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Podcast Review

The Boagworld Show

by Frida Nyvall

British gentlemen Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington come together once a week to discuss topics related to all ascpects of running a web business. As co-founders of well-established agency Headscape several decades ago, they have plenty of experience to share.

In this review, we’ll discuss the use of sponsors, guests as well as bringing up the more characteristic parts of The Boagworld Show podcast.

Listening to a good podcast is highly recommended – especially if you run the risk of not having too many inspiring coffee breaks or watercooler discussions in your workplace. As a bonus, catching up on the latest news, listening in on compelling discussions between the leading names in the industry while actually being able to go AFK will make you feel ever so efficient.

Covering all aspects

Compared to other web industry podcasts, The Boagworld Show takes on a more comprehensive, business oriented approach. The podcast focuses on different aspects and challenges when it comes to running your business as well as discussing overall trends within the industry.

In that way I would say the overall series of episodes are slightly more directed to the viewpoint of someone running their own business or agency rather than being a hired developer.

Jolly and Jovial

In spite of these fine gentlemens’ lengthy experience – or maybe just because of it – this is by far the most informal web podcast I have encountered.

Put the kettle on, bring out the biscuits and get ready for an hour or so with the Wallace & Gromit of web podcasts!

Personally, I do not find that to be a necessarily bad thing. Listening to the friendly bantering between the hosts is quite entertaining, in a way removing the most impersonal parts of professionalism.

The result is a podcast that is very enjoyable, fun and easy to listen to. Maybe that is also what makes this podcast so popular, and is key to why it has become one of the longest running shows.

The Boagworld Show

If you have not yet found this podcast, you can look forward to an extensive episode library.

Since the first season in 2010, listeners have been able to get to know the hosts during 14 seasons of more than a hundred episodes. Historically, the original version of the podcast had over 200 episodes and was claimed to be the very first podcast focusing on web design when it launched in 2005.

Guests

A common practice among web podcasts is to have big names from the industry come talk about their areas of expertise. So also in the Boagworld Show. Since the number of famous people in the web community is not that great, a lot of the same big names seem to pop up in different shows.

Some of the guests at the Boagworld Show this far include: Vitaly Friedman (creator of development monster blog Smashing Magazine), Jeremy Keith (speaker, general web guru and founder of the agency Clearleft), Rachel Andrews (speaker, writer and long-time web developer), Bruce Lawson from Opera and Jen Simmons (speaker, author, podcaster working at Mozilla). The guestlist also includes less well-known names of experienced people from established agencies.

Sponsors

As one of the more popular podcasts, the Boagworld Show always has one or two companies sponsoring each episode. These are usually companies offering products or services relevant for the audience.

How sponsors are often presented

In spite of sponsors making it economically feasible for people to produce podcasts, the sponsoring messages are generally something I think do not contribute to a show. The reason for that is that it is often quite awkward to fit in a commercial for a product or service in the middle of a discussion of an unrelated topic. Hosts tend to either go “Now I have to talk about how great this thing is…”, sounding anything but convinced themselves, or they go all overboard: “This THING is so darn FANTASTIC, it’s totally going to change your life, I know it has mine!” Which is worse since it inevitably robs them of a fair amout of credability in all other fields as well.

How sponsors should be presented

The Boagworld Show does sponsors their own way – a way that I highly support and think should be the recommended. When presenting products or services they are themselves unfamiliar with, they do not bother trying to hide that fact, but simply states the sponsor message. For sponsors that they actually know and like, they make a personal pitch explaining why they feel positive towards the sponsor. In this way, their total credibility is intact and the sponsors they promote are more likely to be remembered.

Special feature

Setting the casual tone for each episode, Marcus Lillington is tasked with delivering a joke – preferrably a boring one that is not nerdy, hipster or web related in any way. Since the world and the web in particular is full of people trying very hard to be witty, clever and cool, this firm statement of uncoolness is relieving.

Did you hear about the two ships that collided at sea? One was carrying red paint and the other was carrying blue paint, all the sailors ended up being marooned.

Marcus Lillington
The Boagworld Show Season 10, Episode 6

Theme music

Podcast themesongs are like product packaging; an appropriate one can sprinkle that little extra something that adds valute to the item. And yes, this podcast has its own intro song. Staying true to the theme, the tune is unpretentious and full of character. I do not know if the hosts have produced the intro as well, but it could very well be so since Marcus Lillingon apparently has a former career as rockstar.

Wrap up

  • The Boagworld Show is an unpretentious, friendly and easy-going podcast.
  • Topics are a mix of everything concerning the services and products of web agencies as well as on how to manage the business aspects of running a web shop.
  • The hosts’ own deep experiences from producing real products for real clients adds credability and value to the episodes.

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