Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Podcasts I Hear

Once upon a time, a time that feels a very long time ago but I think was only a couple of years in the past, I spent some time regularly commuting to one of my clients.

Armed with a smart phone and headphones I discovered audio books and podcasts as an excellent way to make use of this time. I was often driving on this commute so activities like working, reading the web or even traditional books proved difficult.

Slightly more recently, although also a long while ago, I would spend time running fairly frequently. And in the last year I have been spending time with some bottles. Both of these also double as excellent listening times.

Over these years I've collected a number of podcasts that I follow. Bellow is a copy of all those currently (others have been tried and lost over time) in my RSS reader with a few comments on what each is and why I listen.

Technology / News / General Interest

Ubuntu UK Podcast - While focussed on Ubuntu they also talk about general technology news and events in topics that interest me. It's relaxed, casual and they use excellent music. This is one I never miss.

The Economist - If you have time to actually read, I highly recommend the Economist app for more in depth coverage of interesting subjects. However as a time challenged parent their podcast content, especially their Babbage, The Week Ahead and Money Talks weekly shows are each an excellent ten(ish) minute burst of interesting listening. The feed I've linked to includes all of these plus numerous other short audio shows published by The Economist, some of which are interesting but many of which I don't listen to.

BBC More or Less - Investigations into dodgy sounding statistical claims of the media. This one is mostly for amusement but sometimes reveals interesting nuggets of truth and their misrepresentations.

BBC Tech Tent - A fairly recent addition, I'm still deciding on whether it stays or not. They cover any and all tech news which widens what I hear but also duplicates some and it's a pretty long 30 minute investment of time each week.

BBC Money Box - The weekend shows are an good listen for general consumer finance news. What ever you do, don't listen to the Money Box Live (call-in) shows though!

BBC Inside Science - A very varied science news show. I do sometimes skip episodes or portions that really aren't for me but it's generally interesting and I'm sure I've learnt a lot listening to this one.

Freakonomics Radio - I actually read the first book in the traditional dead tree form! I really enjoyed the fresh, data driven and quirky take on topics. Their podcast mostly follows the same sort of plan, although I must admit this is lower on my list and I do skip less interesting sounding episodes. I also sometimes feel they could have said the same things in about half the time!

Business / Freelancing / Bootstrapping

Bootstrapped With Kids - This is an excellent weekly soap opera with a little bit of business and tech thrown in for good measure. That may be a little harsh - I've certainly gained valuable business knowledge and thought provoking ideas numerous times from this podcast. However it's definitely the fun style that keeps me coming back and probably makes it the podcast I look forward to most each week.

Startups For The Rest Of Us - If you are or want to bootstrap a business (especially online) then you should be listening to this. They've had a few episodes that I've skipped as I didn't think they were relevant to me but that's pretty rare and they're mostly packed full of excellent insights and advice.

The Feelance Web - I've been following this one since they started and I think they had an excellent start. If you're just starting out in freelance (or thinking about it) then I highly recommend listening to the first 10-20 episodes. They've also had some very good interviews and other excellent discussions along the way. That said, I also feel this one is a bit inconsistent and there have been periods when I consider dropping this one.

BBC The Bottom Line - I find this one fascinating. It's not really relevant to my own business work and development at the moment yet it's still one I always enjoy.

The Business Of Web Design - I think this was mostly created to promote the related conference and seems to have fallen silent since the conference took place, however it was interesting while it lasted. Freelancers and web businesses could do worse than listening to the old episodes.

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