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Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily, this is not difficult.

—Charlotte Whitton
Project Blog:
Echo
This public art and civic journalism project will produce and collect stories tied to physical locations throughout Atlanta. Signs with Echo phone number and location ID will invite pedestrians and cyclists to access a story about that site via cell phone, podcast or the Web. When a space becomes inscribed with cultural or personal stories, it transforms into a place of significance, said project leaders Lila King and Karyn Lu, movers behind CNNs user-generated site iReport.com. Follow their progress here.

Getting started…

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us. We’re going to be conducting a series of interviews in the lovely Lake Claire neighborhood of Atlanta, where we plan to chat with members of a cohouse, someone who calls himself “Treeman” (he teaches people how to climb trees!), and folks attending a drum circle at the Lake Claire Land Trust. In addition to the stories we’ll be producing, we’re going to gather stories from locals about why specific spots are meaningful to them. We can’t wait to hear the stories from this neighborhood. The content we get from the Lake Claire community is going to serve as our pilot and proof of concept.

In the meantime, getting together to talk about Echo is often the highlight of our day! The two of us have been meeting for breakfast every other Wednesday at one of our favorite spots in Atlanta, Ria’s Bluebird (an institution), to discuss Echo. It’s definitely going to become a fun tradition throughout this project.

The response among our friends has also been enthusiastic. Every time we talk about Echo, someone comes up with a brilliant new suggestion or direction for us. As a result, we’ve decided to host a series of brainstorming sessions. The idea is to gather some friends and colleagues who are all creative in different ways, chat about Echo, and see what sparks. Our first brainstorming session is going to take place next Monday evening over dinner. The group will include artists, journalists, web producers, an urban planner, a philosophy professor, and a bicycle tour guide. We’ll share some of the great ideas that come out of these gatherings soon.

   • Posted by Karyn Lu on 08/06 at 03:08 PM
   (1) Comments
 

Comments


Hey Karyn and Lila, this is a great idea for building community and sharing stories—not to mention my personal passion: getting people out of their cars.

You mention that Atlanta needs help to make the city more pedestrian and cycling friendly.  I won’t disagree, but will say that conditions have greatly improved over the past 25 years I’ve been riding in Atlanta, and particularly between Midtown/Downtown and Decatur.  I think you’ll have good traffic for your stories and will collect some great stories as well.  Your idea for sharing the stories is great.

I’m always looking for cycling destinations I can string together into a route.  A few days ago, we did a treasure hunt on bikes that followed an intown route.  Several of these destinations have interesting stories, but it would be interesting to string together routes from your stories. 

How is your list shaping up?  Where is the list being posted and would you have GPS co-ordinate info for those sites? 

I think you’ll get a lot of help from the cycling community.

One comment: having to register to post comments does help prevent unwanted comments, but it probably deters well-meaning comments as well.

   • Posted by Jett Marks on 09/04 at 11:00 PM

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Who's Blogging

 
Karyn Lu

KARYN LU works in the Design Experience Group at CNN.com, and is the User Experience Lead on iReport.com, CNN's citizen news initiative. She is passionate about creating a great user experience across multiple disciplines and platforms.

Lila King

LILA KING is an online media producer living in Atlanta. She's pretty sure everyone's story is fascinating if you listen well enough. Echo is all ears.

Click for full bios.