My sister Corinne is an artist with an unusual sense of quirk. She's putting together a show of her work and poetic descriptions and has a contest for folks who can turn a phrase. Winners will get prints of the piece they describe.
Podcasts are finallly becoming popular as a few great storytelling shows see success. The amount of investment money is small - much of it is through Kickstarter these days - but it is real growth. The New York Times on efforts by PRX. Public radio is changing.
I listen to a number of podcasts to get me through the otherwise mind-numbing boredom of exercising. The medium is going through a huge growth phase and people learn to make a living and regular audiences materialize. If you have an interest in various techniques this piece by Alix Spiegel is wonderful. But she goes beyond technique ...
Which brings me to the real point of this manifesto. My firm belief that all of us – all of us dorky dork radio producers and reporters – should spend time playing with all the potential techniques available to us as story tellers – not just This American Life and Radiolab and NPR techniques, but Snap Judgment and Love + Radio techniques and Fresh Air and The Moth techniques. There are all kinds of people out there who have come up with all kinds of solutions to the problems of audio story telling. See if you can’t figure out what they are doing… and then create new solutions. Recruit other dorky radio friends and get together and analyze stuff and share ideas, and then watch YouTube videos and movies and anything else you can think of, and see if there is some small production technique in them that you can steal for yourself and your public radio brethren.
Which brings me to one more thing that I feel compelled to say. Innovation in radio is not just about production techniques. There are lots of ways to innovate. You can leave your production techniques untouched and take a new intellectual approach (we are taking a new intellectual approach with Invisibilia I think). You can bring in new kinds of voices to the system – which is profoundly valuable (though it’s not the only thing they do well, Snap Judgment does this incredibly effectively I think – they have amazing producers who bring voices to the system I don’t usually hear).