I have become an admitted podcast addict. What is a podcast you ask? Well I’m glad you did. Simply put a podcast is a way to push serialized audio or video to your computer/phone/MP3 player without you having to go to a website and check for new content.
This is ideal for keeping up to things like the BBC news, Quirks and Quarks, DNTO, and the Vinyl Cafe — instead of having to try and turn a radio on at the right time, or remember to go to a website and download them, they are automatically on my computer queued up! Each night I decide what I want to listen to on the way to work, put it on my phone and I’m off (although I see I’ve still got Vinyl Cafe back to September … I definitely have some catching up to do!)
For a long time my favourite podcast has been Quirks and Quarks, but lately I have found my allegiances shifting – I’ve developed a new favourite, that also happens to be from the Mother Corp — Search Engine.
The topic of Search Engine is a bit hard to describe, as it is easily misunderstood. It looks at the effect the internet (and its collaborative and distributed nature) is having on society. There is a lot of politics in the show, and not a lot of technology — it is after all not about the technology, but about how the technology is affecting society, and in a lot of cases governments. From the big stories — like Burma, US elections, Scientology — to the small ones — like the Fox Network stealing a picture of a pug in a Christmas stocking off a blog to use it in a promo piece (ironic when they’re suing people for violating *their* copyright…)
It is a very new show, launched in September of 2007, and I think runs along CBC at its best — discussion and interviews about issues that not a lot of people are thinking about right now, but that are shaping the world as we do and as we will know it. It is also one of those shows that will always let you bring up interesting trivia at cocktail parties! Like how several thousand people can buy an English Football team by coordinating on the web and will make management decisions by e-vote!
The show has struck a chord elsewhere apparently — in the US it is second only to Radio 3 as the CBC’s most popular podcasts (ahh, another one I listen to regularly).
If you have a chance you should check it out — you can download individual MP3’s, or you can put it in an RSS feed, even use iTunes to subscribe to it.
Oh yeah, and apparently it shows up on this thing called radio sometimes .. Thursdays at 11:30 and Tuesdays at 15:30.