Saturday, April 21, 2007

PodCorps: bring lectures on special needs children to those who cannot attend

Every few months we hear of an interesting presentation on special needs children at some Twin Cities locale, but part of being a "major league" parent is that you evenings are for working. Just like mornings, nights, etc. We rarely get to these presentations.

What we need are podcasts of the presentations, ideally with download of presentation materials as PDF handouts. Podcasts, though, are tricky to make. Why is why Jon Udell's post on PodCorps is interesting:
Doug Kaye's PodCorps launches today � Jon Udell

... Every day there are events somewhere that might usefully be audio-recorded and published on the Internet: lectures, meetings, political rallies. In many cases the participants would be happy to have their spoken words recorded and published, but wouldn’t have a clue about the mechanics of digital audio recording and Internet publishing.

Doug’s idea is to create a corps of volunteer stringers who can show up at these events with their digital recorders, process the digital audio, and then publish it — typically at the Internet Archive.

To ask a PodCorps volunteer to show up at an event, the event producer posts the event on with the tag podcorps. This is a lovely example of a technique that Esther Dyson calls visible demand. It’s also an illustration of another key idea: that most people will achieve lightweight service integration by simply using agreed-upon tags. I explore this idea at my own experimental community information site,, which hosts nothing directly but instead gathers tagged items from elsewhere...

I think these public spirited folk might be willing to help us out. I don't know if we have any volunteers in the Twin Cities, but we're a pretty geeky town ...

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