New Podcast Updates

Hello all,

I may be setting a new trend here, with two posts in one day. There is much I would like to write about, just too little time. It’s time to update you on what I’ve been listening to lately. Some good, some less good but all interesting.

My new favourite in the podcast space is the BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy Show, which alternates between the Now Show and the News Quiz, both VERY entertaining, both worth the weekly listen. It is possibly the most accessible of all the BBC Radio 4 shows, which can at times seem incredibly opaque and elitist, two qualities I particularly enjoy but I can see how that may not be a mainstream opinion. This show is kind of an audio version of QI, where instead of focusing on a particular theme like Stephen and his mates do, Sandi Toksvig uses the newspaper headlines as the basis for the show and believe me, she need not go very far to point out the absurdity and idiocy of some of the stuff that comes out of those papers. The UK National Government and David Cameron cop a fair bit, but then again, I tend to feel like it is rather deserved.

I’ve also been toying with ‘Stuff You Should Know’ run by HowStuffWorks.com and presented by Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark but I am giving it a mixed review. It’s low-key, it’s playful but in my honest opinion, it is a lazier and less well edited version of Radio Lab. The focus is slightly different too. Whereas Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich focus on storytelling as the medium for exposing the facts, the SYSK guys take a more classical encyclopaedic approach, where they list all the things you should know about a given topic. It feels like there is a lot of research behind each version of the podcast but because they don’t interview people and get expert advice, it really falls flat on its face sometimes when Chuck and Josh just don’t have the answers. And sometimes, they get it plain wrong anyway.

Lastly, I am really interested in any podcast, app or any digital medium that has been designed to complement either a museum, gallery or library experience. Alex Byrne, the NSW State Librarian, was telling me how enchanted he was by ‘O’, the app designed for MONA in Hobart. Ever since, I’ve been looking for apps and podcasts that create a meaningful and complimentary experience of physical spaces and collections. Getting this right has been tricky in the past as this article tweeted by Emile Hooge of UrbanBricolage points out (French readers only! Sorry!). Apps and podcasts tend to encourage and very solitary and mobile-focused experience to the detriment of experiencing the space itself. It is also often a digital repository of the artworks/material themselves, rather than a dynamic and interactive interface that allows a customisation of the experience or a personalised record of the experience to be saved. This is exactly the issue with the latest Art Gallery of NSW app, which is a step in the right direction but still needs some work…

So any suggestions or examples you can point to would be great!

So long for now!

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