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Podcastery Redux

Tuesday: Mark Millar’s launching a massive new magazine, Alan Moore’s getting the third issue of his countercultural organ out, the IRON MAN 2 videogame that Matt Fraction wrote is out today, and I’m fiddling around with podcasts. Which tells you all you need to know about my career, really.


Due to iTunes for Windows being basically a malevolent piece of shitware designed by subhuman Things with flippers for hands and dogturds for brains, I recently had to delete and rebuild my entire library. It did, however, give me the excuse to rethink my podcast subscriptions. One thing I do like about this phone is that it makes the capture and carrying of podcasts pretty effortless. The above is my current list — I decided to dump History Of The World In 100 Objects, Aural Apocalypse and Brainwashed. I need to move Cafe Kaput to iTunes from Google Reader at some point.

(Aural Apocalypse wasn’t actually bad, most of the time, but — perhaps perversely? — I was finding it over-long.)

The thing about podcasts, of course, is that there’s a million of them, and most of them are shit, and as far as I can see the curation process is completely broken.

(You may also notice there are two video podcasts in there too. I’m aware of very few interesting examples of vodcasts/vlogs, too.)

This is only interesting insofar as it breaks the oft-quoted (not least by me) "the internet is a level playing field" rule (although it was, when I first started saying it, in 1998). It’s that point where old media encroaches into new territory and sets up a little Danelaw of its own on the coast. It’s where old brands have power and everyone else is thrown into a big pit to plead for a little bit of digital mercy.

I have a feeling that finding new podcasts I like is going to involve hacking through thick underbrush with a big stick.

(And, apologies to comics podcasters, but if you think I want to listen to comics podcasts after making comics all day, you’re insane.)

Published in daybook


  1. Hey Warren, if you’re looking for new podcasts, might I recommend mine? I kind of owe it to you anyway. I am a comedian in Karachi, Pakistan and I’m writing a novel called “How I Became a Suicide Bomber”. It’s a fictional autobiography of the world’s worst suicide bomber. Before I started writing it, I was thinking of what you were originally doing with “Listener” (your tragically lost-in-the-computer-crash novel). I remember you experimented with the idea of writing as a performance art. So I am trying the same here.

    Every week, I record around 5 minutes worth of the novel-in-progress and upload it as a podcast. In terms of writing I am maybe a couple of episodes ahead of the audio feed. The challenge is, since it is being made public as it’s being written, I have to commit to whatever decisions the character makes or whatever decisions I make as a writer. It’s got a decent sized following in Pakistan already and am getting alot of nice emails from people abroad now too.

    You can listen to it on-line before committing it to your iTunes subscription at It’s going chronologically, so just start with the 1st episode if you want to risk trying it.

  2. Erik Erik

    @Sami: Christ, I dunno if InternetJesus is interested, but I sure as hell am. Sounds like a, well, blast.

    Warren, dunno if you’re familiar with Australia’s Triple J, but you may find their new music podcasts a source of some inspiration, if only antipodally:

  3. There are several good skeptical podcasts- The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Skepticality, For Good Reason.

    Then there’s George Hrab’s GeoLogic Podcast, a skeptic and musician. Whereas most podcasts conform to a format (including my own), George explores the boundaries, and uses his podcast as entertainment.

    There are several atheist/humanist/freethought podcasts that are interesting to varying degrees. Chariots of Iron, Reasonable Doubts,

  4. LJ LJ

    I’m skeptical about skeptics. HAIL ERIS!

  5. Man, the net hasn’t been a level playing field for ages. It never was, really, but it did allow some small fishes to grow really big in new niches, mostly by pirating while the big fishes of the real world weren’t paying attention.

  6. Trev Trev

    Marc Maron’s podcast is one of my faves, smart comedian casting from his house because he enjoys it. (I hope that’s right) has some enjoyable literary talky stuff about the old freak, with some nice readings in there too

  7. Since you’ve got IOT on there, I feel I can recommend where a few of us (some you may know) curate the very best of English-language speech radio…

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