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This week's episode brings an interview with Jessamyn West as well as a commentary by the program's audio engineer under the heading of "Patron Perspective".
Jessamyn West's post: On Fact Checking and Sarah Palin and Book Banning
Jessamyn West's post: Sarah Palin, VP nominee
Worldcat.org holdings of the Piers Anthony book cited in the commentary
Post by Blake about BlogWorldExpo
Post by Stephen about BlogWorldExpo
This week's episode features an interview with new media strategist Tommy Vallier talking about Google Chrome, an installment of Tech for Techies discussing how to build a telephone bridge for recording interviews, and a commentary.
Considering the hurricane situation in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the normal slow-down to news at this time, this week's episode has no interviews to it. A new installment of Tech for Techies is presented relative to interviewing for podcasts and gives some advice for librarians and teacher-librarians who may be involved in such. The program's engineer presented a brief bit about BlogWorldExpo 2008 (e-mail about that can be sent too). A commentary is also presented.
If you want to learn more about the situation with Hurricane Gustav, you can add this URL to your podcatcher to receive audio reports directly from the National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/audio/index_podcast.xml. As of the time of posting, updates were being issued regularly by the National Hurricane Center. An expanded listing of resource links can be found at LISNews here.
As an experiment in light of recent discussion, a transcript of this episode is available for purchase. The options exist to secure copies in either print form or electronic form. Pricing was intentionally kept on par, to the extent possible, with that asked by programs hosted by Oprah and Dr. Phil. This is a test to see if there is sufficient interest to back future transcript efforts as such involves diverting time and resources from other efforts.13:26 minutes (8 MB)
As seen in the past, hurricanes are big news. We worry about loved ones and the electronic communications bring us ever closer. As noted in the response to Hurricane Katrina, communications were a major issue. Rumors easily spread out of the Superdome and due to those massive communications nets those rumors whipped up pretty drastic hysteria.
What can a librarian do in this? The first thing to do is to be patient. While librarianship is sometimes considered a helping profession it must be remembered that a drive on our parts to help must be tempered with caution. The time to start thinking about donations of physical goods is best after landfall rather than before. The best thing that can be donated before landfall is money because that is far more fungible than a roll of toilet paper might be in terms of procuring goods. Money allows for those directly impacted to make decisions about how to respond rather than such being made in a disconnected place. The after-action reports from Katrina showed that while folks outside the impacted area might have been well-meaning sometimes the bulk donation of some types of physical goods was not quite effective.
Communications will be presumably impacted by this event. LISTen will not be reporting on Gustav. Rather than get details second-hand from LISTen a pointer is given below instead to an experimental podcast from the National Hurricane Center that may be issued as often as hourly. In this case it is best to get it directly rather than filtered. Care must be taken to ensure that telephone communications are not disrupted by attempting to contact loved ones that might still be in the projected impact area. If you receive a message that circuits are busy, it is best to wait as it may be a while before congestion clears. Many emergency response plans prioritize telephone traffic to support emergency response traffic first so continually trying might only cause you grief rather than relief. Individuals impacted by the storm should have registered with the American Red Cross "Safe and Well" system which is set up to help alleviate circuit congestion issues.
Even though it is a holiday weekend in the United States, the hard part is having to wait. Folks abroad also may have worries too. The links below are commended as ways to keep yourself up to date as well as for sharing with others who may have concerns.
American Red Cross "Safe and Well" Site
Tip sheet by the American Red Cross on hurricane evacuation
American Red Cross Gustav Newsroom
American Radio Relay League's links to resources
List of groups from National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster who you could donate funds to that might aid relief efforts
Jim Lindgren at The Volokh Conspiracy highlights a report about charities that performed best in responding to the 2005 storms
Details about the National Hurricane Center Podcast
Gustav Information Center on Ning
Podcasts available from The Weather Channel
CNN reporting on Hurricane Gustav
RSS feed for CNN hourly news audio
RSS feed for CNN twice a day news video -- Read More
The question arises at times as to why LISTen does not have transcripts available. The first thought in my mind is that the team is producing an audio production and not a weekly newsletter. Even at the longer length, LISTen is geared quite a bit towards folks who are making their morning commute to work. With the prevalence of "bedroom communities" in the United States it only appeared logical to consider listeners having commutes longer than five minutes. With an international audience, I also have the difficult task of ensuring that I am not completely focused on the United States to the exclusion of other things.
Transcripts are not impossible to find for various media expressions. CNN's transcripts are available freely online and the up-to-minute ones appear to be recordings of what was shown in Closed Captioning. Other media outlets provide such on a fee basis for programs such as the chat show hosted by Phil Donahue.
While there are scripts to some portions of the podcast, the percent of each episode that is scripted is far less than it was eight months ago. Live interviews have been obtained. The problem is that I cannot do the transcripts myself. It is hard enough listening to myself as we prep an air check and I don't want to hear myself over and over saying the same thing.
A firm in the Los Angeles area known as Noble Transcription Service does cater to podcasters. Their rate card is available online. In terms of their rates, LISTen would normally fall into their third category due to the multiple voices heard and varying segment types which otherwise results in a fee of $3.15 per minute for transcription. To cover the special edition with Dr. Stanley Kurtz as well as episodes thirty two to thirty four the cost for three to five day turnaround is USD$267.75. A rush order for those episodes coming back in one to two days would cost USD$352.75.
At the blog of Uncontrolled Vocabulary I did quote some incorrect figures. Those related to another service I cannot quite afford at the moment. I apologize for any confusion caused by that, especially in terms of this post.
This is not a cost I can pick up right now let alone on a continuing basis. Producing the podcast, among other things, became my day job as of the start of August. I have had to do enough donor prospect research to try to fund the operation of what is regarded as a legitimate media entity. Unfortunately nothing has turned up as to those funding hunts, yet.
Seeking podcast transcripts is a difficult thing. Contrary to what some who frequent LISNews may think, LISTen is actually quite mainstream in the podcasting world and considered fairly timid. We're not blazing new trails but we're also not in left field. I know that the TWiT.TV LLC network of podcasts offers no transcripts for their shows and they not only have more staff than the crew at Erie Looking Productions but also quite a bit of funding that I only wish I had. Mr. Laporte's network is now up to four employees and will hit five once they hire a video editor. If the eight hundred pound gorilla in the field is not moving on releasing transcripts then perhaps its lead needs to be followed.
I do not write this to be nasty or evil. I put this forward to show the business realities I am working within. It was suggested at one point to have a subscription-based entity operating to divide the costs of transcripts as well as operations. I dismissed the suggestion on the grounds that that would be too much like how Rush Limbaugh operates and that I doubted anyone would subscribe.
Transcripts are not free. There is a cost involved. The rate card I have linked to above shows what the minimums per minute will be. The machine-produced transcription service that is out there currently does not cover LISTen and likely won't be making things free any time soon. I'm out of ways to avoid any costs on this one.
You can suggest ways of funding this by hitting up the contact form and selecting under category "Contacting LISNews Podcast". That reaches not only the team in Las Vegas but also Blake. This has been an open matter for consideration for a while now and we have come to no good answer. If you have a good answer, we are interested in hearing what you have to say.
The head of logistics at Erie Looking Productions said as to this, "You guys do enough freebie [EXPLETIVE DELETED]." -- Read More
This week's episode brings the remainder of coverage from New Media Expo 2008. Topics covered included service providers and software.
Originally the interview found in this special episode was supposed to air in the next regular episode. Being overtaken by events is never fun. As such the interview is being released in a special edition now.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz made an attempt to seek access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge collection of documents at University of Illinois-Chicago. After initially being granted access, such was taken away. With conflicting answers Dr. Kurtz wrote a piece for National Review Online.
The production team contacted both the University of Illinois-Chicago as well as Dr. Kurtz. Dr. Kurtz responded to the request for an interview. The only contact from the University of Illinois-Chicago was to be told there was no statement and no comment.
In a case where we're left with only more questions, the interview is presented for consideration. The audio engineer's question that he requested be put is: was this incompetence or a bungled covering up?23:47 minutes (8 MB)
This week's episode brings a shorter than normal commentary as well as interviews from New Media Expo 2008. Interviews from the exhibit floor at New Media Expo 2008 will be aired this week and next. This week's thread was hardware while next week's is software and service providers.
The thirty-third episode of LISTen: The LISNews.org Podcast is unavoidably delayed due to circumstances beyond our control.0:28 minutes (670.25 KB)