Third Coast and the Atlantic Coast

Now that October is in full swing, I am beginning to launch into the next wave of interviews: New York, Boston, and everywhere in between. As with my work in the San Francisco Bay area, I’m mostly going to be operating out of one city to cover a larger region. Also like the Bay area, the band is back together—Micah and I are temporarily living in the same place. He’s on a leave of absence and has taken his own road trip out east to spend a month in New York. This means there’s a possibility that we’ll be able to make some headway on the data visualization component website, but I’ve written about this before and you’d best believe it when you see it.

Also, we dropped by the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago last weekend and met an inspiring posse of radio and online audio producers. Having learned about Third Coast back in 2004, I am kicking myself for taking eight years to finally attend. Both of us were thoroughly impressed by the talent, energy, and openness of the participants—I left with an epic list of documentaries and programs I want to listen to. Curious about some of these? Start with this year’s Third Coast winners. I was especially intrigued and disturbed by Jonathan Mitchell’s “She Sees Your Every Move” for Studio 360. Public radio celebrities Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad opened and closed the conference, respectively, and both referenced my favorite late-night radio-creeper Joe Frank. If you’ve never listened to Joe Frank’s work, it’s surreal, hypnotic, unsettling, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Amidst the maelstrom of new people and great audio, Micah and I were struck by the rift between the radio/audio/web storytelling world and the tech world. There are some interesting examples of folks crossing boundaries (often facilitated by Zeega and Cowbird) but many producers seem to be reinventing the wheel for their individual projects. Where is the standardized, open-source platform for tagging media content by location and automatically pushing it to mobile devices? In The Conversation, Micah and I often talk about rifts between specialties and, last weekend, we ran into one yet again. How do we spark a conversation between the tech and storytelling worlds?