What Would You Like To Hear In A Techdirt Podcast?

from the questions,-questions dept

Many years ago (many, many, many years ago) before “podcasting” existed (actually, before iPods existed), we briefly tried to do a “Techdirt online radio show,” which had a terrible name I won’t repeat here. We ended up doing two or three episodes, I think — and the only one that was any good accidentally got deleted right after we recorded it. That said, in the intervening years, the whole podcasting thing sprung up and it’s all pretty well established now. We’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a podcast ourselves. I’ve got some ideas for what I think it should be… but I’m also curious about what people here would like to hear in a podcast. There’s no guarantee we’ll end up doing exactly what anyone suggests, but we’re hoping it provides some ideas. Would you like to just hear me and some of the other contributors talking about the week’s news? Or would you want interviews with interesting guests? Something entirely different? Do you prefer longer podcasts or the quick hit types? Let us know what would be most interesting. Thanks!

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Comments on “What Would You Like To Hear In A Techdirt Podcast?”

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Vog (profile) says:

If you’re open to audio, I’d like to hear interviews in the podcasts. You could condense more dialogue into a podcast than you’ve been able to in previous text-only interviews. I realize not all interviews may be able to be held through this medium, but I would definitely be interested in the additional content.

A Techdirt ‘week in review’ podcast would be useless to me, as I check Techdirt four days a week anyway. A spoken review is rather a waste of the medium – I don’t need someone to tell me what I can see is plainly available.

I’m excited about the idea of podcasts, though I probably wouldn’t be able to check them at work (policies against streaming and all that).

Scote (profile) says:

Re: Interviews--Value Added.

Value Added
Let me second the idea of interviews. A podcast should be value added, something more than a way of making content without typing or editing. I like Techdirt a lot, but it is quicker to read text than listen to a podcast, so I’d only listen to a podcast if it offered me something more than I’d get from the text, such as nuance, or repartee or entertainment value you get from two or more people talking.

Nerdist is a good example. The podcasts are entertaining in their audio format. And not something I’d necesarily find as interesting as text.

Many of the best podcasts are good, in part, because they are edited down from longer interviews. The interviews on Fresh Air are edited down, but so are the interviews on many quality pocasts made by individuals or smaller organizations, such as the “Skeptics with a K” podcast.

If you want to maintain unbiased transparency you can always post the un-edited interviews separately.

Tor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Interviews--Value Added.

“Value Added
Let me second the idea of interviews. A podcast should be value added, something more than a way of making content without typing or editing. I like Techdirt a lot, but it is quicker to read text than listen to a podcast, so I’d only listen to a podcast if it offered me something more than I’d get from the text, such as nuance, or repartee or entertainment value you get from two or more people talking.”


Btw. I really like the idea of a podcast.

Haldr (profile) says:

Re: Re: Interviews--Value Added.

I’m inclined to agree, for the most part. I, like many others, spend more of my time on this site reading the stories than I even care to admit. Unfortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), so many stories get posted, if I get busy with silly things that get in the way (like work) then I tend to miss a lot. Or I’ll stay off for a few days and be way behind. Nevermind the comments, which should be (and the TD faithful would insist almost NEED to be) almost as important as the posts themselves. I occasionally have time to read them on an article I find REALLY interesting but most times I’m forced to skip them entirely to save time.

For those reasons, a ‘week-in-review’ type format would be nice. For those that don’t think that adds enough value to the text format, I’d love to see it be a live podcast with a chat room or something along those lines to keep an active conversation going with the TD community. That would be amazing and something I’d probably even pay to be a part of.

Beyond that, I think that interviews are a must-have. They’re something that are very hard to fit into a text-based post and, as Scote suggested, it would be easy to edit a longer interview down and release the full, unedited version separately. That’s how many talk shows manage to fit into their time slot while still getting really great interviews, so why not for TD?

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Agree on the interview bit. I tend to skip or skim through the interview transcripts on the site – it just seems to be one thing that doesn’t translate into text well.

Personally, I’m on the site enough that I catch stories within a couple hours of when they’re posted (at most), so a recap show wouldn’t be useful to me – but don’t let just me stop that idea if others want it.

mrshl (user link) says:

All Streisand Effect... All The Time.

Also, maybe talk a little about musicians who finding new ways to add value to their relationship with fans instead of relying on sales of recorded music.

Oh, and maybe talk about how Film and Music execs are killing themselves by refusing to explore new production, distribution, and revenue models; how they’re really just presiding over the slow death of their companies and shutting themselves out of what’s next.

Seems like you never talk about this stuff on your blog.

kyle clements (profile) says:

I think starting in-house with some interviews with the creative Tech Dirt contributors would be a good way to get things going. Let’s see if spoken Dark Helmet is as funny as written Dark Helmet.

I’d like to see the interviewee talk about their experiences, their failures, their successes, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the challenges they still face in a frank and honest way, with the host taking the “Larry King” approach – minimal interruptions, just poking and prodding and listening.

I fear that if the interviewer tries to bash the uninitiated subject over the head with the regular TechDirt point of view, the guest may get defensive, or feel like they are being talked down to, or otherwise close down and not reveal anything interesting.

I’d steer away from serious debate in the podcast, this isn’t the best format for debates – those are often won on form, style, and recall of random factoids, not on who’s side is actually correct. Text, where people can read, research, organize their thoughts and edit points is a far better medium for debates than live discussion.

For that reason, I’d suggest using the podcast as a way to round up creatives who are trying to get their name out there and learn about their needs, then follow that up while a text article (sort of like case study) about your thoughts on what they could do differently, what could be tweaked, what interesting strategies are they using, what they aren’t using, etc.

F! says:

Re: Re:

Also, podcast in free and open formats pls.

THIS. If the podcast is offered in mp3 format, it should be offered in ogg format as well. Also I would expect it to be licensed under some variation of Creative Commons. Anything else would just be antithetical and self-defeating.

Supporting Open Culture requires supporting Open Formats. Supporting closed formats actively damages the wider usefulness of the web. Keep up the good work!

dale (profile) says:


I’m a regular podcast listener (Kevin Pollak, Nerdist, MacBreak, Twit, Bullseye, Freakonomics, On the Media, WTF, Larry Miller, Talkin Toons, The Future and You, and Penn’s Sunday School) who would be interested in a TechDirt podcast. I really enjoy the weekly round-up of the best comments and would enjoy listening to a regular host discuss those posts with that week’s comment reviewer. When possible, getting in contact for a quick Q&A, over Skype, with some of the authors/subjects of that week’s posts would be good, too. Not necessarily for a whole 30/40-minute podcast, but for a quick 5-min back and forth. Please avoid the phrase “Thanks for having me on.” It means, “I appreciate that you were kidding me.”

Beech (profile) says:

I would like a well moderated debate between Mike and the “why wont you debate me?” troll, moderated by whoever is behind yourlogicalfallacyis.com . Both contestants are strapped into an electric chair (lower voltage version optional) and are given a shock whenever they commit a logical fallacy, shout over one another, or otherwise stoop to less than scholarly debating tactics.

Jeffry Houser (profile) says:

Interviews about new Business Models..

Interviews with business owners / artists / authors / musicians / etc…

Focus on how they are connecting w/ Fans and giving them reasons to buy. Talk about new business models; trials and tribulations of making a living in this constantly connected society.

Be sure to interview the folks who fail in addition to the ones who are succeeding.

Anonymous Coward says:

I want to hear lots of copyrighted background music.

Oh, and can you intro each show with that audio of the supposed sounds from hell that some Russian oil drillers recorded, and announce that, that is the sound of the RIAA/MPAA/Book Publisher’s business models dying a slow death.

Oh, interview A+D about the mashup and remix community they’ve built that puts on shows around the globe(Bootie).

If there is to be no interviews etc for a particular show, call for questions on the site a couple days before and you pick the best ones to talk about during the show.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Business "models"

…and just today I was thinking that since you started writing columns you hardly ever post a comment, and then you drop that bombshell.

On Topic,
While I love bob I’m not sold on the audio value of his rambling discourses.

I think the first guest should be Mrs. Carreon.

If she is unavailable the get Babs to explain her effect.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Business "models"

Yeah. I miss commenting. Without doing a long, personal word dump, the tl;dr is that I do this writing on top of working two jobs, meaning I’m away from a computer for a good part of each day, 7 days a week.

Writing for the site means I usually have to take an either/or approach because of time available. I also had (well, I still have it) a personal blog I was focusing on (the one linked to my avatar name) that chewed up some time as well.

However, I’m hoping that at some point in the new future, I’ll be able to spring myself loose to do a bit more interacting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Would you like to just hear me and some of the other contributors talking about the week’s news?
I think you run the risk of splitting the ‘full story’ between the website and the podcast.

Or would you want interviews with interesting guests?
Yes, please make the podcast mostly interviews.

Something entirely different?

Do you prefer longer podcasts or the quick hit types?
Let the material determine the length. If it’s interesting, I will listen to a long or short show.

I think the podcast and the website should compliment each other, and not compete. Unless you want to think of the podcast as the audio version of the website.

Philip Zack (profile) says:


Since the posts are usually triggered by something that’s happening, it might be interesting to use podcast time to explore the larger context in which the event takes place, as well as a broader history of the context that it plays out in. It could be done as a discussion or roundtable.

You could also take a page from an old PBS series, “The Constitution: A Delicate Balance” and have a number of participants play the various stakeholders in a situation you’re following to explore how a hypothetical might play out, with time to talk about the rationale used by the various stakeholders.

Fiction can be a powerful tool to explore ideas. That’s what I use my own blog for.

Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:

late to the game....would like to be involved

It has to be fun.

You should have a “devils advocate” who NEVER breaks character.
Mock him senseless for his stupidity every cast.
It has to look legit.
Setup an anti-piracy blog for him/her and create a standard baddy persona. NOT evil, just stupid, uninformed and lovable for his naivety.

You also need writers to inject lulz into his argument.
(finding the right way to say a sentence can make all the difference)

Format should be…
The writers, write ridiculous perspectives on the weeks stories for the “baddy”, use fallacies and stupid arguments etc… for him to lead the show with.


1. you mention the story, bring up the topic. (you know more) Ask the “baddy” what does he think.

2. the “baddy” rambles on with loosely scripted and outlandish opinions that invite you mock him senseless.
You and whoever else, just respond naturally (unscripted) and with humor, to the mental ramblings of a lovable madman.

3. you pity him, laugh at, and with him, about his ridiculous thoughts on the stories, while pointing out the truth.

4. the “baddy” never “gets it”, well he “gets some of it” in isolation but as a whole he lacks the mental capacity to understand the bigger picture.

5. the “baddy” also as a defense, quotes trolls and “simples” in the user comments to get back at you. But always fails.

If it has a point = Bonus points !

PatLynch_Biomed (profile) says:


I have started a parallel website/blog for medical equipment manufacturers Dirt. We fight a daily battle for the extremely high service dollars. Man8ufacturers try every means available (and make up a few) to keep us (the hospital employees) from maintaining our own equipment. I would love to share ideas with the rest of the tech world. Feel free to use anything from my blog, if it applies.

Patrick Lynch

Anonymous Coward says:

Twit network

I think you Techdirt folks should talk to Leo Laporte and set-up a Techdirt show on the TWIT network.

I know they already have TWiL (This Week in Law), so maybe they wouldn’t take you guys up on it. Either way, I’ve been waiting for a Techdirt netcast and I’m excited to hear that you’re considering it.

I think Mike would be a good addition, at least, to This Week in Tech.

Ingmar (user link) says:

Keep it tight!

I listen to 30+ hours of podcasts each week, mostly on my commute or when I’m doing yard work, so as an expert at consuming podcasts, here are my suggestions.

Edit that Puppy

Ums, aahs and dead air are a very bad thing.

Asking the same question half a dozen times in different ways is good reporting, but broadcasting the raw interview is awful. Don’t be afraid to edit questions and responses down to their essence – just be sure to maintain context.

FYI, I’ll throw my hat in the ring if you need extra help editing – contact me if you’re interested.

Keep it Topical / Shorter is Better

Unless you’re creating something for an hour-long radio show, don’t make it an hour long. Do a single topic per podcast and keep it short – between 10 and 20 minutes, adjusting for the amount of content you have (see next topic).

If you have a large topic to cover, break it up into parts.

Pack the Content Tightly

Pack those podcasts tight. Even a long podcast can engaging if it’s constantly moving and presenting new information.

Quality is Better then Quantity

It’s better to produce fewer, more interesting, better edited podcasts. Too much content will just cause people (a.k.a. me) to tune out.

We Don’t Need FLAC

Compress the crap out of the final product and save yourself some bandwidth. This isn’t hi-fi studio recording of original music you’re doing. It’s just speech. By intelligently choosing your bitrate (VBR = good) can get you small files that are relatively free of artifacts.

Examples of Good Podcasts

An Example of a Not-So-Good Podcast

  • You are Not So Smart – Love the blog, but the podcasts are a great example mediocre editing and how to drag things out.

That’s my $0.02.

Brock Phillimore (profile) says:

Video podcast

Please make it a video podcast, not just audio.

I would love to see Mike interview:
– Politicians who are trying push good Techdirt type bills through congress
– People successfully using free in their business model
– Michael Geist
– Trent Reznor
– Kickstarter
– Spotify
– Google Transparency Reports

I could list 100 more, but you get the idea. Don’t forget to include people you respect and have something worthwhile to say, but have different view point than you do.

I agree with what Ingmar said in his “Keep it tight!” post.

Anonymous Coward says:

The "Suck It" Of The Day

The MPAA can suck it.
The RIAA can suck it.
The DOJ can suck it.
ICE can suck it.
Craigslist can suck it.
Morality In Media can suck it.
The so-called “Free Speech Coalition” can suck it.
Republicans can suck it.
Democrats can suck it.
Warner Brothers can suck it.
Sony can suck it.
The Olympic Committee can suck it.
The U.S. military can suck it.
Adam Lambert can su…oh wait, he already does.
Well, you get the idea.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

I know what I don’t want and that’s an hour of off-the-cuff chit chat. Doesn’t matter who it is, it gets old after 10 minutes.

Better to have an organized interview show where we get to hear the interviewee speak and the interviewer is adept at getting beyond the soundbyte.

Interview creators, inventors, business people, lobbyists, politicians, – anyone that impacts technology today.

I would gladly listen to your podcast regularly.

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