The podcast called Hacker Public Radio (HPR) is an amazing phenomenon. It has been providing an episode a day every weekday for years, and these episodes originate from the community.
I heard someone refer to HPR as “Crowd Sourced” which seemed like a good way of describing things. It is an open access resource which is managed under various Creative Commons licences, usually CC-BY-SA.
The content is very broad in scope. Anything “of interest to Hackers” is acceptable, which is interpreted in a wide variety of ways.
Access to shows is open to all through the HPR site, where shows back to episode 1 can be browsed, notes read, etc. There are feeds which propagate various updates: to shows, series, comments and email. Current shows are archived to the Internet Archive (archive.org) within a few days of appearing in the main feed, and older shows are gradually being archived this way with the intention of eventually storing everything there.
As you can see, if you examine the details on the website statistics page the predecessor of HPR started more than 11 years ago as “Today With A Techie”, transforming into “Hacker Public Radio” over 9 years ago.
Started: 11 years, 4 months, 12 days ago (2005-10-10)
Renamed HPR: 9 years, 1 months, 20 days ago (2007-12-31)
In the earlier days the frequency of show release was not the predictable 5 per week, every weekday, that it is now. There were gaps, sometimes of several days, and occasionally shows came out on the weekend. Stability was achieved in October 2012 and there have been no gaps since then!
There are currently 280 hosts who have contributed shows at some point in the history of HPR, and at the time of writing in February 2017 show number 2230 has been released. The number of episodes and hosts will be greater when the episodes from “Today With A Techie” are incorporated into the archive.
The Hacker Public Radio experiment has been very successful over the years, but there is a certain fragility in the way it works.
The longer notes for this episode which are available here, talk about the details of the problem facing HPR and go on to suggest some solutions.
Comment #1 posted on 2017-03-01 18:08:56 by Tony Hughes
Hi Dave I enjoyed the show about the history and workings of hpr. I did a slot about HPR at Manchester Barcamp last year and during the talk likened HPR to a BarCamp of the airwaves as just like a BarCamp as long as it's legal and you make it clear if familly frendly or not, you can talk on any topic that you have a passion for and you want to share with the listeners. Maybe that could be a new tag line, HPR the BarCamp of the podcast World!!
Comment #2 posted on 2017-03-06 15:08:31 by Dave Morriss
Thanks Tony, and thanks for telling Manchester Barcamp about HPR :-)
Comment #3 posted on 2017-03-25 07:50:37 by knightwise
How about a dropbox folder.
One of the things you could do to make the recording process simpler is have something like a dropbox folder that people can send their shows to, straight from their phones when they are done. That way you have a one-button upload without having to develop an app right now. The second thing I would find cool if is there was a Telegram or Voxer channel for HPR listeners / hosts. That way we could talk to each other and (in a pinch) these audio conversations could also be used as a show.
Comment #4 posted on 2017-03-26 06:16:17 by M1rr0r5h4d35
Very interesting show.
I really enjoyed the history and statistics, it would be nice to have a page on HPR's site that lets you see a bunch of those stats as they change. I also think that a store would be great, depending on the types of gear sold. For example tshirts and hoodies are a must, but it would also be cool to see things like raspberry pi kits, and supplies for building some of the projects that are mentioned on HPR shows for those who are interested in experimenting or duplicating the work of others. Maybe something like Hak5 does with their shop?
It's just an example, but that kind of stuff would be cool as well. I also think an app for IOS and Android really needs to happen. It would be great if it let you stream episodes as well as contribute them. Perhaps incorporate some of the data from the website into it as well, such as the calendar and show notes for the episodes. I don't know, just spitballing, but those are some of the things I would love to see happen. Thanks for the show!
Comment #5 posted on 2017-03-29 16:10:59 by droops
I do not listen to all of the episodes or keep up as much as I should but am very interested in the new hosts.
We should have a page (or a tag, or email) that just indicates when a brand new hosts released their first episode. This would enable me (and others) to keep track of when someone new posts and then I can send them encouragement/thank you/feedback.
Thank you for this episode, it was very cool hearing the stats (I remember that day we didn't have an episode). Very good ideas all around.
Comment #6 posted on 2017-03-30 21:53:20 by Dave Morriss
Thanks for the comments
@knightwise: interesting ideas, thanks. How to control access to Dropbox though? Wouldn't it fill up with spam and other junk?
@M1rr0r5h4d35: thanks. Some good thoughts to ponder there.
@droops: yes, the new host alert idea is a good one - needs some thought.
Comment #7 posted on 2017-04-03 22:31:13 by dodddummy
This should be a sticky show
I'm thinking this episode should be something like the sticky posts that forums keep at the top for reference.
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