I’m lucky enough to have made the acquaintance of Mr. Tony Kahn in the podcast era. I first met him as far back as Bloggercon 3 in Palo Alto, way back in the wild days of 2004 when many of us had only been podcasting a few months. Tony did a lot for podcasting in the early days with his Morning Stories podcast for WGBH in Boston. He told me back then that he wanted WGBH to take a lead in podcasting from public radio as a way of lending whatever credibility they could to the validity of our new medium.
Morning Stories is no more but Tony has taken his body of work over to his new site, Hi Tony. He continues doing his fine work of conversing with people and publishing to us the results. Hi Tony is up for a Webby Award, and I recommend you go here and vote for it. Those familiar with me know my take on these awards and know that I don’t generally care about such things. For Tony, I make an exception. The man wants me to vote, I don’t mess around, I vote.
I invited Tony to be a keynote speaker at our CREATE South conference, now happening this coming Saturday. He wanted to do it but thought he might have a scheduling conflict. Then in the most drastic good new/bad news mail I’ve ever seen he said basically “The good news is I don’t have a scheduling conflict. The bad news is I have cancer and will be getting chemotherapy then.” Holy jumping cats, that’s some bad news. I’d have much rather he had the scheduling conflict. As Tony does, he’s documenting his process on the site with his Chemo Chronicle.
Just today I listened to an archived interview with the late great Studs Terkel. It occurred to me that what Tony does is a direct spiritual descendant of that fine man’s work and I am deeply smitten with both of them and their work. Getting the fascinating stories from ordinary citizens is valuable work and we owe both men a debt of gratitude for using their time and energy to do it.
Tony has been a good friend to me, to podcasting in general, to our conference and to the world. Please do me a favor and repay a tiny pit of that karma. Check out his work on Hi Tony, drop him a note of encouragement, and vote for him in the Webby awards.