Monday, January 05, 2015

The Reply All Podcast

Reply All is a new, weekly podcast that is 'a show about the internet'

I really like podcasts, but some of them fail to capitalise on what is different about podcasts to blogs (you can discuss things), and generally let the participants go on & on for too long.

ReplyAll suffers from neither of these faults.  So far we've had 7 fascinating episodes of about 15-20 minutes each, covering lots of diverse subjects.

My personal favourites are:

Jennicam - whatever happened to one of the web's first stars

This Website for Sale - The business behind domain auctions

Follow The Money - Storytelling through tracking transactions on the payment platform Venmo (which then turns into a completely different show at the end)

& This Proves Everything - Looking at the murky world of the 'Larry Shippers'

I think it's a terrific show and long may it continue.  (I also like how they do their ads - good examples of 'native' podcast ads)

While I'm on the subject...

Serial ended a couple of weeks ago, and while I found it interesting and really enjoyed it, I have strong misgivings about it.

I - It was too much of a discourse.  I don't think we learned more from it being a week by week examination than we would have if it had been a retrospective look (& bear in mind that they'd been working on it for a long time before any of it was broadcast).  I know it's a different sort of show, but I think Rough Justice, where you saw the whole story, was much better.

2 - The best episodes were ones with external experts giving their views, rather than the presenter theorising, for example episode 7 with Deirdre Enright, or episode 8 where they talk to a former detective about the case.

3 - The experts made points that they'd missed, or wouldn't have thought about for weeks, the most obvious example was Enright's team's discovery of a credible potential suspect that the Serial team hadn't even heard of, which was introduced in the final episode.

I will listen to series 2 of Serial, but I hope that they can structure it better, and spend more time talking to credible third parties.

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