- with Olivia Heeren, Group Account Director
Long, crowded subway rides - not cool. Podcasts – cool.
I’ve just moved to a place in Brooklyn where my commuting time has doubled. And while I considered wasting my time playing Bejeweled Classic, I decided to use my time more wisely by listening to podcasts. I’m fairly new to the platform, not having jumped in on the Serial bandwagon. In truth, I need content that I can half pay attention to, so I don’t end up being the person who doesn’t move when the crowd’s rushing in, and I don’t end up missing my stop.
So sorry Serial fans, but here are my top podcasts:
Reply All – It all started with Reply All for me. PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman host a show that is ‘about the internet’. That means it’s about anything and everything. But they do an amazing job of telling human journeys and weaving in how the internet has helped progress those stories. I’ve laughed out loud, and I’ve cried. Seriously.
Here’s a link to what they think are their best shows, and I agree.
Start Up – In true new media fashion, I discovered Start Up after I discovered Reply All, even though Start Up is about how Reply All came into being. Meta, right (did I use that right?). Start Up is more than just the origin story of Reply All, it’s about how Gimlet Media (which produces Reply All) came to be. And it’s hosted by Alex Blumberg, whose voice is as soothing as the morning sun. Seriously good business advice told in a very snackable way. I can’t recommend just one episode, you just have to listen to them all of Season 1, starting with the first ep.
99% Invisible – Although I have a hard time listening to Roman Mars (he’s no Alex Blumberg), the stories told are often fascinating. You’d be surprised how many products came into being just because there was a design issue that needed to be solved. It might just change the way you look at things (like the ‘best enjoyed by’ date on bread as featured in the episode below). The stories are short too, so it’s a good one to turn on when you’ve got just 15 minutes left of your commute.
Episode to listen to:
I picked up Wild way before Reese Witherspoon did (ok, I don't know if that's true but work with me). For those of you that know Wild, you know Cheryl Strayed. What you may not know is that before she wrote her autobiograpical story, she was a columnist for the periodical The Rumpus. Her pen name was Sugar and she proved to be an amazing, poetic writer as she answered letters that were sent to her with a fierce truthiness that is admirable. Dear Sugar takes her advice to a podcast. She embodies empathy and truth and spews it out with her partner Steve Almond. As an aside her Rumpus columns were put together in a book called Tiny Beautiful Things. Read it now to be smarter.
Episode to listen to (Prepare to go deep):
Special shout-out to Dave Ashley who helped me discover my podcast-y side.