I’m completely obsessed with podcasts. It’s a big part of the reason I started one, Internet School Podcast on Internet Studies, with Ellie Marshall. I listen to podcasts almost constantly – and on all subjects too. But in thinking about shaping the Internet School Podcast, I wanted to highlight those podcasts that address some element of Internet Studies. This will be an ongoing blog post of particularly cool podcast episodes/segments on tech. Most of the ones listed below are recent, because my memory is shot, but that’s all the more reason to start keeping track.
Let me know if there’s any podcasts that I should be listening to but I’m not. Always looking for new recs.
GR8 PODCAST EPISODES/SEGMENTS ON TECH
Planet Money – “The People Inside Your Machine” (23 mins)
Planet Money provides primers on all kinds of financial topics and sometimes that includes the financial implications of technology. This episode does a great job of synthesizing what Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is and why it’s interesting and strange. (Mechanical Turk is an Amazon marketplace for work, typically very small tasks such as identifying an image, that are then paid on a task basis.) To be fair, Planet Money does this sort of great explanation job with every topic they address but Mechanical Turk is a particularly thorny problem. What’s especially cool about this episode too is the interviews with Mechanical Turkers themselves on why they work for the site, what kind of work they get, and how that work is changing.
TLDR – “Hunting for YouTube’s Saddest Comments” (8 minutes)
TLDR is the tech-focused spin-off of On the Media. I’m a weirdo who always likes to read the comments so I’m predisposed to like this episode BUT, the podcast does a good job of highlighting the highly personal and nostalgic side to many YouTube comments. Dig through the layers of hate in the comment section of any video and you might find a gem of a memory of a first kiss.
Start-Up – “How to not Pitch a Billionaire” (26 minutes)
Start-Up documents Alex Blumberg’s attempts to create a podcasting company. The first episode deals with the pitching process, as most start-up journeys also begin. The title gives away that the initial pitch does not go well and man, this episode has uncomfortable moments. It also reveals how VCs think through in what they will, and won’t, agree to invest.
Reply All – “This Website is for Sale” (19 minutes)
Former TLDR hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman switched to the Start Up creator’s new podcasting company and started up Reply All. (The podcasting world is er, small). This episode delves into the market for sales of domains. Who are the people selling domains exactly? How are prices determined? The world of domain sales it turns out, is totally bananas.
New Tech City – “The ‘Bi-Literate’ Brain” (23 minutes)
New Tech City deals with the personal implications of technology. This episode addresses the difference between reading on paper or a screen and validates everything I ever thought about using e-readers. Basically, I’m not alone in having difficulty remembering the plots of books read through e-readers. New Tech City’s host Manoush Zamorodi doesn’t just diagnose the problem, but provides a solution of how to train your brain to be “bi-literate.”
Radio Berkman – “Copyright XXX” (20 minutes)
Radio Berkman is made up of interviews with people doing research at the very cool Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. This episode is an interview with Kate Darling on her research on perspectives on copyright in porn. Basically, Darling explains how the porn industry has completely lost the battle against piracy and why many producers don’t care. To be real, this episode completely changed the way I think about intellectual property regulation.