We often hear that "discovery" is the biggest unsolved problem in podcasting. I'm trying to address that problem with this newsletter, and the very fact that you've subscribed means you're actively seeking out new podcasts to listen to. But beyond knowing what I do, I don't really know how people find out about shows. So tell me. Reply to this email and let me know the most common way you hear about new shows. I'll share the best tactics next week (spoiler alert: tactic #1 is "subscribe to Podcasts for Nerds", so be sure to tell your friends).
Three great episodes to listen to this week:
- Chaos Engineering at Netflix, WeAreNetflix (51mins, 2019-02-04)
- I find the idea of "chaos monkeys" captivating. A chaos monkey is an automated program that will turn off pieces of a company's key infrastructure without warning; essentially the digital equivalent of running through a data centre and unplugging random cables. In theory it's a great way to test the durability of an online system, and the idea has been championed by the engineering team at Netflix (one of the biggest instances of online infrastructure in the world). I'm not certain who this podcast is for - I suspect it's mostly a recruiting exercise aimed at attracting engineers - but it's very interesting nonetheless. Find it here.
- Productivity 101, Cortex (110mins, 2020-05-11)
- There are a handful of shows where I never miss an episode, but they're hard to recommend to people because the appeal of the show comes from having gotten to "know" the hosts after listening for ages (years, in some cases). Cortex is one of those; beyond "start at the beginning and see if you like it", it's tough to come up with definitive episodes for people to try out. Thankfully a recent instalment has (sort-of) addressed this by handily distilling all their productivity tips into a single episode. (And if you like this one, my best advice is to go back to their first episode and follow along from there.) Find it here.
- The Earthquake, The Big One (30mins, 2019-01-10)
- If you got a kick out of the real-time-disaster-reporting of Floodlines (recommended in issue #6), then you'll love The Big One. Thankfully the premise of this show is speculative (for now). The city of LA sits on a massive geological fault line, and will be hit by a massive and potentially devastating earthquake. But no-one can say when, so preparations are maybe not as thorough as they should be. This excellently-produced show charts what would happen when the The Big One finally hits.
Not a podcast, but...
I'm guessing you've all seen the videos of Spot; simultaneously the cutest and the creepiest robot around. Well now Spot's creators, Boston Dynamics (odds-on favourites for instigating the inevitable robot uprising), are selling Spots to anyone with a spare $74,500 lying around. The most engaging "comercial" application so far is seeing Spot trialed as a sheep dog in New Zealand. Watch the madness here.
As always, feel free to forward this email to someone you think might like it. And if you've been forwarded this email (by someone awesome, no doubt), you can sign up for yourself at podcastsfornerds.com to be sent all future issues.
Thanks again, Tom.
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