Over the last few years I’ve been an avid listener and occasional participant in the BBC’s podcast “Pods and Blogs” devoted to happenings on the web. This week see’s the podcast undergo a major relaunch and with a new name and focus, we caught up with host Jamillah Knowles to find out more.
Tell us a little about what Pods and Blogs was.
Pods and Blogs was one of the first blogs and podcasts on the BBC. In fact, it had neither a podcast or a blog when it started – but we soon caught up!
Chris Vallance, Kevin Anderson, Rhod Sharp and Howard Benson got their heads together and recognised in 2005 that there was a huge amount of information, creativity and innovation happening on the web and it was not really being fully represented on our domestic output.
They were not great at thinking of a name – and so they went for the simplest solution, at a time when podcasting and writing a “web-log” was not so common, it was plainly called Pods and Blogs to describe that activity at the time to a broader audience.
Why the change?
The change came about after I took up the baton from Chris Vallance a year or so ago. I was feeling a bit bound by the description in the the title. There are so many ways in which people connect via the internet or are associated with web culture and we have been reflecting that for a long time. Also, five years in real time is a lot of years in internet time, so the original title was starting to sound a bit old fashioned.
I worked with a couple of writers and a great designer to work up the right word to try and encompass the people I talk to each week for Outriders. More often than not they are pushing the boundaries, experimenting or trying something new. So the word certainly fits that description and it is also loose enough for us to explore much further than before.
What will the focus be and what does the future hold for Outriders?
The focus has always and will always be based on the home-grown. It’s so exciting to talk to people who got it together to innovate for themselves, to write something outstanding, record something amazing or make something for the hell of it. That passion and creativity tends to come up with very influential ideas or spread a new way of thinking. The nice thing is, wherever I go online, there’s no shortage of people trying things this way. I guess it’s human nature.
Who’s involved in making Outriders happen?
Outriders is created each week by scanning the web. After so many years of keeping an eye on the ebb and flow, its easy enough to identify a theme or a kernel for an idea for the week and then talented bloggers, experts and enthusiasts are contacted to see if they would be around to talk to us. As we have a bit of an audio magazine feeling, we can range quite far and wide for our current topics. Sometimes there is a theme, most often there is a news peg for talking to bloggers. We work with various organisations who have networks of bloggers world wide, so we also reflect the broader news agenda and how it affects writers or producers of web content. I think it is important to note that we are not a tech show. Gadgets may be a weakness for me but it’s people creating stuff that really blows me away each week.
Noticed that you’re mainly focused on Internet entrepreneurs. With the new “app” entrepreneur, will they be included too?
We work with creators of everything tethered to the web. Not really entrepreneurs but we have a fair few in there. We’re usually close to the first people to find new social activities online that others can join in on. It really doesn’t matter how people are connected either. Apps, mobile interface, full-fat web or even a reference that web people are fond of, we’ll go there.
What are the full details for people looking to subscribe? And your twitter, facebook accounts of course.
If you would like to find Outriders there are many ways.
- Our home base where we list the people we speak to each week
- Our Facebook page
- On our Twitter account, where we often chat around ideas and topics for the show each week
- The podcast can be downloaded via our blog page, from the BBC Podcast lists and on iTunes. Full details here.
Please be patient with us though, the changes are being rolled out across all of our pages at the moment but we should have everything connected before long.