by Stuart Lennon

1857 is a podcast by Stuart Lennon and TJ Cosgrove.

Until recently, I only had a vague understanding of what actually constitutes a podcast.

"A podcast, or generically, netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to or watch. It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user's own computer, mobile application or portable media player." So says Wikipedia.

My definition is "an on demand talk radio show."

My first experience of a podcast was listening to "Wittertainment", which is the nickname for the podcast of a Radio 5 show, "Kermode and Mayo's Film Review". The radio programme goes out on a Friday afternoon, which is not overly convenient for me, so I sought out the podcast, which "drops" on Friday night.

I live in the Apple world, so off to iTunes I went, where, with a minimum of swearing, I managed to subscribe. As if by magic, every Friday, a new episode of the show, complete with extra content, appears on all my devices. It's a whole new world. I have access to a host of content, free of charge, that is personally curated for me.

I can listen in the office while completing admin tasks. I can listen through AirPods on my commute. I'm listening to one right now as I type this. Hip Dude that I now am, I have graduated to a third-party application for my podcasts, called Overcast, which I heard about, on ...a podcast. There are lots and lots of ways of downloading and listening to podcasts, none of which need cost you a cent.

There are thousands upon thousands of shows, on pretty much every subject imaginable. If you haven't tried listening to podcasts, give it a go. There is so much good content out there.

It's free, it's easy and it's awesome.

During 2017, TJ and I got talking (or at least messaging) about doing a podcast together.

TJ is an accomplished content producer, predominantly in video. He felt comfortable that his skills would transfer to audio, so he edits and produces the show.

Without much preamble, we recorded a couple of trials.

Yeti Microphone for recording 1857

1857 was born.

It's worth noting that TJ and I had still not met in person. We have got to know each other, recording the show. 

TJ is a millennial. I'm generation X. He has a beautiful Ulster lilt, against my neutral received pronunciation. When something grabs TJ's attention, he dives deep, exploring the essence of the subject. I try to keep up.

TJ takes ice showers, and drinks Bud Light. (The savage.) I'll have a large glass of red, thank you.

Why 1857?

Well, why not? There are reasons behind the name, but none of them are important.

Go and have a listen. Most episodes are a little over an hour and new shows drop every Monday. As I write, we have released 20 episodes. A decent body of content, but still small enough to catch-up, if you are a completist. That said, each episode stands on its own.

What do we talk about?

As well as our differences, TJ and I have things in common too:

The analogue. TJ is the pencil man and I'm the notebook guy. Nevertheless, we don't limit ourselves. Our conversation is just that, a conversation. It wanders off wherever it wants to. We talk, we discuss and laugh. We laughed enough to want to meet - see Episode 16, "Belfast - (Live).

Go have a listen. If you are here, on this site, there's a strong possibility that you'll enjoy the show.

We have a listener chat group too. The "1857 Slackers". Should you wish to join, just let me have an e-mail address, and I'll send you an invite.

While you are downloading 1857, you should also get The Pen Addict, The Erasable Podcast, RSVP and Take Note. There are many more to explore, but those five will give you a fabulous starting stationery set.