Ruby 5 and Rails Envy Revisited

About a month ago, I wrote about the splitting up of the dynamic duo—Jason Seifer and Gregg Pollack—that made up the Rails Envy team. Since then, we’ve seen 7 episodes of Ruby5 and 2 episodes of Rails Envy come out. Now that we’ve gotten a good feel for what each is doing with his podcast, I thought I’d follow up on what I think of the two podcasts.

First of all, there is a distinct difference in pace and length. The Ruby5 podcast moves along extremely quicky and for good reason. They only have 5 minutes to cover their topics. My problem with their pace is that by the time I’m done looking at the first thing they brought up, the podcast is over. I have to rewind and re-listen. The Rails Envy podcast moves along much more slowly. In fact, I couldn’t make it through episode 90 until I got my new ipod touch and could listen to it at 2x speed. At that point, the content was coming in at the right speed and I actually enjoyed it.

Another difference is in the content. Rails Envy almost feels like it’s about whatever caught the fancy of Jason and Dan. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as they cover a lot of important topics that don’t quite qualify as recent news. However, it does lack some of the focus it had before. Ruby5 on the other hand delivers great current content every episode. The only problem I see with their approach is that I wonder if there is more great stuff that doesn’t make the cut.

Finally, there’s the websites. Rails Envy stuck with the same basic design, which basically consists of a list of links. Ruby5 has a navigation bar on the right of the show notes that allows you to skip down to the explanation and comments per article or story. I also like that you can click an embedded play button and skip ahead to the snippet of the podcast.

So, in the end, I think both podcasts have their place. Ideally, in my mind Ruby5 would become Ruby7 and cover a few more stories and Rails Envy would become a little more focused and pick up the pace a little. Other than that, I’d like to applaud both Jason and Gregg for their collective and separate contributions to the Ruby on Rails community.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gregg Pollack September 18, 2009 at 5:51 am

Thanks for the feedback Charles, I wish we did get more feedback from our listeners. I think you hit the nail on the head though.

I think there are two different types of listeners out there:

1. Those that don’t have a lot of time and just want a quick podcast with focused content. This is the format I cater to with Ruby5. Think NPR news meets the Ruby world.

2. Those who have the time to listen to something a little more talky, and enjoy the banter which Jason and Dan do so well (better then I ever could) listen to Rails Envy.

The Ruby community needs more media like this (in my opinion), so it’s kinda cool that Jason and I figured out a way to create more. =)

FYI, we rarely cut stories. We try to find the 5-7 most interesting and educational stories for a Ruby/Rails developer.


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }