When Tehachapi local Steven Lee would video chat with his son over Skype, he noticed the conversation, one way or another, would always end up being about technology.
So, he decided to record their conversations, and before he knew it, their casual back and forth about computers, gadgets, and other technologies evolved into a full-fledged, weekly podcast show that now has more than 100,000 listeners across the globe.
The Waves of Tech, which he started in 2006, is a technology podcast released once a week about the impacts and influences that technology has on our everyday lives.
In fact, it has been so highly revered by techies from around the world, that his flagship show has been nominated as one of the best technology podcasts in the world.
On Jan. 5, Lee will travel to Las Vegas to partake in the 9th Annual Podcast Awards Ceremony hosted by Podcast Connect Inc., where The Waves of Tech will be honored alongside media giants like NPR, ESPN and CBS.
"Just to be on this list is beyond my expectations," he said. "When they were announced, I didn't even know it."
The term podcast was created from a combination of the words "iPod" and "broadcast," but has evolved to include other new devices and technologies that can be used to enjoy the episodic, multimedia files that are downloaded from the web.
According to Lee, there are more than 300,000 podcast shows in the world. But what makes The Waves of Tech unique for a technology podcast, Lee says, is that it's simple and speaks to the average consumer.
"...I think the difference is our technology show is plain English and talks to the people," he said. "Its about real life technology. We talk about travel, space, auto industry, not just computers."
Lee grew up in Southern California and served in the Air Force for 21 years as an aircraft mechanic. After retiring from the military, a new found interest in technology brought about new opportunities for his career.
Lee went on to work for IBM as a software developer before landing in Tehachapi, where he started his own Information Technology business, also called the Waves of Tech.
Lee says that most of his listeners are based out of Texas, California, and New York. About 70 percent receive the 30-minute clips through iTunes, and the other 30 percent listen through mobile devices and the web.
Although more than half of his listeners tune in to listen to Waves of Tech, his podcast network called NetCast Studio, has sprouted a total of eight shows, including The Tech of Sports, The Conversation Corner, Busy Ladies -- which is hosted by his wife and daughter-in-law -- and the recently-created Tehachapi Mountain Voice, which will Lee will use to discuss the local news and happenings in town. Of all of his eight shows combined, Lee has more than a quarter of a million regular listeners.
"I think one of the unique things is that we've become a world wide platform out of this little thing in Tehachapi," he said.