64 episodes

Follow Friday is the podcast about who you should follow online. Every week, Eric Johnson talks to creative people about who they follow, and why.

Past guests include Tom Scott (YouTube), Alie Ward (Ologies), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Alexandra Petri (The Washington Post), and Kara Swisher (The New York Times). On Follow Friday, you'll have fun, you'll learn more about your favorite creators, and you'll discover how to make the most of your time online by following the right folks.

New to the show? Start here: https://www.followfridaypodcast.com/start-here

Visit FollowFridayPodcast.com for full episode transcripts, links to people who have been recommended on the show, and more. For extended episodes and more, back us on Patreon starting at $1/month: https://www.patreon.com/followfriday

Follow Friday LightningPod.fm

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Follow Friday is the podcast about who you should follow online. Every week, Eric Johnson talks to creative people about who they follow, and why.

Past guests include Tom Scott (YouTube), Alie Ward (Ologies), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Alexandra Petri (The Washington Post), and Kara Swisher (The New York Times). On Follow Friday, you'll have fun, you'll learn more about your favorite creators, and you'll discover how to make the most of your time online by following the right folks.

New to the show? Start here: https://www.followfridaypodcast.com/start-here

Visit FollowFridayPodcast.com for full episode transcripts, links to people who have been recommended on the show, and more. For extended episodes and more, back us on Patreon starting at $1/month: https://www.patreon.com/followfriday

    Encore - Lindsay Ellis (Axiom's End): Phantom of the Opera, 50 Shades of Grey, air disasters

    Encore - Lindsay Ellis (Axiom's End): Phantom of the Opera, 50 Shades of Grey, air disasters

    For more than five years, Lindsay Ellis produced https://www.youtube.com/c/LindsayEllisVids (video essays on YouTube), analyzing everything from the Transformers movies to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to popular tropes in film and TV.
    And in 2020, after more than a decade of wanting to be an author, she published her first book — the bestselling sci-fi novel https://read.macmillan.com/lp/axioms-end/ (Axiom's End), which was informed by that same attentiveness to pop culture. After 9/11, she noticed, popular alien invasion stories had shifted from "goofy" stories to "dead serious" ones, like Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds.
    "It's an alternate history that takes place in the late 2000s," she says of the first book, which is getting a sequel in October called https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250274540 (Truth of the Divine). "Basically, it's what if first contact happened during the Bush administration? ... It's a thought experiment of how would we react if civilization has to keep on trucking the way we have, but now we have this great existential quandary that, at least in the universe of the book, is heavily politicized."
    On today's podcast, Lindsay talks about four people she loves to follow on YouTube: A https://www.youtube.com/c/ToddintheShadows (pop music analyst) who breaks down one-hit wonders, band-breaking records, and more; a https://www.youtube.com/c/AmandatheJedi/ (prolific video essayist) who wears her enthusiasm on her sleeve; an https://www.youtube.com/c/DisasterBreakdown/ (aviation expert) who explains the history of air disasters; and a https://www.youtube.com/c/DrewGooden1/ (former Vine star) who cooks up brilliant video ideas like it's nothing.
    You can get bonus follow recommendations every week — including an extra follow from Lindsay — when you https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (back Follow Friday on Patreon), starting at just $1 a month. Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Danielle, Elizabeth, and Sylnai.
    Follow us:
    - Follow us @followfridaypod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter), https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram), and https://www.tiktok.com/@followfridaypod/ (TikTok) and find clips from the show on our https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVlDOyFjj9ulmiIrsBJlMqg (YouTube channel)
    - Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (on Twitter @heyheyesj)
    - Check out https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/modem-mischief/id1585249019 (Modem Mischief) to hear the true stories of the outlaws of cyberspace
    This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
    Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
    Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
    Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

    • 47 min
    Jesse Thorn (Bullseye): Scruffy dogs, breakfast cereal, the worst albums of the 20th century

    Jesse Thorn (Bullseye): Scruffy dogs, breakfast cereal, the worst albums of the 20th century

    Jesse Thorn has been podcasting since 2005, when he put his college radio show The Sound of Young America on the internet. He was a little early to the party: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2005/04/03/podcasting-catches-on/ (Six million) Americans had listened to a podcast back then, versus https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-infinite-dial-2022/ (177 million) today.
    But Jesse stuck with it, and then some. The Sound of Young America became the hit NPR series Bullseye, and he founded the comedy and culture podcast network Maximum Fun, which powers dozens of other podcasts, including Jesse's other shows — Judge John Hodgman and Jordan, Jesse, Go!
    Today on Follow Friday, he explains why he got into podcasting, his passion for dad movies, feeling like an outsider inside NPR, and much more. He also shares four great follow recommendations: An adorable "scruffy dog" named Archie (https://www.instagram.com/archie.was.here/ (@archie.was.here) on Instagram); New York Times opinion columnist and podcaster and cereal critic Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie on https://twitter.com/jbouie (Twitter) and https://twitter.com/jbouie (Instagram)); comedian and roller derby commentator Blaine Capatch (https://twitter.com/blainecapatch/ (@blainecapatch) on Twitter); and Pop Culture Happy Hour host and author Linda Holmes (https://twitter.com/lindaholmes (@lindaholmes) on Twitter and https://www.instagram.com/lindaholmes97/ (@lindaholmes97) on Instagram).
    And on https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (Follow Friday's Patreon page), you can unlock an extended version of this interview in which Jesse shares a fifth bonus follow recommendation! Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Danielle, Elizabeth, and Sylnai.
    Also:
    Follow Jesse https://twitter.com/JesseThorn (@JesseThorn) on Twitter and https://www.instagram.com/put.this.on/ (@put.this.on) on Instagram
    Follow us @FollowFridayPod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram)
    Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (@heyheyesj) on Twitter
    Email us! hello@followfridaypodcast.com

    P.S. Here's Blaine Capatch's list of the https://twitter.com/blainecapatch/status/1446148140264923141 (500 Worst Albums of the 20th Century).
    This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
    Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
    Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
    Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Reggie Fils-Aimé (Disrupting the Game): Becoming a meme, becoming a Muppet, video game skills

    Reggie Fils-Aimé (Disrupting the Game): Becoming a meme, becoming a Muppet, video game skills

    Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé talks about his new book Disrupting The Game and four of his favorite people he follows online.

    • 46 min
    Danielle Friedman (Let's Get Physical): Cooking in the nude, human footballs, no filters

    Danielle Friedman (Let's Get Physical): Cooking in the nude, human footballs, no filters

    On the internet, body shaming is alive and well, nutrition advice can be wildly inaccurate, and it's a lot easier to scroll through Instagram for hours than to get up and go for a run. But Danielle Friedman, who literally https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/645493/lets-get-physical-by-danielle-friedman/ (wrote the book) on women's fitness, says there's one extremely good thing that social media has done for our bodies, which we shouldn't ignore.
    "Body acceptance activist Virgie Tovar told me that social media has given a voice to the people who have always been the majority in number, but not in influence," Danielle says.
    "You don't have to go through all of the traditional channels to be visible. You can just start posting selfies and find an audience and build an audience that way. And I know it's easier said than done, but in spending years researching this history, that is a significant shift."
    Today on Follow Friday, Danielle talks about what else she learned while researching https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/645493/lets-get-physical-by-danielle-friedman/ (Let's Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World). And she opens up about four of her favorite people she follows online:
    Someone who she just started following: Katie Sturino, @katiesturino on https://www.tiktok.com/@katiesturino/ (TikTok) and https://www.instagram.com/katiesturino/ (Instagram)
    Someone who makes her laugh: 70s Dinner Party, https://www.instagram.com/70sdinnerparty/ (@70sdinnerparty) on Instagram and https://twitter.com/70s_party (@70s_party) on Twitter
    Someone who makes her think: Laura McLaws Helms, https://www.instagram.com/laurakitty/ (@laurakitty) on Instagram
    Someone who makes the internet a better place: Jessamyn Stanley, @mynameisjessamyn on https://www.instagram.com/mynameisjessamyn/ (Instagram) and https://www.tiktok.com/@mynameisjessamyn (TikTok), https://twitter.com/JessamynStan (@JessamynStan) on Twitter, and https://www.youtube.com/c/JessamynStanley/videos (@JessamynStanley) on YouTube

    Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Elizabeth, Sylnai, and Matthias. On https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (our Patreon page), you can pledge any amount of money to get access to Follow Friday XL — our members-only podcast feed with exclusive bonus follows.
    That feed has an extended-length version of this interview in which Danielle talks about someone who's an expert in a very specific niche she loves: Dr. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela.
    Also:
    Follow Danielle https://www.instagram.com/DanielleFriedmanWrites/ (@daniellefriedmanwrites) on Instagram and https://twitter.com/DFriedmanWrites (@DFriedmanWrites) on Twitter
    Follow us @FollowFridayPod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram)
    Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (@heyheyesj) on Twitter

    This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
    Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
    Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
    Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

    • 40 min
    T.J. Raphael (BioHacked: Family Secrets): Brooklyn moms, "monogamish," T9 texting

    T.J. Raphael (BioHacked: Family Secrets): Brooklyn moms, "monogamish," T9 texting

    When her college friend Amber invited her to the beach five years ago, T.J. Raphael had no idea that saying "yes" would change the course of her career. On the beach, Amber told T.J. about discovering — thanks to an at-home DNA kit — that her biological father was not the man who helped raised her. Instead, her "bio-dad" was a formerly anonymous sperm donor, and Amber was not his only child finding out about him.
    Reporting out the story of Amber's parentage opened the door to all kinds of stories about the "baby business," which T.J. explores in her acclaimed new podcast BioHacked: Family Secrets.
    Today on Follow Friday, T.J. talks about the reporting process for BioHacked as well as four of her favorite people she follows online:
    Someone who makes her laugh: Sydney Battle, https://twitter.com/sydneybattle/ (@sydneybattle) on Twitter and https://www.instagram.com/sydbattle/ (@sydbattle) on Instagram
    Someone she doesn't know, but wants to be friends with: Dan Savage, @dansavage on https://www.instagram.com/dansavage/ (Instagram) and https://www.facebook.com/DanSavage (Facebook), and https://twitter.com/fakedansavage (@fakedansavage) on Twitter
    Someone she just started following: Kenzo Mizumoto, @kenzomizumoto on https://www.tiktok.com/@kenzomizumoto/ (TikTok) and https://www.instagram.com/kenzomizumoto/ (Instagram)
    Someone who makes the internet a better place: Christi Steyn, @christi.steyn on https://www.tiktok.com/@christi.steyn/ (TikTok) and https://www.instagram.com/christi.steyn/ (Instagram)

    Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Elizabeth, Sylnai, and Matthias. On https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (our Patreon page), you can pledge any amount of money to get access to Follow Friday XL — our members-only podcast feed with exclusive bonus follows.
    That feed has an extended-length version of this interview in which T.J. talks about someone super-talented who's still under the radar: Comedian Shelby Wolstein.
    Also:
    Follow T.J. on Twitter https://twitter.com/TJRaphael (@tjraphael), and listen to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1607121653 (BioHacked: Family Secrets)
    Follow us @FollowFridayPod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram)
    Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (@heyheyesj) on Twitter

    This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
    Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
    Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
    Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

    • 44 min
    Charlie Harding (Switched on Pop): Daft Funk, TikTok music, canceling Beethoven

    Charlie Harding (Switched on Pop): Daft Funk, TikTok music, canceling Beethoven

    Charlie Harding says he "procrastinates" by watching YouTube videos about sound design. But it's not an aimless hobby, because Charlie is a musician and the co-host of Switched on Pop, Vulture's podcast about the making and meaning of popular music.
    "Reporting on music, I'm like, 'I need to understand every little thing about how the songs are made,'" he says. "I frequently will actually recreate songs before I think about how to report on them, because I almost want to get inside the creative mind of the person making it."
    Today on Follow Friday, Charlie talks about four of his favorite people he follows online:
    Someone who makes the internet a better place: Scary Pockets, @scarypockets on https://www.youtube.com/c/ScaryPockets/videos (YouTube), https://twitter.com/scarypockets (Twitter), https://www.instagram.com/scarypockets/ (Instagram), and https://www.facebook.com/scarypockets/ (Facebook)
    Someone he's jealous of: Cat Zhang, https://twitter.com/CatZhang1 (@CatZhang1) on Twitter
    Someone he has a crush on: Bess Kalb, https://twitter.com/bessbell (@bessbell) on Twitter
    Someone who's an expert in a very specific niche he loves: Dan Worrall, https://www.youtube.com/c/DanWorrall/videos (@DanWorrall) on YouTube

    Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Elizabeth, Sylnai, and Matthias. On https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (our Patreon page), you can pledge any amount of money to get access to Follow Friday XL — our members-only podcast feed with exclusive bonus follows.
    That feed has an extended-length version of this interview in which Charlie talks about someone he doesn't know, but wants to be friends with: Musician and comedian Reggie Watts.
    Also:
    Follow Charlie https://twitter.com/charlieharding (@charlieharding) on Twitter and listen to https://switchedonpop.com/ (Switched on Pop)
    Follow us @FollowFridayPod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram)
    Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (@heyheyesj) on Twitter

    This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
    Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
    Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
    Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

waltm ,

Eric knows his stuff

Eric Johnson has been in the podcast biz for a long time. And he knows his stuff - how they’re made, why they’re made, what makes them good. He’s also been a critic for a long time (albeit of pop culture) so he knows how creative work relates to mainstream people. Put those talents together and you get Follow Friday - a podcast you can trust and enjoy. (Disclosure: Eric and I were colleagues, but he had nothing to do with my own podcast, which was produced by a different department of our employer.)

tomhollandspiderman ,

Fantastic podcast

I really love podcasts that come with fresh and new ideas, especially when they’re simple and useful ones — Follow Friday is so good as a podcast first but also fills my feed with new and interesting people that I didn’t know about ahead of time. It’s a great way to learn about different voices and to diversify your inputs on the internet.

JustEmilyC ,

Who knew I needed this.

I'm addicted to email newsletters so this podcast totally enables my addiction. I've gotten the best recommendations. Aside from the recs, Eric Johnson, the host, is just a nice guy. Also for a new podcaster (I think), he's great at making the interviews conversational instead of rote question/answer sessions. I'm excited for more to come.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Lemonada Media
iHeartPodcasts
Pineapple Street Studios | Wondery | Amazon Music
This American Life
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
Apple TV+ / Campside Media

You Might Also Like

Roman Mars
NPR
Crooked Media
iHeartPodcasts
Slate Podcasts
Witness Docs & Atlas Obscura