-life stories from Robert’s years of reporting “inside the crime scene tape”. 

The podcast’s first season, about serial killer Kenneth Macduff, received a Webby Award in 2021, and the subsequent spinoff TV documentary, called Free to Kill, won a Telly Award earlier this year. 

Robert is part of my international network and I had the pleasure of meeting him in person earlier this year at the Creator Economy Expo. We got to chat a bit while standing in line waiting for Dan Pink to sign our copies of his latest book, The Power of Regret.

He is also the person who recommended I try out software called Zencastr as his team use it for their podcast. It’s a fantastic AI powered application, which has now transformed how I record interviews. 

Now, Robert and his podcast team are being forward thinking in the way that they work with these types of tools. For example, they use them to drive traffic to their email list and podcast. 

However, this conversation with Robert is a little different from my other interviews this season, in that we also talk about the lessons learned from when he transitioned from Web 1 to Web 2 way back when. This is interesting as some of those lessons are still relevant today as we now prepare to shift to Web 3.

We also cover mindsets that are essential, both in entrepreneurship and being a pioneer in these new spaces. Things like needing grit, curiosity, a can-do attitude, and looking after your wellbeing to manage your stress. 

I could listen to Robert’s deep voice and Texan accent all day, and for my UK listeners, you may be surprised to hear that his wellbeing tips include enjoying tea from Fortnum & Mason in London.

As always, resources mentioned and info about Robert and his podcast will be shared at the bottom of the transcript page for this episode, which you can find at 

So if you’re ready, let’s dive in.

So welcome onto the show, Robert, it’s lovely to have you here. 

Robert Riggs:

[00:03:35]  Well, thank you for having me. 

Mich Bondesio:

[00:03:37]  Robert, from reading your bio and a bit of your history and background, you started your work life as an investigator on Capitol Hill shortly after you completed a degree in architecture, which is interesting to me because I almost studied architecture myself before I went into broadcast journalism as well.

So you branched into broadcast journalism, which then took you from reporting the news in Dallas, to reporting from the front lines of Iraq for CBS. And you also garnered a host of awards for your investigative reporting along the way. So you have a pretty impressive career track before you even delved into podcasting, and that has also led to more awards.

So I’m really keen to find out a bit more about what you’re doing now. What made you decide to start the True Crime Reporter™podcast, and what further things has that podcast led to? 

Robert Riggs:

[00:04:23]  Well, I was on, on television for three decades, so I had, uh, you know, 30 years experience of telling stories on deadline every day.

And I did, It might be general assignment, it might be breaking news, I usually was also doing specials. But again, it puts you into the discipline of writing, uh, and having your writing, you know, in a literally a few minutes, critiqued by producers to make sure everyone can understand what you’re doing. Uh, I used to refer to my camera crew as a 600 pound pencil.

Now the equipment got smaller and smaller over the years, but, uh, if you saw a picture of us in Iraq, you would, you would laugh and we’d even scale down then. So as I learned more about podcasting, I liked the idea that it was simple, that I could go with a recorder and two microphones to someone’s home.

Um, and one of the things I found in reporting is that people are, Uh, more willing to talk to you, more honest, more forthcoming if you talk to them at home, if you talk to ’em in a situation where they feel comfortable. And so that’s how we started it out. I, uh, you know, I had about a, at least a 10 year span of covering, uh, the criminal justice system and crime and, uh, That, you know, I saw the popularity of true crime.

I really enjoyed doing those stories, so I just decided to go back and as I say, dust off my old reporter’s notebooks and start doing up-to-date stories, uh, of what I’d done before. But now you had investigators that were retired and they didn’t have the restrictions. They could really talk and tell the story, and many of them took their case files with ’em, which were very rich in background information.

Mich Bondesio:

[00:06:19]  That’s fantastic. 

I’ve listened to several of your episodes and they’re captivating, I have to say. Fantastically produced and the history. You know, the historical context and the people that you’ve interviewed. Lots of really interesting things, so I do recommend that my listeners check those out, especially if you’re into true crime.

So this season of the Creating Cadence Podcast is about how creative and curious people like yourself are leveraging emerging technologies. And we first had the pleasure of actually meeting in person earlier this year at the Creator Economy Expo in Phoenix, where a lot of the topics covered during that conference were about emerging technologies and how content entrepreneurs can leverage those technologies.

Now as a podcaster, you know, and someone who has a TikTok account, you are definitely a member of the creator economy and a content entrepreneur, . Um, but what prompted you to start delving into Web 3 technologies and what roots did you decide to explore?

You’ve Always Got To Be Learning

Robert Riggs:

[00:07:13]  Well, I left journalism in 2008. Uh, the recession, uh, severely impacted journalism in the United States. Literally, thousands of people were laid off, terminated. I worked for CBS at the time, and you were at the top of the list if you were high paid with a lot of benefits. But fortunately for me, and I’ve always been something of a geek, I’ve always been curious, while I was there, and when I’d come back from Iraq in 2003, I started a blog, which were kind of unheard of and, and CBS hated it.

They were really upset by it because they said, Look, we’re television. Why are you wasting your time on this? And I kept trying to tell ’em that there was a larger audience outside the broadcast towers, that it was even an international audience. They didn’t get it. Uh, and in those days, I know that our listeners are gonna be, they’re gonna be surprised to hear this, but the sales teams at television stations and newspapers, uh, but especially TV stations, they were just giving away space on, uh, Websites, Uh, they just thought it’s a little giveaway and stuff, and I, I just used to shake my head.

You have, They just didn’t see it coming. They were locked into their business model. They’d always been, they had on blinders, but I found out that the site that I wanted to use wasn’t even getting indexed by Google. And Google was new on the scene and I actually personally went to Google, got them to index the site so we would show up and I sort of began doing a little self-teaching of search engine optimization.

It was very, very easy to do, easy to rank then, easy to game that system, not now. So that’s all over. (Mich: Mm-hmm). And I started a blog based on my experience covering the war on terrorism because we were covering terrorism afterwards and you know, very quickly, Um, we had 25, 30,000 followers on the blog from all over the world, and that really started to really teach me Web 2.0 and what could happen.

And so when I got cut, you know, I had two children in college. Big overhead expenses and, um, I took a severance package. I traveled around the country to various internet marketing seminars, trying to learn, um, and actually first met Brian Clark, the founder of Copy Blogger, and, uh Seven Figure Intensive.

We’d gone to the same university, not at the same time, we were both Texans, and started really trying to get my head around what was this, how it worked. And then soon I hung out a sign, a shingle that I was an internet marketing expert or digital media expert because I knew how to do video and stuff.

And, uh, was doing that for clients, but I really wanted to get back into my own stories of subjects I liked. Um, you know, frankly, you always kind of feel that you’re, your clients don’t really fully appreciate what you do. They don’t love it like you do. So, um, launched the podcast. Just got out there and do it.

I was bootstrapping it, I was financing it with the money I was making off consulting. And then I had, for the first season, all my interviews done and I was writing and the, uh, pandemic hit and everything shut down. And in one week, I lost every client that I had in a week. They were all shutting down, the courthouses shut down.

Uh, these were big firms that you know, the owners, they thought that they didn’t know if they were gonna make it. It was a really trying time. But, you know, now I really had time on my hands. Uh, the United States had done something called PPP Money for Small Businesses. I was able to get some of that to keep on going, staying alive, and that really helped.

And so I got the, uh, first season done. I, I got up. Uh, on my own. And by the sixth episode, um, a production company liked it, came to me and we did a co-production agreement. But that really came about because of my network and LinkedIn. All during this process, I was posting on LinkedIn about what I was doing, what was coming, and I started getting inquiries from people who knew my reputation, didn’t know me, but just knew of me.

So it to me that stresses the importance of having, um, a social presence, certainly a business presence in LinkedIn. I didn’t get any of that sort of stuff from Facebook or Instagram. Uh, but I did from LinkedIn and you know, today, the most important thing I tell everyone, I don’t care if you’re a podcaster or whatever, you better be building a community and getting their email to build a community.

That’s the one real thing you can control. Uh, and you can still get in that inbox. And don’t build your audience on, uh, Facebook. Um, I like to say if you do that, you’re a sharecropper for Zuckerberg. 

I dunno if your listeners know, but I grew up in East Texas. I’m from a family that goes back in the horse trade you know they’re horsemen, back to the 1910. And as a child, I grew up seeing a sharecropping, the worst form of it, in which rich landowners would lease parcels of land to both white and poor black farmers. They had a bad season. Now they’re beholden to the landowner and they might borrow money from, they never owned anything.

They could never get ahead. So I, I use that as I learned that way a long time ago. You better, you better own it. So that, and the others I just use to try to drive traffic. I don’t build community there. Uh, none of that. 

So we just started using TikTok. And, and it’s been the most successful thing I’ve ever had of driving traffic, trying to get people to come to the site and subscribe to the podcast or look around the site.

Mich Bondesio:

[00:13:45]  Oh, that’s so interesting. How long have you had a TikTok account for? 

Robert Riggs:

[00:13:49]  About three weeks. 

Mich Bondesio:

[00:13:50] Really?! That’s fantastic! 

Robert Riggs:

[00:13:53] And so, you know, I, I went to, uh, last March I went to, um, Podcast Movement Evolutions in Los Angeles, all podcasters. I met some young guys, millennials. And they have a serious podcast about how to select, uh, your university or college.

They do an interesting thing. They don’t listen to the institutions. They go to the universities and they interview the students and find out what the students think. But they were using TikTok to drive thousands, thousands of subscribers. And I talked to them afterwards and I went, Wait a minute. I thought TikTok was just ladies dancing, you know? Music. 

And they went, No, no, no, no. If you really kind of know what you’re doing and, and all. So, uh, I then I did some reading and studying and I got a young woman that was a senior in high school about to go off to journalism school. And so for three weeks she got it up and going for me, and I started watching and learning.

And, uh, you know, I’ve got a video there. I think it’s got 85,000 views, but better yet, we got, we have followers that are coming to the podcast. So, it’s, you know, it, it’s probably, it may be the death knell of, uh, Facebook. It’s algorithmic driven, (Mich: that’s right. Yeah). And Facebook is, that’s social graph. And. Facebook really controls your reach. 

On this, apparently they don’t. If, you know, the more people who come in, the more they’re gonna feed it out to, So and I, you know, I’m sure maybe a year from now we’ll think differently, but I do believe you just have to stay on top of what’s, what’s new, what’s hot, that, that could bring me traffic.

Um, and you know, you always have to be learning. You really, you have to do self education all the time. And I believe that’s true for any profession you’re in. You always have to be educating yourself. And I try to do that about tech and um, and I read a lot, I read a lot of history and all. I’ve always believed that if you wanna be a good writer, you should be reading good writers.

And if you’re with television, which I do, you ought be watching good television. Cause it, you know, you think about it, like I’m watching it’s the backstory of the making of the Godfather, uh, The Offer, and I’ve just noticed they’ve got an interesting editing technique in it and I’m sitting there going, Ah, that solves some problems. We’re gonna try that in our next video. That really works, and I’ve never seen it done before. 

My wife’s outta the entertainment business. She hasn’t seen it either. So again, we’re not just passively watching. We’re all, you know, we love the story, but we’re also at the same time, we’ve got our antenna up to learn.

Mich Bondesio:

[00:16:47] Absolutely. And that’s how you need to be as an entrepreneur, isn’t it? Curious and feeding good quality content in, so that you know, the thoughts that come out as a result of that are also good quality. That’s really interesting. 

So, I want to talk a little bit about the wellbeing side.

Obviously you’ve seen, heard, and witnessed probably some terrible things in your time, and that can take a toll on someone’s wellbeing. So I’m interested to know what skills did you build to learn to support your health and your mindset so that you could maintain a positive outlook on your life, despite all the kind of gruesome bits that you might have been (Robert: Mm-hmm) witnessing and being subjected to. And does any of that extended to these new technologies? Are you using any of these new technologies to support your wellbeing? 

The Glass is More Than Half Full.

Robert Riggs:

[00:17:27] I think it was fortunate. I grew up in a family of people that were, uh, self starters, always optimistic. Um, the glass is more than half full. (Mich: Mm-hmm). Today might have been, something bad might have happened today, but tomorrow will be better. Um, and they all had kind of this, uh, late president, Lyndon B Johnson had a saying called a can do attitude, a can do spirit. He referred to it to Texans, and I do think it’s something from Texas being a frontier.

You know, we didn’t come into the union until 1845. (Mich: Mm-hmm). And that still that sort of DNA is still here in some people. So that really, that served me well. Um, probably made me, at times it was hard for me to understand why someone might be down, why, why they might not be self-motivated. But as you get older, you get more experienced, you see things. 

Emotionally, in news, you see bad things, unimaginable. And in television, we, it was a, you know, it was a audience with children in it and stuff. So in television we self censored because, you know, there’s things you don’t want going into people’s living rooms. It’s just more, more than they could handle. But you as a reporter would see it.

And there’s kind of a, And I found in newsrooms there’s kind of a gallows humor. (Mich: Mm-hmm). You know, people will joke, make jokes about awful things. It’s kind of really a way to cope, a way to deal with it. And you find yourself insulated, you know, you’re an observer and you kind of do that. 

Now, where it really got tough for me. I, I did three wars and you see terrible things in war zones. But the third war, I was an embedded reporter with the lead unit and the invasion of Iraq, and it was the first time that the Pentagon did embedding in which they, you know, agreed to let reporters live with a unit and go with a unit. You had to jump through a lot of hoops.

You had to do training, you had to sign some agreements about what you would and would not do. But, uh, it certainly gave you an appreciation as a reporter of the difficulties of the command, everything of the difficulties. But in our case, there were a number of stories that we did little kind of feature vignettes on soldiers.

About their lives and where they were from before the war started. And then a few days into the war with us, they were killed. (Mich: Mmmm) . And we all, all of us in my crew took it badly, um, because you knew them. I mean, you knew, you knew about their parents and what they did and what they loved and everything.

You just knew them. That made it different. It was really, it was like a, a member of your family. (Mich: Yeah). You know, suddenly you knew. Now that was hard. Um, and the other difficulty of it, and with the military is that, uh, they lose a man or a woman in their unit. There’s really not time to grieve. They gotta move in the combat.

They have to move on. And maybe later on there is a ceremony. But I didn’t realize that it had got me until a while after I was back in the States and there were things bothering me. Some of my friends said they thought I had PTSD. And then, a longer side story, but we, my crew and I actually got hit by friendly fire and so we had issues from out of that of what had happened.

Um, so it took, it really took time. It took a lot of time. Uh, in hindsight, probably should have gotten professional help. But in that kind of can do, tough, frontier spirit I grew up in, I’m telling you the, the men and the women in my family, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, all these were tough people and they didn’t complain.

They’d been in the Dust Bowl and the (Great) Depression, they just, you just gutted it up and went on. Um, I don’t know how good that is. Maybe not, not good, you know, if it too much gets inside. They all seemed to keep a pretty cheery disposition. Although I had a couple of uncles and I look back and I think they had, uh, PTSD from World War II.

Life Looks Better When You Have Healthy Routines

So, in more recent time, I got a personal trainer. Well, I’ll tell you, before the pandemic I was swimming and, liked to swim and that was, I’d swim a mile a day and I was really getting myself back into great shape, feeling great. Believe me, if you exercise or have some regular routine, it gets those endomorphins going, You’ll, I mean, life will look better to you. Just doing that. (Mich: Mm-hmm). 

And then the pandemic came. You’re locked inside. I, like all of my friends, started doing comfort food, gained weight. Awful. Diet went, you know, south. And so coming out of that, all of that, I actually got a personal trainer that I met while doing a video for one of our clients. He’s also a physical therapist, and I thought, You know what? I, I do not wanna just go jump back in the pool. Will I rip something? What have you, I better really. And so I started with that. Oh, you know, and he also changed my diet. And that really got me back on track. 

I do use some apps. I use an app called Breathe for breathing exercises. (Mich: Okay). Uh, I’ve read a lot on breathing. You know, you should breathe through your nose, not your mouth. It’s harmful to you to breathe through your mouth. I never knew that. And so, you know, I’ve learned too. And I’ve even put a timer in the studio at about every 45 minutes it goes off. And I have to, I go outside. You gotta get up, go outside, maybe walk around the block. (Mich: Yeah). And you have to make it a habit. And as a result, changing diet, doing those things, I’ve felt much, much, uh, better or positive. 

I just finished going through a bout of a strange variant of Covid. Had never had it. It’s one that attacks the gastrointestinal system, sickest I’ve ever been.

I’ve got friends around Texas, they’ve gotten it too. And um, so coming out of it too, we’re all older and all of a sudden looked at you, and our doctors looked at us and said, You know, you’re not 22 anymore. It’s these 70 hour weeks, Maybe you just need to, you need to ratchet it back. You need to improve your sleep. And, and I, that’s something else I’ve, you know, I’ve got a decorator coming in. We’re putting blackout curtains in, to help. A little white noise, these sort of things. 

Now my wife is a horse woman, and her mental outlook is, it’s fostered by the relationship with the horse, the riding the horse.

She’s on the horse three or four times a week. She’s a teacher, but at night she’s at the horse barn, and, and she competes. Uh, she suffered from terrible anxiety way back. Uh, it ended her career on stage for Broadway and stuff, but this is, you know, this is her not just physical therapy, it’s her mental therapy. (Mich: Mm-hmm). And we, we have seen stuff, you know, there’s a bond with certain animals, dogs, certainly too horses. I will go some and groom. I ride. I haven’t ridden in a while because of the podcast, but literally just the grooming of the horse. Just sort of is relaxing and peaceful and that relationship, just touching the horse, talking to the horse.

Mich Bondesio:

[00:25:41] They’re wonderful therapy animals, aren’t they?

Robert Riggs:

[00:25:44] They are. Uh, a lot of people don’t realize that horses are very similar to dogs. But they’re so large, they’re intimidating. And you know, a dog’s not gonna throw you on the ground. A horse is, but it’s always operator error with you. My, my wife calls it the, the Dusty Pants Club. You know, you’re not a regular rider if you haven’t been on the ground.

But I just think everybody needs something, maybe it’s clay sculpture, something to stay alive. Uh, and I read a lot too. I’m always like putting, I have a regular thing. All my friends too are always putting new stuff in their brains, sharing it to each other, sharing books to each other. Uh, and I think it really keeps us sharp mentally, keeps the curiosity up. So just keeping the mind active, that’s really, really helpful.

And one other thing I wanna say too, I never smoked, never really drank. Um, didn’t drink coffee until later in life and I, and I really have cut it to maybe a half cup a day. Now I have to have at least one cup of hot tea from Fortnum & Mason in London every day. (Mich: Oh really?) I’ve got a big can of it here. You know, when I was a correspondent in London, I always made a stop in Fortnum & Mason. My one of my favourite places. 

Mich Bondesio:

[00:27:19]  That’s wonderful. And I think you’re right, especially, you know, I think the pandemic’s been a spotlight in highlighting how important wellbeing is.

It’s essential for the way that we function. It’s essential for our survival. And so, you know, finding ways that fill our cup every day. And also get us to step away from the console because the console is our main form of work nowadays for many knowledge workers, but it’s also detrimental to our health. 

Robert Riggs:

[00:27:44] It’s just again, you know, in the UK they’ve got it right for I, I really love the way they take that afternoon tea and things stop. I loved Rome in Italy because of the sort of siesta time when everything stops and we Americans could learn from this.

I mean, sometimes I think we’re just running ourselves into the ground, killing ourselves. 

Mich Bondesio:

[00:28:12]  Yeah, you’re right. There is definitely a, a bit of a toxic culture around overwork that is becoming more apparent and I think people are becoming a lot more aware of it.

So to end off, I’ve just got a couple of questions that are linked.

Um, the first is, you know, based on your experience of working with Web 3 and emerging technology and working online so much. Where do you see things going? What do you think are the things we need to be wary of that might be a hindrance to us? And, where do you think the opportunities lie? 

Curiosity & An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Robert Riggs:

[00:28:42]  Well, I’m curious about Web 3.

Some of my curiosity has kind of been, um, drowned a little by, you know, the decline in the markets of blockchain stuff and all, and I thought, well, maybe I’m, I’m gonna hold back here a minute, you know, just to see how real this is. I know I have some very smart friends that think it’s real. 

So, you know, I watch it. I read. I haven’t dived into it. I was kind of working on diving into it. Now I decided to stand back. And the other thing we’re trying to do that really has our attention, we’ve gotta grow the podcast and we’re using the podcast for kind of testing intellectual property for television shows, cause we’ve already spun off one show. We have other people approaching us about what else do we have for shows? 

You know, and be honest, it’s tough. We are still a startup. You’ll be in the red, then you’re in the black, then you’re back in the red. So (Mich: it’s feast and famine, isn’t it?). It really is. And so, uh, television is a very slow process. Cause there’s so much money in the budgets and everybody is at the channels are trying to think that they each kind of have a niche but also. You know, they don’t wanna lose their jobs or they’ve made the wrong decision. A lot of people are looking at it.

And, um, there are some that are risk takers, some aren’t. And so, for me, it’s frustrating, because I’m from news and it’s fast moving. So, it’s hard for me to even work with any businesses that aren’t, don’t have that sort of same sort of same DNA.

So I’ve worked for very high end personal injury lawyers here, and these aren’t the people you see on television yelling. And I will get you a. $10,000, that sort of stuff. These are product defects, auto defects. I mean, it’s lots of science and engineering and stuff. I love working with them because they’re entrepreneurial.

Very entrepreneurial, because they take cases on contingency, and the other thing is that they spend time in front of juries. They are performers. And I’m a performer, you know, all that time in front of the camera.

So we kind of have a a bond there. And so some, I actually help try to prepare opening arguments for juries and closing arguments as well as, how to talk to the media. I like working with ’em on their cases. The cases are very complicated. It’s, and it’s something new you’re learning about.

Mich Bondesio:  

[00:31:23] I just wanted to go back to your TV series that you were talking about.

Yes. Which I think is a really interesting and wonderful opportunity that’s come from the podcast, and I think that in this day and age, you know, it might be picked up by one particular TV broadcaster, but in these days of streaming, it can be licensed to so many other channels, and so the audience is a lot wider than it potentially might have been in the past.

So as a future tech opportunity, I think that’s quite exciting for you, that you’re exploring more of these opportunities with TV. 

“The World is the Market”

Robert Riggs:

[00:32:00] Well, one of the things that really struck me is that the world is the market now. With globalization and everything else. Um, so as I began to see things, I, I started doing licensing agreements for the podcast.

Our podcast is big in Australia on Southern Cross Austereo. The television show, which is called Free To Kill, It’s a five part documentary series. It’s, uh, been licensed to Paramount Plus for the UK. (Mich: hmm). So it’s may already be on in the UK called Free To Kill. And now, you know, as I said, I’ve been in television, I did series, I did long form, 30 minute stuff. I did some guest correspondent stuff for a show here called Nightline on ABC back with Ted Coppel, an incredible journalist. And I did one piece on when I was at CBS, one piece for 60 minutes, and those were really involved. But a television show on streaming these days is, I mean, it’s a cast of thousands involved.

I mean with the technology and everything else, there was a lot I had to learn. But the show runner that I worked with, who was also an executive producer with me. Uh, and a show runner is really kind of the traffic cop on a television show, or the liaison or the diplomat. They have to interface with everybody.

Me the creator, the crews, the director of photography, the editor, the line producers, the the producers at the network who are looking at rough cuts and producing notes. And, at their core, they’ve got to be a great storyteller. And so we sat down ahead of time and I said, Look, um, I, I wanna do a true crime show that is not like what we see here in the States where they’re kind of formula, the lighting is kind of flat. There’s a sameness to them. I wanna do a show that is cinematic. I wanna do a show that you think you’re watching a movie, you think you’re watching fiction. And so we shot it that way. We used cameras that way that you would expect. And I, I think we did it. Two months after it was released, we received a Telly award.

It’s a hit where it is here, although it’s a Fox Nation streaming in the States and it’s a small audience. Uh, but they were going into true crime and they were excited about it. Um, but. Frankly, way, way more people are gonna see this overseas. And I mean, everything I hear from the team is that there’s interest throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, India, especially. And it’s made me think more about the world. 

Mich Bondesio:

[00:35:08] Yeah. And that’s part of being a, a content entrepreneur in this day and age with using this emerging technology is that it expands our reach and it enables us to yes, work with people around the world, which I think for is very exciting, while still maintaining a small team.

Robert Riggs:

[00:35:22] And also with Web 3, you know, there are, we’re discovering other tools that can help us work more efficiently, uh, faster with quality.

And, and actually other new platforms that came out. So, you know, I was at, as I mentioned, podcast movement and there’s a expo hall of various providers and you know, I, I met some really interesting people that had different approaches to launching audio books where you, the creator, keep more money. A lot more money than an Amazon that’s gonna take 30% or something like that.

Uh, now it’s up to you to get out there and promote it and stuff, and that’s hard. But, it’s just interesting to. You know, engage, talk to people about their technologies, what they’ve, what they’ve got. I mean, we saw, I’ll give you an example, of keeping up. We saw a technology that in our business and I think other people’s businesses, they use post-it notes, uh, different colored post-it notes up on whiteboards or walls. Cause you can move them around and all and it gets pretty messy and they fall off and stuff. Actually, there was a show runner from Hollywood who thought, you know, we need a digital version of this. And it’s a digital version of that, of Post-it notes and on your screen you can move them around, you can put titles and names on ’em and assign things.

And I thought, oh boy. This solves a problem we’re having now of the whiteboard being an absolute mess. And so, so we’ll work faster. Now the other thing too is that like the television show, everybody was spread out across the US and some in, in, Prague. And some in Italy.

So it makes it easier for the sharing, to collaborate that you’re all looking at this. I mean this, this board was at my show runner’s office in LA and he’s always trying to get the camera over so we can see the board on Zoom. Well, it was just a . This changes the whole thing, you know? So that’s one of the great things about all of this.

 But you just, you gotta keep your head in the game. You really do. Yeah. Yeah. 

Mich Bondesio:

Always be learning. That’s one of my mantras.

Robert Riggs:  

[00:37:55] That is that there, that really is always be learning. 

Mich Bondesio:  

Robert. Well, thank you so much. This has been a really interesting conversation. As we’re ending off, where is the best place for people to find you online?

Robert Riggs:  

Well, the website is But True Crime Reporter™ is on all of the podcast channels. You can find our episodes where wherever you listen to podcast, uh, you can find it there. You can find it in YouTube as well. So True Crime Reporter™. 

And we like to say that we take you inside the crime scene tape where no other true crime podcaster goes or has ever been.

If you hear it from us, you know, we’ve been there. 

Mich Bondesio:

That’s great. Well, thank you so much for being a guest on the show today, Robert. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. 

Robert Riggs:

Thank you so much. 

Mich Bondesio:

If you have thoughts about this episode, please drop me a line with your questions or comments. You can write to 

In the spirit of embracing new and emerging technology this episode has been recorded and edited with the help of software tools such as Rode ConnectZencastrAuphonic and Descript, all of which employ AI-powered technology as part of their functionality. 

The resources mentioned in this episode are listed in the show notes at Where you can also sign up to the Fortnightly Cadence Newsletter, which is a free accompaniment to the podcast where I share more resources.

If you like the show, please share the love by rating it or supporting Creating Cadence on Patreon or Buy Me A Coffee – links to those also And if you want to sponsor the podcast, please drop us a line at 

So thanks for listening. Until next time, keep moving forwards with courage, curiosity, and cadence.

Bye for now.

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