Lebanese-Israeli conflict via mobile phones

Suw and I have been meaning to do a podcast, maybe a podcast over crepes in the morning. The Strange Attractor Crepe-cast. At any rate, fresh off our two-week European road trip, I decided to take the podcast plunge and have a chat with Eric Sundelof, who is just finishing a fellowship with the Reuters Digital Vision programme.

As he says on his site:

Cell phones today transmit audio, video, photographs and text. When combined with the proper web application, cell phones enable any citizen in any country of any background to publish information and share it with the world.

I talked to him about how he put this idea into practice to hear voices in Lebanon and Israel.

powered by ODEO

Download podcast here

Technical Notes: As Kevin Marks noted before, I originally didn’t enclose the audio download in the RSS feed. It was easily solved by linking to the file on Odeo and using Kevin’s rel=enclosure microformat. The directions are here.

For those of you who are interested, I used a very versatile Skype add-on called Pamela to record the interview with Erik. Pamela is like a Swiss Army knife add-on for Skype, allowing you to record both audio and video, upload it to remote servers and even generate RSS feeds from the uploads. I’m not using half of the functionality, but I have found it well worth the cost and use it often for work.

One note with Odeo’s upload service. I originally had saved my file as 64kbps at 22Khz. Odeo didn’t like that, nor did it seem terribly happy using. But when I resaved the file at 44Khz and uploaded it using Internet Explorer, it worked.

5 thoughts on “Lebanese-Israeli conflict via mobile phones

  1. I don’t mean to be snotty, but I don’t think it counts as a podcast unless you give us a link to the download URL, instead of just embedding a player.
    Yes, I can view source, and dig out the url, and download it manually, but the point of podcasting was to make that stuff automatic.

  2. I must admit that I don’t use my cell phone for anything other than calling people, and I don’t do that often. However, heaps of people text message (the text messages sent to World Have Your Say is just an example of how much people use this communication medium), and Eric Sundelof’s blog is an excellent example of how one can tap into the craze.

    Oh yeah, concerning Strange’s podcast theme, may I suggest an annoying ringtone. It serve as an excellent homage to the original episode.

  3. Kevin,

    Yeah, Suw and I are modifying the post now to add the link to the enclosure. My fault. Bit of a rush job this morning after struggling to actually upload the audio. Odeo is a bit particular about encodinig rates using their uploader. (More about that in a follow up technical note.)

    Steve, yeah, I’m working on some moblogging. Unfortunately, mobile phone companies in the UK charge ridiculous amounts of money per megabyte. It makes moblogging prohibitive here in the UK.


  4. With Lebanon not having a president at this time we should all do everything we can to bring it together not split it further apart . I found this site http://www.ilovelebanon.com you can get a free email account and and support Lebanon .

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