Posted tagged ‘audio’

My presentation on Google Voice and incorporating audio

April 24, 2011

As part of my ideaLab charge, I chose to learn about Google Voice and teach it. I also have been working on incorporating more audio using the website http://www.ipadio.com to record phone or in-person interviews. Here’s the presentation I’ve developed to train fellow reporters. I will be training my own staff Thursday and will make arrangements to train reporters at The News-Herald and the Press & Guide in Dearborn in the coming weeks.
Incorporating_audio_to_enhance_your_storytelli

My 30-Day Project Using iPadio.com

March 16, 2011

Our work in the ideaLab was initially billed as having “no rules” attached to it, but, just as with most things in life, there are some rules and one new rule is that we have to adopt a 30-day project, complete it by April 25 and be prepared to teach what we’ve learned in the process to others. Luckily, I am juggling several podcasting projects that I can use as they’re all mid-stream right now. So, here’s my proposal:
30 Day Project – Michelle Rogers
To Be Completed April 25

Brief one paragraph outline of project
Oral histories project. Pairing up with local retirement communities and senior centers to gather oral histories from area senior citizens, using ipadio.com’s iPhone “record and publish” application in person or can record phone conversation using ipadio account. Topics based on such themes as community activism, faith and spirituality, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, cultural influences, heroics/survival stories, interesting careers, community service, service to country, etc. Goal is to train volunteers in the community to record the interviews and provide the photos, so staff only has to grab embed code and receive photo, and then upload to our website under a “Podcast” drop-down menu. In addition, I am partnering with ideaLabber Marissa Raymo and she will use these podcasts/audio recordings for her Senior Central venture.

Details on stages
Every Wednesday: Visit Brecon Village retirement community in Saline to interview at least two residents per week. Take their photos and upload to website.
14 Days: Get the same process going in Chelsea and Dexter with help of copy editor Erica McClain.
21 Days: Implement in Milan.
21 to 28 Days: Set up a volunteer orientation session in Saline, Milan, Dexter and Chelsea to train community volunteers.
(Longer term/beyond initial project)
2 to 3 Months: Implement in Ann Arbor and Manchester and provide training.
3 to 4 Months: Implement in Ypsilanti and Belleville and provide training.

Resources available to you for this project
I will need the cooperation of staff and will solicit volunteers in the community, possibly high school history students to interview and record.
I will utilize our ideaLab iPhone and seek out others with smartphones, but Brecon also has a phone system that can be utilized.

Resources needed
At least one or two volunteers from each of our eight communities.

Metrics
Site traffic and buzz on social networking sites.
Scale
Train staff at sister publications via instruction sheet, but ipadio.com website self-explanatory and offers video tutorial. I could serve as point person and support.

Also find attached a spreadsheet of the tools please select the ones you want to learn and prepare to teach. You can post your choice to your idea lab blog.
Google Voice (I’ve also forwarded the tool list to my staff and asked each to learn one and teach to everyone over next 16 weeks, eight to learn and eight to teach.)

Tools to select from among:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
http://www.audioboo.fm/
http://aviary.com/tools/audio-editor
http://www.cinchcast.com/
http://www.talkshoe.com/
http://crowdmap.com/
http://foursquare.com/
http://gowalla.com/
http://www.meetways.com/
http://www.polleverywhere.com/
http://www.quora.com/
http://storify.com/
http://www.surveymonkey.com/
http://tinychat.com/
http://www.ustream.tv/
http://www.contxts.com/
http://www.cueprompter.com/
http://www.evernote.com/
http://www.google.com/voice
http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
http://www.layar.com/
http://www.pixlr.com/
http://www.stickybits.com/
http://www.tlbox.com/
http://www.typewith.me/
http://zamzar.com/
http://writer.bighugelabs.com/
http://hootsuite.com/
http://youropenbook.org/
http://pligg.com/
http://www.widgetbox.com/
http://www.capzles.com/
http://www.dipity.com/
http://www.effectgenerator.com/
http://geocommons.com/
http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/
http://photopeach.com/
http://photosynth.net/default.aspx
http://picfog.com/
http://prezi.com/
http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis/
http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/
http://www.umapper.com/
http://www.vuvox.com/
http://www.animoto.com/
http://jaycut.com/
http://www.stroome.com/
http://www.xtranormal.com/
http://www.polishmywriting.com/

Partnering with the community to share oral histories

February 27, 2011

As part of my ideaLab work this past month, I have been exploring relationships with potential community partners to launch an oral histories project. On Wednesday, I met with Dianna Huckstein and Michelle Horazdovsky at Brecon Village, part of the Evangelical Homes of Michigan. We talked about using ipadio.com‘s technology and local volunteers to collect audio recordings of residents at Brecon Village, a retirement community located in Saline, sharing their life experiences, insights, and thoughts and feelings about major moments in history that they lived through.

I came to the meeting only hoping to be able to interview some of the residents there and taking their photos. I thought it would be a lot of work on my part and I didn’t know how I would find the time, but it was something I was determined to do. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at their enthusiasm for the project and willingness to totally take it over by not only finding people interested in sharing their stories, but volunteers who would interview residents and members of a photo club who could take their photographs. All I, or a member of my staff, would have to do is go to the ipadio.com account, grab the embed code and get the photo from Brecon Village, and then upload both on our website under our Podcast category. Brecon Village will be able to feature the content on its website, as well, sharing the stories from residents in their 70s, 80s and 90s who have lived through important moments in history and who have led interesting lives, from traveling the world to running major companies.

We talked about organizing chats around themes, such as changes in industry and innovation witnessed over the years, major moments in history, hobbies/collections, world travels, faith/spirituality, leadership, lifestyle and work/career.

We also talked about featuring “celebrity” interviewers at times, such as the mayor, school superintendent, local radio personalities, community leaders, educators and local business owners.

The plan is for Dianna and Michelle to round up three people by early this week for me to interview on Friday. They will flesh out the best theme to base the interview on and I will do a little research before prepping my questions. I’ll first meet the residents, so they feel comfortable with the whole process, and then call them, using my ideaLab iPhone, which will enable me to use ipadio.com. The entire interview will be recorded and available as soon as we hang up. Once everyone sees how it’s done, we can start recruiting and training volunteers and celebrity interviewers.

My goal is to expand this project to include other retirement communities in Washtenaw County. To this end, I met with Sara Wedell of Chelsea District Library, who is working on a similar project using video, rather than audio, for the library’s website. She shared contacts at Chelsea Retirement Community, Silver Maples retirement community and Chelsea Senior Center. Chelsea Standard Editor Erica McClain will take the lead on making it happen in Chelsea.

I am also in touch with Alan Caldwell of Senior Helpers to build a partnership in Ann Arbor.

Here’s an example of an interview one of our former editors conducted with actor Jeff Daniels of Chelsea using ipadio.com.

Check out the ipadio.com app for the iPhone. I used it this morning and it worked just like a recorder. Loved it. Easier than recording the phone conversation. Check out my first interview using the app.

More experimentation with Google Voice

January 20, 2011

It has been a rough couple of months as I’ve had to replace four reporters. The process of soliciting resumes, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, checking references and making the offer is very time consuming. Combine that with vacation time for myself and covering for staff while they were off, as well as short deadlines and days off with the holidays, and I am behind in what I’d like to do in the ideaLab. With that said, I’ve renewed some of my earlier experimentation with Google Voice.

A podcasting project in cooperation with the Saline Area Historical Society is in the works. I am just waiting on scripts to be written based on research by the historical society on 10 historic places in Saline. I’ve been told those should be ready by mid-February, and then we will meet with my ideaLabHeritage citizen volunteer, Eastern Michigan University professor Michael McVey, to record the oral histories. The plan is to edit the audio using the free software Audacity and couple the audio file with a photo slide show of old and new photographs of the historic sites.

This project has me thinking of a simpler way for us to produce audio, and share more stories and information. I think Google Voice can accomplish this. For example, we could invite area senior citizens and residents at retirement homes to call our Google Voice number and record their stories. This could be based on anniversaries of historic events, Memorial Day or other themes. I could put together a questionnaire and they simply read the questions and then answer. They have a three-minute window to do this.

Beyond recording local history, we could do this to produce Q&A’s to complement stories online. For example, maybe we have produced a feature story on a local artist. The story is online with a photograph and a video interview of the artist demonstrating her craft, and then there is an audio clip of her answering questions about who is the most influential person in her life, the name of the artist she most admires, the tool she couldn’t do without, her favorite artistic medium, etc.

Since I’ve been working out at the health club every day for the last five months, I’ve noticed some people listening to their iPods and reading the newspaper while on the treadmill or stationary bike. I’ve also brought the iPad for my workouts and seen others using them to listen to music, check their Facebook news feed and read the morning headlines. This got me to thinking about incorporating an audio function on every story for people who would rather listen to their news than try to read it in print or on the iPad. So, I called our Google Voice number and read a story, then downloaded the MP3 file and uploaded it with the story online. I also had our 14-year-old movie reviewer do the same for his review of “I love you Phillip Morris.” Readers now have the option to click the audio player leading the story and listen, rather than read it. Check it out.

Those are my efforts for the month and I hope to step it up more. The next step, however, is to train the new staff on everything I’ve learned in the last five months, from iPadio.com to editing audio files to Google Voice and other efforts.

Google Voice and Experimentation

November 28, 2010

November has been a month of exploration and experimentation, but not as productive in terms of learning and teaching as past months in the ideaLab.

I don’t know if I can say attending a talk and book signing by former Newsweek Bureau Chief, AP correspondent and CNN reporter Tony Collings can be part of my official ideaLab endeavors, but I’ll say it was because he did share some insights about how the industry has changed for the good and bad. His talk at the University of Michigan’s Hatcher Graduate Library was interesting and insightful. I’ve embedded a couple of video clips.

I’ve also uploaded three podcasts from a cemetery tour in Milan in October, and our web department added a drop-down menu under the “News” category for podcasts. Every time I add a podcast, I include the label “podcast” in tags, so it will live there, on the website, permanently. We will continue to populate the category as we embark on our podcasting project in cooperation with the Saline Area Historical Society, as mentioned in a previous ideaLabHeritage post. Here’s the link to the podcasts.

Also this month, and to be honest, it’s something I just started exploring this morning, is Google Voice. If you haven’t checked out its capabilities yet, I suggest you do. It has potential, but I am still working out the bugs. My idea was to create a drop-down category on our website called Community Voices, and then posting a question or topic to discuss each month. For December — if I can work out the bugs — I’d like the category to be Holiday Messages. The idea is to have readers call my Google Voice number, state their name and share their holiday message. Google will translate that into a text file that can be shared online.

Sounds great, right? Some newspapers have a speak-out column in which they encourage readers to leave voicemail messages, instead of writing a letter to the editor, and then print those. This could serve the same purpose and provide an automatic transcript. However, the translation to text is not very good. For example, I read the following, word for word, over my phone after calling the Google Voice number that I set up:

Heritage Newspapers is putting together a Community Voices project. Every month, we will ask members of the community to call a Google Voice number and leave a recording on a particular topic or discussion point. The first category will be Holiday Wishes. Call 734-531-8774 and leave a holiday message for the community. This could be a season’s greeting, a statement of what you’re most grateful for this year or your wish for the new year. The messages will be shared on our website for everyone to hear. We will add a new category each month. So, check back on our website to view the category and then call 734-531-8774 to share your thoughts on the topic at hand. Our hope is to share the many voices that make a community and bring the community together on a particular topic.

The translation from Google was:
Hearage newspapers as putting together a community voices project. Every Month. We will ask members of the 288 to call it google voice number to leave a recording on a particular topic of discussion. The first category will be holiday wishes, call (734) 531-8774 and leave a holiday message for the community. This could be a seasons greeting. A statement of what you are most grateful for this year, or your wish for the new year. The message is will be shared on our website for everyone to here. We were adding new category each month. So check back on our website to view the category and then. Call (734) 531-8774 To share your thoughts on the topic at hand. Our hope is to share the many voices that make each me and bring that you need any together on a particular topic.

I was also hoping that Google Voice could provide a mp3 file of the voicemail message and we could share those files online as the responses. I still need to read up on it, but I don’t think that capability exists. If you know of another way of achieving this goal, please let me know.
https://clients4.google.com/voice/embed/webCallButton