Podcasts are back! And LPP is listening

By | November 12, 2014


In a recent article for The Atlantic, Staff Writer Connor Friedersdorf reviewed an up & coming entertainment format: the podcast.

Podcasts have been around for a while, but we’re seeing a renaissance of sorts with how they’re being used in today’s digital-heavy world.

In his article, Friedersdorf provides some interesting insight on more than a few podcasts that are so good, you may end up binge-listening. And this got us thinking. Do we at LPP listen to podcasts? And if so, which ones do we binge listen to?

So, we got our digital team together and discussed the podcast. Who’s listening to them? And, more importantly, what are we listening to? The answer – we’re listening to some pretty interesting podcasts and we’ve listed our favorites below.

Hopefully there are a few podcasts on our list that you’re already familiar with, and maybe there are a few you don’t know much about…yet. This list will be your excuse – spend some time listening to them and tell us what you think.

 Don | In Tech We Trust

On September 18, @InTech_WeTrust, kicked off a podcast for listeners partial to all things enterprise technology including: storage, virtualization and cloud, to name a few. It’s hosted by Nigel Poulton (@NigelPoulton), Marc Farley (@gofarley), Hans De Leenheer (@hansdeleenheer), Gabriel Chapman (@Bacon_is_King), Rick Vanover (@RickVanover) and Mark Twomey (@Storagezilla), and typically takes on what’s cool in enterprise technology from the weekly news and closes out each show with a few “light-hearted” segments.

From the start of the podcast, they do what tech enthusiasts the world over would expect – they offer opinions, insights and a great conversation. With a “murder of techies” joining each week, topics have ranged from the value of R&D in big companies, to should EMC sell off VMware, to is lock-in ever worth it. It’s definitely worth checking out, and for some of us, it’s one of the podcasts we can’t afford to miss each week.

Alex | Serial

I agree wholeheartedly with Friedersdorf’s review of his favorite podcast, Serial. It’s my favorite too. What could be better than a murder-mystery podcast hosted by This American Life’s Sarah Koenig? It covers the events of the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high schooler and the man convicted of killing her, Adnan Syed. Koenig, a Baltimore native, reexamines evidence, interviews witness, and holds weekly phone calls with Adnan from Prison, all of which is recorded and presented via podcast to listeners.

I initially got hooked on Serial after searching for a podcast to accompany me on a 3-hour car ride from Austin to Houston. I found myself so engrossed in the story that I remained in my car for half an hour to finish the episode, even after I arrived in Houston. Sarah Koenig reveals testimonies and evidence in the same order she found them as she was investigating, virtually taking the audience through every step and worry.

Serial has managed to build a cult following before the first series even finished, garnering coverage from sites like The Atlantic letting you know, “It’s okay to be hooked on Serial”. Unlike many other podcasts, but true to the name, Serial provides listeners with one story, told in parts week to week. Each episode leaves listeners with the need to find out what happens next, so much so that they actually hit subscribe and listen!

Sofia | Health Affairs & NPR Healthcare

As a healthcare & healthtech junkie here at LPP, my two favorite podcasts are healthcare related: Health Affairs and NPR Healthcare. Listening to both of these gives me a well-rounded view of the healthcare industry today. On NPR Healthcare, I am able to listen to opinion pieces around the latest health news and hot topics in the industry. It covers relevant and timely topics such as assisted suicide, Ebola, Breast Cancer Awareness and Obamacare. These pieces help me stay in-the-know and up-to-date on what’s happening in healthcare today and tomorrow.

That may seem like enough, but trust me…theory alone isn’t enough. That’s where the Health Affairs podcast comes in. Health Affairs features real-life stories about how the happenings in the healthcare industry affect ordinary people. These stories are often deep and sometimes emotional, but help give listeners (including me!) perspective around what the outcomes are of certain healthcare laws, policies and regulations – sometimes negative, sometimes positive. It really mixes the emotion and intrigue of a feature story with a news item, connecting the dots for listeners, and making my knowledge of the healthcare space much more well-rounded.

Aidan | Bill Burr’s Monday Morning

My favorite podcast is Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast. It’s a weekly podcast run by Boston comedian Bill Burr, who has a gruff, aggressive, foul-mouthed interpretation on a near limitless variety of topics, from the mundane to the intellectual to the don’t-talk-about-it-in-front-of-grandma.

It’s an hour-long monologue that makes light of all the things we take for granted or make us suffer, and makes the funny things even funnier. While it may not contribute to my understanding of global politics or scientific discovery, it’s a mood-lifting experience that cracks me up on a long run or when I’m stuck in traffic. There are times for great stimulation, and times for great nonchalance. Bill makes me laugh, and as a transplant to Austin surrounded by the slow Texas drawl, hearing Bill’s quintessential Boston accent and brash take on things feels like home.

Allie | TED Talks

Okay, if you haven’t heard of TED Talks (which stands for Technology, Entertainment & Design) then you’re living under a rock. Even my mom raves about them. These aren’t podcasts in the traditional sense, but they’re live presentations given by researchers, analysts, heroes, athletes, anybody who has something interesting and innovative to discuss. These presentations are then video taped and recorded and jammed onto ted.com and on the TED app, which I then listen to as a podcast.

I’ve listened to TED talks for years now and they’ve helped me make major life decisions, given me unique insights on the future of social media, shown me the power of social data, and how to write a book on twitter. Though I have a particular interest in social media, TED talks span the gamut. I’ve listened to a really interesting talk about why diets don’t work, how my brain works, what makes me happy. I could continue. They’re perfect for a commute and really have given me a lot to think about and write about on my own. They really all are “ideas worth spreading” and ideas worth listening to. And the best part is…they’re all under 15 minutes – perfect for a commute.

Have you listened to any of these? Did your podcast make the list? If not, tell us about it!  This isn’t our first list and I’m sure it won’t be our last.

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