Explore the dark side of the Internet

I woke up to a fun surprise in my podcast queue yesterday, which is the subject of this week’s newsletter.

The minute in question is… well, it’s not actually a minute. It’s the entire episode, and it’s just 48 seconds long. It consists of a morse code message over some static, following on – I can only presume – from the previous episode which was all about haunted video games and ARGs.

Digital Folklore is a podcast from Realm. It’s a curious beast in that, like The Witch Farm, it’s a sort of reconstructed or partly fictionalised account of the past. Each main episode delves into a topic of Internet lore, featuring real interviews with knowledgeable people, woven together with a sort of semi-fictionalised narrative. This makes sense, given Realm is perhaps the home of podcast fiction… but it’s maybe a little hard to describe.

I got a real “the game is afoot” vibe from this episode, and it was exciting to see someone mess around with the format. Their previous main episode really got my creative juices flowing, so it was kind of thrilling to receive a little mystery in my queue. I won’t spoil what the message said, but you should check it out. They got my attention straightaway by using Unicode characters to muddy up the episode title.

There’s a surprising amount of fun you can have with an RSS feed and an MP3 delivery mechanism, if you’re willing to stretch your imagination a bit. That’s why I wanted to include this. I’m sure there are other podcasts with playful and semi-interactive elements, but I don’t come across them often.

If you’re curious about folklore and how it’s moved online, their first episode covered the Slender Man and Momo, two creepy-ass monsters that were made up by the sorts of people who hang out on Reddit and make up monsters. Because there’s an element of performance involved, some of the acting can be a little uneven which slightly sours the milk for me, but they’ve dug into some fun and interesting topics so far, and I love that they’re trying a different approach.

Honourable mention

I wanted to give a shout-out to the Amanda and Trevin of Live, Laugh, Larceny, a celebration of petty crime. I’ve been listening for a few weeks, and while I don’t think it necessarily qualifies for a Big Minute main feature, it’s absolutely worth your time.


So, that’s all I have for you this week. Keep listening, and I’ll do the same.

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