In a Name:

Kole here. I've got a short one for you this week. has been around for about three years now. Its early evolution was mostly accidental and haphazard, arising from my desire to bring Stand Under the Don't Tree and Riddle Me This (which would become The Level) and Those Damn Ross Kids onto a single website so they could benefit from cross promotion.

The network has been A Thing for long enough that I don't even think about its name much anymore. It's just the site where all of the stuff I make lives. But occasionally, when I'm talking to someone about the podcasts I do, I'll mention the name and they'll either act confused or mention that it's a "cool name".

So, where did the name come from?

Short answer: The first episode of Those Damn Ross Kids.

To bring a little more drama to it, I'll set the scene. My brother Kris and I had decided to do a podcast. We had microphones, but no plan. We recorded for about an hour, and scraped together about 23 minutes of usable material.

One of our goofs revolved around my desire to create new folksy idioms. You know, stuff you'd hear a southern man say to dismissively sum up a situation. In the moment, I came up with "I'm just feeding ducks here", as an analogue for "I'm just throwing spagetti at the wall to see what sticks" or "I'm just spitballing here."

The canonical definition for feeding ducks became: "to throw out ideas or facts for a waiting set of ears, seeing which ones would grab attention." Just imagine Grampa Simpson sitting on a park bench throwing bread crumbs directly at some birds.

Kris wasn't as amused with it as I was. I love the saying because it summed up exactly what we were doing at the time: saying whatever we could to make each other laugh. And it's exactly what I was doing on any other show. It's what I heard other people doing on other shows.

Nobody knows what will work until it does. It was apt.

About six months later when I was kicking the idea for a network around, I returned to that first episode in a search for ideas. I remembered how powerful that idea felt, then I played around with it, and finally I arrived at Duckfeed.

We were feeding ducks.

Podcasts are distributed through RSS feeds.

I like birds, and ducks are cool I guess.

I was (and am) a big fan of, so the .tv top-level-domain was attractive and memorable. .com is played out and .fm just sounds weird to my ears.

I grab-nabbed the URL and sketched out a quick version of the logo. As much as I hate the concept of branding, I had stumbled across a brand for my shows, and created a platform for other shows in the future.

About 4 months later, I met with Gary and started Watch Out for Fireballs! and the network started taking off, bringing the old shows to new audiences, and leading to more and more new shows.

I can't quite think of how to land this plane. It's a dumb little story about how a dumb little idea became a name for a thing. I hope it sheds some light on the origin of the network, and provides some context for our approach to creating content for you.

I guess in this metaphor you're the ducks. So, quack.