Minor Irritation

Late (mid?) last year, StoryCorps launched their project. As they put it:

StoryCorps is a national project to instruct and inspire people to record each others’ stories in sound.

We’re here to help you interview your grandmother, your uncle, the lady who’s worked at the luncheonette down the block for as long as you can remember?anyone whose story you want to hear and preserve.

To start, we’ll be building soundproof recording booths across the country, called StoryBooths. You can use these StoryBooths to record broadcast-quality interviews with the help of a trained facilitator. Our first StoryBooths opened in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal on October 23, 2003, and the oral historian Studs Terkel gave a rousing speech (MP3, 3:52 min.).

We’ve tried to make the experience as simple as possible. We’ll help you figure out what questions to ask. We’ll handle all the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of the hour-long session, you’ll get a copy of your interview on CD. And thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters, all this costs only $10.

Since we want to make sure your story lives on for generations to come, we’ll also add your interview to the StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which we hope will become nothing less than an oral history of America. (See the press release on the Library of Congress Web site.)

It’s a very cool concept, and the stories are really neat. But I have one irritation with this project, and it really really irritates me. They don’t have an RSS feed. Which means, rather than plugging the RSS url into Doppler and having it work its podcast magic, I have to manually download, add to iTunes, add to the StoryCorps playlist.

I’ve emailed them several times, and even spoken with them on the phone. They seem to be a very nice team, don’t get me wrong. But come on, what’s the hold up? This isn’t remotely difficult technology here! The tech guy I spoke to on the phone was clearly a smart guy. I’m confident he could figure this out.

Come on StoryCorps! Your project is perfect for podcasting!!


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