"An information diet is not about consuming less; it’s about consuming right." – Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet
I think it's important to take a look at what you're consuming in terms of content fairly regularly. I've done so when it comes to a lot of the information I consume, be it the websites I read, the apps I use, or the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. I've shared my "podcasting diet" in the past, but it's been over two years since I've done so and the information there is sorely outdated.
Now these changes to my podcast diet didn't happen all at once, but slowly over the past two years. In fact, you'll probably notice some things right away when comparing it to the last podcast diet update:
- I no longer subscribe to any master feeds. First off, 70Decibels has since been acquired by 5by5. Secondly, while I listen to a few shows on 5by5, I don't listen to nearly enough to warrant subscribing to the entire feed. That also means I don't really need to categorize any that live beyond the master feeds either.
- I'm using Downcast as my podcast app of choice. In the past it's been Instacast, but I really like the feature set that Downcast has offered for a long time, so I made the switch in early 2013. Once Marco Arment releases his podcast app, Overcast.fm, I'll check it out. Until then, I'm sticking with Downcast.
- There are shows that I don't subscribe to, but grab episodes of from time to time. Systematic, PreneurCast, Back to Work, Home Work, and Entrepreneur Showdown are examples of these. There's just a lot out there and I can't possibly listen to every episode on a regular basis. Many of the titles that appear in the section titled The Brand New Ones have either just launched or were only subscribed to in the past couple of months. In fact, these podcast titles may either slide off the regular listening diet after a few episodes or move up in the rankings over time. But if a podcast that I don't subscribe to has a guest or topic that interests me, I'll download that episode and give it a listen. (And occasionally those episodes actually draw me in enough to subscribe to the podcast.)
Note: Before I reveal what has become my 2014 Podcast Diet, I'd like to discuss how thrilled I am that the podcasting medium has really started to explode in the past couple of years. In fact, there's an entire conference coming up in Dallas in August that revolves around the medium. It's called Podcast Movement, and since I am a podcaster I've committed to being there. If you're interested in checking it out and learning more about the event, click here. It's going to be informative and a lot of fun.
The Returning Ones
Some of these titles have been part of my podcast diet for nearly three years. One managed to stick around for two, as it was just added to the mix in the last update.
- The Accidental Creative: Todd Henry's podcast is still a regular listen for me. It's short and offers practical advice and actionable items that you can apply right away. The Accidental Creative is a great listen that anyone who listens to podcasts can (and should) make time for regularly.
- Mac Power Users: The longest podcast on the returning podcast list, it is the lone 5by5 podcast that I subscribe to (only because subscribing to my own would be cheesy). David Sparks and Katie Floyd talk about all things Mac for over an hour, and I always wind up being entertained and informed every time I listen. If you're a Mac user and want to get more out of your Mac, then Mac Power Users is a great addition to your podcast diet.
- HBR IdeaCast: Smart people saying smart thing in short bursts. That's why I listen to HBR IdeaCast regularly.
That's all for the retuning ones. Some of the ones I dropped are because they are no longer produced (Creatiplicity, Enough) or I just didn't keep up with them as much as I had in the past.
The New Ones
There have been a lot changes in my diet, which resulted in a slew of new podcast subscriptions. I've been listening to some of these for nearly two years, while some have only been part of my podcast diet for a few months.
- The Fizzle Show: This is my weekly must-listen. Imagine the feel of the old You Look Nice Today podcast, but jam-packed with stellar advice for entrepreneurs and you've got The Fizzle Show. The trio of hosts (Chase Reeves, Caleb Wojcik, and Corbett Barr) have great chemistry and offer a ton of information in a very entertaining package. Listening to The Fizzle Show is certainly time well spent.
- Unmistakable Creative: Srinivas Rao's podcast is a great listen. It's tough for me to describe why I like it so much, so I'll let Unmistakable Creative's About page do it for me.
- Beyond the To Do List: I've been listening to Erik Fisher's Beyond the To Do List since it launched, and he has had a ton of killer episodes during a run that has spanned about a year and a half. If you're a fan of all things productivity, then this podcast needs to be a part of your podcast diet.
- Talk is Jericho: I'm a pro wrestling fan, but Chris Jericho's podcast offers so much more than that. He's a great talker and interviews a wide variety of people whether they are in the acting profession (like David Koechner and Adam Carolla), musicians, or people he knows from the pro wrestling business. He publishes a new episode every Wednesday and Friday, and I rarely skip an episode. Definitely worth taking a look at if you're into an entertaining podcast.1
- The James Altucher Show: James Altucher is a smart guy. After reading his most recent book, Choose Yourself, I saw that I was firing up a podcast. It's still fairly new, but is incredibly entertaining and informative. He gets great guests, which is always a bonus.
- This is Your Life: While at New Media Expo earlier this year, Michael Hyatt explained to those attending his solo session that his podcast was something he'd considered dropping. But after conducting his reader survey he realized that it was one of the things his readers appreciated and listened to regularly. (Spoiler Alert: I was one of those respondents.)
- Inside the Jungle: I'm not only a wrestling fan, but I'm a Cincinnati Bengals fan. I've been one since I saw the orange tiger-striped helmets as a kid in 1981, and I've stuck with them ever since. Inside the Jungle is a podcast that is produced by Cincy Jungle, which is an SB Nation site, and it's one of the podcasts I listen to in order to get my football fix every week.
The Brand New Ones
Almost all of these shows are less than a year old, with only two of them having greater longevity. These have only been part of my podcast diet since mid-January at the earliest.
- People Who Know Their Sh*t: This podcast is another new kid on the block, but Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu have put together a conversational podcast that really works. Not only that, but they also integrate video into episodes as adjuncts from time to time.
- The Portfolio Life: Jeff Goins finally has a podcast. I really enjoy his writing, so I decided to listen to his podcast. Now I'm really enjoying his writing and his podcast.
- The Owner's Mind: I've always enjoyed Chris Brogan's speaking, so now that he's got a new podcast that he's unleashing on a regular basis I've added it to my podcast diet.
- Chris Ducker's Podcasts: Chris Ducker has a couple of podcasts that I've been listening to regularly — Virtual Freedom and The New Business Podcast — and they've been both inspirational and motivational. If you're an entrepreneur, these are two podcasts worth exploring.
- UnStuckable: This is another new podcast I've added to my diet, and it covers an area that I like to keep tabs on: stuckness. If you find yourself moving slowly, or even in the wrong direction, then you may want to give some episodes of UnStuckable a listen and then subscribe.
- Smart Passive Income: Pat Flynn is incredibly smart, and I've learned quite a bit since subscribing to his podcast. He also has another one that is shorter called Ask Pat, but Smart Passive Income is the one I listen to regularly.
For the purposes of this article, I also tried to calculate how much time I spend listening to podcasts every week. I used the average length of each podcast, took into account the frequency of publication, and came up with some startling results:
- On average, I receive 1013 minutes of subscribed podcasting goodness into Downcast every week. That amounts to 16.9 hours of content.
- If I divided that amount into a daily listening regimen, I'd be listening to 2.4 hours of podcasts per day.
- The average episode length of the podcasts I listen to regularly is 53.3 minutes. Actually, most of the podcasts I subscribe to have a running time of 60 minutes or more.
- Only two of the titles I subscribe to publish more than once a week regularly (Talk is Jericho and Chris Ducker's Virtual Freedom podcast).
- Almost every podcast I listen to publishes weekly. In fact, only one of them has not released an episode in the past week (The Accidental Creative).
So...how do I keep up with all of the titles that are in my podcasting diet? Well, I don't have any kind of commute to the office, which is where a lot of people I have talked to spend listening to podcasts. I am also reading a lot more this year, and added an Audible account to the mix. That means I'm also listening to books this year, which is something I haven't done regularly before.
It turns out that most of my podcast listening occurs when I'm doing household chores. Things like washing the dishes or mowing the lawn are easy to do and actually more enjoyable when I'm listening to podcasts. I spend my evening hours reading or listening to books on Audible, but also occasionally listen to one of my more leisurely podcast listens like Talk is Jericho or Inside the Jungle as the day draws to a close.
I also don't necessarily listen to every single episode of the podcasts I've subscribed to every week. There are episodes I bypass completely and others I save until I'm in more of a mood to take them in. That's the great thing about today's technology: you get to decide how and when you want to consume content, no matter the medium.
If you'd like to check out all of the podcasts I've listed here, you can download the OPML file and import it into Downcast (import instructions here), Instacast (import instructions here), or your podcatcher of choice.
Do you have any podcast recommendations for me? Let me know of any show titles or particular episodes I should listen to in the comments below.
1 My only gripe with the show is that, like all Podcast One shows, it takes a while to get to the episode itself. Luckily, Downcast can help you skip past all of the sponsorship messages fairly quickly so that you can get to the good stuff sooner.