The internet has become my primary source of entertainment and enrichment over the years. It serves me for reading to socializing and audio to video. I’ve been thinking about the people who help me find the things I enjoy most online and narrowed it down to three people: Marco Arment, Dan Benjamin, and Merlin Mann. These three are the wellsprings that led me to so many great other things over the years.
Dan’s 5by5 network introduced me to podcasting and more internet pals. I later found Relay.FM, a podcast network led by Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett.
Podcasts I like
You may enjoy some of my favorite podcasts made by a group of awesome people. I have listed them below along with links to the hosts’ Twitter feeds.
- Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP) with Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa
- Back to Work with Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann
- Cortex with CGP Grey and Myke Hurley
- Do By Friday with Alex Cox, Merlin Mann,
and Max Temkin
- Hello Internet with CGP Grey and Brady Haran
- Reconcilable Differences with Merlin Mann and John Siracusa
- Road Work with Dan Benjamin and John Roderick
- Roderick on the Line with Merlin Mann and John Roderick
- Systematic with Brett Terpstra
- The Talk Show with John Gruber
These are just the cream of the crop and I thank them for “All the Great Shows.”
Marco brought me Tumblr, Instapaper, and my most-used iOS app Overcast. Tumblr is a lot of fun. The other two count as life-changers for me. Almost everything I read or listen to online comes to me through something Marco made. He’s “like, really smart” and opinionated. Find our for yourself at marco.org.
Merlin is the consistent thread through much of the content I consume. He would groan about this, but his (dormant since 2011 and lovingly still available) website 43 Folders was the beacon that led me to him. Funny sidetrack: While checking to see that the site was still live, the last post was announcing what was the most recent version of Instapaper at the time.
Of the three, Merlin has had the biggest impact on my life. You can tell from the way my wife rolls her eyes when I say “Merlin said foo on bar podcast today.” I feel like I have traveled with him to WWDCs in San Francisco and talks from Rutgers to New Zealand. I even remember when he used to be Merlin Mann and talked to his wallet.
Oh! Oh! Don’t forget You Look Nice Today. It was literally the first podcast ever made.[^This is not at all true.] Merlin made that with his amigos Adam Lisagor and Scott Simpson, who are also awesome and hilarious internet people.
All the great people
There are so many people I have kinda sorta met through the Interwebs who also deserve recognition because I am thankful to learn and laugh with them.
Brett Terpstra deserves a special acknowledgment. His website is filled to the brim with Mac goodies. Don’t believe me? Be sure to check out his projects page. His app Marked is a must-have for anyone writing with Markdown on a Mac.
Others on the short list are Matt Alexander](https://twitter.com/mattalexand), Haddie Cooke, Jim Dalrymple, Guy English, Ken Jennings (the Jeopardy guy), Jason Snell, David Sparks, and Christina Warren. I could go on if this wasn’t becoming so maudlin. There are so many.
Final note on “Netquaintances”
While searching for references I found “The Story of John Roderick,” a wikidot page crafted by Jochen Römling. Being such a cool thing, I emailed a quick note to the craftsman in Sweden and had a terrific little email conversation with him.
A lot of days we look at the internet and see a raging dumpster fire of a thing. Take a closer look. Pick through the ashes. Find the gems and share a little light with each other.