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Sharing stories of Oberlin residents, their histories and ideas for its future as they remake it in their image.
Sharing stories of Oberlin residents, their histories and ideas for its future as they remake it in their image.
23 backers pledged $2,006 to help bring this project to life.

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Oh Oberlin 2015

$2,006

23

Following a successful six-month trial, I am ready to take the production value of my podcast up a level.

Oh, Oberlin continues to share the stories of, by and for the people in our little historic Ohio town. Searching for Oberlin's voice in the modern echo chamber, ohoberlin.wordpress.com started with my desire to write about things going on in my hometown and to share those text-based stories via social media. However, the idea evolved from writing into conducting non-scripted interviews using Oberlin College's station (WOBC), at the pleasure of the staff and at the whim of the college's class schedule. My one-hour "Oh, Oberlin" shows featuring interesting town’s people and issues were then recorded and loaded to YouTube for the public (and world) to enjoy.

In June, I successfully funded the initial launch of the podcast via Kickstarter. The funds raised were used for buying storage on wordpress.com, software (Hindenburg) and hardware in the form of an external microphone used with my iPhone to record the interviews. The podcast is listed on iTunes.

Among those who have been interviewed for the radio show and the podcast are: Kurt Russell, Oberlin High School history teacher; Sean Hayes, executive director of the Oberlin Project; Cullen Naumoff, director of sustainable enterprise for the Oberlin Project; Rev. David HIll, First Church; Steve and Mary Hammond, Peace Community Church; political activists and music reviewers Arlene and Larry Dunn; Harvey Pratt; Scott Medwid; Steve Johnson, former Oberlin City Schools concert and marching band director; Cherilyn Brice and Alan Mitchell, Oberlin Community Services; businessmen and retired Oberlin College professors Bob Piron and Luis Fernandez; Rex Engle, general manager of the Oberlin Inn; James Peake, education and outreach coordinator for the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts; Rudd Crawford, retired Oberlin High School math teacher; Dawn Neely-Randall; and Danny Rosenburg, Oberlin Environmental Dashboard.

We have discussed issues of race relations, past and present. Economic development and sustainable enterprise have been defined. The International Baccalaureate program at the Oberlin City Schools has been talked about in the context of Common Core curriculum standards. We've gone light-hearted with stories of marching band and we've listened to first-hand stories of dealing with Lou Gehrig's Disease. All of this has been against the backdrop of Oberlin, described by someone as a microcosm of the country at large.

Now it’s time to take this show to the next level. I am looking to purchase a computer and better microphone(s). The computer is of increased necessity for storage of raw copy and production capability. The new microphone equipment will help provide a more consistent sound quality.

My goal remains not to over-produce these interviews, but to be able to conduct them in a way that translates into more recordings for listening and then, more sharing.

Thank you to those who backed my first round: Sharon Pearson, Bryan Stubbs, Brian Hodgkin, Darby Saxbe, Jeff Lin, Dawn Neely-Randall, Mark DeYoung, Scott Medwid, Steve Johnson, Tom Geller, Sara Jaffee, Prue Richards, Geof Comings, Bruce Comings and Ruth Turner

Risks and challenges

Weekly publishing is a higher hurdle than I originally believed it would be. I work out of town and am essentially cold-calling people asking them if I can record an interview to put online.

Getting my face, name and purpose out into the community while developing a library of interviews for people to listen to has helped with the latter issue. Time constraints take consistent effort to overcome.

Technical challenges have been minimal. The podcast software has performed well with the quality of recording I have given it. WordPress has been a reliable file host.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Individuals posting at this level or higher will be included in a list of people published to the website who support the podcast.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Individuals pledging at this level will receive three minutes at the beginning of an episode to explain their connections to Oberlin. Rolling delivery.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Businesses and institutions that pledge at this level will receive one minute of commercial time per podcast for the year that can be updated monthly. Individuals pledging at this level will receive three minutes at the beginning of an episode to explain their connections to Oberlin and a CD or DVD copy of all interviews posted in 2015.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Businesses and institutions that pledge at this level or higher will receive a yearlong, two-minute commercial spot per podcast that can be updated monthly. Individuals pledging at this level or higher will receive a CD or DVD copy of all interviews posted during 2014-2015 as well as three minutes at the beginning of an episode to explain their connections to Oberlin.

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Funding period

- (30 days)