This isn’t ‘Nam this is Podcasting, there are rules..

Or at least there should be.

I love my podcasts. They keep my brain from going 1000 other annoying places that my daily life might take me if I let it. I think they make me a smarter and happier person. And there are so many to listen to I can barely keep up with even the top 10 that I have on my list (note to self .. podcast completion-ism is as as bad as twitter completion-ism.. get over it,  see also @caseyliss).

I think there is plenty of room for any view that is out there. And I don’t object to any of them being out there, with maybe one exception. Be professional, don’t abuse your audience.

There are a number of famous cases where podcasters have got a little power hungry and figured this is ‘mine’ and I can do whatever I want. I gave up on Leo Laporte after a incident when he kicked a host off ‘his network’ for questioning Leo’s use of loaner and demo product. It was mostly the maniacal way he did it rather than the parting of ways that put me off listening to him. (PS apparently that behaviour has continued since ) I kind of view my listening to someone on a podcast as a ‘vote’ even more so when I add memberships, donations or patreon support to it.

Recently many of my podcasts have added various community features such as a Slack Room to discuss and participate with the hosts. In the case of one particular podacaster, I really wish he hadn’t. I got to see him haranguing his audience. Extolling how he wasn’t stiffing opinion, just correcting the factual errors of all those ‘mistaken’ listeners that were disagreeing with his stand on an issue. Arguing on the internet is probably nothing new but it was just the bully pulpit aspect of it that I found distasteful. In the end, like any other customer, I voted with my feet. Deleted the account and cancelled my patreon support.

I’m sure there is a place for shock jocks on podcasts the same as TV and Radio. And if that is someone shtick then so be it but that wasn’t the case here. There doesn’t have to be many rules but there should be a few… this isn’t ‘Nam. Otherwise your just in the house of pain.

My 10 Years of Podcasts

I remember when Apple added podcasting to iTunes. I was in Philidelphia for the 2005 NECC conference shortly after Apple . The poor Apple folks attending NECC held a ‘presentation’ on what this meant – in a situation they clearly hadn’t been prepped for themselves. Apple employees almost never ‘ad lib’ but they held it together and managed to deal with the buzz that the announcement created. I even had my first podcast meetup with Steve Dembo at NECC.

Those of us already using iPodderX or something similar were interested but it didn’t quite feel like a huge deal. We were mostly wrong. iTunes and specifically the iTunes Store podcast listings was the game changer. The podcast clients slowly quickly died as the directory drove the way you added and deleted podcasts. That wouldn’t change again until the slow to the table Apple Podcasts App opened up third party IOS applications as the new Podcast consumption method of choice.

In the early days there were some noteable leaders. I had a lot of Leo Laporte, Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code and the ever present Ken Ray. As I look at my list today; well Ken is still here but alot of the others are gone. Leo turned into too much of the crazy uncle to be palatable in the long run. MacBreak Weekly was the ‘who’s who’ of the Apple world and really got me into Merlin, Andy, and Alex. And I still follow them around various podcast networks.

The real change happened shortly after the iTunes change. The podcasts that weren’t linked to tech took off. While the tech shows are staples of many podcast lists and listening they are so much more than that now. For me its the aviation podcasts like Airplane Geeks and [Airline Pilot Guy][apg]. I’m also more tlikely to listen to my favorite CBC radio show – Under the Influence – as a podcast than via the electromagentic waves throught the air.

If Adam Curry styled himself as the ‘podfather’, Leo Laporte was creating the United Artists or RKO of podcasting. And that’s been the story of the last few years they rising and morphing or podcast ‘networks’. Dan Benjamin’s Five by Five as been an incubator of many including spinoff networks.

5by5 absorbed Mike Hurley’s network and then it re-birthed RelayFM. There’s Moisés Chiullán’s Electric Shadow Network (ESN) and British Tech Network. And for Canadian sources there’s Rene Richie’s and iMore, Chris Enn’s and Goodstuff FM. Between these networks and my independent podcasts there are more hours of podcasts than I can fit in a day. I regularly need to declare episode bankrupcy. I must admit I stay away from the ‘mainstream’ media podcasts such as NPR, CBS, BBC or similar. Inevitably I find one new podcast from another podcast I’m already listening to. I probably change out 5 or 6 podcasts a year.

My Podcast Roll
I still listen to MacOS Ken on a daily basis. A true ‘never miss’ for the pure mac geek. I enjoy almost everything from RelayFm. Individual podcasts like Airline Pilot Guy, The Airplane Geeks, Accidental Tech Podcast, and Victoria’s own Mike Vardy with Productivityist. Probably the one outlier is AOPA Live which is the only video podcast on my list at this point.

If I had to guess, I’m expecting much of my series TV watching to move to video podcasts but that will be for the next 10 years to decide.

On Gratitude and Flying

On the recent Airplane Geeks episodes there have been some excellent stories of getting started in flying. I appreciated Rob Mark’s comments on his finding a flight instrutor that helped engage his passion for flying in the Bits and Pieces IX. The episode with Stephen Tupper included discussion on the CAP program that educates thousands of young people about aviation.

David’s note on Congratualations, Thanks and Encouragement from Episode 230 inspired my own desire to spread a little gratitude. Like David’s daughter getting a scholarship from the Soaring Society of America I started my career as a glider pilot courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

I couldn’t tell you when I started thinking about airplanes. As far back as I can think I had the desire to fly. In elementary school there would be a assignment to go out and draw something we saw and I’d look up and see a contrail and produce a detailed side on view of a DC–8 in the appropriate airline livery.

Canada along with other common wealth countries like Austrailia and the UK, have the legacy of the wartime cadet program. No longer with the same focus of preparing for military service, they remain one of the largest youth programs in the country. Every year hundreds of cadets get their wings and the dream of flying is realized. There’s even a facebook group called Cadets Made Me a Pilot

Well about 30 years ago they made me a pilot. While I never made a career out of it, it would take a major calamity in my life to ever give it up. I owe that and a large amount of gratetude to all those that helped me get that set of wings. When times would get hard, I would push myself to remember the fundementally cool things about being me and being a pilot is what I would always think of.

In the Right Stuff, they spoke of being ‘on top of the pyramid’ well if that still is a thing there is a ex-Air Cadet named Chris Hadfield orbiting the earth in command of the International Space Station. That is very, very cool. Cadets made him a pilot too, although you got to figure he probably would have got there anyway. For many of us Cadets or other avaiation scholarships were probably our only shot.

I’m grateful for the work that organizations like AOPA and COPA do to make flying accessable to people. And help break the sterotype that those of us that fly are some idle rich that can afford triffling pastimes. To many it is also a career but not always a glamorous a one as many make out.

As podcasts like the Airplane Geeks and Airspeed show, Whehter you have the piece of paper or not, Flying is a passion, an avocation, something to be embraced and enjoyed.

Thanks.