Are Tech Shows Running Out of Topics?

I began listening to tech podcasts a few years ago. I found TWIT podcasts and was hooked on those for sure, but I continue to listen to others. So my comments here are across the board, not just for TWIT shows.

Over the course of the past year, my interest in tech podcasts has waned. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the shows, rather the absence of talk and information about the new capabilities of hardware or software that most of us use, or the new programs put out by companies like Google.

The biggest problem is there are fewer and fewer new hardware upgrades. I remember the days of discussions of new photo or file capabilities of phones. Or how a phone could work seamlessly with other tech hardware. I miss Google coming up with programs like Google+, which could be discussed for hours.

Unfortunately, phones have hit a technological wall, and new capabilities are few and far between. There is far less excitement over new phones because of this. And the chasm between basic models and “pro” models seems to have created a sort of class system, with the pro users as the haves, and those who buy the non-“flagship” phones the have-nots.

And companies like Google are becoming less inclined to create new programs that many people can use.

So what seems to be going on on tech shows is more specialized discussions that often have far less broad base appeal to the average listener. Face it, most people can’t afford crypto currency or even understand it. Yet lots of time is given to discussing it. The financial aspects of tech companies is also a target of tech shows. When talk goes to the billions that these companies make, and that they are in a court fight with this or that company, it’s hard for the average person to sympathize, or even be interested in such astronomical amounts of money.

Also, we hear more and more about products that are financially out of reach of most of us, or tools the average person will never, ever need. A camera that iJustine uses that costs tens of thousands is something 90% of us will never use or afford.

When I listen to Leo’s weekend shows, I hear the types of things the average person finds useful. Which computer is right for them, what to do when this or that goes wrong with their phones, or what is the best router system for their situation.

This is not a condemnation of tech shows. There are only so many shows you can do about basic stuff, but conversely, how many times do we need to hear about BitCoin or Apple’s fight with gaming companies?

We can’t go back, and there is really not much tech shows can do. I just fear that some of my favorite shows will fade away, as topics of conversation becomes so specialized that I’m shut out just due to my lack of interest in more tech specific topics, and less interest in the casual tech user, who is just trying to make their basic tech work for them on a day to day basis.

Please don’t see this as a rant or complaining. I’m just wondering if I’m alone in finding fewer topics that are useful to the average person.


Take a look in the mirror and decide if you’re still “an average person”? Maybe you’ve learned what you wanted or needed to learn–now you find those topics boring because you don’t need to learn them any more?

But yes, technology has plateaued for now. CPUs haven’t got significantly better or faster (just more of the same speed cores.) Phones haven’t really added new features (so we have an attempt to make them interesting with 5G.) There are a few new interesting apps on phones now and then, but really they boil down to mostly more of the same (cloud, social, gamification, gig-economy.)

It’s possible you’re pandemic bored… once things get back to more of the way they were, and you spend less time looking for ways to bide your time, you’ll find it less repetitive than you do now. If not, maybe you need to find a new hobby (as in something new to learn)…


Good question. I think there’s a tech plateau happening in comparison to a decade ago. Heck, some things announced these days don’t interest me at all. And then there’s the “average person” point of view. I still wonder how many non-tech-geeks really seek out tech news when they don’t “need a new computer” or “need a new camera.” Seems like in my tiny circle, the average person never thinks about tech news on any matter until something of theirs breaks or needs upgrading. Otherwise, it’s all pop culture or latest hashtags on their minds and conversations. :slight_smile:

Thanks for being here, @Patchoulifan


The only tech that interests me at the moment is the iPad Pro I’ll be using to put together my March Madness brackets in 2 days!!! :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:


Thanks for the response Ant. What I really appreciate about this network, & this forum, is that the TWIT staff participate!


'tis the season :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I guess it depends on what you want out of the podcasts. New hardware doesn’t really interest me. I’m more interested in the socio-political interplay between technology and humanity as a whole.

The last year has been a boon for that.


It’s definitely happening. Listen to TWiG 601 for an in-depth, research driven, discussion of how tech journalism has changed in the past four years. tl;dr it’s changed exactly as you describe.

I ascribe that to a maturing of the industry. It’s like the way coverage of high-end audio gear changed through the 60s. Early in the decade it focused on hardware; things like RMS power ratings and frequency curves dominated discussion.

As the decade waned the conversation changed to cover content instead of playback devices, Rolling Stone overtook Hi-Fi Magazine. Discussions of speeds and feeds became relegated to small groups of twee enthusiasts, as the rest of the world stopped caring.

Today, as hardware becomes more ubiquitous, and more reliable, and big innovations become less frequent, of course the conversation is going to change. People are more interested in what technology can do and how it’s changing their lives, than in how it does it.

I think that’s a normal, and predictable, progression.


In the 80s it was the same with PCs. Up until about 86, the magazines described in detail every chip in the motherboard, then it went over into benchmarks and compatibility.

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Is that people focused on the most miniature of radio components… i.e. transistors? :wink:

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Okay, today must be the day for fun typos… is the motherboard cop the thing that stops people from overclocking their CPU (speeding)? :wink:


Bloody autocorrect.

Der Erfinder von Autokorrekt ist ein Erdloch und sollte sich ins Knie fügen!


Gosh I had to plug that into Google Translate :slight_smile: But then it came back with “Did you mean” :slight_smile:


Im not sure if I agree with the OP or not. In some respects, the industry is mature now and improvements and new hardware are just incremental whereas in the past, improvements were amazing and many leaps and bounds occurred. My knowledge, which has mostly been learned from PC magazines and podcast has vastly increased, too. But, I still find all the reporting entertaining and educational. It just doesn’t often have the wow factor now.

I will add, the new M1 chip from Apple had me squealing a bit because we haven’t had a big chip change in ages. Every now and then, something comes along that has me glad I’m still listening! :grin:


Not quite, but it gets the jist of the problem with autocorrect

The inventor of autocorrect is an earth-hole and should go grout himself in his knee.

The English equivalents for the “correct” sentence would then be an orifice in the human body, instead of earth-hole and the real German “ins Knie ficken” is go screw.

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Totally agree about the state of mobile device design. There’s nearly 0 innovation in that space now, we’re stuck with oversized slate devices until someone can break us out of it. Boring to watch.

Hoping for some kind of advanced wearable, or maybe a form-shifting OLED that is actually useful rather than a gimmick to jolt us out of this rut.

This is an odd statement. It’s akin to “I can’t afford a euro.” Anything can be understood given enough effort.

I’ll agree that some things that were covered in the past by tech journalists have waned, but we’ve gained things as well. It’s been fascinating to watch various industries transition the way content licenses are issued to consumers - we saw it with video and music, now we’re watching the gaming industry dip it’s toes in with things like Stadia, XCloud and GamePass.

I’ve also watched legal battles over intellectual property with interest. The finances may be eye-watering, but settlements aside, there are very real impacts to the way consumers will be purchasing apps or consuming media that absolutely still apply to the average person.


Excellent observation, Patchoulifan. I feel that there are several responses, as suggested by the comments, for example:

  • it’s true, there has been a slowing of strong innovation. We’re just following the Gartner curve
  • it’s just a reflection of the success of the podcasts: they have educated this listener who is now ready to move on to other material.

When I started listening to TWiT netcasts (as they were then) I followed at least half a dozen shows. Shows on Apple products, Security Now, This Week in Tech, This Week in Google, and others. However, after a few years I found that I was not learning anything useful and now I only really listen to TWiG. As I do not use any Google products that requires an explanation. I listen to TWiG because I enjoy hearing from Stacy, Jeff, and Ant (and Leo, of course) on any topic they feel like talking about. This reinforces the thesis of this thread – there is very little technology content of interest to me here.

By the way, I was very sorry that Hands on Mac and Hands on Wellness did not succeed.


Thx for the support :fist_right:t5:

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my post. In retrospect, I think that I was just late to the party as far as the actual technological progression of this industry goes. Growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, I was laser focused on stereo systems. Components were the name of the game, and you could go into shops and talk about, say, the merits of turntable tech until you were blue. It was all so, well, fun!

Then, career, marriage, kids, and life replaced those interests. Pagers kind of rekindled my tech interest a bit, but it took my son-in-law’s ribbing for my wife & I to ditch our folding cell phones in favor of smart phones, & we bought iPhone 3GS’s. That’s when my interest blossomed as to what these things could do. Every new iteration brought highly useful capabilities.

I guess my interest in the “how it was accomplished” was late, as was finding tech talk shows, & eventually podcasts. I barely knew who Steve Jobs was until after he had passed. My obsession was simply late to the party.

And now, the leaps & bounds of what devices can do has stalled out to a large degree, & we seen to be focused on the result of all this tech, rather than the tech itself. The exception seems to be high end, high cost tech items. My interest in that is impeded by financial restrains.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your thoughts, and appreciate you all taking the time to consider my post. :peace_symbol:


Voice for the epilogue: I nominate this for the non-existant “thread of the year” award. Interesting topic, well introduced and discussed, and finally well bookended. A treat to read. Could be closed not in anger, but to preserve for posterity. :slight_smile:

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