Motivation is the key to success, but first you need to find it. A picture of a Gisele's abs taped to the refrigerator and a #bossbabe mug seem like a reasonable place to start. Little Everywhere's gym membership has lapsed and someone drank the office coffee and never replaced it, so we've found another source of motivation. Lists. Lots and lots of lists.
We're getting through the week with our list of Podcasts Done Right, a compilation of shows and episodes that inspire the Little Everywhere team for different reasons. Will they inspire you, our fellow podcasters? Print this post and tape it to your fridge to find out.
We’ll preface this by saying that anything Jonathan Goldstein puts out into the world deserves to be on this list. Heavyweight is a favorite, though, because he’s applying the rules of investigative journalism to such an unusual concept: scrutinizing a life-changing moment of regret. His voice comes through really clearly, which just makes the show sound unlike anything else out there. — Jane
Another Jonathan Goldstein production, another inspiring podcast. With WireTap, he’s clearly having fun with the format. It all comes together like a variety show of storytelling, conversation and whatever happens to be going on in Goldstein’s brain at any given moment, which is an uncommon approach to podcasting — and it works. Let that be the lesson. If you have a strong voice, an original point of view and high production value, you can do anything. — Jane
The Daily is proof that you can pull off a quality show on a ridiculously tight schedule. Yes, The New York Times has access to resources that most of us don’t, but you don’t get that production value without running a really tight ship. Research, writing, production, editing — the cycle is continuous when a new episode is due each morning.
It’s especially noteworthy because the show always offers a fresh take on a given topic. They might take inspiration from a print story, but it never feels like a rehash of something we’ve already read in the paper. The way it’s fleshed out makes it feel new, which isn’t an easy feat. —Dann
If you’re looking for a benchmark for sound design and music, it doesn’t get much better than this. — Jane
This is one of the simplest, most elegant programs out there, and it consists mostly of eavesdropping on couples’ therapy sessions. With a very cinéma vérité mood, Esther Perel (its incredible host) enters only for transitional narrations. You don’t have to do have a huge budget or do something totally over the top to make an impression on your listener. — Jane
This American Life deserves a spot on this list, but Episode 323 gets its own kudos. Here’s an example of a story that relies solely on the talent of the storyteller, Josh Bearman. As a producer at TAL at the time, I was logging this interview as it happened and fell out of my chair laughing. I just told everyone after that the part of the story where there’s no transcript is the whole piece. When you’re considering interview subjects, remember that how a person delivers information can be as important as the information itself. — Jane
So you love Ectofolk music or autonomous cars or.... beef and dairy? Just about any passion can serve as a springboard for a podcast, as this entertaining show can attest. The trick is framing the topic to appeal to an audience beyond your bedroom walls. It may require broadening your subject (say, to automotive technology rather than just autonomous cars), so get feedback from friends/potential listeners on what might make your obsession equally appealing to them. Actually, that's a great exercise for any podcaster, regardless of genre. It’s easy to lose sight of the audience’s needs when you’re pouring your heart and soul into a project. — Christian
Doug Loves Movies
We tend to think of podcasts as following specific formats (investigative reporting or studio interviews come to mind), but Doug Loves Movies is recorded during reliably funny live shows at UCB. We hate to belabor the point, but we’re going to anyway: podcasts come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t feel confined by what everyone else is doing. What if your big idea changes the future of podcasting? — Jane