I love podcasts
I really do.
For the past 6 months or so I have been listening to roughly 4-7 hours of podcasts weekly. That was one of the best decisions I made in 2013. Here are the reasons.
- There’s plenty of high quality podcasts out there for every topic imaginable - wikipedia says the number is 115 000, and that’s only counting podcasts in English. Whatever your interests are, you’ll find something perfect for you.
- It’s not like mainstream media - hosts are usually really passionate about their topic and ratings are not the main concern. They just focus on producing great content.
- It takes literally no extra time to consume information in this form. I like to listen while driving (I even stopped hating traffic jams so much), washing dishes, walking, or basically doing anything automatic in nature.
- In general podcasts offer higher quality content than, say, blogs. I presume it’s mainly due to blogging being easier and less demanding than producing a podcast. Also, on the internet, written content tend to suffer from freshness and quantity factors. You’ve got to keep your posts relevant, easy-to-consume and frequent if you wanna get to the top, but creators tend to take their time with podcasts to really dwell into subjects. If chosen wisely, podcasts can be extremely stimulating and rewarding.
- Podcasts can help limit that never-ending stream of internet content. You form the list of a few subscriptions that are truly interesting, thus eliminating everything else. You won’t find yourself scrolling through news sites for hours, reading one meaningless article after another and immediately forgetting everything. It’s kinda like RSS, only you can’t be subscribed to several hundreds of podcasts, so you’re forced to choose carefully.
The easiest way to listen to podcasts is through your smartphone. Just search “podcasts” in your app store. My favorite is Podcast Addict.
My personal favorites
I’ve tried many podcasts, but right now I’m sticking with these few:
- Freakonomics radio. Hands down my favorite since day one. These guys apply sociology and economics to everything from suicides to NASCAR races. They’ve published two books and a documentary. Great topics, great minds, great quality entertainment, great everything. I dare you to listen to any episode and not to get hooked.
- HBR IdeaCast. Authors, scientists and leaders discuss the art of management - but in a wider sense than you might think. Good stuff not only for managers, but for anyone living among humans.
- NPR: Planet Money Podcast. Another podcast answering questions about world economy that I’m too dumb to even ask.
- Scriptnotes Podcast. This one is about screenwriting and the industry of filmmaking in general. Both hosts are successful screenwriters working in Hollywood, so they know their shit.
- The School of Greatness. The host Lewis Howes is a bit annoying (my personal thing, there’s probably nothing wrong with him), but his guests are far more interesting.
- You Are Not So Smart. That one is about psychology, or, to be more specific, self delusions. Every episode dwells into different ways we fool ourselves. Mind-bending stuff.
Go try these, then find something for yourself. You’ll love it.