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16 reviews

Academic-style weekly programme from the BBC, covering the history of one topic each week. The topic could be an individual, an event, or a cultural movement. Guest selections make the show remarkable, as they are articulate subject matter experts who overview the topic before Melvyn Bragg guides them through its evolution. The show will often go meta too and explain how historians' perspectives have changed over the years.
You probably won't listen to this unless you're from Melbourne! Or maybe Australia, since the coverage is often of national relevance. It's the recording of (most of?) Neil Mitchell's daily talkback show. I find it a nice way to catch up with hometown news - even hearing about local traffic jams is kind of fun sometimes!
Roger Chang and Tom Meritt are well-established tech media personalities, and this show seems to be a freestyle "getting it off their chest" show. There's really no set format or content, just two tech-savvy guys sharing insights on pop culture, politics, tech, anything. Both are free thinkers who often have interesting and unconventional perspectives on everyday topics.
This is good 360 roundup of the week in politics, with views "from both sides of the political spectrum" as they put it. There's a handful of current affair items covered in each show. Debates happen, but tend to be fair-headed. This is a radio programme, always tight and good quality.
These guys are relentless business builders who bring a high-energy vibe to their weekly show about building lifestyle businesses. Tim Ferris disciples will get what I mean by "lifestyle business" - a passive income stream that lets you enjoy life and often living and working abroad. The hosts and their community are often expats based in areas like the Phiippines and Bali, working with local staff and marketing to the world, and are also big advocates of outsourcing on oDesk, etc. Their listener Q&A is often a good showcase for their creative problem-solving strategies. They've built the show into a community and now run a conference for the community.
These are live recordings from a programme at Stanford which attracts prominent speakers from a mix of business backgrounds - CEOs of startups, VCs, government policymakers, and so on. I tend to pick and choose, favouring some of the talks from founders like Jack Dorsey and Drew Houston. The format gives them a great platform to share their thoughts, as it's a long-ish (half an hour maybe) talk at first, followed by another long-ish Q&A session.
The best way I can describe this show is as a weekly magazine format of the regular weekly tech news. A bit like TWIT, but tends to focus a bit more on developer issues and, in line with the hosts' interests, open source and mobile trends often come up. Both hosts are easy to listen to and built their reputation as authors on the popular LifeHacker blog (Gina founded it).
In Beta reviewed 4+ y ago
TechStars is one of the A-league startup incubators around and this is their show. It unfortunately seems to be discontinued, but it's worth picking out some episodes from the backlog as there have been some excellent guests on the show, often companies and mentors associated with the incubator. Some of the behind-the-scenes episodes early on would offer some insights for people planning to apply to TechStars, YC, and other startup accelerators.
TWIST has deservedly earned a reputation as a premiere-league podcast, being the centrepiece of Jason Calcanis's attempt to establish a prime-time podcast network. Plans for the podcast network are sadly no more, but TWIST continues to shine with regular interviews and news roundups. An investor and entrepreneur who sold his blogging network to AOL back in the day, Jason is super-connected and regularly brings in the big guns of Silicon Valley for one-to-one chats. He's also coming from a long background in media and has an entertaining style that, in another life, would have made him the star of an Adam Corolla type variety show.
Mixergy is a 1:1 interview format where host Andrew Warner frequently meets successful entrepreneurs to hear their story. What's great about this show is the breadth and depth each interview covers, and the level of pre-interview research that's evident. Andrew has a "no stones unturned" attitude that often gets into aspects of a story some might consider too trivial, but often reveal great insights about the founder's thinking. Also assuring - and unusual - is a selection process that weeds out fakers by requiring tangible evidence of interviewees' claims, where there's any doubt. Mixergy is primarily funded by a premium model; the entire backlog is available as well as exclusives where experts talk through their area of specialty; thus forming a kind of "podcast encyclopedia" folks can draw on to solve any particular problem they face.
Fred Wilson, aka "A VC", was one of the early VCs to get into blogging and his blog is intensely read by many in the VC and startup communities. This podcast is that blog automatically voicified by VoiceBunny-powered human talent. Because of that, the shows tend to be bite-sized, just a few minutes each, but always top value in terms of content. Fred is one of the more theoretical and reflective VCs around, so he'll sometimes go in-depth on topics around corporate financing; other times, he'll reflect on the tech and how it impacts him and family. Some of that tech comes from Union Square's considerable portfolio, including Twitter, FourSquare, and StackExchange (http://www.usv.com/investments/).
FLOSS Weekly's format is straightforward: Each week, a different open source project is chosen for analysis in an interview with a key developer (typically it's the project creator/lead). Host Randall Schwartz will typically cover the whole story: what does it do, how did it start, what's the underlying stack, and how is it developed? Schwartz himself is no stranger to the open source world and particularly the Perl community as a writer and maker.
If you're a programmer, you've probably noticed more than once that your profession rarely get the same "human element" treatment as other professions do (witness dozens of courtroom and hospital dramas). This Developer's Life is your antidote to all that. Yes, it's the IT version of the renowned "This American Life" podcast; each show picks a theme in developers' lives and riffs on it with that familiar mix of music, real-life storytelling, and interviews with ordinary people living through extraordinary moments.
SE Radio is very much focused on the deep end of professional programming practice and with a commitment to produce evergreen content, the extensive backlog would be a great resource for any budding programmer looking to level up. The main topics are architecture and programming practices, coming particularly from an agile perspective.
Scott Hanselman was one of the first programming podcasters and he's kept the show going on strong, an impressive track record for a format where he interviews a different personality each week. The show fits in the general genre of "practical software engineering" as Scott tends to take an interest in trends affecting software architecture and industry, but always at a practical level. As a Microsoftie, maybe one in every 3 or 4 of his shows will cover MS tech, but Scott will always do his best to make sure people from outside that universe can listen in and take something away from it. Scott has a natural curiosity for software development and the way it fits into his life, that certainly comes through in his show.
Bob's relentless! He's a Missouri-based college history teacher whose show has been going for ages and he clearly has a huge passion for his chosen topic of professorship. He'll tend to pick a theme (e.g. a particular war or individual) and then run a whole series of shows around it. His style is laid-back and he'll often see the lighter side of things, while keeping the show firmly on-topic. While Bob has a lot of time for US history, particularly Civil War, he's really done a fantastic job over the years covering the whole gamut of times and places.
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