Podcasts have been a regular part of my life since before my daughter was born. I listen to them while I work out, in the van, when I’m cleaning, and anytime I have a minute. Music still gets high priority around here, but podcasts are a close second. I am dedicating this week to the podcasts I listen to. If you have some that you love, please chime in with a comment or two!
If you’re going to understand podcasts, you should be familiar with what I consider to be the grandfather of all podcasts: This American Life. TAL is actually a radio show on NPR hosted by Ira Glass, but its format is perfectly suited to podcasting. The producers of the show tell true stories, usually formed around a theme of some sort. As a bonus: their website is very listener-friendly — you can go back into the archives and find shows from years past.
My most recent favorite episode is the one from 1/23, about online vitriol: “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS.” The first major story (which — warning — contains quite a bit of language) is about an online journalist who confronts a troll of hers. It’s wonderfully redemptive.
When TAL debuted its first spinoff, Serial (which became the most-listened-to podcast ever), they made this video for people who might not be familiar with podcasts. I’m just going to put it here in case you need help with this. You don’t have to admit it publicly. Just follow the directions.
Ira mentions the apple podcast app — when I was an apple user, I actually bought an app called Downcast, which I found to be more user-friendly than the standard free one from apple. Now that I’m an android person, I use an app called Podkicker. Stitcher is great too.
So — your assignment for today: find an app you like for podcasts, and subscribe to This American Life.