Happy World Radio Day, everybody! The 2018 theme is radio and sports, but never mind that.
As has been evident for some time, although wide adoption doubtless will take some time, podcasting is the new radio: Available on demand, episodic content, high quality and covering a bewildering number of finely sliced niche markets.
I wish I had the energy to launch my own podcast (on the enlightened holy practice of not giving a f**k), but en attendant Godot, here are some of my current favorites:
- More or less: Behind the stats – counting the numbers that count
- FT Tech Tonic: On regulating robots and making it to the future
- Hidden Brain: A pleasantly meandering walk in the mind
- In our time: History of ideas revealed
- Philosophize this!: The history of philosophy in likeable language
- The Bugle: Audio newspaper for a visual world
UPDATE Feb 19: Stumbled upon and pondering an interesting point from Quartz – “Live podcast recordings ruin everything that makes podcasts great”
They go against everything I love about the medium of podcasting itself: that it is calming to listen to, not audibly jarring or interruptive, and I feel like the hosts or guests are talking to just me. Whereas public radio greats have an air of authority by mere virtue of being on NPR, the connection I build up with certain podcast hosts I listened to “before they were cool” feels genuine. The fact that it’s not reciprocal doesn’t matter much—until they invite an audience of people into my ears to shatter the illusion. They begin making jokes for the audience, not for me. The grating sound of applause or laughter fills the pauses that usually give me space to ponder. The echo of a theater sounds like the opposite of the uncommon silence of a studio I usually cherish.
As usual with Quartz, there is a discussion of opposing arguments as well. Still, I think I agree mostly with what Rosie Spinks is saying. Live audiences very seldom make a podcast better, but frequently interject.