VoR Bulletin, July 2011

August 9, 2011

[Update #4, Aug. 13, 2011]

Dear friends,

To provide a monthly summary of our hosts’ hard work, as well as to note the recent progress and developments at our network, I have decided to start a monthly bulletin for the Voice of Reason Broadcast Network. I anticipate this bulletin will normally appear right after the end of the month, but due to July’s Web work spilling over into this month, this month’s bulletin will have to appear a little late. Here are the highlights of July:

Sound Improvements

This work was actually mostly done in June. I spent a good amount of time working until early July attempting to improve our overall audio quality, especially that of the archives, as (I hope!) some of you noticed. Due to the technical complexity of balancing so many disparate sources (music, news, voice, etc.), things are not perfect, but they are much improved, I think, over the prior situation. (Bear in mind also that, rarely, we do have a bad recording, or we acquire defective audio from an outside source; it is generally not possible to improve very much upon that.)

VoR Web site, version 2.0

I’m sure everyone has noticed the Web site changes, launched Mon., Aug. 9. The changes are too numerous to list, but in general the changes are partly aesthetic, and partly aimed at enhancing the readability and facilitating the navigation of our site. The active program listing of upcoming shows which dominated the old Web site front page has been condensed and relocated to the right-side column, and recent audio podcasts (and potentially other posts) now receive the main emphasis on the front page. One other improvement worth mentioning is the “popout” radio player which seems to function with less “rebuffering” than the old built-in radio player. (There is a problem with Flash technology which clashes with streaming MP3 audio, but the new player seems to mitigate this to a large degree — as a side note, desktop media players do not suffer this problem at all.)

There is more to do in this area as well; additional Web pages need to be written and new functions need to be added to the Web site, and will be, in the near future. In the meantime, if you notice any broken links or anything else not working, I would appreciate an email.

Update 8/10: I fixed the following items, thanks to helpful feedback from our listeners:

  • An HTML problem that was causing the Web site to be messed up in the Safari browser. Site was previously tested in FF, IE, Opera, and Chrome. We add Safari to the list of browsers for Web site testing.
  • The subscribe-by-email function was not working. Should be fine now.

Update 8/13: Thanks to helpful feedback from a listener, I added the navigation links at the bottom of archive, tag, and search pages.

Email correspondence

One area that I have fallen behind is email correspondence, including sending out bumper stickers. I will confess that this bulletin is being written partially to acknowledge and explain that fact. I do appreciate feedback of all sorts and I do beg your pardon on my delay in replying. I will be setting aside the rest of the week to catch up on correspondence and I encourage you to email me, again if you wish.

Archives for July 2011

We currently have eight dedicated, unpaid yet active and talented hosts to whom I give my thanks. If not for their work, none of these archives would exist:

Your Support is Needed

The Voice of Reason Broadcast Network would not exist without the support of our financial donors. We are fortunate to have had a relatively small number of generous donors carry us this far, and on behalf of everyone on the network, I give thanks to all who have supported us.

We are going to need additional funding to grow, and grow is what we need to do. I hope you will consider sending us a generous donation.

By the way, I hope I didn’t go overboard with technical matters in this bulletin, but lately that’s what I’ve been up to my elbows in, so it’s somewhat topical for me. In future bulletins, I will focus in more detail on the political and cultural reasons why alternative media like VoR are urgently needed in this world.

Well, it’s getting late, and I have three shows yet to post, so I am going to stop writing here. With your support we will push upwards and onwards!

Best Regards,
-Mike Conner
VoR Program Director