What’s your Podcast Personality Profile?


I recently read an intriguing post about IBM’s new Personality Insights tool that uses Watson to analyse text in order to make an assessment of your character. Interesting idea – and fun to try.

Inspired by this, today I’m launching a new tool – The Purple Salix Podcast Personality Profile. No science, no financial investment, no unpleasant bending – just a simple hypothesis:

You can tell a lot about someone by the podcast company they keep.

The rationale is straightforward. The IBM tool is an awesome showcase of the sort of insight that technology can provide, and has some fascinating implications for recruitment and HR processes, among others. However it is based on the principle that what we are what we write. This is fine up to a point, but there is possibly a slight flaw in that when we write stuff (even this post) we are trying to project some sort of image and to manipulate perceptions. Clearly if you look at enough text I’m sure you’ll build up a pretty authentic picture. Just saying…

However by analysing what people do rather than what they say might give us a more authentic analysis. Looking at your list of podcasts (or at least the ones you actually listen to, rather than the ones you download and then ignore) gives an indication of how you actually choose to spend your time. Of course this doesn’t hold up to any scientific rigour – I’m just hoping that if I show you mine, you’ll show me yours!

So here’s my current list of podcast faves – not sure what it says about me, perhaps I’ll wait for Watson to tell me!

  • Beyond the Todo List (Erik Fisher). Conversations with authors and entrepreneurs on stuff vaguely to do with productivity and balance.
  • This is Your Life (Michael Hyatt). Generally excellent, if sometimes a little laboured. Tends to be hints and tips around productivity and getting more “margin” in your life.
  • Freakonomics Radio (Stephen Dubner). A sideways and intelligent look at business issues. Funny and smart.
  • Startup Podcast. First season was a hoot – a podcast about starting up a podcast   startup! Second season is also fascinating. Also some of the best native advertising I’ve heard.
  • The Bottom Line (Evan Davis – BBCR4). As ever depends on the guest – but often really open and insightful
  • Friday Night Comedy (News Quiz/Now Show – BBC R4). I skip this when the Now Show is on rotation – but the News Quiz is priceless. Shame that Sandi is leaving.
  • Desert Island Discs (Kirsty Young – BBC R4). Discover new music from often inspiring people. The only podcast I can think of that has ever brought me close to tears.
  • Gardeners Question Time (BBC R4). Release your inner gardener. Topical tips for what you should be doing in the garden this weekend (but probably won’t)

Interesting that I don’t seem to have any Marketing podcasts here – are there any that I’m missing out on?

What’s your list, and what does it say about you?

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