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SoundCloud’s Best Educators & Storytellers

Digging up the most fascinating conversations on the 'Cloud

Buddha SoundBuddha Listening

Learning through sound is one of my favorite ways to relax. I can just sit back and listen. However, music seems to be taking up most of my time, but I plan to change that. Since my listening routine with music is mostly on SoundCloud, integrating storytellers & educators into my SoundCloud stream might even out my daily bias towards music.

So I’ve taken to SoundCloud to find & filter the most fascinating SoundClouders around. I’ve rummaged through Voices, the Fellowship program and their “Suggested users” to come up with eleven knowledgable SoundClouders in their own right. It basically comes down to what they say and how they say it (kinda like music), but here’s more specifics on how I determined who to select:
Knowledge Through Sound

Length: be quick and to the point. Just like music, get to the good stuff, asap. Under fifteen minutes is ideal, but keep it interesting and it can go on for days. Also, a suggestion for SoundCloud, might want to add a bookmarking feature to longer tracks.
Voice: as much as the story is most important, whomever’s telling it is right up there too. Ideally, it’s someone who can convey the context of the story through sound. And I find too many podcasts & radio shows that lack just that. They’re mundane & monotone. Entertain!
Frequency: the longer the show, the less posts per month are needed. If you’re doing thirty minute shows, keep it weekly or less. There should be at least one show a month and at most one show a day. I saw way too many suggestions from SoundCloud with barely any posts in the last few months, if ever! And see many SoundClouders throw all their content at once. [Spread it out, people.]
Fascinate: this is by far the most important & difficult. If it doesn’t bring out the heavy emotions, it doesn’t matter how educational it is, it won’t be remembered. Show off something different!

Blank on Blank
Talk about a hidden treasure. I found most of my non-music SoundClouders through the “Explore people” feature, but this one I just fell into. Collecting lost interviews by journalists, Blank on Blank digs up some truly meaningful moments. I can’t believe the lack of following for this SoundClouder, but that’ll all change (if I have anything to do with it).

Wise Buddah Podcast
Taking on some of the most controversial topics, James Whale brings a non-bias voice pitted against some of the most extreme views in that subject. I love how honest and non-bullshit he is with his guests. Only complaint, update your SoundCloud page more!!

Stanford ECorner
This had one of the most interesting lectures I’ve ever heard, ever (the one about Jobs obviously). A good show not only covers the most controversial topics, but gives insights never heard anywhere else before. Stanford’s ECorner does just that. I do wish their lectures were a bit shorter, but they keep it interesting all along the way.

Talk about fascinating stories. StoryCorps is an “independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve” their stories. There’s a lot of crowdsourced content going around SoundCloud, which I am all for, but many don’t find & filter the best of what their community has to offer. StoryCorps, however, finds the most personable, heartwarming stories out there and delivers them in such a sincere way.

SciFri (Science Friday)
Science Friday or SciFri is a weekly show that covers nature, technology & science and is a part of NRP’s “Talk of the Nation” radio program. Like many other syndicated talk shows on SoundCloud, SciFri only shows a clip of their full program. But unlike most, they’re actually putting out interesting little snippets. From learning how much water is consumed in making a burger bun (more than an hour’s worth of shower time) to creepy yet effective ways to get people to vote, SciFri serves up a good taste of their off keel programs. …Although, I would like to get the full shows on SC sometime soon.

TNW Daily Dose
A dose of daily tech news provided by The Next Web. Topics covered can feel a bit played out at times, but otherwise it’s a quick way to hear whats poppin in technology. I love it short & sweet. Thanks to David Noël for this one.

The Story Collider
If you want to learn how to tell a story then listen to these. Each speaker has such a vivid portrayal of their stories and are displayed with such emotion & sincerity. Unlike most formal radio shows, the host always keeps you intrigued.

A Way With Words
A Way With Words is a language program examined through “history, culture & family.” Although it may not be for most, they cover common questions about language today and come up with some fairly fascinating results. The one thing they need to work out, like a lot of other shows on SoundCloud, is their posting schedule. More than once a day can detract a lot of listeners (don’t flood my stream).

Lifehacker is a well known blog for bettering your life with the aid of technology. And unlike most of the other shows here, I’ve been following Lifehacker’s SoundCloud page pretty much from its inception. They’ve run a weekly (now bi-weekly) show on what’s happening in the tech scene that week and usually runs just under an hour. As much as I love the content, delivery and banter, I feel like they could cut the show down to at least under a half hour (like they’ve done so before).

The Hype Machine
Alright, this is kind of about music, well all about it, but it’s not just the same old mix. Dev of the Hype Machine hosts a monthly show that covers the best of that month in the blogosphere, interviews with music bloggers and a good banter by the host. What I love so much about it is it doesn’t highlight the same old music from the pop scene. Hypem radio is carefully selected to show off a particular vibe from all sorts of places around the world.

SoundCloud Community Team
If you’re interested in following what’s happening around SoundCloud, SoundCloud’s Community Team is here for you. And although most of their content are interviews with recently hired SoundCloud employees, they also occasionally highlight what’s going on around SoundCloud (and should do so more).

If you liked these SoundClouders, make sure to share this with your friends.