Google Intros Our Stories – One Podcast Per Child

Dec 8th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Citizen Media, iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcasting Networks, Podcasting Services

Our StoriesGoogle has announced a new project, Our Stories, to help people share the stories of their lives, no matter where they live or how their stories unfold.

The project brings together the efforts of Google, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and UNICEF.

Google is providing the infrastructure to let people around the world create and share personal stories, starting with children in developing countries who are using OLPC computers or those who are working with UNICEF radio producers to record and share interviews.

Children are asked to record the stories of elders, family members, and friends. There’s already a collection of stories on the site, which includes stories from Brazil’s Museum of the Person and stories from Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Pakistan (through UNICEF).

Here’s an example of the project, Daniel’s Song:

One Podcast Per Child

The project is based on Google’s YouTube infrastructure, so it’s basically using video sharing technology to deliver audio podcasts.

We’re calling the Our Stories recordings “podcasts” because the project seems to be completely in the spirit of podcasting – enabling anyone, anywhere to tell their story to a global audience.

We’d like to see Google treat these recordings as true podcasts, though, and offer One Feed Per Child. This would let you easily subscribe to Daniel or any of the other kids that share their stories and listen to the stories on your iPod or other digital audio player.

UNICEF, OLPC & Google Working Together

By making these stories accessible around the world, the Our Stories project hopes to contribute to a better understanding of our shared humanity across countries and cultures, across religious traditions, across languages, and across generations.

“Information technologies can help young people around the world learn more about each other,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “Our Stories will promote dialogue across borders and cultures and give young people a voice on a wide range of issues.”

Low-cost XO laptops by One Laptop per Child will serve as a foundation to help build this digital archive of stories by providing children in developing countries with easy-to-use technology to record their stories and interviews.

“One Laptop per Child is very excited about partnering with Google and UNICEF to capture the thoughts and feelings of children and their communities around the world,” said Walter Bender, President of Software and Content/COO, One Laptop per Child. “The XO laptop is a tool for sharing and collaboration and this project is a great way to build a global community.”

The Our Stories project is inspired by the StoryCorps project in the United States, founded by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay.

“StoryCorps is proud to lend its experience in recording the conversations of nearly 30,000 Americans to this global undertaking,” said Isay. “These efforts teach us that the lives of everyone ‚Äì whether they are in New York or Nairobi ‚Äì matter, and that they will not be forgotten.”

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