I only started listening to podcasts a few years ago. If you’re new to this world, it can be difficult at first to find what you’re looking for. When I found a podcast I really liked, I often went back to the beginning and listened to the entire back-catalogue. Sometimes it’s worthwhile. I did this for The Bugle and Hello Internet (you should probably do the same). Sometimes I found new podcasts because I liked the guest on a podcast I was listening to. Sometimes podcasts recommend other podcasts. Slowly I’ve built up a small multitude of podcasts I check in on regularly. There are a few that I catch every episode, others if I like the topic or the guest. I listen to some only now and again, just to see what’s going on.
I’ve done a few blog posts of podcast recommendations. I started grouping podcasts together with themes. All the while I was adding more podcasts to my feed, listening to new things, pruning and selecting. Some things I listen to at double speed, others at normal speed (pro tip: if it’s comedy, you need the timing to be right). I wanted to sample everything that was out there. If I was a real social media hawk, I would be posting about every episode I listened to. I’d be joining in the conversation. But this is more my style, having a low-key website that no one really knows about, keeping a secret diary of all the little things I think are cool. I like whispering in a world of shouting.
If you have never listened to a podcast before, my recommendations might be a good place to start. Or maybe you won’t like anything I recommend, that can happen too. In the words of the great David O’Doherty, please please lower your expectations. One thing you will need (whether or not you like any of my podcast recommendations) is a good podcasting app. Overcast is the app I use for listening to podcasts. Sometimes I listen to podcasts by the independent app developer (and podcaster) who developed Overcast, Marco Arment. He does a tech podcast called Accidental Tech Podcast. He also gave this speech in 2013 at XOXO festival, where he first announced he was developing Overcast. Towards the end of this video, Arment really elucidates the appeal of podcasts as a format, and the benefits of the open decentralised RSS-based distribution model.
With my tendency to over-subscribe to podcasts and then prune over time, Overcast’s playlist functionality has helped me to manage this weird little workflow that I use to find stuff I like. Big thanks to Marco.