Tag Archives: podcasting

New podcast – Games at Work

I’ve  been podcasting fairly regularly for the past few years, primarily with my good friends Michael Martine and Michael Rowe over in Durham, NC on a weekly show called Dogear Nation.

As I’ve travelled more, and as we’ve all got more busy, it became harder to keep that momentum up. I know I, for one, was tired and looking for some fresh inspiration. When we reached episode 200 last year, we announced a hiatus.

This year, we’re starting to ramp up something new. Same presenters, different format – going back to basics, if you will. Probably not weekly, more likely every two weeks… but continuing to explore some of the themes we’d been looking at around how gaming technology and concepts can influence business, work and productivity.

We’re still working on branding etc but you can grab the first episode of Games at Work right now via the existing site. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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OggCamp approaches!

I’m getting quite ridiculously excited about an upcoming event…

I’m good friends with the team from the Ubuntu UK Podcast and have been privileged to be invited onto the show as a guest host twice now. They’ve partnered with the Linux Outlaws to create OggCamp for the past three years and this year, finally, I’m able to attend. I admit that it helps that the venue this year is reasonably local for me! I’ve also volunteered to assist as official Crew for the event, so I’ll either be very visible, or barely visible at all :-)

I’ve blogged fairly frequently about my OSS, Linux, podcasting and social passions so I imagine it’s not a huge surprise to regular readers that I’m excited to finally have an opportunity to be involved. Laura has written about the rapid run-up to the event, and I hear that tickets may be becoming available from returns at the moment, so if you are interested it is worth checking back. I’ve also set up the OggCamp 11 page on Lanyrd if you want to add the event feed to your calendar. I’m also fairly certain that a good gaggle of MQTT geeks will be in attendance (the mosquitto project was born from the first OggCamp in 2009), so I’m looking forward to meeting folks!

Dogear Nation 200, and 250 hours of podcasting

We’re just about to record episode 200 of Dogear Nation, a regular (weekly, barring a few more recent gaps) podcast summing up opinions of what’s new online and in tech.

I actually only joined Michael Rowe and Michael Martine (the co-hosts) as a regular element of the show around January 2009, and by then they had already clocked up 80+ episodes. Either way, I reckon on around 250 hours of recording time, and a little more than that when I include the few episodes I also edited; 2 and a half years of regular podcasting.

So what have I learned from this exercise?

  • Michael Rowe and Michael Martine are extraordinarily generous, friendly, and wonderful guys – I’ve enjoyed working with them and sharing ideas and opinions. I have two amazing friends for life, built through a digital foundation.
  • It’s difficult to keep a weekly podcast going, even with the regular input from listeners. It’s also difficult to drive and expand an audience. We’ve had some great contributors and regular listeners and I’m grateful to them.
  • Preparation is (nearly) everything. Over the course of the past couple of years we’ve evolved the way that we put the show together, finally arriving at a shared Google document where we co-edit the show notes to build the structure of the show. That’s really helped us to build momentum. It’s still good to have some ad-libbing and free discussion of course.
  • Technology keeps evolving. We knew this of course – one of the premises of the show has always been about the bleeding edge of technology and where things have been moving. Well, I think it’s fair to say that over the course of the past few years on the show, we’ve seen various products go from science fiction to the beginnings of science fact.
  • Go with what you know. I’ve had a lot of fun talking about the things that fascinate me and that I’m passionate about. I know that Michael, Michael, and before me, Matt Simpson, have also made their best contributions based on the areas that they’ve known about or have been most curious about. For example, amongst other things, Michael Rowe is a space / NASA buff and a hardcore gamer; Michael Martine is very business-focused, and hates anything that threatens to go near his eyeballs :-)

It’s been a fun couple of years.

Daddy, where did the Internet come from?

I’m a big fan of podcasts. As a podcaster myself, you might expect me to say that. I know many people are not fans, and that’s OK – it’s a matter of taste, I think. For me, it’s convenient to be able to get information while I’m driving, or travelling via some other means or doing something else which makes reading difficult. I like some of the insight that comes out through deeper discussion of a topic, or even from the interaction of several people in a conversation, which you typically don’t get from a written post which is likely to be from one point of view. Audio can take more concentration than reading text, of course, and is difficult to scan, so I can understand objections – like I said, it’s a matter of taste. For me, podcasts need to be interesting, and ideally they need to be short (45 mins max) and easy to consume[1].

One particular podcast series which I came across recently (via epredator) is an excellent series of short pieces from the Open University – it’s called The Internet at 40 (iTunes link). It looks at the origins of the Internet and then covers a series of interviews with some of the pioneers like Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee as well as less well-known people like Donald Davies and Ray Tomlinson. It’s mostly delivered in nice bite-sized 5-15 minute chunks, with only the first piece lasting longer than 20 minutes, and even then, that’s a compelling listen.

Ever wanted to know how this thing called the Internet evolved? I found it fascinating to listen to Donald Davies talking about the genesis of TCP/IP – I’d always understood it at a general level, but hearing these guys discuss the original thinking behind some of the fundamental concepts was really cool. As both an historian and a techie, it was great to listen and see my two worlds collide. Recommended.

[1] the one exception I make to the 45-minute rule are the shows from TWiTMacBreak Weekly and net@night are regular subscriptions, and the latter in particular is great for making new online discoveries. If you have the stamina for something a little longer, the TWiT network has some great shows.

Veronica Belmont on Dogear Nation

Image courtesy of Veronica Belmont under a CC license

Rounding off a very cool week which started with Blue Fusion and would otherwise have ended with TVSMC, on Friday’s edition of Dogear Nation we were very lucky to have Veronica Belmont as our special guest.

For those not familiar with Veronica, I first became aware of her when she was hosting the Maholo Daily podcast. She has since gone on to present Tekzilla on Revision 3 and Qore on the PlayStation Network. Bottom line? She knows her tech (just check out some of the stuff she’s done!) and was a great guest. She was also patient enough to bear with us and get over a, um, technical hitch, which meant that the show runs a little shorter than usual – ask Michael what I’m talking about! :-)

So it was a great show, well worth checking out. If you’re not doing it already, why not tag some of the sites you come across this week with ‘dogear-nation’ on del.icio.us? I’m having a couple of weeks off, so the Michaels will need something to talk about!