Carl Franklin is a many of many talents: talk show host, producer, software developer, musician, etc. He’s probably best known for his excellent .NET Rocks podcast and for the other podcasts he hosts and produces. I hope you enjoy the following interview with Carl.
JC: Your .NET Rocks podcast goes back further than podcasting. Did the show start on radio or was it always online?
CF: It was always online. Although I was inspired by public radio programs like Car Talk and Whad’Ya Know, I always thought the audience was too narrow for general radio. That, and I had web resources readily available.
JC: So the show was a set of downloadable MP3 files before RSS feeds came along to organize the files into a podcast?
CF: Exactly. We had a site more or less like it is now, with links to and info about the current show on the front page, and an archives page. We also had a newsletter we used to notify people of new shows.
JC: Could you say something about your podcasts, ones you host, produce, etc.?
CF: Well, .NET Rocks is a twice-weekly interview show for .NET devs. I am the host and Richard Campbell is the co-host. It’s an hour long, more or less. Topics range from low-level techie stuff to new technologies and methodologies to speculation about the future.
We also produce a weekly video screencast/interview show also about an hour long called dnrTV. Topics are hands-on practical. It’s recorded at 1024×768 so it will fit most projectors.
Hanselminutes is a 30-50 minute podcast with Scott Hanselman covering a wide variety of developer and technology topics. Also weekly.
RunAs Radio is a 30-50 minute weekly interview show on Microsoft-centric IT topics with Richard Campbell and Greg Hughes.
We also do an adult comedy podcast called Mondays. Richard Campbell and I basically spend an hour or so laughing at the stories and wit of Mark Miller and Karen Mangiacotti. NSFW but hilarious.
JC: On .NET Rocks, you’re the alpha geek programmer, but sometimes you mention your life as a musician and entrepreneur. Were you a musician first?
CF: Yes. I was singing in the Westerly Chorus from age 8. Piano since age 4. Guitar since age 10. Trumpet since age 10. Bass and drums came later. Programming didn’t come around till I was 17. I went to Berklee School of Music in 85-86 and Full Sail School of Recording Arts 86-87. Learned computers on my own. I was lucky to have many smart programmer friends who were willing to share their knowledge. That experience has shaped everything I have done since.
JC: How did you get started as a programmer?
CF: My dad bought a TRS-80 model 4 when I was a kid to do taxes and bills. I think VisiCalc was the only program he used. It had a guide to BASIC programming that I started reading. Between that and the TRSDOS manual I started writing some cool programs. Then I got a modem and was introduced to the BBS world. That was it. I was hooked on writing serial communications programs.
JC: You’ve mentioned Franklins.Net and Pwop productions on .NET Rocks. Could you describe these businesses and how you got started?
CF: Franklins.Net was started in 1999 as a training company. I taught VB6 and then VB.NET for several years. Pwop was started as a media production company to support the podcasts. Now Franklins.Net is the .NET education brand and Pwop is all about audio/video/music production.
JC: Do you have any other businesses?
JC: Let’s go back to your music. Who are some musicians that influenced you? Who do you like to listen to now?
CF: I was brought up on good old classic rock. On acoustic guitar I was influenced by John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Jorma Kaukonen, and the like. On electric guitar: Jeff Beck, Brian May, Peter Frampton, Eagles, Skynyrd, Duane Allman, Jerry Garcia, and more recently John Scofield, John Pisano, Lee Rittenour, and Pat Martino. Nowadays I’m on a New Orleans kick, hanging out with The Meters and Professor Longhair.
JC: Sounds like you’re active as a performer and a producer.
CF: Yes. I’ve produced music for a handful of artists and I play in local venues regularly.
JC: Your web site says recorded a CD with your brother Jay a few years ago. Where can we find it?
CF: We will announce a website soon with our new album, and free links to our old album.
JC: Tell me about the new CD you’re working on.
CF: It’s all original but you’ll be able to hear and identify our influences easily.
JC: Anything else you want to talk about?
CF: Sounds good to me! Thanks!!!
Best podcast intro music (Includes a couple links to Carl’s music.)