Geek News Central – the tale of an unsubscribe

I’ve been a pretty avid Podcast listener for over a year now. What started in the beginning with 2006 with someone recommending I listen to The Daily Breakfast quickly grew into a plethora of podcasts. I quickly added more, with many stemming from the tech topics. Right now I have over 40 podcasts in my rotation. In the last year, I’ve added a few, dropped a few, but there has been a core of podcasts that lasted throughout that time. It’s been a while since I’ve distanced myself from one of the “core” podcasts, but this week I’ve decided to cut off ties with an old friend – Geek News Central.

I’ve been struggling with this for some time, and I’ve wondered if it’s a matter of outgrowing podcasts. Throughout the last year, there were podcasts that have been outgrown-able. GNC, however, hasn’t been the case. It’s a podcast that’s well-produced and well-planned, filled with great information. The problem that has been plaguing this podcast, has been the increasing narcissistic nature in the delivery of the content.

I don’t know what’s happened, but over the last few months the delivery of the content has shifted to this way. Now when I listen to the Podcast, each story or topic is given to us this manner: brief explanation of the topic, then right into how it impacts the host, how it impacts him on a personal level, how it impacts his business, his interests, etc. Each episode I’ve listened to over the last few weeks, it’s been tempting to count the number of times “I” or “my” are referenced in the Podcast. It seems to be increasing exponentially.

There’s always been a basic vanity in the podcast. Contrary to most successful radio shows and podcasts – which start with hooking the user to the basic content, and delivering the strongest material first – this podcast has always started with a personal update on the host and his family, usually talking about anything but tech. When users complained about this they were basically given the “my way or the highway” message, clearly unreceptive to critical feedback.

The major pitch of the show is “Tech news for the common man“, but it’s become “Tech news for the host, and if you get something out of it – good for you.” On a base level, there’s nothing wrong with this approach. However, podcasts that don’t concede this hit a glass ceiling. I know that this podcast has aspiration to excel, and in order for it to be successful, some allowances need to be made.

I understand that I am but one subscriber, and in the past anyone critical of the podcast has been basically told “don’t let the door hit you…” However, I know I’m not the first one to feel this way, as my friends have unsubscribed for the same reason. If this podcast is to succeed it needs a critical injection of humility. One can be flexible and make such allowances without sacrificing the ideals of their show. I’m not suggesting the host takes his personality out of the podcast. He can still talk about himself and his family and offer those personal updates – just not at the top of the show. As for the narcissistic delivery – it hasn’t always been like this, and perhaps the show can be challenged to appeal to a broader audience.

Unfortunately I’ve come to a place where I no longer enjoy listening to the podcast, and become increasingly frustrated with hearing a 1 hour manifesto on how the news affects the host. Over time, I’ve taken less and less away from this Podcast, and I fear that I can be entertained elsewhere. It’s sad because this was one of the first podcasts I’ve subscribed to, but it’s time to hit the “delete” key on my subscription.