Review: Diggnation

DiggnationDiggnation was one of the first big podcasts to hit the Internet and has continued to prove itself since its release in July of 2005. Almost 5 years later and Diggnation continues to grow in popularity and remains Revision3‘s flagship podcast.

Hosted by ex-Tech TV personalities Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, Diggnation lasts around 40-60 minutes and is released every week in both audio and video formats.

At its core, Diggnation is a technology podcast, though unlike other tech podcasts you don’t necessarily need to be a geek to get something out of the show. Each week Kevin and Alex select several of the most popular articles featured on digg.com and discuss them amongst themselves. This format is simple, which makes it easy to jump in to, and means there is plenty of variety to satisfy most.

What has made Diggnation such an important podcast is that it exemplifies what makes online broadcasting so special: it’s just a two guys sitting on a couch with their laptops, talking shit. Yet somehow the show is far more captivating than anything aired on mainstream so-called tech channels.

Having said that, Diggnation has definitely lost some of the quaint charm it once had. Partly this is the higher production values that can occasionally make the podcast overcooked with cute graphics and post-production editing. Another reason is the necessary evil of advertising. There is nothing wrong with advertising in a podcast, but it unfortunately does come at a cost, especially when the commercials are presented as live editorials rather than separate interstitial advertisements. Even so, Diggnation hasn’t forgotten its roots, and these tend not to get in the way of the overall appeal or the hosts’ credibility.

One thing that I don’t enjoy about Diggnation is the live shows. While I commend the crew for being willing to travel interstate or overseas to see their fans and record live episodes, they’re just not that much fun to listen to. Almost every live show has quickly degenerated into self-indulgent scenes of Kevin and Alex drinking or winding up the crowd. I’m sure this would be a blast if I were there, but listening to several minutes of drinking contests or cheering crowds is simply tedious.

When not filming live shows, the boys try to keep in contact with fans through the more traditional medium of email. Unfortunately, despite having a self-proclaimed male-centric audience, it seems the only way your email has a chance of getting read is if you’re female and attach a picture of yourself. To be fair this has led some pretty funny moments, but does strike me as a little juvenile.

If you frequent digg.com, or are generally interested in technology, Diggnation is an absolute most-subscribe. If you aren’t into technology I would still recommend watching an episode or two because every show contains at least a few stories that don’t require being a tech head to appreciate. The chemistry between Kevin and Alex is fantastic and the format is easy to understand and incredibly addictive.

Subscribe to Diggnation: Website | iTunes | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) (more feeds available on their website)

Watch the video version of this review, including samples from the show, in Episode 20 of Podwatch: iTunes | RSS | Direct download

Ratings for Diggnation
Entertainment value
The format for diggnation lends itself to a lot of variety. Even if you’re not into technology, there are a number of stories within an episode that span a range of areas.
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of content
With several stories covered in an episode, the content is dense and usually leaves you wanting more.
starstarstarstarstar
Production quality
Although a little overcooked at times, you can’t fault Diggnation for trying to create a tight, well produced show.
starstarstarstarstar
Overall
A little juvenile at times, but the banter between Kevin and Alex is incredibly fun to listen to, and the variety within an episode is sure to satisfy most subscribers.
starstarstarstarstar
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2 Comments

  1. Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

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  2. Posted January 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    At first I wasn’t really into Diggnation but revisited it in late 2011 and enjoyed it a lot only to find out that they are ending it :( Have you checked out the follow on show toasted donut with diggnation cameraman Hippy Glen..?


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