I’m a total hipster when it comes to podcasts.
I totally knew they were cool way before everyone else knew they were cool.
Ok, maybe everyone knew they were cool a long time ago too, but you have to admit podcasts have seen a spike in interest lately due to the popularity of the ever so addicting Serial podcast released late last year. (Jay totally did it btw..)
So what are podcasts and why are they everywhere these days and what is it about them that is so attractive? I’m here to answer all of your podcast questions!
What is a podcast?
The Merriam Webster Tenth International Collegiate defines "Podcast" as: a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.
Basically its a digital file (in program or episodic form) that you can download or play on the internet. Subject matter ranges all over the board from comedy to church sermons and everything in between. They are kind of like a radio show available for you to listen to on your own time. Some have amazing production value (99PI) and some are just people talking in their living room about some subject or another.
Oh and one other fact, the word “podcast” is a portmanteau (ohhhhh fancy word alert) of “pod” (as in iPod) and “broadcast”.
You can listen to podcasts directly from certain websites, or you can search and subscribe to them through iTunes as well.
Why would you listen to them?
In one word, they are entertaining.
In a bunch of other words...they are informative, helpful, educational and of course, entertaining. Just TRY listening to the first episode of Serial and then tell me you aren't entertained and wanting more. If you have ever listened to any sort of people talking on the radio as opposed to singing and enjoyed even a little bit of it, this would be tantamount to listening to podcasts.
When would you listen to them?
I first seriously discovered Podcasts when I lived in the Seattle area and found myself driving a 45 min commute each way to work. I enjoyed listening to talk radio in the mornings, but got tired of monotonous subject matter and annoying songs in between. (I know, weird right?) We had also recently discovered a dynamic pastor named Matt Chandler whose church in TX had a podcast of sermons. Both Paul and I began listening to hours and hours of sermons on the way to and from work as a way to fill the time and our soul (see what I did there?)
So I would say driving is absolutely the number one answer for when is the best time to listen to podcasts. Paul and I listened to so many podcasts on our drive across the country and they always made the time go by so much faster plus we learned a ton of interesting things! I still sometimes look forward to 45min+ drives because that means I get to listen to something good on the way there and back!
I also have gotten in the habit of listening when I go on walks throughout the day or even sometimes when running. (Well, Paul runs, I don't so much anymore.) Its amazing how quickly the time just flies by when your mind is completely involved in an interesting story or learning some new and fascinating information.
I also find that at times, when doing things around the house that don't really stimulate the brain (housework, cooking dinner etc...) I will put on a podcast just to keep my mind occupied.
Can they help me run my business?
Podcasts are very similar to books with regard to this question. You can read for pleasure or to be entertained or to learn things or to help you run and grow your business. Or you can read a mixture of books to help you accomplish all of the above. Podcasts are the exact same. There are so many to choose from and some can be simply for entertainment purposes, and others can help you learn and grow as a business person and entrepreneur. I feel as if I have a good mix of favorites that I listen to on a regular basis that provide me entertainment, spiritual guidance, photography insights and business insights.
(clicking on each of the photos above will take you to the download link in iTunes)
99 % Invisible- This is probably my favorite of all of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. They are usually short (around 20-30 min) and have great production quality. The stories are interesting and relatable.
Elise Gets Crafty- I just started listening to this podcast and I am liking it so far. Its more geared towards entrepreneurs and creative small business owners.
Stuff to blow your mind- another one I just started listening to. Interesting, mind blowing stories.
Being Boss- another geared towards women business owners
This American Life- I think this is the most popular podcast of all podcasts? Fantastic 1 hour vingnettes on all sorts of various topics
Reply All- shorter episodes all based on the interesting happenings on the internet
Village Church Sermons- Village Church in TX that I mentioned earlier. Dynamic, Christ centered teaching
Sprouting Photographer- geared towards photography and business
Ted Talks business- various Ted Talks on all things business
Freakonomics- brought to you by the same guys who wrote the book(s). Another one of my favorites!
Mystery Show- super entertaining. There are only 6 episodes so far, and I can't wait for some new ones to be released!
Sam Stroud- all things photography/business and community
Alrighty!! Tell me, are you hipster about podcasts too? What do you listen too? What's missing from my list!! =)