Objects in Mirror

Objects in Mirror: October 31, 2007 Archive

Would you subscribe to a podcast about the Holocaust?

Posted at 8:32 AM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

While the feature title The Holocaust by podcast has a certain shock value, it is basically descriptive. MPR's Bob Collins spent some time looking into what happens when a Holocaust survivor, interested individuals, and technology as a broadcast platform come together:

"Henry Oertelt, 86, is one of the first -- if not the first -- Holocaust survivor to record his account in a series of podcasts by KVSC, the St. Cloud State University radio station."

Consider that for a moment. The voice is a very powerful thing, and having a story spoken and available at any time, for anyone, expands its reach.

"With [Oertelt's] story being spread by podcast, he expects it will reach hundreds of thousands of people, and reach areas of the world where the Holocaust is now denied."

This makes me wonder. Is the audience there? Will you be able to listen? Is this a good use of broadcast? Can you identify the people around you who can - maybe even should - record similar podcasts? Would you share your own stories by podcast?

Visit KVSC Radio or listen to Henry Oertelt's podcasts.

Hot subject lines in e-mail: Water, art, money, and fruit.

Posted at 10:36 AM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Interesting mix, there. All are the topics of MPR's most e-mailed stories this week:

Minneapolis marketing its tap water to other cities The article mentioned the City of Lakes tap h20 dominated bottle water in a Splendid Table taste test, but didn't include a link. Never say I don't provide handy links you're just dying to click.

Walker Art Center launches major Frida Kahlo Show Who is going early? Send MPR your review.

St. Thomas trustee gives $60 million to the school St. Thomas in the news. Again. Armchair administrators, tell us how you would spend that money.

Honeycrisp apple losing its patent protection, but not its appeal Remember the good old days, when MPR staff salivated over these apples?

Musicheads asked, "Is it workin for ya?" But I'm really the one looking for an answer

Posted at 11:32 AM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Musicheads host Bill DeVille always wonders, "Is it workin for ya?" That can be construed as a personal question, Bill, but in the meantime I took a listen to the latest podcast episode and made an insider's index...only to post it on the Internet, I guess:

*Nickname from this episode: Danny "D-Dread" Sigelman

*Prog-rock reference: 01:38 (attribution: The Current's Assistant Music Director David Safar)

*All bow to Brian Eno: 06:17

*Quote of the 'cast: "Didn't Bon Jovi do that?" - Sigelman

*The soul factor: Outta sight, thanks to clips from Bettye LaVette's latest album

You tell me what you heard. Join me in the online discussion to talk about new music from Robert Wyatt, Bettye LaVette, and Eulogies.

Den dere was the storm o '91. She blew in and shut down the city I tell you!

Posted at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Well, alright, MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner doesn't talk like that, but he does want to know what you were doing during the great Halloween snowstorm of 1991. As he recalls:

"I was working at WCCO-TV during the Halloween megastorm. We were on the air for hours as the whole city was shut down. It was one of the most amazing days of my life and career. Where were you?"

Let's see... I had a lick of sense and was inside my roasty-toasty apartment near St. Paul's Cathedral, taking pity on local pizza delivery drivers by making a frozen pizza. But where were you? Post your snowstorm experience in the blog comments.

Actually, we do want more than money

Posted at 12:47 PM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

In the middle of our fund drive and amidst all the requests for you to contribute, I'd like to point out something we take very seriously here...when we ask you for your support, we're also looking for your feedback. As you contribute online we dedicate a section to it:


From behind the curtain I can tell you what you write to us makes a difference. Even if you don't want to be acknowledged on the air, your message doesn't go into the ether. We read what you share. We talk about it, we take it seriously, we pass it on to each other. At the end of the day, it makes us work harder and smarter.

Of course you don't need to send money to be heard. Feel free to contact us.

If MPR hosted an online seminar, what would it be?

Posted at 1:00 PM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

I'm in a "Webinar" right now. For the record, I loathe the word "Webinar."

But it does have me thinking. If MPR were to do a live online presentation, what would you like to see? A tutorial on how to use Minnewiki, how a story appears online, or even just a general tour of the site?

You probably have better ideas, and I'm hoping you'll share them. I'm listening.

Covering the process: Rebuilding the bridge

Posted at 2:40 PM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Fresh updates in MPR's Minneapolis Bridge Collapse coverage includes these two features: Judge clears the way for 35W bridge reconstruction and Oberstar's stripped-down bridge bill gets hearing today.

It is almost hard to read about administrative details when viewing this photo from MPR's Jim Bickal:

A site along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis, called the Bohemian Flats, is where pieces of the collapsed I-35W bridge are being collected. (MPR Photo/Jim Bickal)

You don't have to let the story sit. You can send us your current photos of the bridge work or tell our newsroom how you're still affected by the collapse.

Fever for the fervor of online comments

Posted at 3:35 PM on October 31, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

MPR Reporter Tim Post just published this feature: Newspapers struggle with online comments.

Not to navel-gaze, but what company doesn't struggle with online comments? Even if a site doesn't host them, the topic of online interaction is hot hot hot. A fan or a detractor can fire up a free blog in literally less than 10 minutes and lay their praise or criticism out there, so why not just host an online space to communicate? Everyone is doing it except the companies who don't, and many of those that don't are afraid to do it because of the horror stories told by the companies that do. Speaking as an Interactive Producer, it is a completely exasperating circle of fear, uncertainty, and sometimes just plain foolishness. I firmly believe companies should pay attention to what people have to say about their product, especially if their product is news.

So where does that leave you, reading this blog on Minnesota Public Radio?

At MPR we don't currently have comments on our features, although we do host a set of discussion groups on Gather.com. The site allows people to upload images and even video. Anyone can fire up a topic - about anything - and article authors can moderate comments made on their discussions. These are key features requested by our former forum/online discussion boards users, but we simply couldn't support the functionality here. Frankly, I like the freedom Gather offers to both company and individuals. I like that MPR can host guests online or connect with people outside our broadcast area who wouldn't have found us any other way. But guess what? I'm listening. Join the online discussion about online discussions.

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