This post is one day late in coming – yesterday my mind was buzzing after a very intense discussion on Facebook. It was very exciting and kept me thinking for the most part of today as well but I do want to go on with this small project of mine.
I have been meaning to write about podcats ever since I started this blog. This completely new form of entertainment has fascinated me since I downloaded my very first episode of the History of Rome podcast. (For a thoroughly enjoyable account of the fantastic history of the Rome, check out the iTunes Store or Mike’s blog and download the 179 episodes of this podcast.)
For a while I thought Mike’s effort was one of its own, but while Mike had a longish lull around the time of the fall of the republic, I had time to scavenge for more, and I was like a child in a candy store.
Podcasts have become part of my entertainment to at least the same extent as books, audiobooks, music and cooking.
What is it that makes podcasts so good?
1. They are highly personal – they are programmes recorded by people who are passionate about about something.
2. They are “chatty” – even the most serious topics become more palatable than an academic conversation in a radio studio or a chapter in a book.
3. There are hardly any topics you can’t find a good podcast about – A quick search will lend you a great selection of programmes, if you don’t like one, you might find another that’s closer to you. For example, I’ve been listening to my second Napoleon podcast. Although it is promising, it does not yet provide the same level of entertainment as Cameron Reilly’s Conversations with David Markham.
4. I love following the progress how the narrators find their way around a topic, communicate with their audience and create a unique experience.
5. I can revisit old flames without having to do all the research myself and listening to them as stories makes it just that much more exciting than leafing through a book.
6. Every good podcast comes with its own community of dedicated enthusiastic listeners. Beside the programme, you usually have a facebook page, a blog or a website where you can meet the creator of the podcast and have a conversation and push the topic further and further. Often it feels like sitting in a pub having a chat about your favourite topic with people who know at least as much as you. History podcasters have their own Facebook group, it’s well worth cheking it out.
This wordle quite clearly reveals the kinds of podcasts I listen to.
Yes, I love history. It’s an older love than English even. (I fell in love with my beautiful and incredibly clever History teacher who told us fantastic stories about people from old times, I was 10 and I was hooked for life.)
Here is a list of the history titles you can find on iTunes (which is a free software download from Apple, you have to create an account but you don’t have to pay for it and there is enough free content up there to keep you entertained for the rest of your life – and I haven’t even mentioned iTunesU!) Of course, this is not the only way to find podcasts but defintely the easiest I have found so far. Otherwise you can browse and subscribe to prodcasts at hosting sites like PodBean, Podomatic.
And of course the really exciting thing is that listening to these shows regularly gives you motivation to think about the stories you want to tell the world and maybe one day you will press that button and say. “Hello, this is me and this is my podcast, I hope you’ll like it.”
And of course you are not without help. The podcasting team on Electronic Village Online has been doing a fantastic job helping teachers sit down in front of a microphone and get podcasting. Check out the blog of their 2013 session here.
Here‘s an interesting article about podcasting.
Over to you: Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have any recommendations?
Coming up… Activism-slacktivism-naivity. On offshoot of the Facebook conversation I refered to earlier in this post