My Idols

After finishing up the last TWIT of 2009, I got to thinking who I aspire to be like. If you didn’t know, I like podcasts. There are several I like but the main ones are This Week in Tech, Buzz Out Loud, MacBreak Weekly, Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me, and The Drunk Tank.

This Week in Tech, also known as TWiT, founded by Leo Laporte features a different set of co-hosts each week. The hosts I enjoy hearing from the most are of course Leo, then Jason Calacanis, and John C. Dvorak. Since the panelists rotate / are different each week there aren’t a number of people who are consistently on the show.

Leo Laporte is the founder of the TWiT network which now produces so many shows a week, that it’d be impossible for me to listen to them all. He’s quite well-off and enjoys what he does for a living. He dropped out of college to pursue a career in broadcasting and did a heck of a job making a name for himself. You may not have heard about him, but that doesn’t change the fact that he produces the single most popular podcast in the iTunes store (for free of course). He has almost any gadget you can think of and buys almost every new Apple computer when it comes out on a whim. If I had that kind of purchasing power, look out Apple, you’ll be short one heck of a Mac Pro.

Jason Calacanis is so exuberant that it’s hard to not like him. He’s energetic and he’s funny. He does a hilarious impression of Christopher Walken and he owns a Tesla Roadster. He’s an entrepreneur and appears on TWiT less often as I’d like, but hey, he’s a busy guy. oh, and he created mahalo.

John Dvorak is the resident old guy of TWiT and always has something witty to say or talk about. He’s somewhat cranky and knows what he likes to talk about. If he can’t get the rest of the ‘cast back on track, no one does. He’s infamous for not wanting to talk about Twitter because most of the stories are pointless.

Buzz Out Loud is produced daily and features Tom Merrit and Jason Howell every day. The other person(s) is/are different each day. Molly Wood, Brian Tong, Natali Del Conte, Brian Cooley, and Rafe Needleman rotate each day of the week pending availability.

I can really identify with Tom Merrit, full-time geek journalist, who plays a pivotal role in the podcast. He plays WoW recreationally, knows quite a bit about tech and various tech topics. At first glance you might think he’s a plain kind of guy, but I like his personality. He brings up his home and personal experiences with tech outside of talking about tech news. He brings experience in both responsible journalism and living the life of a geek surrounded by technology.

Molly Wood is known for her rants. She gives the audience a piece of her mind and isn’t afraid to give an opinion, be it positive or negative, about a company or product. While varied, her mood is generally up-beat, as is preferred for broadcasting. She’s fun to listen to above all else

Macbreak Weekly also being a podcast from the TWiT network, is of course hosted by Leo Laporte, Alex Lindsay, Andy Ihnatko, and Scott Bourne. Simply four guys talking about Apple, past present and future. They all use Mac’s and have brought up once or twice the fact that so many geeks use mac’s because they value their time and don’t want to have to deal with using a PC. The show eventually wanes into discussion about something else but it’s almost always relate-able to Apple. Having already spoken about Leo, I’ll talk about the other three.

Alex Lindsay isn’t so much of a person I look up to as an interesting individual. He founded a video production guild called The Pixel Corps. It’s basically a way for those interested in the production of movies and digital media to get training for future careers. He’s in studio much of the time, and rarely has something very fer off-color to contribute. On the show he has a reputation for vetting expensive products, and thus 1 Alex is worth $700.

Now Andy Ihnatko is a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times and definitely someone I could strive to be like. Is it weird that most of the people on this list are writers or in the business of expressing themselves in a civilized manner? In any case, he’s knowledgeable and witty, which I really like. Like the other guys, he uses a Mac and contributes quite a bit to the discussion about Apple products. For his job he reviews various technology and phone related products, so he knows a lot about that market. That leads to valuable insight toward what Apple could be doing with their mobile platform, namely the iPhone.

Scott Bourne has Drobos out the wazoo. The amount of tech he gives away puts some less civilized contests to shame. He’s mostly a photographer for his day job, and has to put all of those pictures somewhere, so they go on Drobos. They have a jingle, “Put all of your stuff on a Drobo”.

The members of the following podcasts I don’t know very much about, so I can’t call them “idols” or “luminaries”.

Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me is a weekly news show usually recorded in downtown Chicago at the Chase Auditorium. The show has different parts to it but each generally consists of questions regarding the week’s news, and listeners playing for Carl Kassel’s voice on the answering device of their choosing. The show is hosted by Peter Sagal, Carl and any of three panelists from a long list of guests. Look it up if you’re interested. None of these people are really my idol, I thought I owed you an explanation as to why it’s a favorite podcast.

The Drunk Tank is pushed out weekly and it’s my source for news and opinions on video games, geek movies, and an inside look at the guys behind Red vs. Blue. What started out as a few episode test project, turned into a weekly podcast which is always entertaining and funny to the discerning geek. Usually in attendance is Burnie Burns, Gus Sarola, Geoff Ramsey, and Joel Haymen. The group starts out talking about something relevant then it turns into a few guys simply talking about whatever they want. It’s usually interesting but none of those guys I really look up to.

This is what I did to have something to show for my day. I’d say it was a pretty productive Thursday, though I don’t know when the day skipped from Sunday to today. The rest of the days must have gone missing and shoved me headfirst into the second half of the week.


2 responses to “My Idols

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