In April I listed my top 4 podcasts for that month, based on podcasts I’d recently started, as well as new ones that I had just started listening to. While I mentioned S-Town as the #4 on my list, I’ve since come to regret that decision.
I understand the world’s fascination with a true story, told with the eloquence that is synonymous with the producers of Serial and This American Life, but I feel like there just… wasn’t a story there. There wasn’t a full story, or they started in one place, and when it didn’t turn out to be what they expected, they turned it into something else.
Whether that was to get some ROI on what they had spent on the investigation, or that they (self-righteously if you as me( thought they had to tell this man’s story, the fact is that they had very little regard for the privacy of the subject, John B. McLemore, especially in the last 2-3 episodes. Anyway, this is not a review of the entirety of S-Town. I’m actually here to tell you about 3 new podcasts that I just started listening to recently. Here they are, in no particular order.
Writing Class Radio
While most of my work is based on SEO, a large part of this is focused on content. On top of this, I did screenwriting at varsity, I’ve always had a passion for film (and especially writing for film), and I count myself among the droves of millennials who would love to one day publish a book.
So you can see why I was drawn to a podcast about writing. I just typed in “writing” and it popped up. The podcast is run by the teacher of a memoir writing class, Andrea Askowitz as well as one of the students in her class, Allison Langer.
Together with producers Diego Saldana-Rojas and Virginia Lora, they explore some of the most fascinating real-life ideas and stories. Not only does the podcast focus on the format of writing and the ethics and ideas of writing about real life, but it also provides a unique platform for telling all of these amazing human stories. I’ve only been listening to it for a couple of weeks, and I’ve already experienced some of the most intense emotions listening to the podcast.
The first episode I listened to remains one of my favourite. It’s entitled ‘Who Has Time?’ and explores what the producers and some of the class members do with their time, what they don’t have time to do, and what they’d like to do more of… if they had the time.
Even better, I just started exploring their website, and they have a ton of amazing resources and writing prompts for aspiring writers. Go check out the Writing Class Radio website today, and get writing!
Okay, so I’m switching focus here to a fictional podcast run by Gimlet Media. This is my first fictional podcast to date, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did have a bit of a ‘not bad’ moment when I saw the cast list, which includes performances by Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, and Amy Sedaris. Yeah, that’s a pretty amazing cast wouldn’t you say?
I’m a huge Oscar Isaac fan, and my love for Catherine Keener was reinvigorated after an awesome performance in Get Out earlier this year. I’m a bit late to this party, but I’m glad I’ve finally arrived.
The story focuses on a government conspiracy regarding a programming that helps soldiers who have returned home after deployment. The so-called Homecoming Initiative is designed to help these servicemen combat the effects of the P.T.S.D they may be suffering due to their experiences wile deployed.
Have a listen to the trailer for Homecoming below, and if you like what you hear, I highly advise you check out the rest of the episodes:
I’m not going to give much more details away because it’s just so much better hearing the story unfold one episode at a time. The format of the podcast is an interesting one.
Most of it happens via phone calls and recorded therapy-like session, however sometimes the story is told in real time as well. The creators are clearly not trying to force a specific format all the way through. The story, however is so captivating that this change in format is never jarring.
Masters of Scale
Switching gears once again, Masters of Scale is all about the stories from entrepreneurs (mostly in Silicon Valley) who talk about their experience in starting, growing, and transitioning businesses. As the title suggests, it’s all about scaling ideas and companies.
This podcast is captivating for anyone with an entrepreneurial streak. It’s hosted by the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. Being the co-founder of one of the largest networking companies in the world, means that he has access to a ton of really interesting people in Silicon Valley, and basically provides a direct line to these people and how they view business, money, partnerships, and a host of other factors that impact how scalable a business can be.
Masters of Scale is essentially a free masterclass in business growth and development. How epic is that?
Note: All images used in this article are from a variety of sources online, as well as the social media profiles of hosts. If you, or your company would like to request attribution for any of the images used, please feel free to reach out to me.