I have many friends who absolutely LOVE podcasts. They always have recommendations, and are always curious why I haven’t gotten on the “podcast train”. I listen to NPR most of the time anyway. Why not have curated shows around my interests? I have one friend, a game enthusiast, who listens to many podcasts dedicated to his niche obsession. I’m sure there are plenty of podcasts for someone like me. But I always hesitated because like Twitter and Snapchat, to dive in seemed daunting. Where do you start? How do you know which ones are good? How do you keep things organized? It was easier to blast the FM dial and keep it simple.
But then my cousin started a podcast, and on Facebook asked people to check it out. When I did I found that I enjoyed the format (especially his short 6 minute motivational podcast) and suddenly I dove in. But I didn’t dive in so far as to get out of control. True, I now follow roughly 20 podcasts, but I could have stopped at a smaller subset and been perfectly happy with it. So now I have some answers to my questions. The biggest being “Where do you start?” Followed by “How to Keep Things Organized?” Let me recommend 7 podcasts. I will give you a few sentences to sum up each. Then I’ll recommend a couple apps for organization, should you decide to jump into the crazy world of podcasts. I don’t regret that I finally did. And it’s not nearly as daunting as Twitter (at least for me).
7 PODCASTS TO GET YOU STARTED
1.Your Motivational High 5 – short format for quick motivation. Phil, my cousin, has a great voice and sound advice. He pulls in others to share their stories, and 5 minutes at a time, he’s helping his listeners re-organize their thought processes around healthy approaches to living a full, rich life.
2. Stuff You Should Know – Two hilarious guys share their love of learning. From Evel Knievel to How Night Terrors Work, these guys have mad researching skills and are a blast to listen to.
3. Serial – Two seasons are in the can for this episodic examination of criminal cases. First it was a murder case, which resulted in a new trial for the subject, and then the Bowe Bergdahl case, of the soldier who abandoned his post. Well paced, well researched, well worth your time.
4. Someone Knows Something – Similar to Serial, this first season
examines a 30 year old cold case in Canada, involving the disappearance of a little boy. A cool view into the minds of investigators and an insightful look into different perspectives and the challenges of age and memory.
5. Vergecast – For a techie like me, the Vergecast is top of my list. A bunch of geeks around a mic once a week (roughly) talking about the tech of the day. Feels like a place I could call home.
6. Brains On! – For the kiddos. This podcast produced at the University of Minnesota brings cool science stuff to the inquisitive child’s mind. “How Do Airplanes Fly?”, and “Why are No Two Snowflakes the Same?”. I, for one, was fascinated by the “Science of Baking”. They are short, and full of cool stuff for kids.
7. On Being – For those in search of some contemplation, Krista Tippett offers some amazing interviews with great minds. Famous Names, and not so famous names are included, but all will make you think deeper about life in general. Check out the Thich Nhat Hanh one for starters!
BONUS: I would be remiss to not include one last podcast. “Spoilers” is the creation of a co-worker of mine. Their format is basically a bunch of buddies sitting around talking about a specific movie. Sometimes it’s current releases (Killing Joke and Swiss Army Man), other times it’s old classics (Alien and Time Bandits!) At times chaotic, it only reflects the fun of hanging with friends and talking movies. Check it out.
Finally, here are two “podcast apps” that will not only keep your stuff organized, but will help you find the podcasts I’ve mentioned, and find new ones too.
- Podcasts – native application on all iPhones and iPads
- Pocket Casts – this is my chosen app. It costs a few bucks but has a great interface to keep it all organized.
That’s how I started. I just downloaded some of the most popular podcasts and found topics that interested me. And I’ve been listening ever since.
Hop on board and enjoy the world of podcasts!!