Podcasts are undeniably popular, and they are also astoundingly diverse. Take a quick peek through the iTunes store, and you’ll find podcasts about any topic that you imagine including news, comedy, art, food, natural living, and science, among other categories.
Thankfully, there is now a podcast exclusively about Dayton—its culture, people, businesses, politics, and lifestyles–to add to that burgeoning roster.
Launched just a few months ago, the Gem City Podcast is the brainchild of Eric Ruiz, a native of Tampa and Austin. While Dayton is his adopted city, he feels a strong impetus to connect and grow with it. “Dayton is my home; therefore, I feel obligated to make it an oasis of great people,” he stated.
Inspired by the popular comedy podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Eric set out to create a show that was equally expressive and candid, all with the aim of boosting Dayton’s morale and promoting peace and good vibes. He attributes this to a radical inner transformation that he had a few years ago, which changed his perception of this world in and his place in it. “My motivation is to take whatever place I’m at and set up a beacon of positivity,” he offered. “From there, I want to help promote that and push away all the negativity I see in this world.”
To help him with the show’s production, he teamed up with Chris Jones, Russ Cope, and Chad Wells. Ruiz notes that they all bring different strengths and perspectives to the table. “I believe that with the four of us contributing and putting love into the show, we can only get better,” he offered.
Their teamwork is evident. Even though the weekly podcast began in early May, they have landed some impressive guests, including business owners and Tommy Jones of The Dayton Scene. They plan to add even more notable Dayton denizens to their line-up as they continue to reach out to Dayton’s multi-faceted community.
“I’m really excited about the amount of people we will be meeting and interviewing,” commented Chris Jones, the podcast’s tech guru. “I love meeting and conversing with people who may have a different perspective than me. I feel that when you see the world through someone else’s eyes, it makes you a more diverse person. Even better, we get to share those stories and emotions with our listeners.”
Added Russ Cope, their producer, “Gem City Podcast’s goal is to connect our audience with the individuals who are making Dayton this unique blend of creativity, ingenuity, moxie, and tenacity. We want to support and promote Dayton’s journey from a grassroots perspective, one interview at a time.”
The Gem City Podcast crew leisurely conducts each interview, often spending up to an hour with each guest, all with the intent to give him or her the opportunity to open up and share their thoughts. While the program has an explicit rating on iTunes (where you can download episodes for free), the content is mostly tame, although the team doesn’t shy away from discussing mature topics or employing adult, albeit good-natured, humor.
Because it is a weekly production, there is an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into designing the show. This includes researching potential guests, securing interviews, and uploading episodes to various sites. The team also maintains Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages with the latest podcast updates and city news.
Considering the impressive amount of work that is involved in making the program a quality product, Ruiz noted that he is always looking for people to help share the load with their talents. “We are a family, so anyone who has something to offer is welcome to do so, and together, we can accomplish more.”
Even though the Gem City Podcast is still in its infancy, it has cultivated quite an active following with both social media followers and downloads. In fact, their first episode was so popular that they encountered some interesting complications as a result.
“The response has been more then we had expected,” said Ruiz. “We overloaded our server, which was bad, but really great, too, in the sense that we found out people really are listening. This makes me feel obligated to give them the best show I can.”
Given the outpouring of support, the Gem City Podcast is on the path to making an indelible mark in the Dayton community. When asked about his plans for the show, Russ Cope, the producer, is adamant about the podcast’s role in promoting Dayton’s significance to a larger audience, especially its scientific and artistic impact.
Ruiz shares Cope’s admiration for Dayton, as well, and aims to change people’s perception of his chosen city, “I hope the podcast makes people more aware,” he said. “Getting more positive thinking is my goal.”