Search Engine

PJ Vogt, Audacy, Jigsaw

Named a best podcast of 2023 by Vulture, Time, The Economist, & Vogue. No question too big, no question too small. On Search Engine, host PJ Vogt answers the kinds of questions you might ask the internet when you can't sleep. If you find the world bewildering, but also sometimes enjoy being bewildered by it, we're here for you. Edited by Sruthi Pinnamaneni. read less

Our Editor's Take

When his friends began investing life savings into cryptocurrency, PJ Vogt took notice. Search Engine's first season explores the sometimes confounding but fascinating crypto field. Vogt researches a virtual community driven by unmatched logic. The podcast also examines other topics that range from strange to wild. What the narrator discovers on his quest is as bizarre as it's exciting.

PJ Vogt used to report on social media, the now "unexciting" WEB2. He was also a cohost on Reply All, a podcast from Gimlet Media. After leaving the company, he started Search Engine. Vogt runs the podcast solo and does a fantastic investigative job. His interest in crypto began when a couple tried to get people to invest in a crypto-utopia. They were touting an Island in Fiji as an enclave for crypto millionaires, offering up an acre for a million dollars. While the project wasn't successful, it caught Vogt's attention. He also noticed conversations with some friends had evolved into crypto-speak. It was as if these people had become crypto-loving aliens. Plus, the news was awash with topics like NFTs, DAOs, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin. All these factors combined ignited Vogt's interest in the subject.

Search Engine is PJ's close examination of the topics most people only dare to ask search engines. In the first season, the podcast spotlights the expanding world of crypto. It explores the crypto-obsessed while also attempting to explain what it all means. Why were people investing in something that seems like reckless financial speculation?

Search Engine's second season expands beyond crypto. PJ explores weird and unusual questions. For example, "How sad are the monkeys in the zoo?" He discusses this topic with author Dr. Laura Braitman. The Stanford professor spent years researching mental illness in animals. She tells a story about picking up Prozac from the pharmacy for her dog. Listeners can expect unexpected stories like this on the podcast. The podcast is one man's brave attempt to answer those questions that niggle the subconscious. It's a journey of curiosity, wonder, and profound experiences.

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