Podcasts put a huge amount of knowledge right at your fingertips. You can listen to experts share their experiences and knowledge on timely topics.
This may seem like a really obvious tip, but I can’t tell you how many people I talk to that don’t realize how wonderful podcasts are. A podcast is like an audio blog. They are similar to radio shows, but they are archived so that you can listen to them whenever you like. Have you ever gotten into your car in the middle of a great story on This American Life, or in the middle of a crazy interview on the Paul Finebaum show? That used to happen to me all of the time. Now I listen to the shows that I want to listen to on my schedule without worrying about the radio broadcast schedule. But scheduling is just the tip of the iceberg — plenty of other factors make podcasts great.
No More Missing the Good Stuff
It never fails that when I get into the car, I will hear a few minutes of something that interests me and then five minutes of commercials. Next, I will hear the first few minutes of something else that I want to hear, and then it’s time to get out of the car. Most of the shows that I listened to on the radio are available in podcast form. With podcasts, I can listen to whatever I like when I want to whether I am close to a good radio signal or not.
All This Knowledge at Your Fingertips
You may be thinking, “This is a good tech tip, but what does this have to do with the kinds of professional tips that I have come to expect from Infomedia?” Here is the answer: Podcasts put a huge amount of knowledge right at your fingertips. You can listen to experts share their experiences and knowledge on timely topics. Unlike a book that is published and fixed for all time, podcasts come out frequently. This gives you the opportunity to hear how these experts respond to current events and changes in your industry. Most podcasts are free. It is amazing to think about the value of the knowledge that I am exposed to on an ongoing basis. I would have to spend hundreds of dollars on books and audiobooks to get the same kind of knowledge that is regularly available for free on podcasts.
Hobby Topics, Professional Topics
Regardless of your industry or job title, there are countless podcasts that can help you keep up to date with news and valuable information. For those of us who work in the web marketing industry, there are great shows like Boagworld or Marketing Mavericks. Are you in finance or economics? Check out Econtalk with Russ Roberts. Are you in sales or customer service? There are literally thousands of podcasts that will help you refine your skills.
We also need to blow off a little steam from time to time and listen to something that we enjoy. I look forward every week to podcasts like The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, This American Life, and 99% Invisible. Whatever your hobbies or interests, there are podcasts that are dedicated to that topic.
How do I listen?
You can find podcasts in iTunes or by searching the web, but the real value comes when you can listen on your smartphone. Apple provides a free podcast App on iPhones. There are also some great third-party alternatives like Downcast that you can download. Android has some great podcasting Apps as well. Once you get one of these Apps, you can search for podcasts that interest you and subscribe to them. You have the option to set new episodes to download automatically so that they are ready when you want to listen.
Podcasts are one of my favorite things in all of technology. I hope some of you find a podcast that brings you as much information and enjoyment as my favorite podcasts bring to me. Do you have a favorite podcast? Share it with us in the comments.