Cisco Champions Radio is a spin-off from Cisco community recognition program that get members from the community and SME’s together to discuss Cisco related products/releases, tools and educational services. It covers the entire gamut of Cisco products from its core routing and switching to the data center to unified communications. The technology and product podcasts are interspersed with community related information. One of particular note that was very interesting was S2 E7 – Creating videos & podcasts as IT professionals. This podcast has a number of Cisco community members that either run, edit or produce their own podcasts or video content and go into a discussion around the best tools for the job. The main comment from everyone involved was for others to just make content, get out there and begin to make content. Yes it may not be super quality at the beginning but you will improve over time. The other primary comment from everyone was to make sure that you get good audio. Even for video content the visuals can be jumpy or glitchy but if the audio drops out so will your listeners/viewers.
And that leads me to my one complaint about Cisco Champion Radio. The audio. The discussion is carried out over Talkshoe and it just sounds really tinny. There are times where it sounds a bit fuller but generally it’s tinny. I know that the producers are looking at other options and it was even part of the episode 7 discussion so hopefully in the future another platform can be utilised. It’s not the first community podcast I’ve heard run across Talkshoe which has had a similar audio quality. The APAC Virtualization podcast also suffered a similar fate. Which just goes to show how compelling the content for both podcasts is if you can sit through tinny audio.
So what are Cisco Champions? Cisco Champions are the equivalent to VMware vExperts. They are community members that discuss, review, promote and critique Cisco’s product range. I think their own description is far better at explaining it than i can:
Cisco Champions are a network of people who are passionate about Cisco and enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco. The Cisco Champions program encompasses different areas of interest and geographical areas within the company, providing a variety of opportunities for Champions to participate in the program. To learn more about the Cisco Champions program go to https://communities.cisco.com/groups/cisco-champions
The format of the podcast is a questions and answers style podcast with one leader from the Cisco Champions program that mediates the conversation and keeps things moving. There are usually 2 or 3 guests on the show, one being an SME from Cisco in a particular product/area and the others being Cisco Champions that work for other vendors or service providers. The content of the episodes range from deep technical to high-level overviews. All the guests are really clued in and have a deep understanding on the subject being discussed and provide some real food for thought. I’d recommend listening to S2 Episode 4 about VIRL for a prime example of this. It was a really in-depth discussion and really made me want to go and get my hands on VIRL. I was thinking about it before but now it’s definitely on the cards. One of the advantages of Cisco Champion Radio is that it’s not a closed podcast, it’s possible for people to join in live and listen into the discussion and ask questions to the guest. This expands the scope to the podcast to really engage with the community in real-time. Most other podcasts can only do that after the podcast has been produced. If you want to attend any of the Cisco Champion Radio episodes live you can access the details on how to attend from https://communities.cisco.com/docs/DOC-56977. This is the advantage the Talkshoe does provide over some other platforms. I’m fairly new to Cisco equipment, especially considering other engineers out there, so pretty much all the content is of interest to me as I try to expand my knowledge beyond just data center technologies and into the networking sphere. Thankfully every possible product/solution is covered on Cisco Champion Radio so I’m sure if something hasn’t come up before now it won’t be long before it is covered by the team.
If you want to access any of the back-catalog of Cisco Champion Radio episodes head on over to https://communities.cisco.com/docs/DOC-51556 and select a link or just add Cisco Champion Radio to your iTunes podcast list. I’d highly recommend it.