This week I want to share some resources for the podcast enthusiast. This might be an avid listener, a producer, or someone new to the medium who wants to learn more.
While much has been made about the “discoverability” problem that podcasting has, after giving this a lot of thought I’ve concluded that it’s no worse than any other medium. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ve probably had an experience like mine, searching through movie after movie that you haven’t quite heard of trying to find something worth your two hours. At this point, with hundreds of channels, surfing cable television is a similar needle-in-the-haystack exercise. And don’t even get me started on YouTube.
So what do we do? We rely on recommendation from friends, press coverage and the fine art of stumbling on something good to help us find what we want to watch. The only difference with podcasts is that right now there are a lot more TV coverage and reviews out there.
It seems like podcast review sites and blogs come and go, but three online publications post consistent podcast reviews every week to help you find new shows or decide which episodes are worth your time.
The Onion A/V Club’s Podmass feature is probably the longest-running podcast review around. It’s less of a critical review than a weekly round-up with contributions from the A/V Club staff highlighting shows or episodes of note. The focus leans heavily towards comedy and perennial favorites like WTF and 99% Invisible, but new shows or newly discovered gems are often shared.
From its name Splitsider’s This Week in Comedy Podcasts makes clear that comedy is the emphasis. And while it’s not as wide-ranging as Podmass, Splitsider is not parochial about covering only comedy, either. In addition to reviews the feature always lists a half-dozen or so other podcasts that the staff is listening too, occasionally uncovering ones I’ve never heard of.
Whitney Matheson often covered podcasting for USA Today’s sadly discontinued Pop Candy blog. So it’s nice to see her return to the beat, writing the weekly Pod City feature for Mental Floss beginning in October. Though she’s just six installments in, I’ve already been introduced to a few shows that are new to me.
There are also a couple of relatively new resources for news on the business and podcaster side of things.
Nick Quah has published five issues of the free email newsletter Hot Pod. Each week he reviews some of the increasingly voluminous press coverage of podcasting, highlights shows he’s listening to, reports some of the comings and goings in the business, and talks with folks working in the medium. So far I think it kind of resembles a podcasting version of Inside Radio or the Tom Taylor Now newsletter, and makes a good complement to the kind of coverage I do here.
Finally, there is Podcaster News which is aimed quite squarely at podcasters themselves. The site was launched this past March by Todd Cochrane, who is the CEO of podcast platform RawVoice and host of The New Media Show. Its most consistently interesting feature is “Women in Podcasting,” by writer and podcaster Jen Thorpe.
If there is a podcast review, news or information source that I’ve missed or should know about, please leave a comment, or drop me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cover podcasting news and analysis every Wednesday in our Podcast Survivor feature.
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