The more I analyze podcasts, the more I realize that the building blocks of any good podcast is simply a good conversation. What makes a podcast great isn’t the concept behind it, but the conversations within each episode… We’ve all had these wonderful kinds of conversations, where you don’t know how the hell you went from talking about the KFC menu to the theory of ego depletion.
— Taylor Kalsey, Podcast Prescriptions: Do By Friday
When I first started to listen to podcasts over ten years ago, they were a way to fill a void in my life. I was living in Syracuse, New York, completely separated from my family and friends, before social media was born. The only way I could communicate with people outside of my workplace was by email and a phone call once or twice a month to my parents.
Being an introvert, I do enjoy my quiet. I crave the silence when I’ve had a busy time socializing with people, whether it’s from work, family, or out with friends. It doesn’t really matter what the situation I have been in, I reach a point where I need to get out and into silence.
And yet, I can only handle so much silence.
What I miss most when I’m being quiet is good conversation. This used to be easier when the forms of communication were email or chatting programs like MSN Messenger or ICQ: they were only accessible from computers initially, which meant typing out conversations. Using a keyboard is certainly a lot easier on the hands than typing with one hand on an iPhone these days. That lead to being able to type longer paragraphs, and having a captive audience on the other end because they were likely not doing anything else but talking to you or a few others.
Online conversation isn’t the same as a good conversation in person though. It was close, but missed a crucial element for me: laughter. Hearing someone laugh at something you said is a wonderful feeling, and being able to laugh at something they said is even better. That’s where podcasts came into my life. They filled that void of good conversations with the added bonus of laughter.
It’s been a long journey of listening to some podcasts, watching them die, and then finding new ones to listen to. I’ve mentioned several of my favourites on here before, but haven’t been able to write about Do By Friday properly. Reading Taylor’s review of the show gives me a good reason to bring up the “weekly challenge show hosted by Merlin Mann, Alex Cox, and Max Temkin.”
Taylor wrote a lot about what the show is and why it is so appealing to me. The only thing I can add is it’s an anything goes podcast, with the guests almost trying to out do each other in making the others laugh. It feels like a show for their other hosts, not a show for a captive audience.
There really is no topic they shy away from either. The more crude the topic, the more likely they are going to go all in on it just to see how far the others will go with the topic. They’re both disgusting and fascinating at the same time. They’re grotesque conversations at times.
It’s those conversations that amuse me to no end. They start at one topic and then go down this rabbit hole of twisted questions and responses to end up in a completely different spot that surprises everyone.
The other part of listening to this podcast I enjoy most are the inside jokes that reflect back to topics covered long ago. Listening to one episode may not be as enjoyable as some other shows which is why I suggest people start with an earlier episode and build some steam into the current episodes.
Do By Friday is one of the few podcasts I look forward to listening to each week, and one of the first podcasts I recommend to people looking for new great conversations to listen to.
Check it out: