There was a recent thread, that commented much of the apple oriented press is talks about rumours (Apple VR) or dead apps. There was another comment, that the same software gets mentioned over and over (MusicBox ?), while others get ignored completely (Affinty). With a couple of my podcasts recently I’ve skipped episodes that seem irrelevant to me.
Reflecting on this I put my creator hat on. Sometimes people write what they do, because they don’t know what they want.
So I figured I would start a thread talking about the things I would like people like @MacSparky or Fredrico Viticci etc to write about:
In general I would like:
more on automation - I know this doesn’t podcast well. Ex. Automating Apple Health Data to DayOne or Obsidian. (I listen to automators, I’m thinking more automation mentioned in other podcasts in the context of what they’re discussing)
more wide survey’s of app spaces - many podcasts mention timery, until a few days ago I had never seen or considered TimingApp.
What would you like podcasters, writers to cover. Please be kind, I will be sharing the link with above mentioned people in hopes of sparking new ideas.
One general suggestion to all, get outside of your comfort zone. As an example the most recent MPU was about Omnifocus. And while I enjoyed the episode and Kaitlin was an excellent guest, it was about something that was in David’s wheelhouse. Now that he is full time as MacSparky it is time to expand beyond the automation/productivity axis.
My brother in law is an audiophile. Whenever I visit I’ll eventually pickup one of his hobby magazines. In it there are in depth reviews of gear and increasingly software, along with record reviews. Some had technical columns and question and answer columns as well.
I’d like a Mac resource like that, with reviews of software that go beyond the press release. People that have used the application for some length of time.
I’d like how to type articles on things like your automation example. And while that example is not necessarily something I need, it would show me how to do it, and I could apply it to my needs.
I too would like app surveys, what are the strengths and weaknesses of say Alfred vs Raycast vs Launchbar as an example, from folks that have used all three for an extended period.
While I am not interested in rumors, a source highlighting new or upcoming apps and devices is something I would welcome.
As we live in a multi-OS world, a source for info about Unix/Linux, Windows, Raspberry Pi, and such, from a Mac Power User’s perspective would be of interest as well.
For me I like content that is informative and has a “take home message”. I don’t mind rumor coverage but once you’ve seen one of them you’ve essentially seen them all.
Once thing I do like about MKBHD, given that he’s not a deep knowledge, is that he’s good at contextualizing a given technology and is not afraid of speaking about the value or purpose of a given product. Lots of people can give you speeds and feeds but many struggle to provide context that is relatable across large groups and then wrap things up with a clear value statement or judgement.
Viewers are looking for consistency, authenticity and the ability to have somewhat of a resolution.
So whether someone is writing a Blog post, making a Vlog or short form content I believe there are just universal needs that people want to feel engaged at some point with the content and ultimately fulfilled at an acceptable level.
Well played, this takes me to a funny place. In the Agile world we encourage our clients to builder User Personas based on interviews etc, to represent the different classes of end users they build product for.
Perhaps David and Fredrico could do that. Interview a wide range of us, then amalgamate the content into personas:
the Automator - runs KM, BetterTouchTool, Hazel, ShortCuts, would spend several hours of coding time to save five minutes then share it back with the community …
the Researcher - lives with DevonThink/Reader/Obsidian, …
(Lest anyone perceive this an ad, if @MacSparky@ismh or Fredrico want to pursue this I will happily help for free. I want better products)
I like to read about where tech can take us in the future. What are the best new applications or features? How can I best use them? Is this new machine worth the money? What are the tradeoffs? What clever ways to integrate these machines can we come up with?
I’m less interested in the “rumor mill”, because honestly no one ever actually knows what’s going to happen till it happens, and it’s more fun to be there when a thing is announced and to be surprised by it. I’m also not really interested in how much money Apple is making, or the internal affairs of the company. That doesn’t affect me, so I’d prefer less of that and more coverage of what my watch can do right now. What did the update bring to my Apple TV and why does that matter?
And of course, data organization and task management topics are a worm on a hook for me. Can’t resist them. Especially if there are a lot of screenshots and explanations.
I enjoying reading about what’s coming too but that’s not something we will find on a site specializing in Apple news. Apple may be reverse engineering one of the Roswell ships in the basement but we won’t read about it until the ring is hovering above Apple Park.
IMO, following Microsoft and Google is one way to see what may be coming. Apple likes to watch what what is going on and “perfect” their technology before they enter a new market. So it’s likely we will see products from others before we see anything from Apple.
If you just want to keep up with new productivity software check out Keep Productive on YouTube
It is a difficult problem, but I would also like to see this cohort (who all seem to know each other) would address software that lives in a world outside of podcasting. Every time a host quits their “jobby-job”, they lose that contact with the world beyond podcasting. To take Affinity for example I would like to see these guys essentially moderating a discussion with advocates for Abobe/Affinity discussing the issues of graphics software. AcrobatPro vs Nitro Pen Pro vs PDF Expert with advocates/dismissers of each. People with enough expertise to feel confident about critical assessments. This is really impossible for a podcast host. They cannot personally have this expertise.
And “out there” software like Geometer’s Sketchpad might get a mention even though these guys have no reason to use it in their podcasting life.
My sympathies are with the hosts because this would be really hard. You would have to monitor the software field with a very wide-angle lens. You would have to develop contacts with a large number of folks. And then filter out all the professional PR stuff that would be thrown at you. Compare that with walking in a comfortable well-worn shoes talking with your co-host(s) (a friend) about the software that “you” are using.
Hardware is a little easier. You can stick with Apple because that is your audience and the number of products is manageable.
It is what I would like, but I can see why it would be a massive project to deliver the sort of thing that I would like.
I also would like to see the pace of the shows to speed up. I often sense that the amount of actual content is being stretched out considerably. I often imagine and wish for a “summary” podcast of what I have just listened to. This “imagined” podcast sometimes ends up being really short.
Lack of writer/podcaster’s long term experience with a specific item (hardware or software) is the Achilles heel of reviews. The best reviews are from hands-on experts, and varying opinions from such experts would be icing on the cake.
Along with long-term follow-up. Six months or a year later, is that reviewer still using recommended hardware or still using the chosen software or workflow as described or recommended in the original? What lessons have been learned in that time?
I’ve been thinking that this show should challenge themselves to have a year of hosts that aren’t from another podcast already (or a like podcast). Like no other relay hosts and the like. It’s not like those episodes are terrible, I just think it would be a great creative exercise and give more applications to being an Apple nerd.
In terms of what I’d like to see, selfishly, how to do stuff I do lol. Teach, organize a hectic life that is seemingly at the brink of chaos, organize normal stuff, how to exist in a world that does catalogue every aspect of life. Maybe that’s just the ADHD
I think Apple did something great with the “what’s a computer” iPad ad, because it showed normal stuff. I also to hear things like “I’m sure there is a better way to do something, but I’ve done it this way because it works” and that it is ok because Apple’s hardware and software make it possible. The “nerd” journals seem to really poopoo stuff like that sometimes and it’s unfortunate.
I guess I’m boiling it down to that I like stories. I can then get what I need out of that. Deep dives are cool, but always telling a story.
I also want to hear more about the charity stuff by apple. To be fair I haven’t deep dived into it much, but what does Apple do at the local level?
The latest Automators podcast is an excellent example of what I do not want. The episode title is, “Looking at Launchers” and the intro blurb is, “Rose and David spent some time looking at Raycast, the latest Mac launcher to arrive on the market, and compare it to their current favorite launcher, Alfred.”
As an Alfred user who is curious about the new shiny Raycast I was looking forward to this episode. I was disappointed.
The episode was 1 hour and 23 minutes long. The discussion of Raycast started at the 23 minute mark. It ended at the 40 minute mark. Seventeen minutes. After a commercial break the remainder of the show was about how David and Rosemary use Alfred. Not how Alfred compared to Raycast, but just about Alfred.
23 minutes of introduction and discussion of Spotlight.
17 minutes of Raycast.
42 minutes of Alfred.
1 minute noting that they were not going to discuss Launchbar.
It would have been so much better if they had a guest who was a full on Raycast user, perhaps even someone form the Raycast team, and discussed how to do the same things in both Alfred and Raycast, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
I would see this often in comparisons about Text Expansion tools. Text Expander was often compared with Typinator, Atype or other tools and by the end of the article it was clear the author was a user and knowledgeable about really 1 app as he’d present some features as unique and I knew those features were in other apps.
It certainly takes a unique personality that truly likes to test out software and figure out the differences because I think human is a desire to get to the plateau of the learning curve and relax.
It does. But maybe that isn’t always needed. As I noted in the post you responded to, perhaps what is needed is to find people who are experts in each one of the apps to be compared, and lead them in a discussion of the pros and cons, of the apps.
David and Rosemary use Alfred. There is no shame in that. Using Raycast for a month just isn’t enough to do more than a surface comparison.
To “focus on what I want”, in cases like this I want the host(s) of the podcast or the writer of the piece to do some work to find users of the various tools and products the wish to compare and build the show/piece around their long term experiences.
As a manager I’ve been taught to both point out the things:
Generally I coach leaders to put far more focus on the positive. You do need to highlight things that should change. However too much focus on the things that should change will put people into what the SCARF model calls “Threat”. When I’m in “Threat”, I need to defend or run away. (There 1000 important details I’m ignoring here to simplify).
I looked at the previous thread and thought if Fredrico or David saw it provoked a defensive reaction. So I started this thread in hopes we could shine a positive light.
But if you don’t tell people what they are doing wrong, they’ll continue to do it.
Both are important. As is how you tell them.
I have plenty of experience and training in a variety of behavioral and managerial models. And yeah, it is difficult to offer criticism to folks like David or Federico in an open environment like a web forum. But it is often all we have. And if we pretend everything is honky dory nothing will change.
Or rather things will change. Listenership/readership will drop off, but they won’t know why.
As we’re getting way off topic, and criticism seems unwanted in the thread, I’ll bow out.
Hopefully my first post will have some usefulness.
I thought @MevetS’s comment was a good description of what he wanted while using a concrete example of why he wanted it. I read this exactly as him focusing on what he wants. Often what we want can’t be expressed without describing what we don’t.
In my world of jury trials, I am in the justice business. Justice, however, is hard to define. But we all feel acutely what injustice is. Far easier to talk about injustice than lofty notions of justice. (This is not intended as any kind of political commentary on the subject of justice; just a practical in-the-trenches view in the context of civil litigation to serve as a simple, albeit imperfect, example.)
So, to say I’d prefer “this” in a vacuum is often less helpful than to say why “this” is better than “that.”
Less criticizing and complaining, and more of a positive outlook. Reviews have to be critical to be effective; so, I’m not referring to those. Yet, much of the writing/videos about Apple products and services are not reviews at all.
Once two or three writers/vloggers have covered a particular shortcoming of a product or service, I’d like later writers to find other things to talk about. Reading a dozen reviews all of which echo the same points is not helpful. (On the other hand, knowing that most commentators do this, has enabled me to reduce my reading load. I can read one and know that the rest will say essentially the same thing.)
Constructive commentary that helps people do something they couldn’t do, do it more efficiently, or the like, is far more useful than a bunch of OpEds that just rant about things the commentator does not like.
Beyond that, I agree with most of the comments that have preceded mine.