Are you a fan of podcasts? They can be great to listen to while you travel, exercise, or wait for an appointment. For genealogists, podcasts are a great resource to add to your learning plan.
Before we discuss how to find podcasts, let's define what a podcast is. A podcast is an audio program that can be listened to or downloaded from the Internet. Unlike video, the great thing about podcasts is that you can be listening while you're doing other things since you don't have to look a screen to understand what is going on. It's like a radio show, but anyone can create a podcast. Podcasters have shows that focus on a theme, and they may invite guests to be interviewed. Some podcasters publish "show notes" online that serve as a transcript of the show. This can be helpful when the show mentions websites.
When we consider genealogy podcasts, they can range from those that focus on interviewing guests, to ones that explore a topic in depth, to a podcast that is more like a "show" with different topics in one episode. So depending on your genealogical interest, you may find something on DNA, research methodology, or researching in a specific place. New podcast episodes may appear weekly, monthly, or be more infrequent. Most podcasts have a corresponding website or blog, so make sure to look for those to learn more about the podcast, the podcast schedule, and the show notes.
So how do you find genealogy podcasts? Here are three ideas that can help:
- Your first go-to should be Cyndi's List. You might be accustomed to using Cyndi's List to find websites to help solve genealogical problems, but it's also the place to find podcasts. Peruse the listing of podcasts at https://www.cyndislist.com/podcasts/general. Additional podcasts can be found by choosing Locality or Topic Specific link on the Podcasts for Genealogy web page. In addition to Cyndi's List, Conference Keeper also has a list of genealogy podcasts.
2. Use a Podcast Search Engine. Listen Notes is a podcast search engine that describes itself as "It's like Google, but for podcasts." With over 3 million podcasts to search, you can use a keyword search to find podcasts or episodes (such as genealogy or a specific genealogist). When you click on the search bar, you will also have the option to Discover podcasts by categories, including Explorer (for similar podcasts), Hot Podcasts (what's popular today), and Playlists. If you want to learn how to create a podcast, their Podcast Academy will help.
3. Ask! If you use social media, you may see podcasters post their latest episodes or genealogists posting about something they recently heard. The best way to find your next favorite podcast is to ask someone who listens to podcasts. This can be done at your genealogy society meeting or via a social media post.
Podcasts can provide everything from a book recommendation to genealogical how-tos, to an interview with a genealogist you admire. The best part of podcasts is you can pause them at your convenience, even pausing an episode when life interrupts you. Already a fan of podcasts? Make sure to spread the word and post about your favorite podcast or episode.