I listen to a lot of podcasts, as some of you may know. While I’ve often recommended specific casts to people, I have never listed out my favorite shows before. Before I start the list there are a few notes I think you will find helpful.
First: What is a Podcast?
A podcast is a show that is distributed over the Internet. They are usually audio but more are released as video. You can listen to, or watch, them either from a website or on any computer or portable device (ipod, iphone, smartphone, etc).
Second: Why listen to a Podcast?
Podcasts, in their audio form, are great because you can listen to them while doing other things. This is a very similar to the benefits of audio books. I often listen while driving, doing dishes, or even shopping. This gives me a great way to engage my mind and learn about new things in my areas of interest.
Third: How to listen to a Podcast?
If you have an Apple device, iPod or iPhone, then all of these podcasts and more are available in the iTunes Store under the Podcast section. If you have an Android powered phone then I highly recommend the Google Listen application. This is what I listen to my podcasts with and it’s a great experience. If you have another smartphone, like a palm or blackberry, then you may have to find a way to download these shows and sync them to your device. Any modern smartphone that can play music will be able to play podcasts. If you don’t have any of these mobile devices, then you can still listen to the shows from your computer, either by downloading them or directly from their respective websites.
Here are my favorite podcasts.
5: NPR Podcasts :: NPR has done a great job of embracing the nature of podcasting. While their individual shows are available, I much prefer their topic based casts. They bring together stories from several of their shows that are all related to the same theme. I currently subscribe to the Technology and Economy shows, but they have many other topics available.
4: The World Technology Podcast :: Clark Boyd brings together the best and most interesting tech stories from “The World” program. He picks the stories you haven’t heard elsewhere, “tech that matters” as he calls it. He offers expanded interviews with people working on and thinking about cool and important things. When ever I hear the intro start playing, I do a “happy dance” because I know I’m going to learn about something new.
3: Back to Work w/ Merlin Mann :: Merlin is one of the most insightful and entertaining people I follow. Anything with him in it is always great. This is the newest podcast in my list, having only a handful of episodes currently. What is wonderful about this cast is that host Dan Benjamin has coaxed from Merlin the core concepts of his renown talks and his forthcoming book. Together they present these important and always helpful topics in a playful and engaging way. If your work takes any thinking, responsibility, or creativity then you will be better at it from listening to this podcast.
2: Security Now w/ Steve Gibson :: First off, all of the TWiT podcasts are great, and Leo Lapport is clearly the godfather of technology podcasts. I listen to several of the casts from twit and highly recommend you look for any of them you might be interested in. Yet, Security Now is different. Steve’s ability is to take unbelievably complex technology topics and present them in a clear, concise, and understandable way. Listening to Security Now will give anyone a solid foundation in most current technology, including General Security, Cryptography, Computer Processing, Wireless Networking, Online Privacy, and dozens of other topics. This is some of the most accurate and thorough technical content available on the Internet. This is a must listen if you work with or are interested in technology.
1: Manager Tools & Career Tools :: Put simply, Mike and Mark have had a bigger impact on my career and professional life than any one else, period. These two casts, really just two sides of the same body of knowledge, are where I have learned how to be a better at every activity related to work. Their focus on actionable, repeatable suggestions put them ahead of almost all of the other business and career advice available. Call it professional development, career management, or personal coaching, if you are looking for the most payoff for your time spent learning this is it. Manager Tools covers topics from the everyday life of professionals. Topics such as meetings, interviews, projects, budgets, leadership, and presentations. They will make you more competent at the things you are bad at and give you an edge on the things you already do well. Also, the Manager Tools forums are a great community of professionals sharing their questions and support with each other. I have benefited greatly from their discussions and insights.
I hope this inspires you to start exploring the world of podcasts. There are thousands available for every interest and topic. If you have any suggestions for great podcasts or questions about my picks, please post them below.