Nov 262009
 

I know I should be pronouncing my gratitude for health, family, friends, good fortune and all that. And I am truly thankful for those things. But who couldn’t say that? Instead, I thought I’d take today to make a categorized list of my favorite podcasts. I go to the gym 2-3 times per week, and run about 40 minutes each day I don’t go to the gym. I wouldn’t survive these trials if  didn’t have my IPhone full of stuff to keep my mind occupied while my body toils away. Because I have so many I really enjoy, I try to find other times in the week to listen to my favorite shows.

I know most people listen to music when they work out, but I use the time to stay informed on news, economics, and technology. Or I listen to interviews of writers, or stories told or read. I don’t think my collection is particularly unique. Most of these are pretty well-known. But there may be one or two you might not have heard of. I would certainly love to have your suggestions of great shows in the comments. I can always find time to listen to something new.

General News and Commentary

News and Culture Interviews

  • Fresh Air: Who doesn’t love this show?
  • Bob Edward’s Weekend: Former NPR broadcaster always has interesting guests.
  • Open Source: Christopher Lydon interviews a diverse range of profound thinkers in many realms.

Fiction and Non-Fictions Stories

  • The Moth: True stories told live without notes.
  • This American Life: Always a treasure. Although I often hear this on air instead of through the podcast.
  • New Yorker Fiction: Stories from the New Yorker read by other writers who have chosen them.

Technology

  • This Week in Tech: Too long for me to hear in one setting. Almost always interesting and entertaining.
  • Buzz Out Loud: Daily recap and commentary on tech news.
  • Lullabot: A variety of Drupal news and interviews.
  • Macbreak Weekly: More from the Leo Laporte TWIT.TV network.

Economics

  • Planet Money: 3 times/week. Great for explaining hard concepts. Entertaining.
  • The Big Money: Good analysis of economic issues from Slate magazine.

Miscellaneous

I subscribe to several others. But I can’t listen to them all regularly, and some are video podcasts, which I don’t like to watch while I’m working out. I usually watch them on my laptop. Feel free to comment on this list and to share your favorites.

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Mar 312008
 

It seems like newspapers everywhere are revamping their web sites in hopes of staying ahead of the wave of people going online to get their news. The Eureka Reporter unveiled its site in December, and a couple months the Times-Standard released the lastest version of its site.

The previous version of the Times-Standard was chaotic and hard to look at. While this version is an improvement, there is still way too much going on, particularly on the home page.

For one thing they have lots of ads and if any of them are animated this lends a feeling of chaos. Also, the nature of ads, unless they are carefully controlled, is that they clash with the overall design. Their whole point is to draw attention to themselves and away from the content. Additionally, they are still using annoying pop up ads. I realize they need to find a way to monetize their content, but those things are so aggravating they are probably more a net negative to advertiser. Of course, I don’t have any metrics to back this up. Just my personal reaction.

Additionally, the T-S wants to become more than just a newspaper, with video and blogs, an event calendar and more. But they seem to want to cram links to everything on to the home page. And today, they had not one, but two embedded videos competing for my attention.

I like that you can still comment on articles. But I’m not sure what value the location tool is since it uses the IP you are assigned by your ISP and that could be any number of locations. It’s just confusing.

But the bigger question here is will all of these new web sites save newspapers in the long run? Does the revenue earned from online ads really offset the cost? How can newspapers compete with Craig’s List? And with so many options for news will newspaper web sites be able to retain their importance as a primary news source? Eric Alterman’s recent essay in the New Yorker subtitled “The death and life of the American newspaper” notes the following statistic:

Only nineteen per cent of Americans between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four claim even to look at a daily newspaper. The average age of the American newspaper reader is fifty-five and rising.

But if newspapers, that pay for original reporting disappear, where will we get the news that bloggers like me comment on? What will we link to? I think as newspapers die, a new model will rise as the hunger for information does not seem to be diminishing, but growing.

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