I was downloading LDSC “stuff” from my camera this weekend and stumbled across some community love which kind of choked me up. Chicken And Stars is a podcast that I do along with @Reginaldgolding and @Micala, and it is VERY grassroots. We talk about local community, things that are happening now, what people are talking about, and try to highlight someone so we can all get to know them better. It is a lot of fun to do, and Wednesday nights are C&S nights, complete with adult beverage in hand, as we sit down to create more madness and mayhem.What I really love is that the community is willingly coming to play with us and engage in this little experiment of ours. What makes this relevant on my professional blog is that, at the end of LDSC, three of our listeners decided to create an homage to C&S and presented us—in front of EVERYONE at the summer camp—with a fan poster and a canned goods drive that was then donated in our name to the local food bank. Voila the poster:
There’s a surprising number of social applications we use to get this thing pushed out to the community. So far we are on Episode 008, and still tweaking the format for improvements. We use Skype to connect in from our separate locations and Audacity to edit it into one somewhat listenable blurb (at least I think that’s what we use; Reginald is always so mysterious about the editing process that sometimes I suspect it involves voodoo chants, eye of bat and chicken feet to get it ready for airing). Lately we have even started uploading to iTunes so that people can download the podcasts to their media players and listen offline. And of course, we have our own blog and we announce impending sessions/uploads via Twitter (follow @ChickenAndStars to get the latest). It’s been fun, but there is just a lot of renegade stuff that sneaks in there, and sometimes hell breaks loose. Okay, often all hell breaks loose.
Doing this podcast is one of the highlights of my week, but it still catches me by surprise that other people actively listen to us. For people to stand up in front of a room full of educators and make a point of telling us they like what we do? It doesn’t get much better than that. In fact, both Micala and I almost got choked up about the whole thing several times. This podcast is successful (and I am using that term in the loosest sense possible) because our community listens, and is engaged. Now we have people doing fan art. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? as Micala and I say to each other.
Thank you to the ringleaders, @NikkiMK06, and @Dancinjul (who, can I point out isn’t even LOCAL and is a huge fan? ZOMG!) and @Stevier for your thoughtfulness. Allan Gyorke signed the poster saying “You make a wonderful mess.” We’ve picked this up and are running with it as our new catch phrase. Mostly because it’s true (the mess part), but also because it was sincere (you know, the other part that used the “w” word). Thank you to those of you who listen, and comment about us in your podcasts, and blogs, and tweets. Oh my. You make us misty eyed, and even more idiotic sounding than we are. Which can be hard to do.