I’ve written in the past that I think the best university I have ever attended is the university of YouTube. But that may no longer be true. I’ve found a better educational place - podcasts. What are podcasts you ask?
Podcasts are programs you enjoy for free from sources such as Apple’s iTunes or any number of other providers. They are created by people or organizations who have something to share and the barrier to create a podcast is really, really low. But that doesn’t mean podcasts have little value.
There are also companies and organizations creating podcasts who have multi-million dollar studios and who have extremely high profile guests as well.
Podcast topics range from the ridiculous to the really, really valuable. There are podcasts about small business, marketing, social media, sales, news and all sorts of things.
One of the podcasts I really enjoy is called The RV Entrepreneur because it’s specifically about people who are making a full-time living on the road and the unique businesses and methodologies they use to accomplish this. If you don’t already know, my goal is to live out of my RV for several months of the year, particularly when it’s winter in Northern California. I would be in a place that the weather suits my clothes and those clothes would be short pants, tropical shirts and Birkenstock sandals. That’s how I roll!
If you’re looking for motivation the famous TED talks are available as a podcast, for example. There are podcasts in purely audio form and some available as videos, such as the TED talks.
What I like about podcasts is that you can curate your own feed so you subscribe to those programs that are most useful in your world. I have added and dropped subscriptions to various podcasts based on things I’d like to learn or find out more about. Of course, there are also times when podcasts just miss the mark. But that’s okay because one of the best things about podcasts is that they’re absolutely and totally free!
So how do you get these wonderful lessons? I use my iPhone and the Apple iTunes Store, which is presently the leading distributor of podcasts. You can go in and either pick and choose episodes of various podcasts or simply subscribe to whatever you’d like and they’re automatically delivered to your phone.
I have an hour’s commute time so I listen to podcasts exclusively on that drive to and from work. I also listen while I’m doing things around the house. My podcast subscription reciprocates the updates on my main computer as well as my phone so I can listen through my house’s audio system which is tied to the computer.
And how did I learn to set that up? Podcasts. The cool thing is that I can start an episode in the car and then, unlike the radio, the podcast stops when I shut the car off. I can continue with headphones if I choose or simply pick up where I left off when I get back in the car.
Oh, and it’s not just business information available on podcasts. There are podcasts about sports, paranormal, food, health and just about any other subject you can think of. There are rebroadcasts of popular radio programs as well as rebroadcasts of vintage radio mysteries. If you miss Paul Harvey, no worries. Someone is rebroadcasting his stories. And Mike Rowe, from the show Dirty Jobs, has a short-form podcast that are an homage to Paul Harvey.
Stuff You Should Know is a cool podcast about, well, stuff you should know. And Part-Time Genius is one about more stuff you should know. Oh, and I really like Michael Selzner and his Social Media Examiner series - they always have the latest and greatest on all things related to the world of Social Media.
You might give podcasts a try - there is a crazily huge catalog of programming and all the content is free. Some are supported by advertisers, some are just some guy in his mom’s basement and some are supported by national advertisers.
Furthermore if you want to curate your own news source? Podcasts - there are qualified news resources from major and minor organizations from all over the world and you won’t be stuck with the bias of the large networks. In fact if you want to get more in depth on politics there are programs for you.
There is so much available and more podcasts coming along every day. The barrier to entry is really low so don’t be disappointed when you find some lousy ones - there are some real gems out there as well.
Happy listening and I would love to know what you find in this incredible realm.