SlapCast.com and activism – Send Podcast audio to Politicians

This Podcast is a mp3 I made by calling a phone number, uploading the mp3 to my webserver, and stuffing it in my RSS 2.0 podcast feed. I wonder out loud what activists could do with a podcast by phone service that’s even simpler than I used it. Instead of emailing our congressperson or president we could send them URLs to our individual oral thoughts as soon as we have them. Imagine the large chorus of voices descending upon a politician in real time. The human voice can emotionally effect even the hardest of cynics!
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Podcast by Phone

I just discovered SlapCast linked from Dave Winer’s blog scripting.com. It’s similar to other services that record your phone call and email or send you a URL where you can pick up an audio file. (ex. k7.net, audblog.com) SlapCast goes one further and Podcasts the mp3 you record, OR UPLOAD. Blam! You have a totally mobile podcast. Nice to see services show up that are this innovative and make it crazy simple to share your own audio. This method, or one like it, is the audio grassroots journalism of the people! Now if we can just get a super cheap and or free version for non-profits and other advocacy campaigns. How about a package price for organizations where they can pay for a whole year of unlimited calls? This way anytime a activist has something to say they can just call up the number & give the world a piece of their mind!

Podcasting for Advocacy

How can we use new methods of sharing audio files online to support advocacy for progressive causes? HERE is the Citizen Journalism Tech Kit 001 I wrote in January of this year. It covers a basic and simple method of writing a story, recording it using any telephone, and posting the audio on the Internet. (aka Audio Blogging, Podcasting, etc.) Marty Kearns, Marnie Webb, Andy Carvin, and the folks at campaignaudit.org have been discussing this. Campaignaudit.org has also written a Political Podcaster’s Manual too. Please click on the links on these folks names to read there great ideas for Podcasting & Advocacy.

Malcolm X Lives Forever

“Nobody knew better than he the power words have over minds of men.” Today is the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s radio show today reminds us of his sacrifice. We must not underestimate the power of Malcolm X’s words and actions. He has empowered people all over the US and the world. Let us visualize the freedom of all peoples and work to see it happen! Ossie Davis, who died recently, gave this beautiful eulogy in 1965. Read it here.

Hunter S. Thompson was a Gonzo Blogger

On this awful Monday morning I was awoken by the clock radio. The first thing I hear from NPR news is that Hunter S. Thompson is dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound. The man killed himself…damn. Somehow I’m not surprised but very very sad. What awful torture drugs and depression can inflict on a person. It’s just wrong… This is not a moral judgment or condemnation of drug abuse. It’s just the cold hard facts. We learned a lot about being honest from Mr. Thompson.

Though I’ve read several of his books it was only a few months ago I learned about New Journalism. Here is a blog post I never finished about this:

Once again Doc Searls points me to the fine links. He reminds me how nothing is really new, just altered. Busting the myth of objectivity in journalism is being altered by blogs and podcasters. [Thank Buddha] Gonzo Journalism “has been called outlaw journalism, literary cubism, new journalism and other words I can’t repeat here.”

Many of us bloggers are New Journalists. We put ourselves in the story one way or the other blending hard news and fiction. Ruby Sinreich says that the best part of blogging is the first person voice we use. When we insert our bias, our opinion, and send objectivity to hell we are being the most real we can. I mean how could you possibly have any objective faculty when your high on more than one substance at a time? This was the essence of Thompson’s Gonzo Journalism.

It seems to me that the best way to understand others is to understand yourself. I don’t mean superficially but introspectively. Deep, deep, deep, searching within your mind. Long hours exercising your body listening to what it tells you. When you understand yourself you can be honest with the world. Let loose all your creativity. Then when you listen, really listen, to others you can process effectively their complicated communications. This way we don’t need societally guilt trip objectivity. We just need to understand our own truths and put others beside ours for analysis.

This might have been a too flowery an attempt at an epitaph and possibly a stretch to connect you to blogging but GODDAMN IT you sure opened up a lot of eyes Mr. Thompson! Thank you.

Dan Gillmor speaks at UNC Journalism School

This weeks podcast is a recording of a talk Dan Gillmor gave at the UNC School of Journalism on Monday, February 14, 2005. He discussed his ideas about the future of citizen journalism and covered many of the points in his new book called We The Media. His book is under a Creative Commons license and is available as a free download here. I’ve included the first 27 minutes of the talk in this podcast. If you are interested in listening to the rest it’s available in the Audio Archives section. Soon video of the event, shot by folks at UNC, should be online too.
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