Our Favorite Things: Podcast Edition

Posted April 30, 2020 by Alyssa Stahr

One of the biggest trends in digital media right now is the podcast, and the origin story is that they were developed in 2004 by a former MTV VJ with a program called iPodder. Through the software, internet radio broadcasts could be downloaded to his iPod, and throughout years of improvements and tweaks, there seemingly is an audio download for just about every genre imaginable. Howstuffworks shared another reason why there could be so many podcasts on the planet: anyone can do it, as they’re un-regulated by the FCC. Copyright law applies to podcasting, but anything else goes. Podcasters can record anywhere from packed bars to professional studios to their acoustic friendly bathroom floor in the Czech Republic (I may be speaking from personal experience here.) 

From informative to educational to guilty pleasure, podcasts serve a variety of purposes for all walks of life. And, they’re user friendly, easy to download and vary in length. The majority of the Brightly Creative crew are avid podcast listeners, and we’re sharing some of our AirPod worthy favorites. 

Alyssa: I wasn’t an early adopter of the notion — I silently compared podcasts to books on tape, which have never been something I could get into. Podcasts slowly crept into my life early last year when I was a traveling business English teacher. The commutes were long and very frequent, and I needed more of an escape than music. Mine are all in the “guilty pleasure” category. I am a long time watcher of the Bachelor franchise, and I read Twitter spoilers on RealitySteve.com religiously. One day I downloaded Reality Steve’s podcast because I was particularly interested in a guest he interviewed. I don’t really think Steve is the best interviewer, I think some of them are too long (thank you 30 second fast-forward button), but his subject matter is what makes him successful. I also love the TV show Survivor, so I love Rob Has a Podcast’s weekly recap podcasts with Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach. I also love the band Matt and Kim, so for a particularly niche podcast, they answer life questions on how they would react in the situation for a quick half hour or so. It’s funny and entertaining, and great to hear some of your favorites just be normal people as an escape.

Keith: Growing up, I had no interest in science, physics, evolution, biology, mathematics or how the universe worked. All this changed about a year ago and now I’m obsessed. I’m reading books on the theory of relativity and the origins and biology of early humans. Two podcasts that I stumbled on that have piqued my interest in these topics are Artificial Intelligence with Lex Fridman and The Portal with Eric Weinstein. Both cover a wide array of topics, but what engages me most are the long-form interviews with brilliant people in their fields, whether it’s someone that is an expert on stoicism or geometry. 

Alison: As a true crime junkie, My Favorite Murder hits the spot. Lifelong fans of true crime Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite murder tales and read hometown stories from listeners of the show — but with a twist. The podcast is a true crime comedy podcast. Their quick wit, delightful bantering and numerous interruptions from furry friends bring a light-heartedness to the show all while keeping respect for victims and focusing on the horrendousness of murderers around. If you are into fact-driven, structured podcasts, this is not for you. But if you are looking for a much needed distraction or a background track for running, this is for you.

Jasmyne: I am a late bloomer and haven’t dabbled in the podcast pond yet. So very un-millennial of me! But if I did listen, it would probably be about someone who loves trashy reality TV and drinking wine on the couch. My coworker Alison recommended Popcast, which is on my to-do listening list. It is two folks from Birmingham talking all things pop culture. They also do extended breakdowns of television shows for paid users. 

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