Friday evening, my fellow Mashable writer Steven Hodson sat in on a sort of round-table podcast with Profy writer Cyndy Aleo-Carreira, Inquisitr‘s (and occasional Mashable contributor) Duncan Riley, and Cyndy’s husband (sorry, didn’t catch his name!). It’s apparently destined to become a weekly thing, and another instance of members of the alleged “rat pack” spidering out into all parts of the blogosphere.

I like to think this trend all began with the ‘rat pack’ podcast “Elite Tech News,” the weekly foray into tech as decided by the L33t Reddit Filter. The podcast is unofficially part of the Mashable family of podcasts (but in no way owned by Mashable, and is not a Mashable property – in fact, we really don’t even think of it as a property). The management never explicitly sanctioned it, but somehow I got away with throwing it online into the site’s mix (I think I asked someone at some point, but no one can remember who okayed it – not even me).

Four members of the rat pack panel are in some way affiliated with the Mashable, and Sean P. Aune and Adam Ostrow have been past guest panelists (as have Allen Stern and Robert Scoble), hence the unofficial Mashable affiliation. Still, VentureBeat‘s MG Seigler, The Blog Herald‘s Jason Kaneshiro and ReadWriteWeb‘s Frederic Lardinois have all been members of the l33t tech squad since the beginning.

The idea for a podcast grew organically as the group came together, but as one of the people who suggested it (you knew it had to be me, right?), I can say that I was inspired by Leo Laporte’s TWiT, and to a certain extent the Gillmor Gang.

Podcasts Are The New Social Club
Since Mashable has been running the posts, though, the Gillmor Gang was brought under the TechCrunch fold. ReadWriteWeb started their own panelist podcast (RWW Live). Profy seems to be playing host for Cyndy’s show (Things You Can’t Say About The Internet).

Even other non-media entity companies are starting up with it. Adam Ostrow and Drew Olanoff (incidentally, a blogger at Download Squad) do a weekly ReadBurner roundtable podcast. Past guests there have included Louis Gray, Duncan Riley, MG Seigler, Marshall Kirkpatrick. Starting to see a trend?

I like that we’re collectively into podcasting again. I can’t speak to everyone else’s download numbers, but download trends to L33t Tech have been both interesting, unique, and flattering. We’ve got a huge number of downloaders that grows in a steady pattern. What’s most interesting about it is that they all showed up instantly – the minute the feed was created, we had this mountain of downloads. We haven’t had many spikes, and no dramatic drops, since inception.

The numbers tell me that we’re looking at an insidery group of folks interested in the thoughts of those in the various places where news often breaks. I’m sure that all the other folks running these round-tables are seeing (or will see) similar numbers.

What is of most joy to me is that the core of the movers and shakers in the blogosphere are getting back into the spirit of podcasting (after an extended period of bashing it for having no future). Its usefulness and business potential is being rediscovered.

I have some more thoughts on that, and I’ll probably get into them at some point in a video post, but at the moment, sleep is overtaking me. So you’ll have to wait with baited breath for that.


PS: Sunday night is L33t Tech Night. Don’t forget to tune in. Look for the link in your Twitter feed.

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