A few weeks back I got an email from GNA saying she had thrown down the entry fee for ds106radio to be a part of the KCRW Weekend Radio Race. It would be 24 hours long, we’d get the topic at 10AM PST on Saturday, August 17 and have until the same time on Sunday to put together a 6 minute segment. We rallied and started planning. Yesterday the topic came out, “The Last Thing You’d Expect”. We congregated in a Google Hangout to discuss possibilities, ultimately settling on a few key questions to start asking people and then getting the audio shared in a central place to begin work.
24 hours is an ambitious timeline to create any audio project. Just ask ds106 students who get a week to work on their’s whether they could have used a few extra days/hours. It’s made that much more difficult by the worldwide nature of ds106radio with people in so many different timezones. It’s a testament to these online spaces and their affordances that such an idea of creating a radio segment with a group of people all over the world is even remotely possible. We got a ton of audio recordings late Saturday into the early morning hours. More than I even had a chance to listen to yet (more on that in a minute).
Unfortunately the scramble to start getting audio and figure out a storyline later left us a bit perplexed this morning as we started trying to piece things together and find a common thread. Michael Branson Smith and GNA did a Yeoman’s work in organizing us, but ultimately we were down to the wire with still so much to do. The clock ran out on us.
So was it a failure? Heck no. I got the opportunity to collaborate with people all over the world (a gift ds106 and ds106radio keeps giving me time and again) and hearing new stories from them and their peers. The prize from KCRW was never important, rather the experience. To that end we have all the raw material and I’d encourage everyone to have a peek at it and see what you can come up with. It would be really interesting to see a bunch of different interpretations of the theme, or even go with a different theme entirely. No need to stick to the rules anymore. Share this stuff with the world and have some fun doing something creative in the process. The audio is all shared in a Google Drive folder called Radio Race Audio Files and shoot me an email if it hasn’t been shared with you yet. It includes transcriptions to save you some time finding excerpts to use.
As for myself, I put something together this afternoon that I had started forming in my head earlier today but didn’t have the time to edit. It’s not perfect, and it’s no This American Life, but it’s a piece of all of us. And I had a blast doing it. Thanks to everyone who was involved in this effort this weekend. Let’s keep making magic.
The Last Thing I Expected Was Each Of You