Every 6 months, 10 days in April and 10 days in October, Hawaii Public Radio will augment their normal programing with the all-important fundraising Pledge Drive called Celebration 2009. It's an intense effort to raise $763K and that number keeps going up, back in April the goal was $741K. This is my third pledge drive since the inception of Bytemarks Cafe on KIPO 89.3FM. The 10 day experience is quite an exhibit of community coming together in support of a valued resource. In this day of giving everything away for FREE, why not the programming on Hawaii Public Radio. And in essence it is. There is nothing stopping anyone from tuning into 89.3 or 88.1 FM and listening to the programming streaming over the airwaves. What people like Chris Anderson believe is that the cost of delivering digital or electronic content is close to zero. But if people perceive value in the product they will pay something for it. For example he might give away the electronic version of is book FREE but the hard copy version will cost $20+ if you want to feel it in your hands. Shareware often works the same way. The programmer will allow people to download and use software and if the user is satisfied can voluntarily make a donation. Similarly in the case of public radio, if you the listener enjoy the programing you hear and find value in the news and stories presented, you can make a pledge. One big difference in the Hawaii Public Radio model as compared to other forms of digital media is the strong community aspect of the station. These 10 day marathons are an example of a real community, i.e. not one in cyberspace or a virtual world, coming together and showing support. Volunteers staff the phones, community members join radio staffers on the mics and listeners call in with their pledges. Food is always available from restaurant businesses that support the station. Restaurants definitely appreciate the concept of community. There is a real physical reason to rally together. If you are in driving distance of the station (738 Kaheka St. Honolulu), you should stop by during this 10 day pledge drive and experience the buzz. We have 5 more days to go and my sense is that the goal will be reached on Friday 10/23. Being there when that happens makes it all worth struggling for.
People have actually stopped me at work asking about the online productivity tools talked about by Susan Jaworowski and Jonathan Wong on this edition of Bytemarks Cafe. They both did a great job of sharing their favorite collaboration and efficiency tools best suited for team activities. It was a full discussion and you can catch the complete conversation on the podcast. If you think I missed any application discussed please let me know:
- Google Docs - Office suite
- Zoho - Office suite
- Evernote - Notes
- Basecamp - Project Management
- Doodle - Scheduling
- Reqall - Notes
- WhenisGood - Scheduling
- Jott - Voice notetaking and transcription
- Tokbox - Video Conferencing (listener provided)
- Google Voice - Phone aggregation and transcription
- Tesoro Corporation has shipped its first barrels of crude oil from the Atlantic to the Pacific Basin on a reversed Panama pipeline, the company said last week. The 81-mile pipeline, owned by Petroterminal de Panama, or "PTP," formerly flowed from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Reversal of the pipeline establishes a new conduit for crude oil transportation and will help Tesoro to deliver a broader range of crude oils produced in Africa, the Atlantic region of South America and the North Sea, through Panama.
- Researchers from the University of Hawaii were part of an international team that detonated 80 tons of explosives in an Israeli desert last week to test methods to detect seismic activity across long distances through atmospheric acoustics. The controlled, above-ground explosion in the Negev desert was equal to an earthquake of 3.0 on the Richter scale. The test was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, and coordinated by the University of Hawaii and the Geophysical Institute of Israel.
- Hawaii Biotech, Inc., one of Hawaii's largest biotechnology companies, announced last week that its one of its dengue vaccines has moved into a Phase 1 clinical study. The study is being conducted at Saint Louis University, and involves double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation tests on healthy subjects.
- Now that Mauna Kea has been chosen as the site for the Thirty-Meter Telescope, the search is on for the funding and other support needed to build and operate it. And last week, astronomers from China expressed interest in becoming partners. The telescope, which will become the world's largest when completed in 2019, needs total financing of about $1 billion. Canada and Japan already signed up with the University of California and the California Institute of Technology, which conceived and leads the project.
- Finally, a quick update on a story we first brought to you in July. The Hawaii School Guide, at HawaiiSchoolGuide.com, officially launched yesterday. The website is the brainchild of local entrepreneur and parent Evan Leong. The Hawaii School Guide features a searchable database covering over 800 schools statewide, from over 300 public schools to preschools, private schools, and other education centers.
The semi-annual pledge drive is an interesting phenomenon. It's Hawaii Public Radio's major money making effort and occurs in April and October of each year. On one hand it is viewed as a necessary evil, something that needs to be done but not everyone likes it. Listeners want regular programming and staff feels apprehension going on air to ask for money. On the other hand it is a remarkable community event that exemplifies the community in community radio. This was my second pledge drive and although I do not commit anywhere as much time as the staff do, I try to pitch in. In addition to our show on Wed, I usually help as a guest on Pledge Central and also bring in a Bytemarks crew to work the phones on Saturday from 12-5pm. It's a good excuse to call my friends and ask them to pitch in. That act alone helps to build community. People hanging around a table, talking story, eating food and answering the occasion phone pledge. The flow of people in and out of the station indicates the broad community base that HPR relies on. I see familiar faces that I would otherwise rarely see if not for HPR. Given the state of the economy, I was concern the drive would take longer than the 10 day period. In the previous Oct 2008 drive it extended one day and I could see the stress in people's faces and their voices. To my surprise, this drive ended one day early, on Thursday, 5/30. The drive started on Wed. 4/22. To me this showed how committed the community at large is to supporting HPR. The drive ended right around 4:30pm on Thursday during the popular All Things Considered show. As soon as the pledge came in that put us over the top, the drive ended. No more calls were taken, no more soliciting and back to normal programming. Whatever normal was at that point! The energy as very high and people were elated. It felt like running a race and finishing first. I put this 30 sec video together with some shots I took but it does not compare to the excitement in the air. There were lots of hugs, handshakes and champagne to go around. Again this was a great show of a community coming together and accomplishing a goal. It was a bonding event. It almost felt like it shouldn't end. But it needed to so we could go back to regular programming. All in all, the pledge drive was all about community and the event itself is a community building one. Call me strange but I'm actually looking forward to the next one in October.
I just got word this past week that I'll be doing a weekly radio show on KIPO-FM 89.3, one of the Hawaii Public Radio stations here in Honolulu. Of course the show will be called Bytemarks Cafe and will be about tech and the Internet, mainly oriented around the people doing cool and interesting things in our community. It'll be a magazine format with news bytes, interviews, cool websites and an audio pick of the week. I am always on the hunt for information like this so if you have any suggestions please send them by way. Over the next few weeks I will put up a blog and wiki for feedback but you can also contact me directly at bytemarks [at] gmail (.) com or Twitter me at Bytemarks. The air date for the show will be this coming July which gives me a little time to gather my resources and develop a format. I am totally excited about this opportunity. I've always had this love affair with radio dating back to my days at Stanford when I did a radio show there. Believe it or not, I know a couple of people (not including myself) who've actually heard that show. Another interesting side note, it'll be 10 years, this year since Bytemarks debuted in the Honolulu Advertiser as a tech/Internet column. Anyway, more details to follow. In the meantime, if you've got any show ideas, please let me know. You know me, I am game for almost anything.