Your time is important. Your attention is even more valuable. So, why are you listening to whatever your radio pours into your ears on the ride to and from work? At your desk, if your company is forward thinking enough to have a fairly reasonable internet policy, why not swap out the chatter of coworkers with informative podcasts related to your industry?
Myths to Dispel
- You have to have an Apple iPod to consume podcasts — They’re great rigs. I have a generation-one iPod. But you can do this with a thumb drive, your computer’s hard drive, burn them to CD. There’s no iPod required for podcasts.
- They’re so hard to find — Not true any more. There are great services like Yahoo! Podcasts, the iTunes Music store software, Podcast.net, and a gazillion more.
- They’re all about tech and geek stuff — There are beer casts, knitting casts, all kinds of “lifestyle” podcasts, comedy like it’s going out of style, music shows, how to speak Chinese, whatever. There are heaps of sports casts, lots of commercial products that have come into the podcast space for free to try out the promotional value.
I listen to a lot of tech and business podcasts, because those are in my line of work. If you want some of the shows I think are great and are worth a listen, let me point you to their pages:
- This Week In Tech – A longer format weekly show covering the tech industry.
- Buzz Out Loud – from C|Net. Very snarky and fun.
- Podtech.net – A full network of tech shows featuring lots of CEO interviews. Great stuff.
- ITConversations– Great interviews from conferences you might not get to attend, and more.
- Distributing the Future– From O’Reilly Media. Often the “Reader’s Digest” on some of IT Conversations’s stuff.
- Business Week Podcasts – I like Covercast and The Welch Way.
- 43Folders Podcast – Merlin, do more shows! I’m dying here.
- NPR Podcasts– I love Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me.
Why Should You Listen?
Podcasting is a great way to stay current with your industry, learn more about things that excite you (there’s lots of craft, drawing, language, and more courses online now), and use some time that is typically reserved for “whatever’s on” to more advantage. In several business situations, I’ve found that my having listened to a tech podcast suddenly became relevant. Once, I told our local Intel representative something his CEO had announced reecently that he wasn’t aware of yet. There’s a reason to tune in.
Some people use their commutes for downtime and listen only to soothing music. That’s fine, too. There’s no reason to fill every waking moment with information. However, if you choose to consume something more like traditional radio, this is a great alternative to help you stay current and maybe learn something new. Did I mention that several colleges are putting up courses online for free as well?
What’s your take? What are some of the great podcasts that I didn’t post in my list? What’s YOUR podcast about?