Introducing a new podcast: WTF Tech

Those who know me well will have realised I have a bit of a thing for podcasts, firstly in terms of consumption (20-30 episodes a week on average since the early days of TWiT back in 2005/6), and then in hosting and producing my own shows (Collaboration Matters, the Lotusphere Podcast, This Week in Lotus, Serendipity) since 2007.

This Week in Lotus album artI’ve made no secret of mourning TWiL – it was so good to get together with Darren Duke and our panel of guests every week for two and a bit years, discussing the burning topics of the day. Of course, we zoned in on news from around the IBM/Lotus community, but you may recall that our focus frequently wandered to other vendors in the tech space – Blackberry, Apple, Microsoft and others fell into view on a regular basis. Darren famously predicted the end for RIM/Blackberry way back in 2011 – an event that seems to have finally occurred just this week with news that they will no longer even be designing their own hardware. We had great fun on the show, produced interesting content, and I believe that TWiL really did help to sustain the community during a difficult period – even if some felt we aired genuine concerns a little too vocally at times!  There is no doubt that the 4-5 hour production effort for a weekly show turned into a bit of a grind over time, particularly when it conflicted with paid consultancy work, but I genuinely would not have changed a minute of the history of that show. In listening back through some of the shows as we recover them to a new site infrastructure, I’ve really enjoyed the conversations and reflected on how relevant many of the discussions still are, and how we foretold many of the changes that have happened to that particular product set.

So at an event in Austin in the summer, two years on from the previous TWiL show, it was fantastic to get together again with Darren (and his wife and occasional TWiL co-host, Lisa). Amongst many other discussions, we came up with the idea of a new podcast that took the best of TWiL in a brand new direction – taking a rather large step away from the IBM/Lotus pond and dashing headlong towards the much larger and rather less stagnant lake of broader enterprise technology.

Alongside the change of target focus area, we agreed that it would be fun to shift from the ever-changing weekly panel model of TWiL to a consistent set of hosts meeting regularly, and thus developing a narrative that would flow from episode to episode. Whilst Darren and I would still co-host the show, we agreed that a third host was needed. It didn’t take us any time at all to agree that Jesse Gallagher was the ideal guy to bring some additional positivity, humour, development tooling insight, a less-cynical younger perspective and all round knowledge of the industry to the party. Thankfully Jesse didn’t run a mile when we asked, and actually jumped at the opportunity – crazy, huh?

To kick things off, Jesse joined Darren and I to put TWiL to bed back in September with a final episode (115: Doing a three-way) discussing the MWLUG event, and offering a final ‘state of the union’ view on the ICS landscape.

And with that, WTF Tech was born… 

A three-way enterprise tech news and opinion show, asking ‘WTF were they thinking!?‘, recording on a semi-regular basis (usually every 2-3 weeks), hosted at wtftech.fm and available in your podcast app of choice.

Thus far we’ve recorded and published three shows (all 50-75 minutes long), with the latest being released yesterday:

  • 001: What have they been doing for two years?!? (discussing that week’s events and announcements from IBM, Microsoft and Apple)
  • 002: Slack Knockoff Fatigue (trying to avoid mentioning the US election, but end up discussing “fake news”, the new UK surveillance law, followup on the new MBP USB-C ports and Touch Bar, plus the newly announced Microsoft Teams)
  • 003: It’s All About Me (taking aim at Fitbit’s acquisition of Pebble, rumours of IBM refactoring Connections using modern web frameworks and the upcoming Connect conference. We then start a new recurring topic reminiscing about old tech, kicking off with first computers…)

You won’t be surprised to hear that we are really rather proud of the shows we’ve recorded so far. Interesting topics, good conversation and lots of laughs. We have even brought back the much-loved tips from TWiL, with a good balance of technology, apps and development tips shared so far.

If this sounds up your street, then please go try out one of the episodes listed above – you can stream it direct from the site. If you like it, subscribe to the show…

Here are a few links that might be helpful:

Have a listen (maybe on your final commutes of the year, or whilst ‘driving home for Christmas’, and do let me know what you think!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!