Like everyone is saying, Dan comes across really well in this. I don't expect JG will ever give us his take.
RE: never listening to any 5by5 podcasts–I listened to The Talk Show a few times. Maybe it's because I'm used to the dogma of professional broadcasting, but I don't think you've missed out unless you like hearing a couple of guys pause a hell of a lot during an awkward conversation. Almost every episode I heard started with an entirely charmless "Uh, hello?" "Uh is this on?" scenario.
I guess part of the appeal was that it was folksy and just a conversation.
The Talk Show has always been unstructured in my experience. If you listen to some of the other 5by5 podcasts they are much more professionally done - intros/outros, some focus, and sections in some cases. I think Dan is very aware of traditional 'radio' methodology and knows that you do that stuff to guide listeners and give them context. The Talk Show didn't really need that... it was just him and Gruber BS'ing about whatever Apple/tech news was popular that week. Which is fine, because Gruber has some interesting insights on Apple.
Personally, I get that kind of content from the Web already and much prefer deeper analysis of issues. I am a huge fan of Hypercritical because of this, John Siracusa can take a topic and pick it completely apart - and I enjoy picking things apart in parallel while listening. My Talk Show listening was waning in favor of this type of podcast anyway.
I think a big part of the appeal of podcasts is that they don't seem like overproduced, substance-less radio. Gruber has some genuinely good insights, particularly about Apple. I also appreciate that this wasn't some overproduced show with sound effects everywhere.
I'm not saying it should be hosted by the tech equivalent of early morning DJs, but I don't think from what I heard they went into enough depth planning the show. Basically it was Dan Benjamin dragging Gruber over topics until Gruber gets to a point he wants to make, and then Gruber speaks coherently and intelligently for a few minutes, and then there's an awkward pause again and it's back to him being gruff and standoffish and Dan chiming in with what he thinks.
There was so much dead air that I found it really actively hard to listen to. There's no natural flow to the conversation for my ears to acclimate to–a natural groove to fall into when you listen–you cannot passively consume it. You have to be actively listening all the time.
Which is a shame because Hivelogic was one of my favourite weblogs back in the day, and I actually admire Gruber.
I agree. I recently listened to Macbreak Weekly because Gruber was a guest on it, but it was so traditional and produced that I actually didn't like the format. I prefer 5by5 podcasts, especially Hypercritical (as others have mentioned).
John Siracusa ('Hypercritical') spends 5-7 hours a week researching, 1 hour reading numerous responds, 50 minutes in each show responding to follow-ups and spends the remainder of each show (that are between 1h45m-2h30m) on a new topic (in a highly structured way). Give hypercritical a shot (you can start by listening to episodes 42 (18 minutes in) and 43) that discusses Job's biography.
I don't know about that. Just to even get an idea of what you want to edit, you need at least the amount of time it takes for you to review your raw material, which in this case could be over 2 hours sometimes...
(I work with a lot of audio, though no podcasts, so I may still be underestimating a bit)
I think you and your GP are right on. I edited a short-lived podcast and regularly spent 1.5 hours producing and editing each 25 minute show. Even if you're using good equipment and have a solid connection, producing a tight podcast necessarily takes more effort than is obvious to the listener. That's kind of the point.
Final reasons might be another point why podcasts without much preparation and only the necessary minimum of post-production are common. I don't know the economics of podcast networks but a post-production infrastructure similar to traditional media would probably be go beyond the financial scope.
It's the format and it's not for everyone. More preparation might help – some similar podcasts on 5by5 and elsewhere have more structure –, but was probably not John Gruber's style. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes not. I wasn't too happy about the first episode of the 'new' podcast but I'll certainly listen to some future episodes.
You have to listen to The Critical Path, Horace Dediu talks just the information, and nothing else, these information are mostly eye-opening. Some are interviews with bad quality and not that interesting, but most of the others are crown jewels.
I tried to listen to one once. Just to see what it was about... It started out with Gruber cursing because Dan wasn't on yet or some reason. I gave it a few more minutes; it was like listening in on somebody's private conversation. I didn't get the allure of it at all and killed it.
I don't have the time to internet people chit-chat. I can't do it and work at the same time because I find it distracting. If it was somehow really great and I wanted to listen to it, the best I could offer would be downloading and playing it in the car on a long trip. Just ain't gonna happen.
Do things happen in the podcast that don't make it into a blog post somewhere?
Then you missed it- starting at 4:17 he says "I do really want to wish John all the best with anything he does, including his new show, and I encourage you to give it a try too. You can check it out at its new home on muleradio.net."
"Dan Benjamin comes across in this audio clip as a total class act."
He definitely comes across as that, but I'm not sure he is. My gut tells me there was more meaning behind this that none of us are owed, creating public content from it maybe not be the right move; it shows bigger class not to talk about it.
Dan is "on the air" several hours a week. He also has several high profile co-hosts on the air 1+ hour a week. He is also pretty active on Twitter. Plus he has million(s) of fans/listeners of his shows.
How on earth could he let this go without mentioning it in any way? He couldn't have possibly instructed all his co-hosts not to talk about this situation.
Him being a radio man through the bones (as he recently again explained on his interview with Jeffrey Zeldman) I think he handled this the best way he can. Plus, he knows Gruber has an ever bigger following, so he obviously has every reason to tell the truth, or at least tell something Gruber can live with.
All in all a good short explanation, now we can "move on" and enjoy the other 5by5 shows (tried the new Talk Show, didn't like it at all, but maybe it'll improve).
While I appear to be in a minority, I thought the first episode of the Mule Radio version of TTS was better than the 5by5 version usually was. Yes, it was still rambling, but Gruber was engaged and animated, and that gave the show energy that hasn't been there for a while. The 5by5 version increasingly came across like "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Phone It In."
I really do like 5by5 in general and at least four of their shows are in my standard rotation -- like everyone else commenting seems to be saying, "Hypercritical" is great, with "Back to Work" a close second. "The Ihnatko Almanac" is a fine not-tech show. I like "Build & Analyze" too, although I'm worried it may exceed my quota for parenting-related subjects. (As a childless middle-aged man, it's just so not in my bailiwick.)