By Jeffrey Rindskopf
The podcast is a medium nearly universal in scope. As with many other innovations in digital media, the format allows just about anyone—provided they have access to some kind of recording facility—to become their own content creators, with easy access to audio hosting services and widespread distribution platforms like iTunes. The result has been a unique new form of broadcasting that knows few boundaries, geographical or otherwise.
Though many of the most popular podcasts remain tied to larger markets like Los Angeles or New York, Seattle has plenty of its own ambitious content creators podcasting about topics that concern them and their city. Chief among those concerns is the impact of changing technologies like podcasts. Here are a few local ‘casts that take their own distinct look at this ever-important topic.
Perhaps the niche approach of Jupiter Broadcasting is best encapsulated by its flagship podcast, The Linux Action Show, which is the world’s most popular podcast covering everything and anything relating to the open-source operating software Linux.
— Jupiter Broadcasting (@jupitersignal) April 23, 2017
The company was founded by Bryan Lunduke and Linux Action Show host Chris Fisher in 2008, and has since expanded to include eight additional video and audio podcasts, each covering a different techie topic ranging from software development on Coder Radio to the problems facing women in tech on Women’s Tech Radio.
Beyond its programming, Jupiter Broadcasting distinguishes itself by streaming all shows live and encouraging viewer interaction throughout the programs, while still hosting all past episodes elsewhere on their site.
Airing Saturdays and Sundays on Seattle’s KIRO Radio, GeekWire is actually radio show made available through most podcast streaming services as well. Like the website for which it’s named, the podcast covers the entire scope of the tech industry with a specific focus upon Seattle, keeping the tone insightful and concise yet still lighthearted enough to listen to on the way to work.
— GeekWire (@geekwire) October 6, 2016
Site founders and veteran tech journalists Todd Bishop and John Cook fill each half-hour show with the week’s must-know tech news, using their considerable connections within the industry to find and condense breaking stories for listeners without oversimplifying them.
Seattle Growth Podcast
The Seattle Growth Podcast isn’t just about technology—it’s about every factor that’s currently transforming the landscape of this booming new media city. University of Washington professor Jeff Schulman hosts this journalistic podcast about Seattle’s past, present, and future featuring insights from many of the area’s most influential political figures and entrepreneurs.
— Professor Shulman (@ProfShulman) April 14, 2017
Schulman conducted more than 100 interviews with subjects like Mayor Ed Murray and CEO of Seattle City Light Larry Weis to create the 13-episode first season, which covers topics as far-reaching as public transit, homelessness, public schools, and of course, the booming tech industry.
At its best, the show feels less like a podcast and more like a historical document, offering a clear-eyed view of a city in the midst of major change, and all the woes and triumphs that come along with it.
For a more freewheeling look at technology—specifically of the video game variety—tune into the monthly podcast Console Obscura, where host Wiley VanWenger is regularly joined by a few friends or family members for a banter-heavy discussion of select video games or consoles.
Us IRL pic.twitter.com/0hDUzf43TM
— Console Obscura (@ConsoleObscura) March 3, 2017
Episodes focus on video games both new and old, so listeners can hear in-depth descriptions of new gaming phenomena like No Man’s Sky or nostalgic remembrances of beloved games from yesteryear like Super Mario Bros. 3. No matter which you choose, each show feels like one long hangout session, while still going a long way to legitimize video games as an art-form and cultural touchstone worth discussing.
Who hosts your favorite tech podcast? Drop us a line in the comments. New suggestions are always encouraged.