I finished listening to Jordan Cooper’s
latest second-latest episode of Tech Douchebags (I would pick another name, but that’s irrelevant now) and he interviewed Ÿoeff Rewburg about podcast listening. Hæff is my fake nemesis on Twitter – we both like to mildly antagonize one another. Gueph has gained some notoriety for the sheer volume of content he listens to, and infamy for how he listens to podcasts at an accelerated playback rate. I too, have podcast-listening feelings, apparently.
Jordan interviewed ¥€ff like a pro. He represented the questions the audience would have asked, but also made some statements about his own, personal listening habits – the kinds of assessments we, the audience, should make of ourselves.
Many months ago, I wrote Terrible Podcast Screenplays as a joke. I have not been actively updating it since early January. I simply haven’t found time for more podcasts in my daily routine. That is strange because I want to listen to more podcasts. I even have podcasts queued up for aspirational listening. One day, I’ll get to them. (SMASH CUT TO: Joe emerging from a pile of rubble with his iPhone. ‘Now I’ll have all the time in the world!’ iPhone runs out of battery power, and eardums explode.)
Honestly, these are the only ones I listen to weekly, or nearly weekly:
- Accidental Tech Podcast
- Back to Work
- The Incomparable
- The Prompt
- Roderick on the Line
- Your Daily Lex
As you may notice, I wrote fake screenplay reviews for all if those except Your Daily Lex Luthor, and Supertrain. There are a few Incomparable episodes that I have skipped because I haven’t watched, or read, what was discussed, and want to do so before hearing them talk about it. (Although I still haven’t seen The Aviator and I listen to Back to Work, so what kind of monster does that make me?)
My aspirational list where I listen to episodes infrequently:
- Every ESN.fm show
- Mac Power Users
- The Nerdist Writer’s Panel
- Tech Douchebags
- Technical Difficulties
My super-crazy aspirational list, where I want to pretend like I’m cultured:
This is why I playfully mock ⓙ③Ⓕⓕ. Deep down, I want to just 2x all of these right in to my auditory canal. To Matrix-style download all the new episodes so that I’m never behind. The feeling of being behind — as Jordan puts it: of missing out — is unpleasant. I like the dopamine hit when I’m on top of everything. Jordan says that he prunes his list every now and then for this reason, so that he’s once more, on top of everything. However, we both do the same thing after that: We load back up on new podcasts.
Theoretically, this should be easier than television, because “DVR” time shifting is a fundamental part of the medium of podcasting. A podcast can never be live. A stream of a podcast recording session can be live, like ATP, or Back to Work, but those aren’t the podcasts that wind up in your podcast listening app of choice, technically. This causes me even more, totally unnecessary guilt because I’ll want to listen to the live stream, but often can’t immediately reserve an uninterrupted block of time for it right then. What does it matter? A cleaner, edited version will magically appear in Downcast before I know it, and I already have podcast episodes I haven’t listened to yet. Shouldn’t I be listening to those?
What happens when I have an opening in my schedule to power through a bunch of episodes? I power through them by podcast series, not by some universal, un-listened to playlist. So then I have even larger backlogs of some of the aspirational ones. I could listen to them all in the chronological list they were released but I might want to listen to them in the order released.
Like Ffej and Jordan, I struggle with when to ackowledge that I am just not going to get caught up on a podcast. When do I just remove the red badge of guilt from the feed?
This is Why I Can’t Use RSS Readers
My flirtation with RSS subscriptions for blogs, and web sites with feeeeds was short-lived when I realized that I couldn’t stay on top of the unread badge unless I hardly subscribed to anything. Some sites were like firehoses of crap, and other sites published irregularly. As soon as I saw the unread number, I had to click through every single one.
I have the same completionist streak when it comes to Twitter. Like ⒥⒪⒡⒡⒭⒠⒴ organizes his podcasts in to tiers and lists, I organize the people I follow on Twitter in to lists. I will start at the last read tweet for the list ‘tech’ and work my way up. Then, if I run out of ‘tech’, I pull up lists of real life friends, and then finally, when I run out of everything, I go to the full timeline view and read that. This is what crazy looks like right? Not a cat lady, but a guy with organized twitter lists and a fear of unread numbers in his RSS feeds? Oy gevalt.
At least two guys I follow on a twitter list posted YET ANOTHER podcast about podcasts to make me think about how guilty I feel about my unlistened, unread guilt. Way of the Future.