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Not so scary: tech podcasts for small business

It’s inevitable; if you’re running a small business these days, you need to be online.

It’s not enough to just have a homepage, either. Your business presence on the web has to meld with the expectations of your average web 2.0 user. It has to be socially dynamic, with a strong presence on Twitter, Google Maps, and Facebook, but secure enough that hackers and spammers keep their distance.

It has to be properly indexed and optimized for search and designed so that visitors can’t resist its allure and never want to navigate away from it.

The real question is: how can I possibly stay abreast of all the technology required to establish these things without wasting my time on the irrelevant bits?

The answer is: you can’t.

Thankfully there’s a wealth of material available to help you beef up your tech knowledge in an easy-to-digest format. Here are four tech-related podcasts we found particularly informative:

Risky Business

Risky Business is a weekly podcast that focuses on information security for businesses. Each 40-minute episode contains a news wrap-up and extensive interviews with authoritative industry experts. It’s delivered in an affably informal (and occasionally irreverent) manner by presenter Patrick Gray. Thankfully, unlike some of its contemporaries, Risky Business is well-paced and engaging, without the waffle you get in many podcasts.

A Series of Tubes

Tech podcasts invariably contain a high geek factor, but A Series of Tubes takes it even further. If you don’t get the reference in the title, this podcast may not be for you. It’s updated weekly, is approximately 40 minutes long, and published by the same company as Risky.Biz. Presenter Richard Chirgwin takes a fresh perspective on the tech-journo podcast medium – maintaining an irreverent subcurrent – by focusing on networking and the way the nature of the internet and its infrastructure impacts its uses and users.

The Scoop

Hosted by Mark Jones, and sponsored by the Financial Review, The Scoop is a new-panel style, tech-focused weekly vodcast of impressive quality and caliber. Although the topics discussed are often more aligned with larger businesses – the most recent episode is concerned with the effect of financial crises on outsourcing – there is much to be gleaned here for smaller business owners, such as the potential uses of social media in business.

Midnight Update

If the enormous effort needed to stay abreast of business-related web technologies is getting you down, and you find yourself in need of a little semi-relevant procrastination, pay a visit to Midnight Update. The site features a daily vodcast concerned primarily with new gadgets, games, and frequently amusing tech-related news. Recent episodes profile the Nokia N97 and find the pleasantly geeky Seamus Byrne reporting on the E3 gaming expo. Where else are you going to find a vodcast that details NASA’s pathetically desperate tech support measures, or whose dry wit uses terms like ‘quantum entanglement as a joke?

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