One of the best aspects of subscribing to things is that it doesn't matter if they go dormant. Someone takes a break from feeding their website/newsletter/podcast? No problem. When they return, your subscription springs back to life.1 So it was a special treat to see a new episode of Anxious Machine pop up in my podcast feed.
Last week was a funny old week for podcast-prompted nostalgia. First, there was an episode of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking podcast: Taking the Long View with the Animal Kingdom. Two very old friends, Phyllis Lee and Tim Birkhead, talked entertainingly and at length about what they've learned from long-term studies of elephants and guillemots respectively. Not a lot of this was all that new to me, and Radio 3 is not exactly the most popular of channels, but it was very good that long-term studies were being given the public airing they deserve and, perhaps even rarer, that scientists were given the time to express themselves.
Stewart Butterfield is the chap who accidentally invented Flickr and then Slack. That alone makes him a pretty smart person. He also studied philosophy before deciding to get into software development. I know this because Jeremy Keith in my Huffduffer network liberated the audio of an interview with Ezra Klein from SoundCloud's silo and shared it. 1
The slow process of migrating posts from old backends to new continues glacially slowly, prompted sometimes by a desire to link to something, sometimes by nostalgia, sometimes by lack of a greater priority. Today was a bit of all three. The announcement that ADN will be put out of its misery on 14 March made me wonder about updating all posts that mention it. I decided against that, and in doing so came across a post from about three years ago that continues to exercise me.
What podcasters need, I said, was a good way of finding new podcasts. Not coincidentally, that's also what people who listen to podcasts need. And we're still no nearer to either the human recommendation engines I proposed or to any kind of intelligent algorithm.
A few weeks ago, a professional broadcaster asked me how I managed to get such good audio quality on an episode of Eat This Podcast. Once I'd got over the shock, I just told her that it was Skype (and a teeny bit of judicious tweaking). Every time Skype gives me any kind of trouble, I take a deep br...