I just listened to the two most recent SolidWork podcasts: The March 14th cast on US Digital and the March 6th cast on Industrial Archeology.
First impression: for CAD they are by far the most interesting. In fact the Industrial Archeology podcast featuring Bill Gould's work on recreating past treasures is very engaging. I will give that one a thumbs up. The March 14th cast is less so and gets a neutral result. However, production on both is professional and well executed.
So what's wrong with the March 14th podcast? Well, essentially the material in this one is really only interesting to the participants themselves. While the personalities were strong, they really didn't communicate much to me that helped me learn more or understand the motivations behind some of the truly incredible motion equipment being invented and manufactured by this company. Shame really! What this one needed is, well, graphics. Maybe if it was playing on the web page with some illustrative graphics, it would have helped (and you could do that on a video podcast too methinks.)
In the Industrial Archeology podcast, Bill Gould was engaging, the interview questions were good, but listeners were directed to visit a web site to view images. Again, maybe these should be put up on the SolidWorks site alongside the podcast itself.
Indeed, this can easily be done in Flash, and with some half-hearted video editing can also be done in video formats. maybe something to think about for the future.
But it did get me thinking: I listen to NPR all the time. I find it engaging, entertaining, and fun. It doesn't need graphics. So what do we need in 'CAD podcasts' that achieve the same? Well, a damn good subject and a good interviewer is key. A good interviewee is also key (and I admit that many engineers would not meet that requirement.) The combination of the three in the CAD industry would be invaluable and something we should all try to achieve.
So what would I do? If I was feeling mischievous, I would partner up Martyn Day with a decent sound editor and find some decent subjects to interview. The problem with Martyn is keeping his language clean enough for broadcast and making sure he doesn't inflame his victims..er..i mean interviewees too much.
A better alternative may be Randall Newton who has the same level of situational awareness without the english profanity. In fact, we might just be testing my theory out at this year's COFES so watch this space.