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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Happy birthday Facebook

Social media is in the sights of this week's biggest release

10:00 AM GMT on February 14, 2024

    Welcome to this week's Recommendation Engine from Podcast Rex, rounding up the week in podcast reviews. Get this in an email each week by signing up to be a supporter of Podcast Rex from £3.99.

    Apple Podcasts New & Noteworthy:

    Spotify New & 🔥

    Fiona Sturges in the FT

    • The Gatekeepers - “This year marks 20 years of Facebook, which doesn’t feel like cause for celebration. And yet the tale of a social network cooked up by Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm, and which would go on to stoke societal divisions and has been shown to be damaging to some young people, is one already exhaustively covered by journalists, documentarians and, yes, podcasters. As origin stories go, this one has already been done to death.”

    James Marriott in the Times:

    • The Gatekeepers - “The risk of any exploration into the origins of social media is going too obvious or too obscure. On the evidence of the first couple of episodes, Bartlett is doing a valiant job of trying out original angles on this all-too-familiar territory. Perhaps as he gets closer to the present the story will become weirder and less familiar.”

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer

    • Queer the Music - “Jake Shears’ openness and desire to drill into the creation and context of these brilliant records makes Queer the Music a lovely addition to the many music analysis/interview shows out there.”
    • Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative - “Occasionally, she labours her points, but this is a refreshing and interesting series, made better by the involvement of the subjects.”
    • Ellis James and John Robins - “I loved their old show, and the new stuff is pretty much exactly the same.”

    Patricia Nicol in the Sunday Times:

    • Black History, For Real - “A lively and refreshing look at black history.”
    • The Divorce Social - “Baines started the show when she was going through her own divorce and wanted others to feel less alone, and it certainly hits the spot on that note.”
    • Committed - “In an unashamedly emotional series Jo Piazza talks to couples who have survived challenges.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Late Fragments - “This introspective, thoughtful show interviews octogenarians about politics, religion, sex and money.”
    • Drink Champs - "A lively, laughter-filled journey into hip-hop’s golden era."
    • Black History, for Real - “The excellent first episode focuses on the women of the Black Panther party.”
    • The Hidden 20% - “A podcast to change people’s perceptions of the 20% who don’t fit the neurotypical bracket.”
    • The History of Curb Your Enthusiasm - “A must listen for diehard fans.”

    And in the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    In PodPod’s Earworms column

    • Becky Lamb-Pritchard, This Is Distorted: Disabled and Proud - “Positive and invaluable.”
    • Alice Pukhova, WMH&I: The Silt Verses - “Truly unique and leaves a lasting impression.”
    • Mark Kelly, tms: Script Apart - “Solid, thoughtful and insightful.”
    • Katy Wright, FCB London: Diary of a CEO - “He’s shone a light on subjects where he freely admits he might have no knowledge.”
    • Fiona Fraser, PowPR: Making Money Online - “Super down-to-earth and practical advice.”

    And on Podcast Rex, I’ve found some super podcast episodes to keep you healthy in body and mind.

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