“We have the craziest @#$%ing fans on the entire Internet, and that’s saying a lot.”
These are the words of Justin Pot, one of the three hosts of the Technophilia podcast. The other two hosts, James Bruce and Dave LeClair, were too busy to grant me quotes for this piece. The former was testing whether the Oculus Rift works on chickens, while the latter was playing Windjammers on his Neo Geo.
None of this, bar the quote, is true, but it offers an insight into the insane world of Earth’s favorite podcast. If you’re not aware of Technophilia then you’re missing out on hours of archived entertainment. And this beginners guide to Technophilia, is your open doorway into that world.
A Short History Of Technophilia
We’ll start at the beginning, which is as good a place as any.
Sometime in 2011, MakeUseOf writer Dave LeClair had an idea for a podcast discussing the most interesting technology news. Dave then convinced fellow MakeUseOf writers James Bruce and Justin Pot to join him as co-hosts, based on nothing more than their emails amusing him. Together they chose the name Technophilia, and a podcast was born.
It was at this point that our three heroes pitched the idea to their boss, Aibek Esengulov, who owns MakeUseOf. In a decision worthy of comparison to Decca not signing The Beatles, Esengulov turned them down flat. And so they struck out on their own instead. Unpaid and unloved.
A full 18 months later, by which time Technophilia had a healthy following of committed fans (who are often in need of being committed), the trio once again approached Aibek. This time, he bit. Justin has since admitted they were “thinking of quitting,” as “it was fun, but a lot of work.” He continued, “we probably would have stopped if Aibek hadn’t picked it up.” Thankfully, he did.
Technophilia is already 100-episodes strong and swiftly moving towards the 200-episodes milestone. Much has changed in that time, with a natural evolution introducing guests, an aftershow, a live video broadcast, a chatroom, and even fanfiction written on the fly and read out at the end of the show.
The current format sees a guest interviewed at the start of the show, followed by a lighthearted discussion about the latest technology news and then the most interesting gaming news. An unrecorded aftershow for the people listening live then takes place, which is often more amusing than the show itself.
Technophilia is now an integral part of MakeUseOf, providing a weekly backbone for the expanding MakeUseOf YouTube channel. And we hope it maintains this position for the foreseeable future.
The Hosts Of Technophilia
So, who are Justin Pot, James Bruce, and Dave LeClair anyway? They’re three irregular guys who all write for MakeUseOf and like the sound of their own voices just a little too much. As individuals they’re rather dull and uninteresting, but when they pool the few brain cells they collectively own, magic happens.
Justin tends to lead the show, mainly because he’s the only one capable of doing the job. He’s also the sensible one who will interview the guests and keep the conversation moving along while mayhem ensues all around him.
James rants and raves on some topics, while completely dismissing others out of hand. He’s also the gobby one who will say what he means and mean what he says, even when everyone else disagrees with him.
Dave offers the comic relief on the show, swearing, pulling faces, and veering the conversation off on tangents. He’s also the quiet, unpredictable one who will talk for hours about video games but get distracted at all other times.
The A-Z Of Technophilia
If you’re new to Technophilia then there will be certain references you likely won’t understand. Which is why we’ve compiled this A-Z of everything Technophilia. Plus a few extra words are thrown in for good measure because letters such as I and Q are stupid.
A is for Apple, Aftershow, Art, and Alex Mayer (friend of the show)
B is for Bashing (of whatever has irked James that week)
C is for Chatroom (where the cool kids hang out)
D is for Dave LeClair and Dom (an early fan of the show)
E is for Epic Entertainment (guaranteed every week)
F is for the F word (followed by every curse word you can think of)
G is for Guests (which vary from week to week)
H is for HabitRPG (an app featured several times on the show)
I is for iDevices (owned by all three hosts)
J is for James Bruce and Justin Pot (see above)
K is for Koshy (Technophilia’s most-loyal fan)
L is for Loki (James’ dog, who makes regular appearances)
M is for Microsoft (which comes in for regular mocking)
N is for Nintendo and Numenera (played during the special edition)
O is for Oculus Rift (James’ favorite subject)
P is for PlayStation and Parrack (I’m a fan of the show)
Q is for Quiet (Dave is often accused of being this)
R is for Rob Wiesehan and Rage (James often suffers from the latter)
S is for Scutterman and S_martie (two loyal fans of the show)
T is for Titles and Technical Difficulties (both weekly occurrences)
U is for Uploading (one of James’ jobs, which seems to annoy him)
V is for Video (even though the hosts have faces for radio)
W is for Wii and WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends, often seen in the background)
X is for Xbox (the platform of choice for James and Dave)
Y is for You (future Technophiliacs)
Z is for Zzzzz (which is all you’ll do in between episodes)
The Top 10 Of Technophilia
At the time of writing there have been 111 episodes of Technophilia. All are entertaining, but some are better than others. There are also some key episodes which feature a particularly important guest or mark a key moment in the evolution of this podcast.
What follows are 10 episodes that we recommend be listened to by all current and future Technophiliacs. The first two are only available as audio recordings, while the rest are available in both audio and video form.
Included for nothing more than being the first episode of Technophilia.
Included for introducing Bing as an unpleasant verb. This should catch on.
Included for marking the permanent switch to live video.
Included for providing proof that the show couldn’t exist without Justin.
Included for featuring a great guest in the form of Tyler from HabitRPG.
Included for the appearance of MakeUseOf founder and owner Aibek Esengulov.
Included for being the centenary and featuring lots of MakeUseOf writers.
Included for featuring a great guest in the form of DJ Cutman.
Included for featuring Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com.
Included for featuring Yukari Iwatani Kane, author of Haunted Empire.
Not included in the Top 10 but also unmissable is the Special Edition – Let’s Play Numenera episode of Technophilia, which saw the hosts joining Rob Wiesehan to play a fantasy tabletop RPG. It takes a while to get going but ends up being highly entertaining.
Technophilia Needs You
Technophilia is unique in terms of content and style, but like every other podcast out there, it’s nothing without listeners. Which is where you, loyal MakeUseOf reader, come in.
Everybody reading this is a potential listener, and the more who take the plunge and listen to this podcasting pariah, the more chance Technophilia has of achieving the long-lasting success it so deserves.
Justin summed up Technophilia by stating, “We see the show as three guys talking tech, but it’s always more fun when friends show up.” Be one of those friends, by listening live every Wednesday or downloading a podcast or two from the archive on MakeUseOf.tv. Do it. Now.