Podcast Dedicated to Shipping

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 17, Issue 10, October 2022

This month, many media outlets received a press release announcing a new podcast – Downbound Discussions – launched by Michael Folsom. Of course, Michael's name is as well known at TI Life as it is in the ship-watching world. His original St. Lawrence Seaway Ship Watchers Facebook page was launched in 2011 and has grown to 55,000 followers. It all started back in 2008 with a blog and Twitter account.

55.3K followers keeping up-to-date on Seaway news. 

Michael realized from the outset that followers wanted real-time content. Other groups, such as the Prescott Anchor Facebook page, also began. As he called it, a "network" was created, with individuals exchanging photos and information spanning the River, the Great Lakes, and the Lower St. Lawrence.

"Downbound Discussions will bring ship enthusiasts another step closer to the mesmerizing vessels so often seen along the St. Lawrence while also highlighting what the Seaway has to offer," says Michael, "from beautiful landscapes to exciting community events. Also, the podcast will make connections with the people who play a role in it all, so that it can be a little more real than just a name or photo on social media." He goes on to say, "I want to be able to provide folks with that behind-the-scenes look that you might not get otherwise."

As the podcast is meant to answer our seaway questions, TI Life asked some of our own. We learned that the podcast is created from his office with a new studio microphone - and he says, "I'm honestly learning as I go, but thus far, I have managed to do it without heading into 'rough waters’."

We asked if he accepted sponsors or advertisers. He said he loves to promote business and events around the islands. For the first few episodes, he partnered with the publication, Know Your Ships, and the Watertown Daily Times. Over time, there will be the ability to include 30-second commercial spots.

And what about ideas? He says, "Absolutely, send your ideas and tell me what you want to learn. My roster of upcoming guests is growing, but the more added means the more frequently the shows are released. Ideas can be emailed directly to me at theshipwatcher@yahoo.com."

Interviews will include the Port of Oswego's Executive Director, Bill Scriber, and the popular shipmate-turned-cookbook author, Catherine Schmuck. There will also an interview about the 2020 collision in the Welland Canal with an investigator from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Roger LeLievre, editor of Know Your Ships. One episode will be dedicated solely to our TI Life author, Brian Johnson, former captain of the Wolfe Islander III and the Canadian Empress cruise ship

Downbound Discussions will be available via Spotify, Apple, Google, Audible, and Amazon Music. Information on the podcast, of course, can be found on Facebook via Downbound Discussions and/or St. Lawrence Seaway Ship Watchers group pages.

Readers – enjoy and Mike – break-a-leg! You make us proud.

By Susan W. Smith, susansmith@thousandislandslife.com

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 10, October 2022, News article, Sports

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