“Most of my days involve four- and five-hour stretches of what I would characterize as dicking around on the Internet,” says podcasting impresario and public-radio host Jesse Thorn, adding, “I do mean stretches, plural.” We think he’s kidding, but either way, his process works: Thorn is getting bigger-name guests for his public-radio show, The Sound of Young America, such as writer-director Judd Apatow, Carl Newman of the indie band the New Pornographers, and novelist William Gibson; he’s added John Hodgman to his stable of popular comedy podcasts; and Put This On, his blog and web series devoted to dressing like a grown-up, is stylish and smart. Thorn runs his own annual pledge drive, and his Internet time is paying off. He doubled his monthly donors this year.
A humorous fundraising video goes behind the mic of The Sound of Young America, followed by an episode of Thorn’s Put This On.
Where do you go for inspiration?
When I’m feeling stuck, I go to the thrift store. I like that at the thrift store, I can look through things that are almost completely uncurated. It’s just stuff. Could be great, could be awful. And anything I find that I want, I can buy it. It will not be out of my price range. It makes me feel like anything’s possible. That’s not a joke.
I try and avoid things I don’t enjoy, and do more of things I do enjoy.