Reporting for Duty 01

The Recording

As stated on last night’s show on ds106radio, the plan moving forward is to explore and share music and other digital media from the Internet Archive (IA). I’m intrigued by the vastness of the IA’s holdings and the efforts being made to build a library of cultural artifacts in digital form. Sometimes that vastness can be overwhelming. But with a bit of thoughtful curation and some radio magic, I believe it’s possible to create a pleasant listening experience from that huge collection.

Last night’s show is posted here for a couple of reasons. First, the sixty minute recording might be of interest to those who were unable to listen live. Also, I’m finding the process of planning and presenting shows on ds106radio serves as a welcome diversion from the troubling realities of the current moment. Perhaps a similar momentary diversion can be found while listening.

Ordinarily, according to the ds106 ethos, a blog post such as this should document the process by which the work was created. Well sir, that would be one long and ponderous turkey of a post to write up. Besides, I’ve been asked to write a DIY radio manifesto/tutorial as a guest post for one of the thought leaders in educational technology. So let’s put documenting of process aside for the moment – a link to the influencer’s blog will be made available in due course. Rather, I’d like to briefly touch on a few points that were raised in the recording and which will guide Reporting for Duty in the days ahead.

Fair Use

Clearly not everything that gets uploaded to the IA is in the public domain. The IA team are responsive to copyright claims and will take down content when requested to do so. I’ve wondered about my own level of responsibility and liability in linking to or playing something that is not in the public domain. I might have found a way through in the below disclaimer.

Reporting for Duty is an educational project. It will explore and interrogate the random assortment of found artifacts to highlight curious anomalies, oddities and coincidences that might be of social, political or cultural concern. A case could also be made that certain aspects of this project provide therapeutic benefit for your new old radio friend. It is hoped that this fair use claim (as also made in the recording) will provide some level of indemnification if and when the takedown notices come.

The Twitter

The ds106radio experience has always been enhanced by the interaction between hosts and listeners over the Twitter. These exchanges can be lively, caring, informative, bawdy and sometimes even cry-baby in nature. These threaded Twitter exchanges can also serve as an artifact of the fleeting radio moment. They show that at a certain moment in time, a small and special group were gathered around the ds106radio campfire – enjoying the shared experience.

I’ve also noticed several hosts on ds106radio use Twitter to promote upcoming shows or to augment the program with commentary, artwork or reference links. It is this second use of the Twitter that I hope to explore more fully in upcoming Reporting for Duty installments.

The Playlist

This particular playlist was derived from a compilation by an IA user named M3. I’ve come across more than 70 such compilations from M3 (previously known as Memory 3) dating back to 2017. I want to know how and why these compilations came into being. I have a suspicion that they were automatically generated with computer software.

So in one instance a playlist from a single compilation can be used to put a radio show together. But there’s also the possibility of creating a playlist that draws from files in different compilations or collections in the Internet Archive. I’ve done a few such experiments and the results are promising. More too will be said about this matter in that guest blog post.

The Gentle Listener

Perhaps you will attempt to listen to this hour long recording. If so, I hope you find it a a pleasant experience. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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