I have only recently jumped into the podcast craze last summer (I know where have I been right? Thanks to Serial) so I thought I'd take a break from makerspaces and share my favorites so far..
99 % Invisible- Did you know that the CIA can come visit a studio set and shut down the operation if prop money used is too "realistic"? Why aren't we on the metric system yet? These are just a few of the small things that make HUGE impacts. This is the podcast for unsung heroes and things you would never hear about otherwise.
Reply All- How easy is it to hack Trumps phone? Is Facebook really listening to us through our phones? a fascinating technology podcast for all people, minus the crazy jargon, that shapes our lives whether we know it or not.
Revisionist History- Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite non-fiction authors, talks about the little things that make a big difference throughout history. Who knew he hated golf courses so much?
Worst Best Sellers- these librarians are willing to take one for the team and read/discuss the worst offenders on the best seller list. This podcast is filled with lots of laughs.
S- Town- a fan of Serial constantly emails NPR for someone to come out and investigate a murder cover up in his rural town in Alabama. What one reporter discovers is so much deeper than that as he develops a bond with the fan and his friends. My favorite podcast of the year is an amazing sociological study that resonates so much with what is going on in the US today.
Tanis- Ok...for about 2 episodes I thought this was real and I went around telling everyone about this area in the Pacific Northwest that is like a black hole for bad juju (like the black lodge in Twin Peaks).
I had no experience with the podcast's other popular fictional podcast The Black Tapes so I assumed this reporter who blends fiction with true historical events to explain a large government coverup of a mysterious moving place called Tanis was legit. I mean who really trusts the government anymore? The host Nic portrays himself as a podcast reporter involved with a hacker from the deep web as he regularly updates his real podcast boss on how it is going. In my defense, I had been re watching alot of old X-Files episodes. By episode 2 I realized that all the parts are played by 2 people. This podcast does open up a whole new medium for those who want to present stories without writing a book or having to deal with being published. I am also enjoying their newest addition about a historical game called Rabbits.
Switched on Pop- why was Justin Beiber's Despacito such a phenomenon? (come on admit it we were all singing along). Although I'm a big ukulele player, I had no musical background otherwise and these hosts are great at talking about fascinating music theory of the popular songs of today.
Crimetown- growing up in Fall River, MA and hearing personal stories my mom told me about how everyone loved criminal and ex-mayor of Providence, RI, Buddy Cianci, I could not resist a podcast all about him and the underground crime syndicate.
If you're going to add podcasting to your makerspace or digital media lab, I suggest listening to a wide variety of podcasts and take a look at what you enjoy about them. For me, I love clever segments like Reply All's Yes Yes No where their boss from the baby boomer generation asks their Millennial hosts to explain a tweet that he has no idea about. I also enjoy Worst Best Seller's The Rock vs Wolverine: Movie Adaptation Starring Roles and when the co-host's cat gives book reviews. These segments are endearing as you learn as much about the hosts as you do about the subject.