Back in the 2000s, when blogging was a thing, I was at a party and someone mentioned offhand that I had a blog. Someone else blurted out, “Oh, me too!” We left it at that. But a friend asked me why I didn’t let on that my blog got hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, or that millions of people had read me over the years. The point is that there were people who had blogs, and other people who had blogs.
I was reminded of that by this piece in Have We Hit Peak Podcast?. I first heard about podcasting in the middle of the 2000s. I started listening to podcasts around 2008 or so, on my old iPod shuffle. It wasn’t until 2016 that I actually started contributing to my own podcast (on genetics and evolution).
So let me quote from The New York Times piece:
But six episodes in, when neither Casper mattresses nor MeUndies had come knocking, the friends quit. Today, Ms. Mandriota says the same D.I.Y. spirit that made having a podcast “alluring” is precisely what doomed the project. “You can talk about the trees outside as much as you want, but if you’re not going to serve listeners and do it in a way that’s engaging, your chances of going viral are low,” she said, calling her show “the most makeshift podcast, with mediocre advice.”
An advice podcast from randoms? On the Browncast you can listen to Shadi Hamid, one of the world’s “top 50 thinkers”, or a conversation with an Indian American getting an arranged marriage. You can listen to discussions about the internecine conflicts in American conservative politics, or a first-person recollection of partition.
The reason there are 50+ episodes of the Browncast is that we have something to say. It’s “peak podcast” for those who don’t have something to say.