IN MY OPINION
Read in 2008
|THE TRANSCRIBERS' CLUB
27 March 2008
Little did Tony Kahn know what he had unleashed when he made an innocent comment on his Morning Stories podcast that he and co-producer Gary Mott thought maybe one of the listeners might be interested in helping transcribe the archive of Morning Stories podcasts so that those who either couldn't hear them, or who wanted to use them as an aid to help learn English, could read them.
(That's Gary on the left, Tony on the right)
I didn't hear the request until several days after he made it, but I immediately dropped a note to Kahn and Mott and volunteered my service. Unbeknownst to me, an amazing woman named Liz Cooksey...
...had already volunteered to spearhead the project and a couple of other volunteers had been working on the archives. I immediately set to work on doing transcription along with the others, who ultimately numbered 13 -- men and women, in this country, in England and in Italy -- working to complete the backlog of episodes.
It is three months since we started this project and there are only a handful of shows in the archive left to finish (I am embarrassed to admit that two of those are mine. With the complication of computer problems, houseguests, puppies and trips to Santa Barbara, among a few other things, I just haven't been able to complete them--but I should have them finished this week.)
But the amazing thing is not that we completed the archives in three months (and plan to rotate through the group of us to keep things up to date when a new podcast comes out), the amazing thing is the community which has formed around this little group of dedicated, semi-faceless people.
It started, as these things do, simply with e-mails flying back and forth all concerning the business of getting the transcription done: getting consistency in format, assigning new shows to various ones of us, and reporting back on how many had been finished and where we were in the list.
But somehow in the course of all that "business" we started popping in personal messages. There were cheers for "Wonder Woman," for example, who seemed to be working at this 24 hours a day and flew through the transcripts, putting us all to shame.
And then there were little jokes that crept in, especially with the woman in Italy, who once mentioned something about a "piazza" which I mis-read as "pizza" and the fun that ensued because of that mistake.
Gradually we began to learn about each other's lives, the woman with the special needs child, the woman who is in a race with our daughter-in-law Laurel for who is going to give birth first, the young man who is having settling-in difficulties at his college. The woman who just broke both her wrists (and Walt thought he had it rough!)
We began to talk about our lives.
And then there was crazy Geo, who really sort of became the heart of the expansion into a real community. Geo, with her offbeat sense of humor and her internet expertise. She set up a blog for Morning Stories readers, where they can download the transcripts and chat with others about them. She also set up a private blog for the 13 of us to discuss things more in depth than in individual e-mails.
She also spearheaded getting all of our information, such as addresses and birthdates (you don't suppose she's a stalker, do you? :) ). And it was Geo who suggested that we all get on Skype so we can chat with each other, so slowly we are all getting Skype accounts and though the first call has not yet taken place, I know that it will.
I love it each morning when I check my e-mail and find a whole slew of e-mail from the Transcribers Club.
Now Tony Kahn has decided to make us a morning story. A couple of weeks ago, he interviewed half of the group and planned to interview the other half a few days later, but got sick. Organizing six people for interviews on days and blocks of time that are convenient for all isn't easy, so it wasn't until today that we had our interviews.
Tony has kind of been haunting me for...well...years. He's on the panel of Says You, and I've seen him interviewed by several of the vloggers that I know. There was a period of time that no matter what I clicked on, there was Tony! So our chat was like chatting with old friends.
Now he has the task of blending all of our babbling into a coherent Morning Story. Having listened to lots and lots of them now, I have every expectation that it is going to be fun to listen to when it's all finished.
In the meantime, I have a Skype chat set up with the woman in Italy. We'll either be on the piazza or having pizza. I'm not sure which yet.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Talking with Tony
MILES TO NOWHERE:
This is entry #2922