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You Want Me to Listen to a What?!?!

I started writing this post the first time and it kept coming out like a bulleted list of blah, blah, blah.  You know, it sounded like one of the myriad tech articles out there that you may or may not be aware even exist.  And that isn’t the goal of this blog.  The goal here is to be as real and authentic as possible.

Andrew and I want to share things with you that we find interesting.  Often, those will be things related to technology.  We both LOVE technology.  Other times it will have to do with kids.  I have three myself (Cody 9, Taylor 6, Kenna 5) and Andrew has a little girl (Alex 4).  As loving fathers we can’t help but talk about the kids sometimes.  And of course, sometimes what we share will inevitably include both.  Technology is an ever present and growing part of our children’s lives and it’s my job to help them navigate successfully.

Andrew and I have much in common but our writing styles are somewhat different. His is concise, informative, and interesting. Mine tends to follow more of a stream of consciousness path that somehow manages to find its mark in the end. Usually. I am far more interested in making you smile, or even literally laugh out loud (LOL) ,than I am about regurgitating the latest tech news you can find on every other run-of-the-mill blog. In my mind, my primary job is to entertain you. If you happen to learn something along the way I can’t be held responsible. This is not to say either one of us is better or worse, only different. To get a sense of our personalities, check out an episode of the Digital Dads podcast.

That reminds me.  I started writing this to tell you about podcasts.  I was going to give you a history of this technology and bore you with details like where the term originated and other similar mundane little factoids.  But writing that felt really strange.  The words came out alright I guess, but it lacked emotion and the aforementioned authenticity.  And I believe you deserve better than that.

Podcasting

Where was I? Oh yes, podcasting. Here’s the thing. If you don’t already listen to podcasts you should start. Now. Well, finish reading this post first since I’ve put a solid 15 minutes of blood, sweat, and tears into this already and you dipping out early would simply be rude. But after that, cruise yourself over to iTunes and take a look around. I don’t really care if you listen to our podcast or someone else’s, but you should listen to something. There’s simply too much good content out there now to ignore.

As a matter of fact, you should really do it on your smartphone. If you don’t already have a podcast app on your phone I strongly recommend Pocket Casts. by Shifty Jelly. You can get it for either Android or iOS and though it does cost a couple bucks, the interface is extremely well done.  Andrew and I both scrutinize that sort of thing. User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are some of the most important parts of a solid application. And lots of developers get it very, very wrong. But not in this case. This is a great app to enjoy your favorite podcasts.

What the heck is a podcast anyway?

And don’t worry if you don’t know what podcasting is all about. There are a whole bunch of people who have no idea what they are. But that’s about to change for you. Like, right now. Ready? Ok, here goes. A podcast is a collection of audio files (typically called a “show”) that live on the internet somewhere. They can be found and listened to (downloaded or streamed) though some program (browser, app, etc.) on your computer, tablet, or phone. That’s it. Mystery solved. There’s a whole lot more to learn about podcasts if you’re so inclined but that’s all you need to know to enjoy listening to them.

Podcasting is the next big thing.

So what’s the big deal anyway? For starters, the medium is open to anyone. If you have something of value to share with people there has never been an easier way to get that message out there. Cutting through the clutter is another story, but job #1 is to create amazing content. That stuff has a tendency to get shared. But the bottom line is that this technology makes it possible for quality audio to come from anyone and anywhere. And there are hot new indie producers popping up every day. But the small guys aren’t the only ones jumping into podcasting.

There are lots of big name players (Brian Williams, Dave Ramsey, Jillian Michaels, etc.) that realize how powerful it is to speak directly to their fan base. And for the audience, it’s a way to connect with their favorites in a more casual and intimate way. Plus, the number of topics you can listen in on is amazing. From economics to technology, the options are unbelievable. If you cruise around for any time at all I guarantee you will find at least a couple shows you will absolutely love.

Nobody has time for this crap.

Ok, ok, so now you realize there is definitely something up your alley in the world of podcasting. But between work, kids, exercise (on a good day), and sleep… who has time to listen to podcasts. Well… you do. Here’s what I mean. It is highly probably you have a commute of some kind every day to and from your job. Thirty minutes on average around the country. And it’s also very likely you have a smartphone. If you begin the habit of listening to podcasts on the way to and from work you’ll consume an average of 10 episodes each week. Many cars come equipped with bluetooth or an audio jack for your phone but if not, you can always pick up a bluetooth FM transmitter like I use to get the job done.

Considering your thoughts are the primary factor in the results you are getting as a person, spouse, and parent, it is critical you control what goes into your mind on a daily basis. Zig Ziglar used to call it “automobile university” and thanks to podcasts it’s never been easier or more entertaining. So I want to implore you to put away the excuses and start listening tomorrow. There a whole other world out there just waiting to be explored.

The bottom line.

Podcasts are cool. Start listening now. Welcome to the future.

Peace.

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