329 episodes

What does it really take to make a living (and an impact) on the Internet today?
Join Matt Silverman (who has been covering online culture for 15+ years) in conversation with YouTubers, musicians, podcasters, streamers, journalists, TikTokers and more about turning creativity into a job, building community on ever-changing platforms, and their complex relationships with huge online audiences.
INFLUENCE is the relaunch of 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST, a weekly comedy/interview show about fascinating online communities, which ran for 7 years and nearly 300 episodes.

INFLUENCE Matt Silverman

    • Technology
    • 4.5 • 112 Ratings

What does it really take to make a living (and an impact) on the Internet today?
Join Matt Silverman (who has been covering online culture for 15+ years) in conversation with YouTubers, musicians, podcasters, streamers, journalists, TikTokers and more about turning creativity into a job, building community on ever-changing platforms, and their complex relationships with huge online audiences.
INFLUENCE is the relaunch of 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST, a weekly comedy/interview show about fascinating online communities, which ran for 7 years and nearly 300 episodes.

    06 He Quit His World-Touring Band to Teach Drum Lessons on the Internet | Mike Johnston

    06 He Quit His World-Touring Band to Teach Drum Lessons on the Internet | Mike Johnston

    Mike Johnston was living the dream. His band was signed to a major label. He was touring the world, playing for thousands of adoring fans, and making good money. But something was missing.
    He didn't know what, until a friend told him how happy he looked when he was teaching drums, rather than performing. That's when he figured out he has an "educator's soul." So he stepped back from the band and taught drums full time. It was exhausting, and this income potential was capped by the hours in the week. To make up for a lesson, he recorded a session and dumped it onto a fledgling website called "YouTube." That's where everything changed.
    Today, Mike's drum instruction videos reach millions of curious enthusiasts and dedicated musicians. He uses YouTube and his website to teach exponentially more people than he could possibly address with in-person lessons alone. Back in 2006/2007, he risked his entire career to build drum education the way *he* wished he could learn. The big unknown was whether others wanted it, too. (Narrator: They did.)
    This week, Matt sits down with Mike to discuss the fascinating evolution of online music lessons, where he gets his inspiration for new lessons, why he never watches other drum lesson videos, and why he's not afraid of AI taking his job.
    Check out Mike's Lessons to learn more: https://www.mikeslessons.com/
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Follow me:
    🐤https://twitter.com/Matt_Silverman
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/matt_silverman
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    • 1 hr 29 min
    05 Information Disorder: The Disturbing Rise of Political Misinformation Influencers | Lam Thuy Vo

    05 Information Disorder: The Disturbing Rise of Political Misinformation Influencers | Lam Thuy Vo

    “Fake news,” conspiracy theories, and click-bait are no stranger to all our Internet feeds. When we spot it, we may block an account or kindly refer a relative to a more reputable source. But what about the misinformation we can’t even see? Specifically, content in other languages, created for online communities we can’t possibly access?
    For the relatively small community of Vietnamese-speaking immigrants in the U.S., there are almost no reliable media outlets to serve news in their native language. And strange entities have sprouted up to fill the void, often mixing far-right conspiracies with legitimate news to create “information disorder,” a particularly insidious brand of propaganda.
    This week on INFLUENCE, investigative data journalist and journalism professor Lam Thuy Vo joins Matt to discuss the complexities of consuming a balanced news diet in the Vietnamese-American community. She has written numerous pieces for The Markup (a non-profit tech journalism site) about the “Languages of Misinformation,” and a mysterious YouTuber who produces a shocking amount of very dubious Vietnamese-language “news.” Who is she? Who is behind her channel? And what’s the goal?
    Lam also profiles a heroic Vietnamese-American grandmother who took it upon herself to translate reputable news sources to combat the misinformation she was seeing in her community’s social media bubbles. These forces paint a picture of a very complicated voting block that – if misinformed by the Internet – can significantly impact local and national elections.
    Their wide-ranging discussion goes deep on what it means to be media literate in a world of deepfakes, AI, and algorithms that care very little for languages that are not English.
    Read Lam’s extraordinary work here: https://themarkup.org/languages-of-misinformation/2024/05/22/the-inside-story-of-the-youtube-influencer-who-peddles-misinformation-to-vietnamese-communities
    https://themarkup.org/people/lam-thuy-vo
    And follow her here: https://x.com/lamthuyvo
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Follow me:
    🐤https://twitter.com/Matt_Silverman
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/matt_silverman
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 53 min
    04 How a Star Wars Parody Show Changed YouTube Forever | Blame Society (Aaron Yonda & Matt Sloan)

    04 How a Star Wars Parody Show Changed YouTube Forever | Blame Society (Aaron Yonda & Matt Sloan)

    The early days of YouTube were for home movies, cat videos, and short vlogs. But in the summer of 2006, something emerged from Wisconsin that would change our perception of what Internet video was capable of. “Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager” tells the classic story of Darth Vader’s younger brother, who commands a middle-management job at the local grocery store, rather than a Death Star.
    But “Chad” was more than just a hilarious Star Wars parody. It had the production values of a fully-fledged sitcom: Multiple actors and plot lines, costumes, sets, a musical score, sharp writing, and legit cinematography. The Internet — and YouTube corporate — took notice.
    Before “Like & Subscribe” was a thing, YouTube featured Chad Vader on its homepage, which reached millions of eyeballs and generated serious heat around the series. Fans began demanding new episodes, and YouTube realized the new potential of its platform. It was starting to shift from a novelty site, to a loyalty destination.
    Chad is the brainchild of Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan, improv comedians from Madison, Wisconsin, who had been making sketch comedy videos for public access TV and film festivals. After Chad Vader was canceled by Channel 101 and ignored by the Los Angeles establishment, they decided to check out this whole “YouTube thing.” The success of the series (and other emerging creators) prompted YouTube to roll out its advertising partner program. Yonda and Sloan’s channel, Blame Society Films, became one of the first ever to monetize. Chad’s popularity lead to brand partnerships, contract work, and collaborations. But despite its huge success and even an award from George Lucas himself, Hollywood never figured out how to translate a Star Wars parody sitcom to traditional TV.
    This week on INFLUENCE, Aaron and Matt chat with the Other Matt about their origin story, the evolution of their audience, the “lunacy” of Internet comments, why YouTube sketch comedy is dying out, voicing the REAL Darth Vader for TV and video games, and the long-running series their fans love and support today.
    Subscribe to Blame Society Films: https://www.youtube.com/@blamesocietyfilms
    Beer and Board Games: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL49WgzlbhrT0kCIoZQukx-xbwFjSQhYFQ
    Game Society Pimps: https://www.youtube.com/@GameSocietyPimps
    Junkyard Joust: https://www.youtube.com/@JunkyardJoust
    Welcome to the Basement: http://welcometothebasementshow.com/
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Follow me:
    🐤https://twitter.com/Matt_Silverman
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/matt_silverman
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 14 min
    03 Why This Brilliant Visual FX Artist Would Rather Work on TikTok Than in Hollywood | Chelsea VFX

    03 Why This Brilliant Visual FX Artist Would Rather Work on TikTok Than in Hollywood | Chelsea VFX

    Chelsea Laufer went to a prestigious film school. She got a job in TV production, and then in animation. But it wasn't until she uploaded her *own* creations to the Internet that her life turned magical.
    Chelsea VFX makes inspired, short-form digital magic tricks where she disappears into hula hoops, takes a dip in her own cup of coffee, and changes the color of her sweater with a snap. Her visual effects skills rival Hollywood movies, and her flair for short-form surprises racked up millions of followers and (likely) 1 billion views. Her motto is, "If you can think of it, you can make it happen" — at least in the world of digital manipulation. But when her fans tell her she should work for Marvel or Disney, she has one huge reason she prefers to create for the Internet.
    This week, Chelsea shares her rules for magical short-form storytelling, why she's the worst person to watch a movie with, and the fascinating tale of her most-viewed video which went INCREDIBLY viral (500 million views!) for all the wrong reasons.
    Plus: Trivia is BACK!
    Follow Chelsea IMMEDIATELY:
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/queenchelseavfx/
    🎵 https://www.tiktok.com/@queenchelsea
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Follow me:
    🐤https://twitter.com/Matt_Silverman
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/matt_silverman
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    • 1 hr 9 min
    02 He Gained 500,000 YouTube Subscribers After Making One Key Change | Craig Benzine (WheezyWaiter)

    02 He Gained 500,000 YouTube Subscribers After Making One Key Change | Craig Benzine (WheezyWaiter)

    When I was coming up in media and learning about online video around 2010-2011, Craig Benzine (known to the Internet as @wheezywaiter ) was a big inspiration. His videos were so absurd, so fast, and so funny. I felt like he was speaking to a new kind of audience. "YouTuber" was starting to become a job, and being ridiculous on the Internet could pay the rent. Loyal subscribers and conversations from the comments section were the gold standard.
    But as YouTube became more algorithmic, Craig's channel started to stagnate. His core audience was remained, but the growth had stopped. He felt completely stuck, for about 5 years. Then, in 2018, he made a radical change to his content that doubled his audience — from 500,000 to 1 million subs — in just a year.
    I'm thrilled to talk to Craig about making Internet videos for 16+ years(!), and what drove him to "make a movie every day." We discuss how YouTube editing became a unique artform, why getting 30 views and 1 comment from an online stranger was the best feeling in the world, the years he toiled in obscurity before the Internet finally took notice, and the re-invention of his channel.
    Plus: Your voicemail!
    Subscribe to WheezyWaiter on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@wheezywaiter/
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Follow me:
    🐤https://twitter.com/Matt_Silverman
    📸 https://www.instagram.com/matt_silverman
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 19 min
    01 This Wildly Popular True Crime Podcaster Has a Secret Double Life | Jack Rhysider | Darknet Diaries

    01 This Wildly Popular True Crime Podcaster Has a Secret Double Life | Jack Rhysider | Darknet Diaries

    The mysterious Jack Rhysider talks to hackers, cyber criminals, bank robbers, crypto scammers, (real!) spies, CIA agents, and penetration testers. Because his job sends him to the darkest corners of the Internet, his true identity is not known. But that never stops him from sharing how his extraordinary podcast - Darknet Diaries - comes together. From the kernel of an idea, to sweeping stories full of twists and turns, his true crime episodes started with the InfoSec crowd, and quickly gained mass appeal. Jack joins Matt to discuss his obsession with security and privacy, his journey from IT to blogging to podcasting, how he learned from the world's best audio storytellers, the moment he knew people really loved his show, why he loves to make things that are not sustainable, and the possibility of a new podcast in the works.
    Check out Darknet Diaries (True stories from the dark side of the Internet): https://darknetdiaries.com/
    This show is made possible by listener support: https://www.patreon.com/influencepod
    Watch & subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@InfluencePodcast
    Join our Discord community! https://discord.gg/influencepod
    Call the show and leave a message: (347)-871-6548
    Email me with guest & trivia suggestions! influencepod69@gmail.com (NOICE)
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
112 Ratings

112 Ratings

lfmccull ,

Learning is FUNdamental with Influence

I’m loving the new show format! Interviews are interesting and easy listens - exactly what you want in a podcast. Great stuff!

Nagikokiyohara ,

A reason for living

Matt Silverman is one of the great joys of the internet (as is this podcast).

SarahPMurphy ,

Hilarious and super smart

Such fantastic, weird and weirdly thoughtful conversations and interviews. Makes you laugh and makes you think — what else do you need in life? Highly recommend. You’ll thank me!

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