I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of content I like to cover/research/discuss and started making a map in my head about it. Here’s what I came up with, including a description of each category and some examples. The overarching theme is that it’s all geek/nerd content. So I like to think of it as a categorization of the geek universe. I’m sure I missed some of your favorite categories so please add them in the comments section.
Movies – Mostly Sci/Fi or Fantasy with some occasional thrillers or experimental stuff. Recent examples are 2012, Star Trek, Avatar, etc.. Some of my favorite geeky movie podcasts are The Movielicious and Film Sack.
TV – Again SciFi/Fantasy or Geeky is the rule here. My lineup right now includes Flash Forward, Heroes, Dollhouse, V, Stargate Universe, Sanctuary, Fringe and Doctor Who. I don’t listen to a good podcast about this stuff, though we do tend to talk about it a lot on East Meets West.
Books – A little broader here than just SciFi/Fantasy though dominated by it. I also include geekier off-the-beaten-path interests. That could be non-fiction like anything by Evelyn Wauugh that’s not Brideshead Revisited. Or non-fiction geeking out on things like Guns, Germs, and Steel. I do Sword and Laser to cover Sci/Fi/Fantasy. I wish I liked a good general book podcast. Suggestions?
Comics – I’m not the biggest comics geek in the world by far, but I do enjoy them quite a bit, and go through phases of buying them. I’ve always been a Superman fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m loyal to DC. I also cut my teeth on the Love and Rockets series. I also dearly love online comics like XKCD, Extra Life, WonderMark and the classic grandaddy of them all for me User Friendly. One podcast that covers a lot of these topics, and is done by Web comic artists is Extra Life Radio.
Video Games – I’m also just a dabbler in video games. In the past year I’ve really been enjoying playing World Of Warcraft. I know some cool people who play, but I also agreatly admire the world they’ve created. That said, when I get time I also love playing a good console game. RPGs and driving games are my favorites. I have a rich history in video games though, dating back to my days of Hunting the Wumpus on the TI 99/4A and so am a big fan of classic gaming. Hands down the best World of Warcraft podcast I know of is The Instance.
Tech – This is my job at CNET TV, so I’m probably best at talking tech. I do Buzz Out Loud every day which I think is one of the best daily tech news roundup shows you can get, if I do say so myself. It’s the amazingly smart audience that makes it so. I’m also a great admirer of This Week in Tech, both the show and Leo Laporte’s whole network. But I would remiss if I didn’t also mention Tekzilla with two of the most awesome hosts in Web video, Patrick Norton and Veronica Belmont.
Science – I am and always have been a huge huge fan of science. I’m especially a physics (particle and quantum) and astronomy fanboy. I read Scientific American cover to cover every month. My absolute favorite science show is This Week in Science.
Toys – Another one I was more involved in when I was younger and am now rediscovering an appreciation for. I have a working Doctor Who sonic screwdriver and a Mr. Pink doll from Reservoir Dogs. But I pale in comparison to the real toy collectors out there. I’ve been brushing up on my toy knowledge with the most excellent Toy Break show. You should too. If you like toys, that is.
Fringeware – This is my catch all for oddities, weird stuff, esoterica, pretty much anything covered by Boing Boing. I’ll make an anarchic jumble of examples out of Umberto Eco, RE/Search, Church of the SubGenius and Mashups. One excellent example of a good show on the Net in this category is the incredible Scam School, wherein one Brian Brushwood teaches you how to do tricks in order to scam free drinks. Yes, it is produced by my wife, so you can call me biased, but watch it anyway and you’ll see it’s a damn great show.
World events – This one I struggle with including here. But I think all geeks and nerds are consumed with knowing a little more, or having inside knowledge of, how the world works. I take in The Economist, which gives you a free complete audio edition of every magazine as part of the subscription price. In other words they read the magazine to you. They also have a good free podcast for non-subscribers that they use as a teaser. I also listen to The World Next Week from the Council on Foreign Relations. And I recommend The Phileas Club, a monthly discussion show between people from all parts of the world.