Podcasts rule. I know I’m not the only person with that opinion. Podcasts have been a ‘thing’ for many years, but have recently risen in popularity. Maybe lockdown had something to do with that? Perhaps a few months of being homebound gave some of us an opportunity to seek out new forms of entertainment. When else in our adult lives have we been so restricted in our movements. Come to think of it, when else in history have so many people around the world faced such restrictions?
Netflix, Amazon Prime and all the other on-demand video services are an almost endless source of entertainment, but maybe the growing popularity of podcasts is a reflection of wishing for something a little more down to earth. Big budget entertainment is brilliant (duh), but it can lack the human vulnerability of media like podcasts.
Podcasts are the punk-rock of entertainment. They shine brilliantly with the thrilling passion of the DIY ethic. Television needs to be commissioned, films need to have the backing of big name producers, but we don’t need anyone’s permission to make a podcast. So podcasts are the modern DIY passion-project equivalent of zines (self-published magazines) in the world of underground music. Urgent, vibrant, occasionally dangerous, and (mostly) FREE.
There are plenty of high-brow, expensively produced, slick podcasts. But they are greatly outnumbered by the podcasts made for nowt and without any specialist equipment. Most of my favourite podcasts sit somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. A lot of podcasts start off a bit sonically ‘lively’ but very quickly polish off the rough edges and smooth out the creases as the number of episodes stacks up.
Podcasting is a skill that may appear daunting to dip your toes into, but most producers soon realise that the water is just lovely. That will be the last odd analogy for this blog post; probably.
But enough of my theorising. I’m writing this blog post to tell you about one of my favourite new podcasts.
I recently stumbled upon a podcast made right here in Suffolk called ‘internet dna’ (I’m writing it all-lowercase because that’s how they write it, and I’m not one to ignore branding). On first glance this is a podcast about the interwebs and whatnot. But the more episodes I listen to the more I get the impression that this podcast might exist as an outlet for a passion for all things technical.
The two hosts, Abi and Dan, have filled their cup of Internet enthusiasm with scant regard for the red ‘fill to here’ line. But if this podcast was simply two excitable beans getting hyper about the latest tech developments the appeal would wain swiftly.
The real joy of the internet dna podcast is the playful scepticism with which Internet technology is digested and reported by both hosts. Dan appears to have a deep professional background in tech, and Abi is a web developer and designer.
For me Dan and Abi represent how a lot of people in digital marketing actually feel about the relentless march of progress. We’re embracing, yet slightly pessimistic. We are an industry full of cautious optimism. For those of us who are *cough* a ‘little more mature and experienced’, we’ve been there, done that and seen the bursting of the bubble put the print-on-demand teeshirt manufacturer out of business.
The internet dna podcast breaks another forth-wall of Internet assumptions — the assumption that Internet tech is somehow ‘over there’ and slightly disconnected with the reality of our day to day lives. It really isn’t. Dan and Abi constantly remind the listener that the clever bits and bobs you might hear about in passing are likely to have a very real impact on your ‘non-tech’ lives.
A great example of the myth-busting that makes this podcast so much fun is the episode titled ‘Were people really hoarding loo roll’, published in May of this year. Dan explains in delicious simplicity what really caused the supermarket shelves to be devoid of bog roll at the COVID-19 kickoff. I won’t tell you any more than that, have a listen to the podcast; it’s an eye opener!
So there you have it. My first officially recommended Podcast. Abi and Dan I tip my virtual cap to you and raise my mug of coffee to the future of the internet dna podcast.
If you want to start a podcast then you can do so for free using anchor.fm If you want your podcast to be a beacon of aural beauty then I heartily recommend you say hello to Gareth Patch at semi-echo.co.uk He’s the producer and engineer of my Internet Marketing for Humans Podcast.
P.S As an added bonus Dan is a fan of the Iain M Bank Sci-Fi novels featuring ‘The Culture’. Excellent!