With the success of “nerd tradition” there was an unlucky homogenization of media. Even one thing as area of interest as podcasts wherein individuals discuss expertise has been slathered within the inoffensive mayonnaise that’s company branding. Now the thought of being “into tech” or “a nerd” has been floor down to easily imply somebody who owns one of many highest-selling telephones available on the market and goes to the highest-grossing films in human historical past. I’ve returned to the tech podcast trenches to tug from the inky deep six podcasts that embrace essential considering, the tales of minorities in tech, and aren’t afraid to be geeky about precise nerdy matters.
There Are No Women on The Web
There Are No Women on the Web (in any other case identified by the wonderful initialism TaNGotI) captures the spirit of NPR-born tech and internet-focused podcasts. Reply All ex-pats will choose up the acquainted trappings of upbeat plunky music stings getting used to transition between traces of thought as a charismatic host leads them down that episode’s story. Besides, as a substitute of spotlighting tech bros as they mansplain dropshipping to one another, TaNGotI is telling the world tales that have to be heard. Because the official web site completely sums up: “digital activist and veteran podcaster Bridget Todd is chronicling what the net expertise appears to be like like for us, and the missed methods marginalized voices have been on the coronary heart of expertise and the web from the very starting.”
Episodes round one hour however may shrink to close half an hour. There’s no formulaic construction demanding every story must run the identical size. Todd offers the individuals concerned the time they should inform their story. Whereas a robust speaker in her personal proper, Todd understands the facility of letting her friends inform their very own story as a lot as potential.
In case you’ve by no means heard of Rocket, congratulations. I’ve simply given you a beautiful reward. Christina Warren, Brienna Wu, Simone de Rochefort. In case you have a Twitter account for any substantial time period you’ve seemingly seen one among them in passing. The final time I really useful Rocket I stated its continued existence and backlog of a whole bunch of episodes was a “public service to podcasting.” Lofty phrases, and I nonetheless consider it. Three ladies very a lot embedded in web and tech tradition spend an hour speaking concerning the week’s developments in tech and popular culture.
What units Rocket aside from people-talking-about-stuff chat casts is the hosts’ mixture of trade expertise and honesty. A giant downside in tech podcasting is hosts who journey a centrist line, seemingly out of worry of ruining future partnerships or job alternatives. Warren, Wu, and Rochefort inform it like it’s. They’re up for doing goofy chilly opens discussing which Sonic character most closely fits their personalities, however in addition they have a monitor file of discussing the difficult place they’ve on the earth. It’s not simple being knowledgeable of a number of the newest unhealthy information about Apple but in addition nonetheless have the innate urger to get the latest iPhone for advantage of new-thing-feel-good.
Rocket is humorous, retains to a modest one hour episode size, and tells it like it’s. Tech podcasting could be a greater place if reveals like this have been the established order.
Minority Report Podcast
Minority Report Podcast (to not be confused with The Minority Report, a present that appears just like the hosts say “grindset” unironically) options hosts Erik Requidan and Kerel Cooper interviewing a individuals of shade, ladies, and LGBTQIA+ on the earth of enterprise and tech.
Reporting on minority members of painfully cis white industries. I’m a sucker for a stable pun title. Fortunately that lead me to this sudden delight of an interview present. The superstructure of the podcast is easy: a bunch introduces a visitor, they discuss, they go house. Modifying is judicial with the common episode feeling very tight and coming in just below half an hour.
In a shocking twist one wouldn’t usually discover on a easy tech-themed interview podcast: Minority Report is totally transcribed. Not simply copy-pasted out of Otter.ai. Somebody on the staff is taking the time to manually edit the transcript so as to add in notations for moments like when the visitor laughs.The bar is within the basement so far as transcriptions in nonfiction podcasting however kudos to them for going above and past.
Effectively There’s Your Drawback
WTYP is a podcast about tech, even when it’s not offered as one. Every episode hosts Justin Roczniak, Alice Caldwell-Kelly, and Liam Anderson hop round historical past to cowl engineering disasters. As one may anticipate, the reason for the overwhelming majority of engineering catastrophe deaths will be summed up with “capitalism.” Subjects mentioned vary out of your bog-standard railroad disasters introduced on by companies skimping on security to very large almost-diaster moments like Y2K. The hosts could also be two crass Philly dudes and a trans Scottish girl who performs the Soviet nationwide anthem each time communism is talked about, however rattling in the event that they don’t present thorough and fascinating analysis. Their episode on the Titanic is so lengthy it needed to be break up in half purely so Roczniak’s web may deal with importing it.
Episode presentation is comparatively easy for a video podcast. Roczniak data a Google Slides presentation consisting of slides he and/or different hosts have constructed for the subject. The only real cause to observe WTYP as a substitute of listening to their audio-only RSS feed is witnessing Roczniak’s hand-drawn annotations as they seem, affectionately known as “John Madden-ing.” Whereas a deal with to observe him sketch cross-sections of poorly-constructed buildings, sufficient of an effort is made by the hosts to verbally describe the slides to make the audio-only podcast not simply an afterthought.
Brad and Will Made a Tech Pod
An necessary a part of a balanced tech podcasting weight loss plan is protection of the trade from two dudes who keep in mind life earlier than the web. That’s the place self-identified greybeards Brad Shoemaker and Will Smith are available. Each veteran tech journalists, Shoemaker and Smith have produced a podcast so lean the premise can also be the title. Three episodes a month the 2 hosts talk about matters pertaining to developments within the tech world, from good units to GPU prices. The fourth episode is reserved for Q&A, which permits the 2 to actually go wild.
Two white dudes of their forties may not appear notably wizend in a world the place Wozniak continues to be doing school talking engagements, however take into account the panorama of tech podcasting. A spot inundated with 20-something white dudes who suppose being loud equates being right. Shoemaker and Smith – refreshingly – perceive they’re two cis white guys who’ve had profitable careers writing concerning the latest graphics playing cards and making podcasts with Adam Savage. In the event that they don’t have one thing of value to say on a subject, they received’t.
They’re additionally huge geeks. If left unchecked Shoemaker is wish to start discussing how a chunk of tech works right down to the extent of what’s on the PCB inside. One may make a consuming recreation out of each time he mentions utilizing a shell command in his on a regular basis use of Home windows 10. Brad and Will Made a Tech Pod, in addition to its sister present FOSS Pod wherein the identical hosts talk about open supply software program, is the right addition to any tech podcaster’s media weight loss plan.
Whereas not explicitly a podcast that talks about tech each episode, in my coronary heart Trash Future counts in a holistic sense. The tagline on the TF web site sums the present up completely: “a podcast about enterprise success and making your self smarter with the continued psychic trauma of capitalism.” What trade is most beset with capitalist brainworms than tech?
Trash Future sports activities a rotating solid of hosts consisting of Riley Quinn, Milo Edwards, Hussein Kesvani, Nate Bethea, and Alice Caldwell-Kelly. Any given episode of TF is akin to taking part in round with the strengths and weaknesses of social gathering members in Dragon Age or Mass Impact. Some deliver relative order, some deliver outright chaos. It’s loud, brash, and unapologetically political. They’ve been at it for therefore lengthy there’s a listing of in-jokes and working bits one has to tease aside and retroactively determine, if not outright ask a fan the place they began.
Each different add is a teaser for a Patreon-exclusive episode. The episode titles are a trainwreck. TF is as lo-fi a presentation as one thing starring hosts with costly mics can get. Very similar to Effectively There’s Your Drawback, TF doesn’t give a shit if you happen to prefer it or not. In case you’re on the identical wavelength because the hosts, you’ll actually just like the present.
Bonus tech podcasts
That is Solely a Check
A remnant from the years when Examined.com was a tech overview outlet moreso than a supply platform for Adam Savage movies, That is Solely a Check is a weekly podcast wherein website co-founder Norman Chan and visitor(s) talk about the week’s developments in relation to tech and loosely-tech-adjacent popular culture. A weekly commuter-friendly podcast made by individuals overtly essential of the environmental affect of crypto is more durable to seek out than one may suppose, nevertheless it exists.
Whereas technically a video-first podcast, I can rely on one hand the quantity of instances over time when one thing occurred on the video feed that genuinely left me feeling ignored. If a visible really is necessary, Chan will swoop in with an outline to fill within the audio listeners. Examined has created the podcasting equal of Outdated Dependable. I used to be a weekly listener within the mid 2010s and may affirm that – save for co-founder Will Smith’s downgrade from host to occasional visitor – it’s functionally an identical to this present day. You’ll be able to belief Examined to be there each week with a information roundup, chat about some popular culture, and discuss tech you’ll need however in all probability don’t want.
Tech Received’t Save Us
In a stroke of excellent private branding, this leftist tech trade dialogue podcast is hosted by Paris Marx. Take a wild guess as to Marx’s political leanings. The driest of the entries on this listing, Tech Received’t Save Us discusses, effectively, how tech isn’t going to save lots of humanity of its personal accord. The darker sides of how expertise is harnessed for inhumane motives is roofed every episode as Marx interviews an professional on a given section of the trade. From the inherently right-wing assemble of cryptocurrency to the methods Australia’s robodebt scandal, you’re going to listen to about some gnarly stuff. The place podcasts like Effectively There’s Your Drawback deliver granular historic data or broad-strokes systemic points, Tech Received’t Save Us shines by advantage of continually speaking to individuals who’ve completed little besides analysis a given area of interest subject for functions of writing longform protection of it. It’s additionally a uncommon deal with to stumble throughout a present concerning the trade that may plainly title individuals within the trade they’re speaking about. There’s no subtweeting to be discovered right here, simply miserable realities we’ll seemingly by no means escape.
Queens of the Drone Age
Angharad Yeo, Rae Johnston, Amanda Yeo, and Tegan Jones are 4 Australian tech-focused content material creators who get collectively each week to talk. Take into account this the come-down enjoyable entry in a listing peppered with miserable, often anger-inducing discussions of the horrors of the industries propping up trendy expertise. Whereas Queens of the Drone Age don’t essentially sugarcoat issues, the expertise is way extra chill. Vital airtime of 1 episode is devoted to Johnston and Amanda Yeo geeking out over new vacuums.
Being veterans of the tech sides of Mashable, Gizmodo, and the ABC (swap the A to Australia in that one, People), the 4 deliver a causal experience and entry to new tech that’s thrilling with out veering into dry recitation of spec sheets. Not as more likely to drop into uncomfortable trade realities as Rocket, however nonetheless much less seemingly to provide company nonsense a free move than the common dudes-talk-about-tech chat present.
An oddity in tech podcast charts primarily dominated by corporate-minded interviews and personality-driven chat reveals, Darknet Diaries stands above the remaining as a hybrid interview and storytelling podcast concerning the “darkish facet of the web.” Typically every episode includes hacking indirectly, form, or kind, although host Jack Rhysider has discovered nice success within the seemingly infinite variations of what will be interpreted as one thing from the web’s “darkish facet.” From state-funded hacking groups attacking the Olympics to tales of geeks being paid to interrupt into knowledge facilities, he covers each story with equal quantities of pleasure and empathy. Rhysider at instances reacts to developments of years-old tales with an power akin to a youngsters’s entertainer reacting to developments in a storybook.
The key sauce of Darknet Diaries lies in that empathy. Rhysider has interviewed founders of The Pirate Bay, ex-NSA workers, even the man who guessed Donald Trump’s Twitter password. Whether or not he’s speaking about an inarguably good white-hat hacker or somebody who has dedicated heinous atrocities, he finds a means to withstand any urge to be numb.
Observe to Self
Observe to Self is concerning the ever-changing world of tech and the way it shapes humanity as a complete. Whether or not it’s discussions on transhumanism or conversations with the one who helped create Fb’s advert algorithm, Observe to Self brings a deep degree of reporting and their traditional WNYC sheen of professionalism. Host Manoush Zomorodi–the brand new host of the TED Radio Hour–is good and affable, making every episode accessible to individuals at any degree of tech data.
As a observe, new episodes are presently solely being launched through Luminary, which, effectively . . . however the archive continues to be accessible on different podcatchers, and is effectively value testing.
Land of the Giants
By way of Recode by Vox, Land of the Giants appears to be like into the largest tech corporations that rule the world to determine how they acquired so, effectively, massive. Its first season analyzes how Amazon acquired to the place it’s–keep in mind when Amazon simply bought kinda low cost books that took some time to ship?–and the way it’s turn into greater than a storefront. Now, it’s one of the necessary tech corporations on the earth, and Land of the Giants explains why that isn’t quickly to vary.
One other tech podcast through Recode by Vox, Reset is a twice-weekly breakdown of the week’s tech information. Consider it as a tech-focused model of The Day by day, a quick-ish sum-up of every part you must know to remain knowledgeable within the ever-changing world of tech. Whereas often the dialogue appears to be like on the intersection between tech and politics, there are additionally episodes that target the developments in tech, apps, and AI alone.
Why’d You Push That Button
Why’d You Push That Button is a expertise podcast about why we make the alternatives we do in tech, and the way that tech shapes these selections within the first place. Why do iPhone customers work together much less with Android customers, and does it must do with that lime inexperienced shade of their texts? Why do individuals wish to be verified on social media websites? Why do individuals use unique courting apps? Why’d You Push That Button speaks to individuals who have made selections in apps and have compelling tales behind why, however usually additionally the consultants behind the design options that information these selections.
From the CBC, Searching Warhead is one half tech podcast, one half journalism podcast. It’s a contained story about journalists attempting to analyze the darkest corners of the web to assist save little one abuse victims. Whereas the subject material is grisly, the CBC is thought for its moral journalism relating to true crime, and Searching Warhead isn’t any completely different. This podcast isn’t concerning the abuse the victims suffered; it’s concerning the investigation and the darkish net themselves.
I would love each reader to replicate on the actual fact I needed to combat tooth and nail to seek out sufficient podcasts with POC hosts to get the ratio to 50% in keeping with inclusion efforts right here at Uncover Pods. Tech podcasting is insufferably, inescapably dominated by white creators. I may compile a listing so long as this one completely filled with POC-hosted podcasts that would match on this listing in the event that they hadn’t unceremoniously stopped importing months (and even years) in the past. Present lists of “[insert race]-hosted podcasts” invariably are written by no-name enterprise blogs and solely characteristic the identical handful of an identical reveals wherein an entrepreneur uncritically interviews anybody with an LLC who’ll comply with be a visitor. The power to be essential of monopolistic companies is a giant ask in a style that typically favors those that don’t rock the boat, nevertheless it shouldn’t be this massive of an ask.
Take into account this an open name for future iterations of this listing: if you happen to’re a POC who hosts a tech-focused podcast that would slot in right here, DM me on Twitter: @GavGaddis.
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