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❌ Exvangelical has reached over 800,000 downloads 📈
And the #exvangelical tag has 875M views on TikTok.
Earlier this morning, I learned that the podcast has reached a new milestone: it has been downloaded over 800,000 times!
Measured against the .5-001% podcasts in the world, this is meager. Measured against the fact that this was done with no ad spend, via word of mouth alone, starting from 0, I'm beyond grateful.
Another tidbit: 2/3rds of the Spotify audience is female.
Comparison is the thief of joy, and while I often dwell on what might have or could be, I also try to remember that vision is always ahead of execution. it helps me be grateful for how far I've come.
Being an indie podcaster means you're competing in the same market as the NYT, Vox, NPR, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and others with paid media spend and entire production staffs. "Breaking through" is a huge ask.
This is why indie podcasters rely on platforms like Patreon or Substack, etc. Making media is work. it's not the same type of work as community organizing, or other forms of public-facing work. But it has its own inherent value.
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Beyond the podcast, the reach of the #exvangelical hashtag is over 1,000% larger. As of this morning, it has over 875 million impressions on TikTok:
If it keeps its current pace, it will crest 1 billion impressions this year; it’s also been added to over 89,000 Instagram posts.
A hashtag is a simple tool, and once it is created it becomes something that anyone can contribute to, and that is beyond the control or ownership of anyone in particular. It has been fascinating to see how it has been used to spur conversation, and conversations about conversations, and so on.
I have my own thoughts about the value and limits of ‘exvangelical’ as a moniker, but its success as a hashtag is hard to deny.
I am grateful for having a small part in this conversation. No conversation, no community, no networked public or counterpublic is above reproach or beyond critique, and having conversations rooted in things like trauma & dissent are hard to maintain over the long-term. But insomuch as they contribute to individuals pursuing their own wholeness, and in holding powerful institutions to account, I remain grateful.