Podcast Reflection: The Web We Weave – 350.org

I̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶d̶a̶r̶k̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶m̶y̶ ̶n̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ (I’ve found that strikethroughs don’t work very well on WordPress.)

But actually, one late night, my partner Shemmi summoned me to Woodruff Library in order to hammer out the next episode of The Web We Weave. 

A description of my life.

She pitched me the idea of covering 350.org for The Web We Weave and I jumped onto it. Going onto the website, we browsed through the different initiatives and statistics that 350.org had to offer. I then asked Shemmi what made this organization and its background an ideal candidate for this new media podcast. She explained that the fact that this information had never been as openly available as it had with the advent of the Internet. To illustrate, the environmental statistics that the site sought to share had only really been available in texts that not all had access to or had trouble finding and using (such as encyclopedias and almanacs) and that it allowed opportunities for service and for environmental campaigns to promote and get their message out across the world.

This was the setup we chose to maintain throughout the planning and recording process. I would question her and allow her to answer, and this back-and-forth made the planning and scripting process for this podcast far quicker and enjoyable the second time around. Because I was not the star of this show, I felt much more comfortable helping and planning and also letting Shemmi take the spotlight to discuss her passions. This time, it felt much more like I was writing essay prompts for Shemmi to fill out and structure as she saw fit, and I definitely felt more comfortable than I had in my previous episode. With Shemmi’s encouragement, I tried to quell the quavering in my voice, and I succeeded. I’m really proud of taking another step out of that shadow.

As compared to “Pancakes for the Soul” and “Every Frame a Painting”, which both specifically focused on the medium itself, I feel that this episode pushed against a solitary focus on new media and talked just as much about the cause of environmentalism and brought these issues alongside the discussion of the accessibility of information and the participation of audiences in protests and locating data. I think this episode was one of the few that could have benefited from a longer running time to allow further depth and to allow both issues to stand side-by-side, for as it is, the episode itself, to me personally, felt a little crammed. Moreover, I think it addressed and focused on digital citizenship a lot more than previous episodes may have as 350.org focuses on calling us denizens of the Internet to IRL action, and this episode in turn focuses on how the site makes that possible.

This allowed for a more natural dynamic that extended into the recording process- the immediacy of taking our words and thoughts and immediately throwing them into action felt refreshing and allowed our commentary to not be stale. While I felt it wasn’t as thorough as the process Kevin and I underwent, it did allow for a more interesting performance. I would love to use this form of brainstorming and I actually later used this role as the questioner in an editorial for The Emory Wheel, which you can read here.  This, as well as working to have a clearer voice in this podcast were what I felt my best achievements walking out of this podcast.

This episode of The Web We Weave solidified a style of thought for me, and I greatly enjoyed working with Shemmi to bring it together. If you’d like to listen, you can find it here.