Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: October 1, 2009 Archive

The Testimonial Trust Test

Posted at 5:30 AM on October 1, 2009 by Dale Connelly (22 Comments)

Happy Thursday to you, blog crew!

We're entering an experimental zone, something weird but necessary when you're involved in a let's-try-this operation like Radio Heartland.

I am going to take a week and a half's worth of vacation, starting today. I'll return to live work in the studio on Monday, October 12th. In the interim, I have allowed an unnecessary portion of my brain to be half-absorbed into JASPER. Under Mike's guidance, JASPER will play back scheduled music and my recorded voice will identify the tunes. To the casual listener, it will seem like I am truly present, but the attentive Heartlander will notice that I seem weirdly disconnected from my radio environment, with no apparent awareness of live blog comments or the day's weather. Please forgive this lapse. It was the only way to get a few days off.

At my invitation, a group of blog readers stepped forward to write guest entries for the days I'm gone. Elinor, Barbara in Robbinsdale, That Guy In The Hat, Mike In Albert Lea, Donna and Barb in Blackhoof will be my Trial Balloon substitutes, starting tomorrow. I'm excited at the prospect of letting these strong voices carry the ball for a while. I hope it will provide a model for how we can keep the blog interesting and fun for everyone during all the future vacations I hope to take, so if you'd like to be added to my prospective guest blogger list, send an e-mail to

And for instant extra involvement, here's something you can do right now.

Our member drive starts October 22nd, and here at Radio Heartland we are looking at what has worked and not worked as we prepare to make the case for individual listeners to contribute in support of this service.

On the plus side: The music is great and there is a growing sense of community.
We've successfully presented some fine concerts (Susan Werner & Cheryl Wheeler, Dan Chouinard, Jearlyn Steele) and we have more in the works. HD radio is becoming more available in the Twin Cities area. The blog is lively and people respond!

On the minus side: I was overly optimistic about the timetable for adding national programs (though we're getting very close) and it's monotonous to hear the same announcer voice over and over.

As a partial solution to that last one, here's your chance to add your voice to Radio Heartland for the member drive. Call (651) 290 1515 to record a brief testimonial.

What do you like about Radio Heartland? Why do you listen?

It doesn't have to be long or profound. We'll edit your comments and put them on the air to energize others during the member drive. You'll have to trust us to edit wisely. After all, we depend on you for support, so we'd be pretty foolish to do anything that would embarrass you, right? It will be great to hear fresh voices speaking up for Radio Heartland. And it will serve as proof to doubters that there are actually listeners for a service that is only heard online, through smartphone apps and on HD radio.

Still unsure? Try posting a few sentences about why you listen, or why somebody else should listen. If you can write it here, I bet you can read it into the phone and share it with other listeners too! If nothing else, perhaps your thoughts will provide some inspiration for another Heartlander who is itching to make the call, but doesn't know what to say.

Call (651) 290-1515, and follow the recorded instructions.
I'm looking forward to hearing your voice!

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