It’s hard to find new podcasts. They’re the kind of thing you stumble on, following a link from a link, until you don’t remember how you got to where you are.
I listen to podcasts on my morning run and I listen while I sew. I listen while I prep dinner and while I fold the laundry. All together I listen to more than 10 hours of audio storytelling a week! This leads to a unsatiable hunger for new shows.
Thankfully, the podcasting scene has exploded this year. Here are five shows I’m enjoying right now. If you’re looking for some more favorites you might enjoy my past recommendation lists (here’s 20 from April of 2013, and 10 more from August of 2013, plus 10 more from April of 2014).
As always, I heartily enjoy your recommendations so if you listen to a show you think I’d like (or my readers might like) please leave it in the comments. And, of course, I invite you to check out the While She Naps podcast. This episode with Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio and Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew has been one of the most popular among listeners this year.
Here’s a list of five shows to check out:
1. Pencil vs. Pixel a weekly show hosted by Cesar Contreras. Guests include designers, artists, writers, and founders. I loved episode #9 with Jamie Derringer, the founder and executive editor of Design Milk. I also recommend #40 with Rena Tom. Cesar is taking a break until then new year, but you can catch up on past episodes in the meantime.
2. Death Sex and Money describes itself this ways, “A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.” That’s pretty much the best theme for a podcast I can think of. I loved this episode and this one. Most of all, I love the host, Anna Sale. I hope to meet her some day.
3. Compulsory is a new show by Kim Werker. It’s short format (under 20 minutes) which is refreshing. Kim is a writer and a thinker and it shows. She interviews creative people about the things they feel compelled to make. Kim is the author of the new book about creative demons, Mighty Ugly, which I’m reading now and really enjoying.
4. StartUp is a fantastic podcast about public radio producer, Alex Blumberg’s, effort to start up a new business. It operates on a meta level because Alex’s new business will be a podcasting network. He records everything at every stage, including private conversations with his wife about finances, struggles with naming the company, failed and successful efforts to get venture capital, and his search for a business partner. Spoiler: he’s succeeded! The new network, Gimlet Media, is set to air its first show soon. Exciting!
5. What’s Your Story is a new show by Meighan O’Toole’s. Meighan is someone who loves artists and creative people and wants them to succeed. For years she had an art blog called My Love For You and she had a podcast back then that I loved. Now she’s back with this new show. She talks with artists about creativity and motivation and how they use social media to build community.
And you’re listening to Serial, right? I love it, but for me what’s best about Serial is that everyone is listening to it. When a podcasts gets enough attention to generate buzz in the media, that’s a sign that podcasting is becoming a part of mainstream society. And that’s awesome.
Know someone who doesn’t get what a podcast is? Here are two handy analogies to try:
- Podcasts are to radio what Netflix is to TV. Listen on demand.
- Podcasts are to radio what blogs are to magazines. Independently created content by enthusiasts.
Okay, you’re turn. Recommend a show (or tell me why you don’t listen to podcasts).