Podcasts: What I listen to

I thought you might want to know what podcasts I listen to, for no other reason than seeing what motivates me, what gives me ideas, and where I learn stuff about operating a small business.

But then you might be wondering what a podcast is. According to Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast, “a podcast is like an on-demand radio or TV show, but you can download every episode automatically through the Internet by subscribing for free with an app on your computer or smartphone. There are audio or video podcasts about almost any topic you like, and the engaging conversations are hosted by people like you and me.”

I listen to quite a number of podcasts, roughly sorted into the following categories:

  • history
  • business / photography
  • writing
  • other stuff


I like discovering things I don’t know or have forgotten about from the past. It’s probably one of the reasons I’m into collecting stuff and photographing artifacts.

  1. Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage – this podcast goes behind the scenes at Canada’s national library and archives centres at seemingly random intervals.
  2. History Extra Podcast – BBC History Magazine editors and writers interview authors, scientists and historians about a variety of mainly British history events and people in interesting and thought-provoking ways.
  3. ROMCast: The Uncatalogued Stories – this newish podcast by the Royal Ontario Museum showcases the people behind the exhibits at the museum and gives candid insights into creating and maintaining museum displays and services.
  4. The National Archives Podcast Series – This series from the British National Archives consists of audio recordings of talks presented at the National Archives Centre at Kew. They tend to delve deeply into topics concerning history, the holdings of this archives and others, and data retrieval techniques. Often the presenters are authors who have just released a new book, but often as not, the presenters are staff at various archives and museums.
  5. National Museum of Australia – Audio on demand program – This series of talks by staff and guests of the National Museum of Australia varies in subject from Landmark Women, and World War I in Australia, to Preserving Your Boots and Hats. It is a huge and interesting collection of talks, complete with transcripts. The staff often go into a fair bit of detail on how to maintain historic artifacts.
  6. Stuff You Missed in History Class – Tracy and Holly mine the annals of history to bring you fairly well researched coverage of historical events, people and places.
  7. Stuff You Should Know – Josh and Chuck have been delving into the mysteries of science and history for over 800 episodes. It’s an oddly entertaining show by two intelligent, yet engaging hosts.

Business / Photography

I am trying to run a photography business, so it makes sense to do more than a little research into best practices for running a business, especially a photography business.

  1. Creative Warriors – Get past the hokey warriors analogy and this is a pretty good podcast on operating a creative business. Every episode is an interview with a different business guru.
  2. Photography Marketing and Business Podcast – Rosh Sillars shares his ideas for photographers and creative professionals about business, marketing, social media and digital advertising. It’s a monologue so it can get a tad preachy, but the ideas are sound.
  3. Full Time Photographer with Josh Rossi – This one’s gone dark as of February 2016, so the link is to the Apple Store listing. Listening to the 299 back episodes wouldn’t be a bad idea, as this was a bi-weekly interview show with photographers around the world.
  4. The Business of Photography – Sprouting Photographer Podcast – This is well worth listening to, even though he often touts his own product, “Sprout Studio.” He has to make a living and the podcast is free. Biweekly show, with interviews and discussions about the business of photography.


As a photographer and as a disaster recovery coordinator, I do a lot of writing. Business owners, especially in the early days when they can’t afford a writer, write all manner of documents, from contracts, to blogs. Even advertisements, where we’re trying to convince people to buy our services. These podcasts help me with this.

  1. B2B Writing Success Podcast – Master B2B copy writer Steve Slaunwhite gives tips on B2B copywriting, landing clients, and growing your freelance B2B copywriting business. Even if you aren’t a freelance copy writer, these tips and ideas can help you with your persuasive writing.
  2. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, is “Your friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language.” Always entertaining, blissfully brief, and very informative, I look forward to this weekly podcast.

Other Stuff

There are a couple of podcasts that reflect other interests I have.

  1. The Audacity to Podcast – Even if you aren’t in a hurry to start a podcast, Daniel J. Lewis provides interesting nuggets of information relevant to SEO and presentation that are well worth the listen. If you are interested in starting a podcast, his information is hugely valuable.
  2. Bookbinding Now – Recording technique has generally improved, making this an interesting, eclectic set of interviews with book arts people (printers, binders, artists, archivists). The show is based in New York City, but interviews have ranged across the planet.
  3. TEDTalks – Short, dynamic, always thought provoking, TEDTalks have been spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less) since 1984. TED started as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Best viewed as videos, I rarely have time to watch them as I listen to them in the car so I subscribe through iTunes.
  4. Wood Talk – I’ve always wanted to get into building wooden projects and these three hosts are entertaining and informative, with a deep knowledge of the craft of woodworking.

So that’s a quick jaunt around my podcast player. I hope one or two appeals to you.

This blog is published every Monday at 9:00 am, Eastern Standard Time. If you have comments, questions, or can think of a better approach, feel free to leave a comment. I’ll try to get back to you with a pithy answer.

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