Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Podcasting is (still) dying

Podcasts I've hit the wall with my current podcast subscriptions (see below). They feel old and stale, just going through the motions rather than bringing me anything new. Is it just me, am I just a bit jaded? I don't think so, it's a bit early in the term for that, plus I've been saying for a long time that that this overmature technology which never really found a use is headed for trouble.

  • BBC Click: Recently with a revised format since the demise of Digital Planet, not always the most interesting but tries hard.
  • Gardeners' Question Time: If it's fine I'm usually out in the garden on Sunday afternoon so I usually miss the broadcast.
  • GeekBeat.TV: Used to be great, is now monotonous product placement.
  • More or Less: Behind the Stats: Sometimes interesting, sometimes dull.
  • Rocketboom: Seems to have died. Anyone know what's going on with Rocketboom?
  • This Week in Microbiology: Vincent Racaniello's offering.
  • This WEEK in TECH: Has gone off. The new format is over-long and the same guests week after week.
  • This Week in Virology: Vincent Racaniello's other offering.

Producing a truly engaging podcast is non-sustainable in the long term (certainly for me, Ze Frank and others). With social networks biting into the engagement previously achieved by podcasts, amateur production values are no longer acceptable - they don't compete with professional media to hold my attention. If I want that kind of informality, I go to a Google+ Hangout.

So is there any hope for me/podcasting? Do I just need to renew my feeds?
Any recommendations - what are your favourites? I'll give you a hint: I'm not looking for to middle aged guys mumbling into a microphone for an hour about educational technology, and I'm not looking for a 14 year old rapping about quantum physics. I'm looking for a spark.


  1. I only got into listening to podcasts regularly when I discovered huffduffer. The service essentially grabs audio from all over the web and then lets you subscribe to the whole feed. I have found this keeps things fresh as the episodes are on a variety of topics.

    If you hunt around by searching or picking 'huffduffers' at random I think you'll find a bunch of gems.

    My feed is at

    Also (web tech focused) is excellent.

  2. I quite like This Week in Google.

  3. Thanks James, I'll give it a try.

  4. I know what you mean, I guess it's a bit like TV and radio programmes, the challenge is to keep them fresh and engaging. I've listened to some of the QAA podcasts but haven't really taken to any work related ones. The Guardian's Football Weekly is the podcast I listen to most.

  5. More or Less makes my teeth hurt, but I listen for the content, If you like that kind of thing, try NPR's Planet Money. It has its annoyances too, but I prefer them. In our time with Lord Bragg is patchy, but when it is good it is very very good. CBC Spark likewise, though often long-winded.

  6. The podcast I most faithfully listen to is Geek News Central. Bootstrapper American Geek has been producing podcasts for years, he continues to innovate and has recently quit his day job to do tech New Media broadcasting fulltime, which basically means podcasts, ustream and internet-stream-to-TV. So I do wonder about podcasting because I know some of them run out of steam. But others are innovative and pioneering new avenues.