“Reply All” uses the Internet as a lens through which to examine a variety of stories.
Podcast: Reply All
Avg. Episode Length: 40-50 min
Content Warnings: Occasional language; topics more interesting for teens and up
For me, the best podcasts offer knowledge and a good story. A recent find that’s been at the top of my playlist is Reply All, which can best be described as a podcast about Internet mysteries. The show is hosted by two guys, Alex and PJ, but episodes usually feature an array of guests, ranging from topic experts to the podcast’s producers.
Many episodes also loop in listeners, who call in with mysteries for the team to solve. Sometimes, the team is deciphering a viral tweet, helping a listener figure out why his/her log in was stolen or figuring out why a person keeps getting spam phone calls.
While they often tackle extremely timely topics for today’s world, like phishing or hacking, some episodes are more human focused. Autumn centers on the story of a young girl, who used The Sims to deal with the passing of her beloved grandmother. For me, however, it’s the episodes where they travel deep into hidden communities of today’s technologically advanced world that suck me in—and make me consider dropping all of my devices to go live in the mountains. (If you never see this column again, I’ve probably moved into an RFID-blocking bunker, where the robocallers can’t find me.)
Where to start?: Long Distance, Parts 1 and 2 (episodes #102, #103).