Podcast Roundup

Plus, why can’t podcasters just show up?

Click here for Slate’s Complete Podcast Archive.

Woody Allen once remarked that, “80 percent of success is just showing up” (and trying to find the accurate quote reminded me of how Google in some cases actually makes life more difficult—various quotes and misquotes in my search results put Allen’s “showing up” percentage at anywhere from 50 to 95 percent, and some also say it’s 80 percent of “life,” not “success”).

Sadly, many podcasters have yet to learn the Woodmeister’s lesson. They have launched their new online radio shows out into the world, promoted them to everyone who will listen, even gotten press coverage in some cases. But then they seem to get bored and stop producing new episodes. For example, several of the podcasts I featured in this space a month ago have posted little or nothing new since then.


Therefore, as I offer Slate’s Pod Picks of the Week, I’ll be favoring podcasts that actually show up consistently. It’s a drag to discover a new show you like and then have it disappear.

Which brings us to this week’s PPOTW. It’s a new(ish) daily national talk show that’s almost certainly noton a public radio station near you. It’s called Open Source (podcast feed click here; iTunes link click here), and it’s hosted from Boston by the intellectually omnivorous Brahmin icon Christopher Lydon. (Here’s some background on how and why Lydon left his old NPR-distributed show The Connection.)

Open Source tries to make more use of the Web and bloggers than other programs. Not every edition of the show sings, and Lydon isn’t everyone’s cup of Lapsang, but when he’s good he’s really, really good.


(Disclosure: I once spent several pleasant days with Lydon on a public radio-sponsored tour of St. Petersburg when I was stationed in Russia for NPR.)

And if Open Source isn’t enough to fill up your iPod for leaf-raking duty this weekend, don’t forget Slate’s podcasts from the last week:

Oct. 7 The LBJ Tapes: A Crony for the Court?
Oct. 7 Get That Dog off the (Shrink’s) Couch! ( Slate piece)
Oct. 6 Roy Moore vs. George W. Bush ( Slate piece)
Oct. 5 How Amnesia Cured My Depression ( Slate piece)
Oct. 4 Harriet the Sly ( Slate piece)
Oct. 3 God’s Toilet ( Slate piece)

And you can reach me at Podcasts@slate.com. (E-mail may be quoted unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)