Discovering the Community: Dogma Debate with David Smalley

David Smalley runs his intelligent and noteworthy show Dogma Debate in hopes of opening up discourse on hot topics such as religion and civil rights. Take a look at what stops him before bringing up a subject, and where he hopes the show will go.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

My name is David Smalley, creator and host of Dogma Debate.

Nice to meet you! When and how did you start talking about religion and politics?

I began in Christian ministry as a drummer for a gospel choir, studied Christianity for 13 years, and became an atheist. The details are summed up in my new audiobook Baptized Atheist, on iTunes &

When did you make the jump from writing and publishing to podcasting?

I’ve always been interested in broadcasting and entertainment. I was a drummer, then a lead signer for a band, and in 2003 I hosted my first podcast about music and comedy, which lasted only a year due to conflicts with management. It was just fun, but not really making a difference. I wanted to help make a difference in real lives, and I think Dogma Debate is doing that.

We think so, too. Had you already been podcasting before coming to Spreaker?

When I started Dogma Debate, I was originally with BlogTalkRadio. I spent over $1,000 on studio equipment, but the sound was always compressed due to BTR’s call in style interface. You have to dial in; so regardless of how expensive your mic is, you’re just another caller talking through an expensive telephone. They also started randomly inserting ads in the middle of conversations and it wasn’t professional. So I pulled my show and searched for a network that would allow for higher quality broadcasts, and for me to control the commercial inserts in real time. Spreaker does exactly that.

How did you find Spreaker?

Here’s my big secret: Google.

Aha! What do you like most about using Spreaker?

The sound quality, the ability to insert commercial breaks, the ability for users to listen without signing up. Also, Spreaker allows me to make money directly from 3rd-party sponsors. BTR wanted me to send everyone to them, and I would only get 25% of the revenue earned by my show. Spreaker knows that if my show is doing well, I deserve the revenue. I respect that.

Your show certainly sparks important and necessary conversations. Do you ever hesitate before bringing any subject to the airwaves that seems too controversial?

I never hesitate because I fear controversy. I hesitate because I’ve learned that just because something is an exciting statement, doesn’t mean it can carry a 20-min segment. That’s why I developed the news section of my show. We do a 4 minute update for those exciting headlines you want to hear, but don’t require a lot of conversation.

Fair enough. Do you use Spreaker’s interactive features to chat with your listeners?

No. Only 3% of our listeners hear the show live. So managing a chat room would just be another point of potential technical failure. Plus, the users that hear the podcast later wouldn’t be able to see that chat history. So, we post live updates and news stories on and respond to comments there during the show. That way, if you listen later, you can still get in on the conversation.

Where do you hope your podcast will take you (personally or professionally)?

I would personally love to syndicate the show. I’d like to be on terrestrial radio, or perhaps satellite. But I’d still like to leverage Spreaker as my home base.

Thanks David, and keep up with the great show!

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