'The h2g2 Oddcast will contain audio snippets from the Community,
segments from the Edited Guide and other aspects of Life, the Universe
We're now looking for original audio content to fill the first
episode. It doesn't have to be quite as formal as the Edited Guide, so
it can include discussions about subjects that the Edited Guide has
been looking at, personal experiences of what to write, conversations
between Researchers (if two or more of you are together) or suggestions
for new Researchers.'
The Beeblecast was an idea suggested by Smij in
a conversation on the
AViators page way back in August last
year. Since then, the AViators have slowly moved on; we've actually got
round to making some clips for h2g2 entries now, but the idea of the
h2g2 Oddcast – now renamed the Beeblecast for copyright reasons - hasn't quite gone away. It's been in the back of my mind
for a while, and the combination of the Post's 8th birthday and the
addition of a talented new member to the AViators team - who will
remain anonymous to spare any embarrassment - has brought it right
back to the front of my mind.
The Beeblecast - in case you haven't worked it out yet - is a bit like a
podcast, but with h2g2's unique style. Putting it together is going
to be a huge job, and we're going to need as many people as possible to
help out. I'd like to organise it in such a way that anyone can get
involved; whether you're a competent clip-maker, writer, poet or
photographer or just have a microphone and the means to record it, I'd
really like you to be involved. Please read on; there might just be
something you can do.
Smij's original plan for the Beeblecast was an audio version of the best
of the Guide, and that much has changed just a little. At the time of
his post, it looked as if we might be able to have our AV and audio
clips onsite, but unfortunately the situation has changed and we're
now putting our clips on an authorised h2g2 AViators YouTube
account. In the future, we might be able to get clips
embedded, but for now everything we do is held offsite. Audio-only
clips look a bit odd on YouTube, so we're concentrating on clips which
have visual content as well as audio.
As we need somewhere to put our Beeblecast when we've completed it, I've
suggested that we link up with The Post to produce an Beeblecast issue at
some point in the future. What I propose is that we produce an issue
where every article is featured in the Beeblecast; not necessarily in
full, but at least in part. Every part of the Beeblecast will also have
a text transcription or page in The Post, and I think the two would
complement each other very well.
So what am I asking for? Well, let's imagine that you've written a
really good poem you'd like us to feature. You could submit it to us
in a variety of ways. If you're really confident, you could record a
video clip of you reading it to the camera. Or you could get hold of
a microphone and record it as audio-only; in that case, we'd make some
kind of photo-montage, Flash animation or video clip to accompany it.
Or, if you're not keen on digitising your face or voice, you could
just submit the poem as text only and let us work out what to do with
I think you can see from that example the range of talents we're going
to need. We need writers and cartoonists to provide the Entries we're
going to feature. We need clip-makers and photographers to bring
audio submissions to life. We need people with a variety of voices
and accents to narrate or read out text-only submissions. And we need
people with a bit of imagination to come up with the ideas that will
bring this whole idea to life.
There are all sorts of things we could do with this, and the clips
don't necessarily have to be led by the articles. For example, I have
a whole load of clips of birds in my garden, mainly on the feeders. I
could submit those and write an accompanying poem, an article about
them, or even ask one our regular columnists if they fancy writing a
column to go with them.
I'm afraid that's all I have at the moment, because I have no idea
what the reaction from the community will be. I could have an inbox
bursting with clips and ideas by the end of the week, or I might not
hear anything for months. For that reason, this is going to be rather
open-ended, and we'll have to play it by ear - when it's ready, it's
ready. This means that whatever you submit should not be
time-specific; a report on a football match or Christmas poem wouldn't
be much use to us if the Beeblecast isn't ready until March!
If you're interested in contributing, please let me know by emailing
h2g2aviators[at]googlemail[dot]com (substituting the '[at]' for '@'
and '[dot]' for '.'). Please include 'Beeblecast' in the subject of your email, and let me know what you fancy doing, not forgetting to include your h2g2 username and U-number. I'll try to coordinate things from there.
Please email in your ideas rather than posting them on this page, as
it would be great if we could keep specific ideas under wraps as far
as possible until they are ready to be unveiled.