The creative class — the nebulous, but much bally-hooed, demographic made up of knowledge workers, intellectuals, and artists — constitutes an increasing portion of the American workforce. Social scientist Richard Florida, who gave the group its moniker, sees the rise of the creative class as a powerful force that is shaping the economies of post-industrial cities. Yet, today many members of the creative class can live and work anywhere, thanks to home-office technology and the Internet. Working as freelancers, researchers, or in Internet-related fields, the creative class is spreading beyond communities, like Austin or Seattle, that are typically associated with the demographic. Whether they live in Ellsworth, Maine, or Peoria, Illinois, creative professionals still look for ways to satisfy their artistic and technological interests. In towns without Universities or symphonies, the creative class can now go online to find intellectual and cultural enrichment. Here are twelve podcasts designed for the eclectic tastes of the creative class:
For the artist: smARThistory
These video and audio podcasts, by art history professors Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, place great works of art in context. If you can't get to a museum, you can still get your art-fix by listening to their discussions of pieces such as Duchamp's Readymades and Bernini's Ecstacy of St. Theresa. New York-based Harris and Zucker focus primarily, but not exclusively, on art from the Metropolitain Museum of Art and MoMA, sharing their insights about paintings and sculptures from all eras. While some smARThistory podcasts provide only an audio commentary one can listen to while looking at a static image of the artwork, others are more dynamic and include supplementary materials.
For the musician: Uncensored Blues
If you've got the blues, this podcast might just cheer you up. Produced in association with the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale Mississippi, Uncensored Blues shares tracks from rare pre-war blues albums. With music from Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, and other blues legends, each podcast explores variations on a musical theme, such as "Hard Times" or the "Black Snake Moan."
For the scientist: ROM Media
The Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto, Canada, offers a podcast that highlights museum artifacts and expertise of museum staff. Previous podcasts include curator Burton Lim describing a day of fieldwork in China and gemologist Katherine Dunnell providing an overview of sapphires, and explaining the allure of rubies.
For the humanitarian: Doctors without Borders
Global humanitarian crises are not always given the coverage they deserve in America's main stream media. Stay aware of the latest efforts to alleviate the suffering caused by war, disease, and natural disaster by listening to these Frontline Reports from Doctors without Borders. The podcasts share interviews with the non-profit's staff in the field and the patients they are helping.
MSF Frontline Reports"
For the chef: ReMARKable Palate
This podcast, part of the Gilded Fork's Culinary Podcast Network, is hosted by personal chef Mark C. Tafoya. Besides sharing recipes, Tafoya interviews chefs, food writers, and gourmets, and takes listeners behind the scenes of popular restaurants.
For the Web 2.0 worker: Podleaders
Tom Raftery, an IT consultant and blogger, interviews "Thought Leaders" in this podcast. His list of interviewees reads as a veritable who's who in technology and social media.
For the freelancer: Onpodsessions
Om and Niall PodSessions covers topics such as "The Connected Home -are we there yet?" and "Widgets and gadgets and modules…oh my!" Other offerings include a comparison of music players and profilers, and a discussion of various professional video distribution services such as online streaming and video on demand. Onpodsessions is hosted by Niall Kennedy and Om Malik, editor of Web Worker Daily and other technology blogs.
Om and Niall PodSessions
For the start-up founder: Scobleshow
If you've ever wanted to eavesdrop on conversations between the Silicon Valley elite, this podcast is for you. Blogger royalty, Robert Scoble, hosts this video podcast, which features interviews with tech luminaries like Bill Gates, demonstrations of Web 2.0 products, and analyses of the role of citizen journalism. Scoble also takes his show on location, to various tech conferences and takes the viewer on guided tours of such places as the Stanford Linear Accelerator and Intel's chip factory.
For the technologist: Digital Planet
This podcast from the BBC looks at technology's role in transforming the global economy. Host Gareth Mitchell leads discussions on topics ranging from the World of Warcraft to the hundred dollar laptop. A recent podcast, that was recorded on location in Kolkata, looked at scientific and cultural developments in modern India.
Digital Planet from BBC News
For the business owner: HBR IdeaCast
From the Harvard Business Review, this podcast shares ideas and commentary from leading thinkers in business and management. Whether you run your own business, or just like to stay abreast of business trends, HBR IdeaCast offers discussions of strategic innovation, decision-making, and leadership.
For the self-promoter: Duct Tape Marketing
John Jantsch, blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing - The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide, offers a podcast where he discusses innovative promotional strategies with other marketing experts.
Duct Tape Marketing
For the strategist: Knowledge@Wharton
Wharton faculty share their expertise in this podcast, analyzing current business trends from the iPhone to the China Bubble. A recent podcast tangled with the thorny issue of corporate environmentalism, addressing the question: "What does 'going green' mean for the bottom line?"