Despite the sleek look & feel, I know that the Apple iPhone is still not perfect for my needs, so I have resisted the temptation thus far. Instead, I am content to max out my iPod. Although the agenda and contacts are weak applications in the Apple mobile platforms, I now have all my family videos and photos uploaded. And, thanks to the ongoing developments on iTunes, I have found ample pleasure by mining the available uploadable [mostly free] content, including the album covers, television rebroadcasts and podcasts.
If you have never done it, do go visit the podcast section of iTunes. The number of new podcasts being created is soaring (see graphic below). To those of you creating podcasts, keep at it! The choice ranges from newscasts to business to entertain to education to inspiration. And there are many special interests too. The development of the iTunes U section is absolutely fantastic: mobile learning with support systems to help educational institutions to learn how to do it (see this film for more understanding). I am currently subscribed to some 30 podcasts to which, of course, I cannot listen every day; but the repertoire provides great flexibility.
When do I listen to these podcasts? Walking to and from work, which takes me about 35 minutes to do the 2.8 kilometres. This is the novelty for me: like books on tape, podcasts are great for walking. At any one time, I can choose the podcast according to my mood, need or available time — and, of course, sometimes, I just listen to music. Unlike the commute in the metro which means many disjointed moments walking to the station, getting in the train for an all-too-short ride and then walking on to the office, I have an uninterrupted 35 minutes to myself when I commute by foot.
Walking to/from work with the iPod playing podcasts is a singularly great way to begin and end the day. Here are SIX substantial reasons why I strongly recommend it:
- It is exercise in the open air (granted there is the pollution of cars, so I should theoretically get a mask to make it a healthier walk).
- A chance to look up at the Parisian architecture rather than being cooped up all day.
- It’s more ecological than driving or even taking the train — thereby reducing my CO2 footprint (which isn’t very good considering the flights all year).
- It’s cheaper (than either the metro or car). We could all save a dime these days.
- Considering the time spent circling to find a parking space, it is also oftentimes just as fast as driving. Moreover, by leaving my car at the underground parking lot at work, I avoid the unnecessary risk of leaving my car exposed for pigeon doodoo, or potential parking tickets.
- And, the coup de grace is that I get to listen to the podcast with great attention. This latter point is critical for me (and I would argue for leading business managers) because, with the selection of podcasts now available, you can truly get new content to help drive your business or team.
For business leaders, there is a great selection of podcasts available. I have a few favourites that I would like to share with you (with links directly to iTunes):
- HARVARD Business Ideacast — This is a videocast.
- INSEAD Knowledgecast — Thoughtful videocast interviews with INSEAD professors and business people on a wide variety of subject — although this isn’t updated as regularly. You can get more content here in these INSEAD audiocasts.
- Go Green — Tips to go green and there’s also GreenTV, in partnership with UNEP and GreenPeace
- NPR’s This I believe — 500 words from someone that believes strongly in something
- Mitch Joel‘s Six Pixels of Separation for those wanting good web 2.0-oriented marketing and communications analysis and ideas.
- And finally, Robin Sharma’s inspirational podcasts
Do let me know if you have any other favourites you would like to share. Otherwise, get out your walking shoes and slide in to your next podcast.