Appreciating the Indie Web: ATP

Sure, the Accidental Tech Podcast is another hours-long podcast with three middle-aged white men talking to each other about technology. But it’s also the best example of the genre. 

Spiritually, ATP is a tech version of Top Gear, whether done by intention or not. After all, ATP started from a car podcast, which became taken over by the tech talk, because software developers Casey Liss, John Siracusa, and Marco Arment know much more about tech than they do about cars. But, like Top Gear, each of the three ATP hosts is a character. John expects perfection, is willing to go to great lengths to find it and get backups. Marco is willing to try to spend his way to solutions, while Casey is willing to accept a level of brokenness in his technology life. Filtering Apple tech stuff through this lens is informative and entertaining. 

ATP is persistently consistent. They publish one episode a week, **every **week. With 517 episodes since episode 1 was posted on February 7, 2013, they are on track to publish 520 episodes by the time of the show’s 10th anniversary. I can not believe that they’ve been doing this for 10 years, which is a theme of this entire Appreciating the Indie Web series (that I’m old). 

Not every segment of every episode of ATP is worth listening to — they can get rambly and long. But the three hosts have thoughtful and informed opinions on tech platforms, and more interestingly, the marketplace and market power of the large tech companies. While I’m sure there are plenty of standout segments, I certainly don’t have any bookmarked (see again, the power of consistency).

One reason that ATP is worthwhile is the host’s willingness to acknowledge their privileges and correct themselves when they are wrong. It is far too common for middle-aged white men to retreat into their own wrongness and dwell there. 

Previously: Appreciating the Indie Web

Andrew Raff @andrewraff