Part of his confidence is because podcasts are a unique, decentralized outlet for appealing to niche audiences. I asked him about whether the trajectory of podcasts might echo the history of television — at first representing local, niche interests but quickly standardizing and appealing to broad swaths of the population. He thought it was unlikely. “With these mass-appeal shows — they get people on — and they’ll talk about issues people care about, but sometimes it’s these niche areas that you’re going to make the biggest impact, and the mass appeal shows just can’t do that for everybody.”
The impact that niche podcasts can have is a source of meaning and passion for Charles. While interviewing, he recounted the story of a time a listener reached out to him to thank him for his work. By listening to the DevChat.tv podcasts, the listener gleaned technical knowledge which helped him learn to code. Ultimately, the listener transitioned out of a low-paying job and into a programming career.
Charles plans to expand the DevChat.tv network with the addition of six new podcasts, for six niches: Open-source sustainability, data science, developer leaders, artificial intelligence/machine learning, internet of things, and virtual reality/augmented reality. He hopes that these new podcasts will make a difference in more programmers’ lives.
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