Chris Palmer

Strategy, Energy, Education, & Technology

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Every once in a while, I’ll make passing mention that I’m listening to one podcast or another. After explaining that yes, podcasting is still a thing, I’m sometimes asked if I have any recommendations. Look no further, as these are my current favorites. In addition to descriptions, I will provide subscribe links for iTunes and other podcast platforms to make each easy to find.

This is something of a follow-up to a 2005 blog post I did on my old personal website entitled “Learn out loud” (read the recovered post here).


HBR Ideacast (Harvard Business Review)

Like the print publication, the Ideacast by the Harvard Business Review covers a broad range of topics with a business/commerce bend. Episodes often include interviews with Harvard researchers, professors, and published authors. Highly recommended to those with an interest in business.

99% Invisible (Roman Mars)

Hosted by Roman Mars, and funded via kickstarter, 99% invisible is a design podcast unlike other design podcasts. Content generally focuses on architecture and associated design. This is a rather difficult podcast to describe but, with short weekly episodes under 20 minutes, it’s worth anyone giving it a shot.

Here’s The Thing (WNYC)

If you’ve seen 30 Rock, you know the voice of (sometimes controversial) Alec Baldwin. There is no doubt that his voice was a gift created for the radio world. On his podcast, Baldwin has one-on-one discussions with his own friends from the entertainment world. To date, some of his guests have included Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Judd Apatow.

This American Life (Chicago Public Radio)

Hosted by Ira Glass, This American Life profiles true stories from ordinary people. TAL has an archive of nearly 20 years, with hundreds of individual stories. Each episode takes a theme (for example, this week was the “Good Guy”), and includes between 2 and 4 stories related to that theme. Of all my weekly podcasts, there are none I look forward to with as much anticipation as This American Life.


The technology category was (understandably) one of the first to fully embrace the podcasting format. Thanks to a number of well developed podcasting networks, there is no shortage of content in this category.

This Week in Tech (TWiT)

Leo Laporte has been a member of the tech journalism community for literally decades. He was the face of ZDTV, TechTV, and G4TV’s Screen Savers programming, before leaving network TV behind to start his own podcast, which eventually became a network. TWiT is a weekly discussion of the biggest stories in technology, hosted by Leo and anywhere between 2 and 4 guests from the tech journalism community. This is likely the podcast that i’ve been listening to consistently for the longest.

Tekzilla (Revision 3)

Like Leo Laporte, Tekzilla hosts Patrick Norton & Robert Heron also have their histories in traditional television (TechTV and G4). Revision 3 was launched by Digg founder Kevin Rose in 2005, and includes a number of other interesting podcasts. Tekzilla is a casual look at news and trends in technology, the internet, and HD video.

Vergecast (The Verge)

The Vergecast is a weekly tech news program in an almost identical format to the more-mature ‘This Week in Tech.’ Topics are generally limited to the big tech news of the week, debated and hosted by a set of 3 regular hosts and the very occasional guest. Most of the content discussed in the podcast is covered in further depth on The Verge website itself.

Top Shelf (The Verge)

Episodes of David Pierce’s Top Shelf are rare. From what I’ve seen, often fewer than one per month. The show is nevertheless quite interesting, generally covering products that don’t typically see the mainstream.

TV Podcasts

Television shows being available as podcasts is nothing new. Global TV offers the national every evening in the format, and NBC offers a wide swath of their own content

Meet The Press (NBC News)

“If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press.” Meet the Press is the worlds longest running television program. Now it’s it’s 66th season and well over 500 episodes, it aims to tackle the hard political questions of the week. Guests often include senators, members of the press, and even members of the executive branch of government. Highly recommended.

The Rachel Maddow Show (NBC News)

If you have more of a liberal bent, you’re going to enjoy Rachel Maddow. Rachel is one of the highest paid television personalities, taking in an estimated $7MM/year, and it shows. Current events are the topic of the day, with nightly guests often from both sides of the aisle.


TED Talks HD

Since I discovered my first TED talk while attending Mount Royal, I generally found and watched my talks via the website. There is something of a selection bias in finding content this way. The TED Talks podcast helps overcome this bias by serving up one or two random new TED talks on a weekly basis from essentially any topic. This is a great way to learn something new that you may not have sought out otherwise.

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