Wednesday, April 27th, 2022
Greetings internet! My name is Allan Cogan, and I decided to add more to my workload by forcing myself to start a blog to supplement our podcast The Cogan Conversation.
Born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin (a small suburb of Milwaukee), I am an enthusiastic violinist, and jazz guitarist, as well as a competitive bowler. In addition to hosting my own podcast, in which I discuss timely topics over a drink, I currently work at Pacific Legal Foundation conducting social science research, a role which moved me to the Washington DC area. Shortly after my move here, I enlisted as an Officer Candidate in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and just recently commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant after graduating from Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy in Fort McClellan, Alabama. I will be assigned with the 1-109th Infantry Regiment in Scranton, PA as an Infantry Officer, soon to be attending Infantry BOLC and Ranger School, with my goal to eventually transfer to the reserves and go into Civil Affairs under the Special Operations umbrella.
I want this blog to be more or less an outlet for me to spout my opinions or thoughts on topics that I often knee-jerkingly post about on Facebook. Its incredibly difficult to record and edit a podcast more than a few times a month, and since this is just a hobby - Grant and I can't stretch ourselves too thin where it doesn't become fun anymore. However, I'm going to treat this first blog as more of a reflection than anything else. But I'll keep it short.
A Podcast? About What?
This question has been the most difficult for me to answer. Especially after attending OCS where all my fellow candidates were interested in what my podcast was about. Most people are looking for something specific or provoking, but we've treaded water with no real niche groove to fit into. My intention was always to be more Joe Rogan-esque than structured, but we soon learned that it becomes difficult to not have anything to talk about. Rogan can do what he does because he's famous and has famous friends - so the conversations are inherently interesting. To this day I still have family who think my podcast is about whiskey... which is hilarious because it never was. Failed that marketing assignment.
How would you conduct a podcast centered on enjoying a glass of whiskey where the conversation itself isn't about whiskey? How do you recreate that cigar lounge feel where conversations can be had, disagreements occur, but at the end of the day we clink our glasses and enjoy fine scotch? Well Bill Maher found the answer. His new podcast entitled Club Random is essentially him in his party room basement smoking pot and drinking with whoever he can get on the show. Yet again, he has a prior fame wave to ride on and lots of famous friends that easily generate desire to listen... am I complaining? Yes. Yes I am. Because his show is fun and energetic and the relaxed nature is palpable - everything I wanted to do but have since failed. Resources clearly make all the difference - or maybe all I really have going for me is a good sounding voice and nothing else?
I Yearn For Feedback...
Probably the biggest frustration in this game is that friends and family are horrendously unreliable. It has become more and more clear to me that people find it difficult to give me honest opinions or feedback, which strips away my ability to make corrections and grow. I've had the logo for this podcast since 2018 and didn't start it with Grant and Jake until 2020. After Jake left the fold, Grant and I set out to make a good product. It sounds good, looks good, but listenership is abysmal. Here I have 60 episodes of a novice podcast - each episode better than the last, and the first 20 are clearly us still figuring things out. (But episode 11 we interviewed Spike Cohen, then a vice-presidential candidate - still a highlight). I feel as if we are spinning our wheels and have no idea the proper direction to go, or the right content that is both interesting to others and fun for us.
Maybe that doesn't matter... maybe I shouldn't care so much about numbers and reach. I should be proud of our dedication and doing something well. I should be proud of the portfolio that Grant and I have built.
Seems like I'm waffling a bit on the purpose of the podcast? Yes. I am also trying to figure out my purpose in life overall. Existential reflection is both terrifying and necessary, and writing about it all is therapeutic for me. We're gonna keep the podcast going and hopefully have a more clear direction in the coming months. Trying to find that sweet spot of whiskey and conversations that recreates what Bill Maher has succeeded to do.
Either way, I appreciate your time and hope to talk soon! If you're interested in coming on and having a drink, hit us up! We're on all the social medias, have a contact page on our website and you can even comment on this post. Cheers!