Podcast 101

If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you’ve heard me utter some version of this phrase: “I was listening to a podcast recently and…”

You see, I’m an avid podcast listener. While music is great when I need to focus, there are many things I do (cleaning, research, data entry, using the bathroom) that don’t require my full attention. More so, sometimes it’s just nice to hear talking in the background while you work, rather than music. That’s the need that podcasts fill.

I started listening when Kevin Smith launched his first podcast: Smodcast. I was doing my second co-op in 2008 and having funny content to listen to while I worked saved me during an otherwise uneventful job. I’ve been hooked ever since.

The thing is, they haven’t caught on in my five years of listening. At least, they haven’t caught on with the people I hang out with. I find myself constantly referencing things people aren’t listening to, which is annoying for both me and everyone around me.

So, as a solution, I’ve gone through the podcasts I listen to and provided an outline, pros and cons for each, and a few sample episodes to get you started. This is Podcasting 101. It is a sample box of some of my favorite episodes of my favorite podcasts.

There are a couple things you need to know before we start:

First, there are many podcast networks out there, but I primarily focus on two: the Smodcast Network, which is often more about friends talking with friends, and the Nerdist Network, which is often more focused on either improv comedy or comedians talking about their process.

Second, there are three over-arching types of podcasts I’ve focused on:

Talking with Friends: The joy of these podcasts comes from the relationships between their hosts. Examples include Smodcast, Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, Cashing In with TJ Miller, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, and FEAB.

Interviews: These podcasts focus on guests bringing content to the show. Examples include Get up on This, Fatman on Batman, You Made it Weird, and Doodie Calls.

Educational: Podcasts can be a learning tool as well as a source of entertainment. Examples include Stuff You Should Know, Freakonomics Radio, Edumacation, and BBC’s Beyond Belief.

Many of these podcasts are incredible and the 40 sample episodes I’ve chosen in particular are entertainment gold. I’ve just given you over 60 hours of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in the last five years. Happy early Christmas!

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2 Responses to Podcast 101

  1. Gail B says:

    From St. Catharines:

    As a member of the St. C. Heritage Committee I thought you might like to know that we are designating the little park at the corner of WIliam, Duke Street and Lake Streets as The Hannalore Headley Chess park. I have been asked to write the text for the plaque as I knew Hannah for many years. I found your two part-profile very good, and filled in some detail of her life I did not know.

    Gail B

  2. Thanks, Gail. Interviewing Hannalore was an incredible highlight of my time in St. Catharine’s. I am actually currently working for CNIB (the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and so think of her, sitting in her little book store, on occasion. I didn’t know she passed and I’m glad her story got out and that her life is being recognized in the community. Thank you for the message!

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