Podcasts are not a new phenomenon. Early adopters have been around for a decade or more. For the late adopters, like me, I stumbled across the podcast only recently. My introduction was the desire to re-listen to a Conversations with Richard Fidler (ABC radio) episode that aired one Saturday. That led me into the dark and mirky world of podcasts. I introduced my wife to the allure of podcasts. She has adopted it with a passion and now puts me to shame the amount of material she consumes.
My favourites are "Stuff you should know" and the "Tim Ferriss Show". Stuff you should know is 2 fellas that talk about a variety of topics for example Who gets to names continents, How slinkies work, How Nitrous Oxide works, How Propaganda works etc, etc. The topics are interesting and nicely packaged in a 40 minute clip. Perfect length for the bus, train or car ride to work. The Tim Ferriss Show is a series of interviews with enlightened and informative guests who share their thoughts on a variety of business, social, philosophical topics. I found the interview with Seth Godin particularly illuminating.
My wife has gone down a different path, ironically, closer to my profession than hers. Crime stories are her crux. "Criminal" was a series of stories (about 20 minutes each) covering famous and not so famous crimes. "Series" is another crime related podcast. The author of Series takes an in-depth review of crime stories dissecting the disclosed facts accompanied by an interview of the accused, the victim or people close to the action in the attempt to scratch below the surface of the story.
The convenience of podcasts cannot be under estimated. They are packaged with you, the listener, as the centre of their audience. You can start, stop, rewind, replay, skip ahead at your leisure. You can listen to them at your convenience. Nothing distracts you more-so from the monotony of a long drive or peak-hour traffic than your own personalised podcast presenter talking to you about a topic that interests you. Publishing of books and print media was revolutionary for the dissemination of information. Then came TV and radio. Podcasts may just be the next revolution of information dissemination. With the quality of podcasts out there why not embrace the revolution.