An Accidental Listener – How Podcasts Became A Daily Part Of My Life

My daily morning and evening commutes rely heavily on carrying my iPod and listening to music. I find it hard to start or end my day without listening to my favorite albums or tracks. I like tapping my foot to the beat or kind of singing along to the song in my head. Hey, I’m not crazy to start belting out a song in public, as if I suddenly became part of a Broadway musical.

Music is usually the only thing I listen to. I don’t particularly want to listen to podcasts during my commutes, mainly because the talk radio style is something I only listen to when I need to hear what the weather is or the top news stories of the day. My stance on not adding podcasts to my iPod library eventually changed when I stumbled upon one in particular back in January.

The site At The Buzzer has a podcast celebrating its 100th episode this Thursday. The podcast is hosted by Chris Etling, David Robinson, and Shaun El-Ters. In a lot of ways they are the reason I have started listening to podcasts again, and this post is special because of their 100th episode mark.

ipod_touchI didn’t always not want to listen to podcasts. I used to listen to them back when podcasts were first introduced and became a new type of do-it-yourself radio. I listened to discussions about the latest anime or manga coming out. I even listened to fans of Lost and Heroes discuss character progressions or theories on what the Smoke Monster was or if the Horn-Rimmed Glasses guy could be trusted.

As those aforementioned shows ended and I got bored with the podcasts I was still listening to at the time, I made the decision to eliminate podcasts from my iPod and iTunes. I didn’t feel engaged in what I was listening to, I probably could read the information the podcasts talked about online if I really wanted to, and I preferred to hear music on the go anyway. Imagine my surprise how my no podcast streak got broken because of the At The Buzzer guys.

I was sort of aware of ATB’s website, mainly because they did like a few of my articles from several months ago. I remember skimming their website briefly, mentally filed it away as something to take a closer look at when I had more time, and I just decided to follow them on Twitter for whatever updates to their site they may have.

Back in January I received a direct message from their Twitter account. I was wondering why would someone from ATB randomly direct message me, considering I had zero interaction with them on Twitter. It wasn’t until I looked at the message that I figured out their account got hacked into and it started sending random DM spam to their followers. The message also barely made a lick of sense, something about “Someone is saying bad things about you” followed by a questionable link.

I debated whether or not I should tweet them to let them know about their hacked Twitter account. I never tweeted at them before and I wondered if it’d make a difference to let them know. Being the nice girl I am and thinking it’s just common courtesy to make them aware of this issue to avoid anymore random spam messages getting sent out, I sent the tweet. Shaun usually maintains the Twitter account for ATB, and soon after, I got a response thanking me for letting them know and they changed the password. There were some minor Twitter interactions afterwards, but I figured that would be that and I’d go about my business as usual.

When I was scrolling through my Twitter feed one day to see what was going on with the small amount of people I followed, I saw a tweet rant of sorts from Shaun among the tweets I was scrolling through. I had an opinion I wanted to express in response to the tweet he sent out, so I responded. This was still around the time when I sort of became a little more active on Twitter, but not as much as I am now. I like interacting with people when they say something interesting or I want to express my opinion within the 140 character limit. Little did I know that one of my tweets would eventually get featured on one of their podcast episodes a few weeks later.

When I received a tweet notifying me and a few others about being mentioned in a new ATB episode that week I was confused. All I could think about was, “Why would I be mentioned on their podcast?” Curiosity won me over and I decided to give the episode a listen. I figured I would listen to one episode and then be done with it. As usual my thinking didn’t pan out that way.

I listened to the entire episode and I found myself thoroughly entertained by their podcast––their mixture of humor, video games, general geekery, and some occasional sports talk. That one episode also allowed me to be charmed by their individual personalities and how well they played off each other. It was a strange idea to feel comforted by their podcast, as if they’re friends you have known for years, except they were absolute strangers to me, these three guys who’re based in Arizona.

Whatever their podcast sparked within me, I felt compelled to listen to more of their episodes until I had listened to every last one, including their first episode where they claimed it was one of their worst ones. It really wasn’t as bad as they said it was. The guys of ATB make listening to their podcast a must, and it was easy for me to relate to a lot of what they talked about because they’re all born in the ’80s and grew up in the ’90s like I did. There’s a lot of nostalgia that goes on in their podcast and it makes me reminisce on my own childhood quite fondly.

By following ATB’s website and becoming a regular listener of their podcast, it has changed the way I saw blogging and online interactions. It made becoming a blogger more than just writing and posting articles to get people to read them. It became more about building a community and making online friends who share the same passion and ideas you do. Blogging or doing any other type of media didn’t have to be an impersonal experience, but a way to bring you closer to people you wouldn’t have met without these creative tools at our disposal.

ATB was the catalyst for allowing me to find other podcasts that were fun, informative, and entertaining. If it wasn’t for continually interacting with the ATB crew through their blog, podcast, and Twitter, I (along with a bunch of other wonderful bloggers and media makers) wouldn’t be part of the Geek Force Network which was brilliantly put together by Chris Etling to keep us connected to each other while also providing content people would want to read, watch, or listen to.

As At The Buzzer celebrates its 100th episode on Thursday, this post is my way of telling all of them congratulations on making it this far and for their continued passion and devotion for doing something they enjoy. I truly hope more potential listeners will see what I saw when I made the decision to give the ATB podcast a try that fateful day. You have a listener for life. Also, I ask my followers of simpleek to be sure to check out their website and podcast if you haven’t already. I think it’s worthwhile if you want something funny and entertaining to brighten your day. Maybe give their 100th episode a shot on Thursday. My blogging experience has changed and evolved this year in surprising ways and I think I have At The Buzzer to thank for that. Who knew a simple tweet could change everything?

Other Podcasts I’m Currently Following:

Incoductic

Counter Attack

Game Sammich

I am aware there are other podcasts out there that are just as good as these, and I hope to get around to listening to all of them soon. Either way, listen to At The Buzzer and then try the other ones I’ve listed and discover more you may be missing out on.

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10 thoughts on “An Accidental Listener – How Podcasts Became A Daily Part Of My Life

  1. Simpleek , I religiously listened to all Harry Potter pdcasts years ago, no kidding…. Mugglenet’s,
    Cauldron’s, and some other podcasts. And it was like everyday ! LOL

    • Podcasts are a bit of a time investment, but I think you need to find a few that has people who are likeable as well as keeps their listeners entertained to want to keep coming back for more.

    • There are certainly plenty of podcasts that are great for motivation or entertainment purposes. In this case, I now like listening to podcasts that have a level of entertainment and humor in them.

  2. Aww this was a great post and super sweet of you! I still haven’t really gotten into podcasts that much, not because I don’t love them, but it’s difficult to slot them in. I don’t have the long commute, but that shouldn’t stop me! From now on I resolve to listen to more of all the wonderful podcasts you’ve mentioned!

    • Thanks! :) I think that’s another reason why I gave up on podcasts for a while. They’re almost like tuning into a TV show every week, and you need to set a small amount of time for them. Obviously since finding At The Buzzer and a few other podcasts after them, I’m willing to make time now. My reading, listening, and viewing library has never been this big until recently!

  3. Pingback: This one goes out to the ATB crew | Recollections of Play

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