Leider gibt’s die FAQ derzeit noch nicht auf Deutsch.

On this page we answer a bunch of questions that have been asked via email or other channels.

Who is behind omega tau

omega tau is run by Markus Voelter and Nora Ludewig. Markus works as a software engineer and consultant, and Nora works as an automotive engineer. They are supported for the shownotes by a team of volunteer listeners shepherded by Bastian Hundt.

Why do you do this?

We do it because it is fun. We get to talk to incredibly interesting people, learn a lot about the (scientific and technical) world, and have the opportunity to do cool things ourselves: we’ll never forget the trip on the container vessel, the visit to the world’s largest optical telescope or the flights on the air ambulance helicopter. But we also want to spread the world about science and engineering. We feel that in today’s world, these topics are getting a bad rep in some circles. omega tau let’s the people who do it talk about their passions in as much detail as they like.

How can I contact the team?

You can reach the team via feedback@omegataupodcast.net, via @omegataupodcast on Twitter, via Google+ and via Facebook.

Is it commercial? How do you finance this?

Everybody who is involved with omega tau does it for free, fun and fame :-) It is our hobby. There is currently no advertisement or sponsorship (although we are open for suitable sponsoring deals, maybe we can then produce more shows). We do get ca. 100 EUR per month in donations from our audience (see below). This covers web hosting, bandwidth, audio processing and the occasional audio gadget.

Can I donate?

Yes. You can donate through Paypal, Patreon, Flattr, our Amazon wish lists, the Amazon affiliate link and bank transfers. See the donations page for details.

I would like to help. Can I? How?

Yes. You can suggest topics and and suitable guests (even though we cannot guarantee that we’ll record the show), you can help with the shownotes, you can help with “special tasks” that come up from time to time (such doing some work on the website) or just see if your skills fit in (audio, design and PR skills are always helpful). Just contact us and we’ll talk. Help is always appreciated.

My organisation would like to sponsor omega tau. Is this possible?

In principle, yes. We are not interested in brain-dead advertisement for stuff that is unrelated to omega tau and its audience. And we will make absolutely no compromises regarding topics or the way we do the shows. But if you want to underwrite a set of episodes in return for a mention at the beginning and/or end of the shows, then this could work. Especially if this is a longer term agreement. Note, however, that the money involved must be significant: we won’t go through all the hazzle to get 50 EUR per show. It just isn’t worth the effort. Contact us if you have ideas.

How often is omega tau published? Can you publish more?

We publish roughly twice per month, typically around the 5th and the 20th. But this may slip, and the frequency may change. Sometimes things go wrong with the scheduling queue or life gets in the way. However, we have been pretty consistent over the years. As long as we are doing omega tau as a hobby, an increase in the release frequency is unlikely. And doing it full time and making a living is even less likely, because of the no-so-great economies of podcasting for money :-)

How do you decide between German and English?

We try to alternate between German and English language episodes. However, sometimes this does not work out and we’ll publish a sequence of German or English instead. Over the years it has pretty much evened out, but sometimes their can be “local” perturbations of the balance. Be patient :-)

How do you find and decide on topics?

Topic selection is mostly driven by our personal interests. A topic is more likely if we can do cool stuff in addition to “just talking” because it is more fun for us. We have a list of ca. 500 topic ideas, based on inspiration in everyday life and things we encounter on the web. Some topics jump the list because they relate to current events or because we happen to stumble across a guest who is willing and interesting (this is the reason why the big list always grows and hardly shrinks). Some topics are also driven by suggestions from listeners. If you don’t just “request” a topic but also suggest a guest (who, perhaps, has already agreed to be on the show), it is quite possible that we’ll record a show soon. However, there will never be a show about a topic we (Nora and Markus) are not interested in, no matter how much (some or many) listeners want it :-)

Why are the episodes so long?

Two reasons. First, the episodes are as long as they need to be to cover a topic reasonably well. This just turns out to be around 2 hours. Second, there is enough short(er)-form content on the web an in mainstream media already. We don’t see the need to add to that.

I would like to be a guest on omega tau. What do I do?

Make sure you have a good topic, you can explain it well and you have a decent telephone or Skype connection. Then contact us and we’ll talk.

Who listenes to omega tau?

We did a survey a while ago. The results are in this special episode. Here is the summary. 95% men. Half of the listeners are between 35 and 50 years of age, another quarter between 25 and 24. 75% are from Europe, 75% of those from Germany. 15% of the total audience is from the US and Canada. About 60% have a university degree, ca. 10% have a PhD. Two thirds are from technical or natural science backgrounds, many are engineers or scientists. From those technical people, about half has some kind of computer science background.

Why did you stop playing music after a while

Because it was a stupid idea in the first place: the conversation was interrupted, people had different musical tastes and were annoyed, and because it is additional work in producing the show. Also: because of licensing issues we really typically couldn’t play the music we really liked and had to make do with CC music. Anyway: omega tau is better without the songs.