99% Invisible: podcast on the power of design


Jesse Thorn writes in with word of a cool podcast I hadn't checked out before, "99% Invisible"—

Roman Mars is a very accomplished and well-regarded public radio producer based in the Bay Area. He just started the second season of his show 99% Invisible. Each episode is a beautiful, rich look at one tiny corner of our lives through the lens of design. The first episode of the season is about the periodic table. One of my favorites from the first season was about flag design. The show is free in iTunes. Roman was a scientist before he got involved in public radio, and his show combines precision, depth and aesthetics in a really lovely way.


  1. Argh – what do we have to DO to get transcripts? Everybody’s all about podcasting now and some of us can’t hear words! It’s bad enough to miss all the TED talks and StarShipSofa, but this is just the last straw.

    1. I, for one, would be happy to join a podcast-transcribing network, a la Project Gutenberg. Searchable text would make these programs more robust as resources. Anyone here know where to sign up?

  2. Roman Mars also helps produce Snap Judgement, a story show on NPR (also podcasted free in iTunes), as well as other material for PRX (the Public Radio Exchange). Google him and find his stuff. Totally worth it.

  3. @Anon – I think a lot of podcast producers would love to provide transcripts of their shows. In addition to the accessibility benefits, there are huge SEO benefits. Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive to do so. I’ve recently started offering transcripts of one of my shows, and it costs me about a hundred dollars a week, and that’s with the transcriptionist giving me a price break. For most smaller podcasters (Roman, for example, is a one-man shop), that’s just not financially sustainable.

    I would love to see a Guttenberg-like open platform for transcription. I know I have a lot of listeners who would like to help with transcription, but the administration of the volunteers would be just as expensive as transcription would be.

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