November 12, 2008

This is a test ... beep, mheep, mheep ... this is only a test...

In the coming weeks, 4thebirds... will be experimenting and testing new ways of communication with its readership. We will provide written posts, as usual, but may include a variety of other types of communication, including live blogs presented in various ways, audio, in the form of internet radio broadcasting. As well as a mixture of the aforementioned elements.

Much of the reason the Cardinals information will be presented in these ways is to find out what types of interaction are possible with our readership. Of course, you will have the ability to post comments on the blog. But in live blogging, you have a way of presenting live posts.

Some of you have seen the live blogs previously, and they can run either quickly, or, over a length of hours, the blog posts being presented in brief fashion, which you can read, and/or, post your own live comment, or even your own live blog post. The live blogs are moderated initially. There's no way around that, but you can can gain an unmoderated access once you are known as a trusted visitor that posts responsibly.

The reason for some of the live blog testing is due to an increased interested in audio presentation, mainly by the United Cardinal Bloggers, which is a non-affiliated network of bloggers who, as the name implies, blog about the St. Louis Cardinals, in whole or in part. The live blogs have the ability to post audio clips, which cannot be done live, but can be done on-site. The United Cardinal Bloggers radio show, recently created and launched by Tom of Cardinals GM, uses a free source called BlogTalkRadio. Anyone can get a free account and set up radio shows of varied length, and Tom thought the delivery method would be good for the United Cardinal Bloggers, who occasionally do projects together, something like a Cardinals think tank, only without the million dollar salaries.

Tom hosted a test pilot in October and has a show set up for Wednesday, November 12, at 9:00 p.m. CT. Tom's proposed guests will be Nick from PItchers Hit Eighth and Mike from Stan Musial's Stance.

I have been assigned the second show, and will host as chetthejet on December 3, a Wednesday, at 10:00 p.m. CT. My propsed guests will be Matt from Fungoes and Don from Redbird Blog. Special guests may include Mike of Mike on the Cards and Erik of Future Redbirds.

All the proposed guests are United Cardinal Bloggers, and there are many more blogs in the network. However, any blogger of the Cardinals or any other team or baseball in general are welcome to listen in or phone in. Cardinal Nation and any baseball fans are welcome too.

A delivery system that is attached to the United Cardinal Bloggers radio talk show is a live chat box, which is open to whomever is logged on. The live chat is a great way to forward your questions to the show's host or guests if you're not ready to call in yourself. Of course, you can chat live as well, sort of parallel to the show presentation.

These method of delivery are quite similar to the live blogging, with the exception that the audio is not live. There are advantages to either method, which the visitor of the blog or radio show, can utilize. We're actually experimenting on something of a mixture of audio clips, radio, and podcasting, very close cousins.

We would like to do a lot of experimenting with these systems, and would appreciate any interaction on your part. As well, any suggestions for improvement are always welcome, as we are strivng to develop the best methods of communication relative to specific circumstances.

That being said, you may see a series of transcripts or write-ups for audio delivery right here in the posts. As it turns out, it is often much simpler, though unorthodox, to do much of this type of work out in the open, so to speak, right in the place where the main communication system will be tested. We understand this is unusual, as most scripting and itineraires are created and utilized behind the scenes.

In this script, or post, or transcript, depending on how you look at it and/or when you read it, will be part of a few audio tests. So if you hear it by clicking on a link within a live blog, for instance, you'll know that at least part of the experiment went as planned. If you hear this on a test radio show, either live, or archived for replay, you'll know that experiment worked as well.

Of course, you may never know that a particular audio experiment went wrong or failed because obviously, the audio had not come to fruition.

If you are hearing this on a live radio broadcast and call in, it is entirely possible that your call may be ignored, or that we will halt the audio to answer your call.

We hope to include much shorter audio clips, especially on the live blogs, where you may want to write in your own remarks or comments. Plus, we hope to title the links well enough so that you can choose the news, so to speak, that you would like to hear.

Please feel free to post your suggestions and comments wherever such posting is available to you, either on the blog post, or the live blog entry box, or on live chat during a radio broadcast, or even live as a call in.

Thank you for your patience. I, chetthejet, appreciate it on behalf of the 4thebirds... blog and when I am partaking in a United Cardinal Bloggers event.