No new podcast today

Mentioned on Twitter the last couple of days – I wasn’t able to get a podcast recorded for today (Thursday). Next one will focus on finishing up ‘Gone’ – I just couldn’t get something done. Hope you understand!

Slow Reader Episode 5 – Gone – Chapters 13-19

I changed things up a little bit. I discovered that taking detailed notes every time I read a chapter is not my optimal reading method, so I went back to how I normally read books and took notes AFTER. I like the result this week.


I doubled my reading output and read 6 chapters over 2 weeks. Covering off chapters 13 through 19 in this episode, things have escalated very quickly in Perdido Beach.

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/stephen_g

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2474979-stephen-gower

Thoughts on Luminary

No one has really asked me about my thoughts on Luminary, but as I have a lot of opinions about podcasts, I thought it worth sharing some observations about the latest podcast platform.

If you haven’t heard of Luminary, it’s a new podcast platform. Most of the same podcasts available on any other platform are there for free, but if you pay $8/month you get access to exclusive content available only on Luminary. It’s not too different from Stitcher, although there are some slight differences in the platforms that I won’t get into right now.

It just launched this week, though it made a splash a few months back when it purported to be “the Netflix of podcasts”. It’s received a lot of backlash, most notably for its ad campaign (“podcasts don’t need ads!”), and for taking some popular shows away from the realm of free downloads.

The backlash is simple: people don’t think that you should pay for podcasts – at least not in this form. I agree with that notion. The other part of the response to Luminary is that it is pulling podcasts that were previously freely available to their platform, and will only be available to Luminary subscribers.

I don’t begrudge the podcast producers at all for taking the money from Luminary. It can be expensive to produce a podcast, and having guaranteed funding (for however long that is) gives you the freedom to create better content.

I mentioned that their platform seemed to follow Stitcher’s model, with some differences. Namely, Stitcher requires you to submit your podcast to their database. They have a premium tier ($4.99 monthly, or $2.92 / month for their “premium annual” plan) as well, which gives you access to exclusive shows; but I believe these premium shows also become publicly available after a short period of time. For example, Wolverine: The Long Night was a Stitcher exclusive for several months before becoming available to everyone else in the Fall of 2018.

I personally prefer this model of offering premium content. I also like the way Spotify handles it – everything is available on their platform (music and podcasts alike) – but you get ads if you don’t subscribe to the premium level.

With all of that said, I admit I’ve changed my stance on Luminary since I first heard about it. I think that they need to make some changes to their platform, though; they are not a revolutionary solution to a problem or making podcasts more convenient, so they need to drop their “Netflix of podcasts” attitude. I think they should also follow Stitcher’s premium window model – make the shows freely available after 4-6 months. Heck – make it a year if you want to try to be competitive.

A lot of people have the opinion that Luminary is going to fail. I don’t think it will fall flat on its face, but I do think they will suffer a little. Hopefully for them (and the shows they are paying for), they decide to make adjustments rather than be prideful and end before they even get started.

Further reading:

The Slow Reader – Episode 4 Gone, Chapters 10-12

Returning to Gone (Michael Grant) this week with chapters 10-12. There’s a lot of new information learned in these 3 chapters. Also, this is really a slow-read. Also in this episode: re-reading Dune alongside the Dune Subreddit.

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/stephen_g

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2474979-stephen-gower

Blog: https://www.noformatblog.ca

Listen on Google Play Music 

The Slow Reader – Episode 3

Here we go again – two weeks later. I didn’t implement any of the changes I wanted to from the last one, but I took some notes as I was listening back to this before releasing. I haven’t actually done much reading on the book covered here since I recorded this episode, but I’ve got some plans to make the next episode better. Hope you like it!

This episode starts off my coverage of Gone by Michael Grant. I read chapters 1-9 (17% of the book). Pick up your copy of Gone from the Library or at Amazon.

Episode 26: That’s Lobstertainment!

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

Mike and Steve talk about That's Lobstertainment! They also (neglect to) do a lot of research leading up to the recording of this show.
Some interesting videos related to the episode:
Harold Lloyd - Safety Last
Buster Keaton goes to Ottawa

Slow Reader – Episode 2

Still going somewhat strong! I have a few adjustments I need to make to the content…this was still one of the early episodes I recorded when I first started the idea, so things aren’t really going to take shape until probably Episode 3.

Book two of The Slow Reader: Erebos, written by Ursula Poznanski and translated by Judith Pattinson.

“It’s a game. It watches you.” Intriguing tag line that lead to another fun, quick read from the library.

Also discussed the podcast “Wild Thing”, which you can find at https://www.foxtopus.ink/wildthing

I recorded episode 3 already – I have some notes of where/how I want to improve, so hopefully I can stick to those notes and make a better show.

The Slow Reader – Episode 1

I mentioned yesterday that I started a new podcast called The Slow Reader. Here’s the first episode! I will probably keep posting these whenever they’re released. You can find it also on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

The Slow Reader Podcast

I have been talking this year about finally starting and following through with a project; at first that was going to be a writing project, but I ended up deciding on starting a new podcast.

I present to you: The Slow Reader – A Podcast About Books. It’s basically an audio version of my GoodReads updates. Right now the first two episodes are scheduled, and should be a bi-weekly podcast. They’re short, but I think eventually I’ll get into a groove and expand on the length a little bit. I know that I rushed my delivery a lot in these first two episodes.

The trailer is available today; the first episode will be out tomorrow (Thursday). Right now the podcast is only live on Google Play, but it should be available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well. I’ll probably submit it to Stitcher soon.

Enjoy the trailer for now!

Listen on Google Play Music

Managing my Podcast Lists

For the last year and a half I’ve found it very difficult to keep up with my podcast listening; for quite a while now I’ve been “behind” my list for many shows – in most cases, by several months’ worth of content.

What I find difficult is that the shows that are current – which means, based on either sports or current events or current TV shows – tend to get priority when I choose to listen to something. This pushes ‘evergreen’ content – that is, it’s relevant no matter when I listen – further down the list.

This is completely a “me” problem and at first, it did bother me; but I’ve come up with a new approach to listening that really takes care of the perceived problem.

Culling Shows

The first thing I’ve taken to doing is to simply stop listening to shows that don’t hold my attention anymore. If I haven’t listened to it in 3 months, is it likely that I’m going to listen to it anytime soon? Still, there are shows I consider to be “high value” that I’m staying subscribed to. I know that I’ll get to those episodes one day soon.

But I have become a little more ruthless in the process. I’ve cut shows that I used to listen to regularly. I used to feel a little guilty when unsubscribing, but that’s not the case anymore. If I want to make the time to listen to podcasts, sometimes that means cutting out the stuff that is either A) too long or B) uninteresting. Or a combination of both.

Dropping Individual Episodes

The other thing I’ve started doing is dropping individual episodes if they don’t look appealing based on the description. Since I don’t have the same amount of listening time as I used to, I don’t need to worry about “running out” of episodes to listen to (this used to be an issue for me).

This is actually a pretty major change for me. I used to be pretty compulsive about listening to every single episode of a show, but as I’ve learned recently, it’s not always important to catch each one. It’s sort of like the old days of TV – sometimes you missed recording on your VCR, so you didn’t catch that week’s show. In episodic times, not the end of the world.

It’s not perfect – I still have ~100 episodes to listen to – but it helps my peace of mind.