I sold myself on the fact that I was a nerd when I started subscribing to podcasts, and listening to them regularly. That really just happened over the last few weeks. It feels like a free education – pick the topics you’re interested in, and hopefully there will be shows out there that talk about them. I’m still trying to determine which podcasts are worth keeping in regular rotation, and yes most of them are nerdy, but here’s what I’ve found so far…


  • Ruby on Rails Podcast – If you’re into Ruby on Rails development, this podcast is quite good. The host is Geoff Grosenbach, a regular at the Seattle.rb meetings. He intereviews various people who talk about a wide range of RoR-related stuff, including general agile development techniques.
  • The Web 2.0 Show – I like this one as well. They talk about a lot of different startups, and have some decent interviews with their founders.
  • Harvard Business Review Ideacast – This is a great podcast on business in general. They had some recent interviews with experts on the car industry, how to do business in China, etc. The people they talk to seem like real experts in their fields, are very well spoken, and bring up a lot of thought-provoking points.
  • This Week in Tech (TWiT) – I don’t think a lot of the content of this podcast is particularly special, but the hosts are at least from a different demographic than a lot of tech podcasts. They’re not twentysomethings, they are older and seem to have a different take on things. Plus they have John C. Dvorak, who is entertaining to listen to even though I feel like he’s wrong most of the time. For example, in the last episode he declared the rumors of Google buying YouTube “bogus”. In the words of Valleywag: “Dvorak 0, reality 1”.
  • TalkCrunch – I didn’t have high expectations for this, but it turned out to be great. Arrington has a no-fluff (no intro or outro music) podcast, and I was really impressed with a lot of what he seems to know about the startup world. He picked apart the business model of PayPerPost in one episode, and squeezed usage numbers out of the Pageflakes founder in another one. He is very well versed in the venture capital world as well.
  • Engadget Podcast – I’ve found this to be much better than “The Gadget Show.” They cover a lot of ground and have some useful commentary on the new gadgets that come out and their position in the overall landscape. The only thing that annoys me is that they (one of the hosts more than the other) sometimes spend too much time talking about things they have no knowledge about. For example, they argued about how much time Microsoft “must have” spent on the Zune, even though neither of them had any facts.
  • UPDATE: It’s also worth adding the Meet The Press podcast to the list of keepers. It’s an audio-only version of the show, which I never seem to be able to find time to sit down and watch. It’s still great in audio – and portable.

The ones that I may ditch:

  • Rocketboom – I know this podcast is famous, and people supposedly love it, but I’ve watched it and I don’t get the fuss. It’s relatively well-produced, but the content isn’t that interesting. It may also be the case that I prefer audio podcasts to video, since I can’t very well walk to work/cross the street while staring at a screen.
  • Diggnation – Because Digg is cool, and the show is based on what was found to be popular there, I assumed they’d be in a perfect position to have a ton of interesting things to talk about. All they need to do is cover the week’s most interesting stories. Instead they spend a lot of time talking about things that aren’t that interesting, or making jokes that aren’t funny. When they do cover the stories, I don’t feel their commentary adds a lot of value. No Digg.
  • The Scientific American Podcast – I really want to be interested in what they’re talking about, and in some cases I am, but by and large I feel like what they say doesn’t stick. I want to like science, but evidently I don’t.
  • Free Talk Live – this is a pretty good podcast with a libertarian angle, but I get the impression that the host is more of an anarcho-capitalist than a libertarian. So, I fear that people listening to him will get the wrong idea about libertarianism, and he’s too extreme for my taste.

If anyone has any suggestions for podcasts worth subscribing to, give me a shout.

9 thoughts on “Podcasts

  1. Hey, there are two hosts on Free Talk Live and only one of them is an “freemarketeer” the other, myself, is an tried and true as the red, white and blue libertarian.

  2. Haha… hey Mark you’re right. Stand up to that crackpot! 🙂 There are enough people who already think libertarians are crazy – the last thing I want to see is someone who’s actually much more extreme than a libertarian giving people the wrong idea. It does more harm than good as we try to gain more mainstream support.

    A casual listener might think libertarians stand for a private military and private arbitration instead of a court system, which is not true. In fact, those ideas run quite contrary to the Constitution, which Libertarians hold in high regard.

  3. Whoa now, who’s this Shuttle guy pretending to be me? T, I demand you post their IP Address. Also, I like trains too.

  4. I get most of those (plus a LOT more) through my TiVo, which is pretty sweet. I dont have any suggestions though. I guess I didn’t really add anything to this converation, did I?

  5. That’s a bit of an unfair comparison as my TiVo is an integral part of my entertainment system in the room I spend all my time in while my computer is stashed away in another room on a different floor of my house, but yeah, I bring nothing to the table as far as this discussion goes.

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