Tech podcasts to watch out for

Although I’ve produced a weekly podcast for around 5 years, I’ve actually never been an habitual podcast listener. Recently I’ve developed the habit. A number of things came together for me to cause this:

  • I was interested in making my podcast better. I’ve been doing the same thing on the podcast for a long time. I recently concluded I need to try new things even if it’s just to keep it interesting for me.
  • I was interested in seeing what the enterprise IT industry was saying about itself.
  • I was interested in seeing what new media leaders were developing — from micropublishing and apps to podcast networks — and if we could leverage it in the enterprise IT industry.
  • I made one appearance on This Week in Enterprise Tech.
  • I turned satellite radio back on in my car for a long trip and have been listening to Howard Stern. This broke my NPR habit.

Here are some podcasts you might enjoy:

  • VMware Community Roundtable. We’re unusual in that (a) we stream live every week: Wednesdays at noon; and (b) anbody can dial in and we leave the phone lines open. The guests that we interview are usually from VMware but I hope we avoid repeating just the corporate talking points. Show site. Show Notes.
  • Speaking in Tech. This is Greg Knierieman’s third go round at the podcast rodeo (at least), and he brings a keen eye as a tech industry observer with an infectious laugh that makes for an easy listen. The other regulars (Ed Saipetch, Sarah Vela) always contribute, the tone is informal yet they get to some meat every week, and the guests are good.
  • The CloudCast. Aaron Delp and Brian Gracely have been putting out regular cloud coverage for 2 years. I’m still catching up with their back episodes, but I like how they cover different clouds (vCloud, AWS, OpenStack, CloudStack, etc.) and not just the cloud stacks themselves or the infrastructure, but also dev and ops and apps and all the rest of the good stuff that goes into cloud.
  • If you’re into virtualization, also check out the vBrownbag, vSoup, and vChat podcasts, although I haven’t been listening to them lately.
  • TWiT. I keep trying to get into the TWiT vibe, but by the time I listen to Leo Laporte’s thing on Sunday I’ve heard all the news they want to cover, and the podcasts often go for two hours, which is too long even for both legs of my commute. Leo of course is really listenable, though. They have shows on more specialized topics, but those haven’t grabbed me yet. Fr Robert Ballecer was nice enough to have me on This Week in Enterprise Tech and I had a blast, but I haven’t become a regular listener.
  • 5by5. Another podcast network I’ve been sampling. Dan Benjamin runs the network and is seemingly on every show. 5by5 has the same leisurely vibe as TWiT, with podcasts regularly clocking in over 90 minutes. It’s like sitting in an Austin coffeehouse eavesdropping on a couple of hipsters talking at the next table — often fascinating, but not really a very efficient way to get information. I picture web designers listening to this on their headphones as they sit in said Austin coffeehouse and type all day. I am still working on loving something but I recommend checking out Critical Path and High Density, both hosted or co-hosted by Horace Dediu of @asymco fame.
  • Mule Radio Syndicate. I guess Gruber, the Daring Fireball Mac guy, switched from 5by5 to Mule, but the back story and politics are lost on me. The only show that looks interesting here so far to me is The New Disruptors, hosted by Glenn Fleishman. I like Glenn’s take on disruption — from coffee makers to publishers to podcasters. On the latest show, Glenn introduced me to Andrea Seabrook’s DecodeDC, also on the Mule network. It promises to be like The Daily Show, except not a comedy.
  • Gillmor Gang. I’m not sure if this is a podcast or not, but I sometimes tune in because Steve Gillmor, Robert Scoble, and the rest of the panel are opinionated and sometimes they yell at each other. Mostly social media and general tech topics, and although I disagree with Gillmor about the viability of VRM (vendor relationship management), I will eventually be proven wrong.

General observations: The “tech press” that Silicon Valley pays attention to these days is pretty limited in scope. The “tech” on the TechCrunch-Y Combinator axis is mostly composed of consumer-facing social startups, gadgets, and Apple/Twitter/Facebook/Google. Enterprise IT isn’t covered very well. The podcasts covering this area tend to all plow the same field. And since I have been reading this tech press more than a usual — more than a normal person would — I tend to have read all the stories already by the time I listen to the podcast and the discussion of the stories on the podcast therefore aren’t particularly unique. Maybe these general tech news podcasts aren’t for me. Podcast production also tends to be pretty non-produced with the discussion all over the place even compared to talk radio — and in my weekly podcast I’m pretty much winging it as well, but at least I’m not going on for two hours at a time.

I’m wishing there was a tightly produced 30 minute tech news recap I could listen to on the way to work. I’m tempted to try podcasts from old media to see if such a thing exists, but instead I think I’m going to dive into storytelling and comedy podcasts next, because I suspect there are lessons to be learned about telling a story.

Any favorite podcasts I should check out?

Update: Leo Laporte video on what he’s trying to do, his revenue and advertisers, and how his goals differ from the mainstream media.

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