Why Use Audio in Your Blog?

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by Linda Goin

"Some examples and feedback on how audio can enhance your blog entries"

If you've dreamed about becoming a radio personality, or if you have a message you think would be more insightful if read out loud, what's stopping you from adding audio (or a podcast) to your blog? In this article, Linda provides some examples and feedback on how audio can enhance your blog entries.

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Radio Format – Crescent Hill Radio

Crescent Hill Radio is out of Louisville, Kentucky. This radio station, which offers live interviews and online archives, features From the Inkwell, a poetry and prose hour with local poets, hosted by Sheri L. Wright (you can see the show listed in the light green middle column in the illustration above).

Sheri is a writer and poet with a fine sense of the absurd (one of her poems recently was accepted by Darkling Magazine) and with a strong desire to help promote local writers and poets. Her blog doesn’t reflect her poetry as much as her trains of thought – and some of those trains are powerful, with locomotives that could push you back a few feet with the blow-back from their passing.

Sheri’s radio show, From The Inkwell, is new – it started in June this year. If you’re local, you can hear it Saturdays at 1pm on 1650 chradio am., or most anyone can catch it live-streaming at www.chradio.net. Or, you can listen to the archived editions to learn about local Louisville poets and writers.

If you download the audio [mp3] for Sherry Chandler‘s interview, you can hear Sheri Wright reading another poet’s work within the first five minutes. Like Virginia McKenna reading Iain Kemp’s poem, you won’t hear the original poet’s voice in his/her words. And, once again, you’re dealing with a different accent, one that is relative to the mid-south USA.

The radio interview format, more an example of a podcast, or audio program, provides even more depth to the artist’s work with histories, stories and backgrounds that provide depth to the poet’s personality and to his or her work. Two interviews I recommend (because I’ve met the poets) are the Sherry Chandler interview [mp3] and the interview with Mark Brown and Harriet Leach [mp3]. You’ll hear a wide range of poetic voices just within these two interviews and a lot of ideas that you can incorporate in your work as an artist or designer – especially the latter interview, where Sherry asks Mark and Harriet about their ‘fine arts’ degrees in writing (MFA).

Sheri plans to interview me at the end of August, and I’ll be sure to let you all know when it’s archived.

A Tentative Exploration into Audio

Poetry may seem inaccessible, but it is only as inaccessible as any original artwork. You can find both poetry and artwork online. HBO has made poetry more accessible through shows such as Russell Simmons’ Brave New Voices and his Def Poetry Jam, which also premièred via HBO. Those shows provide a dimension far deeper than audio, as you see the poets performing their works.

These cable television shows have pushed poetry into the limelight, as well as a recent wave of literary works now available online through venues such as Poetry Foundation’s Audio & Podcasts, the Listening Booth at Poets.org and Poetry Audio at Salon.com. Unless poetry can be made accessible through sight and sound, poetry and the poet could easily slide into oblivion, marking modern and historic poets less accessible than fossils.

Many poets have tentatively dipped into the audio pool, hoping to bring life to their works. Patricia A. McGoldrick deserves a mention here, as she is on the road to adding audio online to enhance her poetry. Patricia participated in another PAD challenge that occurred in April, and at Facebook she began to gather poet friends like a wild child would gather flowers from a field.

Patricia is Canadian, so for you Australians who cannot differentiate a U.S. Accent from a Canadian accent (and I know you exist, as I’ve pulled the wool over your eyes more than once), you might listen closely to Patricia’s voice in her rendition of City of Lights at Cambridge Libraries and Galleries. While her accent is not very obvious, someone who is looking for the sound can hear that faint “oooh” (as in “boot”) instead of the long “o” in places (as in scope).

Beyond this slight accent, Patricia stumbles a bit in her reading...and her faltering is endearing. Unlike the professional stage reader mentioned earlier, Virginia McKenna, most people are not trained in reading out loud. Maybe a few speaking courses could help, but stage fright affects even the most seasoned stage and film stars at times. That one slight stumble, in my opinion, makes Patricia more accessible, and, that’s why it is important that you hear her audio. She is living proof that artists can be brave as well as creative people. Additionally, when she reads her poem, you can hear nuances you may not have heard even if you read her poem out loud yourself.

Patricia writes poems, essays, reviews about history, nature, books and people. She is inspired by the words of the artist, Joan Miro, who said, “I try to apply colours like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”

Linda Goin

Linda GoinLinda Goin carries a B.F.A. in visual communications with a minor in business and marketing, and an M.A. in American History with a minor in the Reformation. While the latter degree doesn't seem to fit with the first two educational experiences, Linda used her 25-year design expertise on site at archaeological digs and in the study of material culture. Now she uses her education and experiences in creating social media environments.

Accolades for her work include fifteen first-place Colorado Press Association awards, numerous fine art and graphic design awards, and interviews about content development with The Wall St. Journal, Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, and L.A. Times.

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