Introducing ThoughtCast

The site I’ve been working on for the last few weeks, ThoughtCast has now gone live. This site will feature weekly interviews, packaged as podcasts and conducted by Jenny Attiyeh, a professional broadcaster who was worked with the BBC, as well as NPR.

Jenny’s first podcast is an interview with Ilan Stavans Latino and Latin-America literature critic and author of “Spanglish”. Coming up will be interviews with the Cambridge author Carol Bundy, who wrote a biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr; and poet David Ferry and Virgil Scholar Richard Thomas examination of Virgil’s Georgics.

From a design perspective, Jenny’s site is based on WordPress, but she didn’t want the traditional weblog look and feel. What she wanted was three boxes that had one entry for the current interview, a box with three upcoming interviews, and another box with three past interviews — the latter two then going to second pages with additional listings of interviews.

I used categories to mark the difference between interviews, and then Jenny can control when an interview goes from future, to current, to past–and keep the same set of comments with the interview, as it moves along. In addition, another category is used to define a post that contains a list of credit, displayed in the sidebar with a scrollbar so that the credits will literally ‘roll’ as new entries are added.

The design and color was based on the header graphic. Jenny mentioned wanting a graphic of a fisherman and a search of Google found the beautiful and bright graphic used, in a page at a royalty free graphics company. After Jenny purchased the image, I cropped it for the header, and then created a smaller whole version to ‘terminate’ the last column.

Over time Jenny will be adding to the weblog roll, and she’ll also be adding graphics representing radio stations who will be playing her interviews. Eventually the center and right column will be as long as the left column.

Since I won’t be having a consistent internet connection after this next week, JJ at Lizard Dreaming will be maintaining the site from this point on.

Jenny’s contributions should attract a whole new group of listeners to podcasting with her interviews with artists, writers, poets, and performers. If you have a chance, stop by, download her interview, and bid her welcome.

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