If you’re into design and architecture (even if you’re not and you just enjoy good story telling) and you’re not subscribed to the 99% Invisible podcast, you should be. If you are, why haven’t you told me about it?!
Having just listened to a handfull of episodes so far I’m already hooked. In a way that I would have never expected, the show’s host, Roman Mars, uses the medium of audio to vividly convey design-centered topics. So far I’ve been transported to Belgium to sample what is perhaps the world’s rarest and best tasting beer, I’ve learned about the short story which provided the genesis for the Geico caveman commercials, and I’ve considered how one might redesign our US currency and why that might not be a good idea. As Mars says, each episode is better than the last no matter which order you listen to them in.
I was first introduced to 99% Invisible while I was doing some research for yesterday’s post on Kickstarter. It turns out the creator of 99% Invisible is doing something which for a long time I’ve thought would be great for public radio: Use Kickstarter as a replacement for annual radio fund-drives.
Now I can’t take credit for this idea (I saw it in a tweet sometime in the past year), but the beauty of it was instantly apparent to me. No more annoying program interruptions so the local hosts can talk about pledges. Instead, 99% Invisible’s Kickstarter page quickly conveys what the show is all about, highlights their funding needs, displays various prizes for different contribution amounts, and makes it easy for you to make a pledge. Hopefully, 99% Invisible’s pioneering effort will give NPR affiliates some inspiration for replacing or at least supplementing their fund drives.