the pod phone idea

I had a new idea today, as I was dragging my bloated carcas to work… What if I got a separate phone line and publicized the number throughout town on stickers (hey could say something like, “Tell Me About Something Going On In Ypsi”) and then, each time someone called in, it would get recorded and broadcast as a podcast? I think it could probably be completely automated. Then, the recorded messages could initiate conversations on-line among the listeners… I think it’s pretty brilliant, but I suspect in reality it would just be a lot of drunk fratboys calling from their cell phones to regale us with stories of their sexual prowess. It still might be an interesting little project though… Maybe there would be a two-minute time limit, and all of those left on a day would be aggregated into a single podcast… There’s a lot that would obviously have to be worked out, but I think it’s got potential… Maybe once we get the Ypsi Sentinel site up and running, I’ll try to launch this as a part of it… And, if it works here, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be replicated elsewhere… Someone please remind me of this. I rarely get ideas this good.

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  1. Posted October 9, 2005 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Mark, this is a great idea. It’s basically an open “moblog” (“mobile blog”, get it?). You actually have a phone interface, in addition to the web interface, that people could listen to … “press one to hear the most recent recording/post/whateveryoucallit,” “press two to hear the next post” … If I were to build this, unless I could find a cheap hosted solution, I’d probably get a dedicated server running Asterisk with some sort of interface to the phone line (maybe buy voice over IP skype-in type-service? Or plug it into the wall w/ special hardware) — and everything else would happen in software.

  2. Posted October 10, 2005 at 12:01 am | Permalink


  3. Stella
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I think that is a really, really cool idea, and you would probably get regulars as a matter of course, so they would end up sort of like features.
    You’d probably have to exert some editorial control though and not have an automatic broadcast cuz you know how people are….

  4. Posted October 10, 2005 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I agree that this could be a really cool idea. It would be a great way to get community discussions going. But given the amount of spam I get in my mail and on my blog, the bullshit calls from drunken jerks would probably be a problem. So I think it would really need to be moderated by someone. Nonetheless I think it is an idea worth pursuing. Also being a podcast, it would be available worldwide. The advantage of this is that people from other places could also contribute and maybe provide some good ideas for resolving our own local problems.

  5. Doug Skinner
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Perhaps this is the best place to inform the congregation that the Bible has now been translated into SMS. See

  6. mark
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    OK, I may pursue it… We’ve got to get the Sentinel site up first though. I absolutely cannot take on any more projects (at least non-Automan-related projects) until that site is up and running… I do think that this would be fucking cool though.

    And sorry for saying in my post that my idea was “brilliant.” I know that makes me come across like an arrogant asshole, but I really did impress myself. (It doesn’t happen very often.)

    Thanks to everyone who left comments… If/when I get working on this, I’ll let you know.

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