The opposite of social distancing #ds106radio

I started writing this blog post after the first broadcast that Tannis Morgan, Maren Deepwell and myself did nearly 3 weeks ago now. But in these crazy work times when I’m stretched so thin every day, trying to write anything beyond the basics required for getting the job done feels like too much. However, I’ve had sleep today and lots of it. Which is unusual for me. So I’m going to get this sucker done.

Like a few others I’ve been tuning in to ds106radio more and more regularly. It’s become a way to connect when other connections aren’t possible. Waking up on weekdays to the sound of bells and birds in Trento, listening to details of the latest infractions from Anto, showering whilst Jim plays vinyl. Late night Bobbie Gentry songs, Sunday morning country with Brian, evenings listening to Scottlo and the most amazing radio voice you ever heard, South Pacific sounds making me wistful for family I miss terribly. All of that plus the occasional playback of late night celebrity guests (Oliver Reed was a surprise). There’s no social distancing here.

As a rule I swing wildly between being far too nervous to try new things, and doing massive, crazy, impulsive things to push myself out of my comfort zone. So in that vein I did a little reading, and a little testing and then asked Tannis and Maren if they’d like to try broadcasting something together. We were all supposed to be hanging out together this year at OER20 in London, and also at OTESSA in Ontario, so maybe this would compensate a little…

ETUG Conference in June 2019, Kamloops, British Columbia. Just before we did a @VConnecting session.

The plan started off with just making a Spotify playlist which we’d broadcast out and tweet along to. But when we saw what we had each added, and the overlaps and linkages between our choices we started talking, and it was such a great conversation that it seemed like an idea to try incorporate that too. We also had too many song choices, so we decided to each pick a smaller selection from the songs that the other two had chosen.

The final format we settled on for the first show was that we would each pick about 5 songs from other people’s choices and ask them about them. In theory you wouldn’t know what you were going to be asked about, but as we were using a Twitter DM back-channel between tracks we *might* have asked for one or two favourite tracks to definitely be picked.

On the day Maren made some wonderful virtual stickers and a very cool video

So we went for it. It was horribly nerve wracking. Would I make a total arse of it technically? Would people laugh at our taste in music? (no, because we are cool), would anyone even listen? (yes, yes they did!). It was never planned to be anything other than a one time thing, but it was so much more than I think any of us expected it to be that immediately we did it we knew we wanted more. Tannis confessed that later that evening she laughed again for the first time in a week.

Nobody was being interviewed and nobody was playing their carefully curated playlist. Instead we trusted each other and just let things go where they would naturally. In the moment where we told our stories and shared our music with each other a really warm and generous space emerged, filled with joy.

I realise now that the real magic of #ds106radio is sharing over the airwaves extends that warm generous space out to encompass others, and that was reflected right back at us through all the beautiful Twitter comments.

With all that love and laughter we went for it again last Sunday and though the format was a little different (we picked from a themed playlist this time) the same warm space was there again. This Sunday we’re going to extend that space out a little more and include a special guest. We hope this will be the first of a few and that we can bring more stories, more joy, more music, more connection. Hope on the airwaves, as Maren says.

2 thoughts on “The opposite of social distancing #ds106radio

  1. Suffice to say this post makes me so very happy, and the fact you are on the radio is a testament that this is more than a comeback, it’s a new day rising!

    1. The time we get to spend together on the radio each Sunday is manna for our souls. It really is. And this morning, to have Jon ask Brian for help to do something, because he liked what we were doing…this human connection radio love stuff is infectious.

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