Help make Talker even greater as the magazine expands its digital footprint

Help make Talker even greater as the magazine expands its digital footprint

Audrey Boyce interviewing Talker. From “The love ($) you get is equal to the love ($) you give”

Dr. Robert Carrothers, the former president of my graduate institution, the University of Rhode Island, had a knack for fundraising. Carrother’s theory was that people don’t donate just because an organization or cause have financial needs. Rather, people donate to feel part of a successful venture, similar to how sports fans will pay more for tickets when their team is winning.

Yes, Talker needs money. About this time last year, the magazine had daunting and galling technical issues, precipitated by the sudden disappearance of an Egyptian web builder who was supposed to provide support but only provided headaches. The lengthy repairs cost over 3K, blowing a huge hole in our (mostly non-existent) budget. In addition, running the site costs about $650 yearly.

Bruce Kay (left) has donated GEVA tickets, cold cash, Cambodian trinkets and a screenplay. See  Bruce returns from Cambodia with Umpire State

Our last fundraiser —  “The love ($) you get is equal to the love ($) you give” — adapted from John Lennon — and the addition of a donate button helped staunch the financial wounds of the site meltdown — but only so much.

(l-r) Donor Bruce Leslie on his way to Evensong in Kings College Chapel, 2003; donor Eric Kemperman at a University of Rochester baseball game from My first live pitch of the season; anonymous donor photoshopped outside a Wegmans from “It’s enough to put a bag over our heads”

Now for Carrother’s “winning team” concept — his theory that people need more motivation than just our impoverished coffers.

In collaboration with David Kay, MLS Archivist Consultant, Talker is embarking on an ambitious project to  to leverage our digital footprint and provide new avenues for reader participation. As explained by David, and followed by his proposal:

Dear Talker Fans,

Years ago, I was talking with Talker of the Town Publisher David Kramer. Dave is an old friend of my older brother Bruce Kay, BHS Class of ‘81.  As we talked, I realized he is sitting on a valuable resource and an incredible opportunity: the digital history of Talker itself is a valued but under-utilized asset.

For five years, Talker contributors have published hundreds of articles and uploaded thousands of images to support and enhance their posts. The photos and images on the blog have value themselves.  They provide documentation that helps tell the story of Rochester. However, most Talker images are difficult to find and re-use when needed.

I’ve been working with Dave to develop a solution. Our plan is to create a digital image archive of images published with Talker articles. The Talker digital image archive will centralize assets in
a digital repository. It will use a browser-based interface to provide access to assets based on descriptive metadata. This would increase awareness of Talker’s historic assets and could reduce the risk of loss and lock-in to the WordPress platform.

Creator of the Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park, Barry Culhane, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 9/6/96. Barry has been a contributor and generous financial donor.  From In search of the last 19 granite timepieces at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1973 — September 11th, 2001

With every article, Talker of the Town is making history.  This project would codify policies and procedures to help Talker create a sustainable and scalable solution. In addition to creating an archive, this could lay the foundation for a CAPSTONE project for local college and university students. Ultimately, though, this project will develop guidelines needed to preserve the content and assets in a way that will leverage their enduring value.

Would you like to join us and contribute to our Talker Archive fundraising campaign?
We are seeking to raise $5,000. This will cover everything including

  • Purchase/rent of 10 GB cloud-based storage space
  • Select digital asset management software
  • Identify images to add to the Core Collection
  • Ingest, catalog and classify images in the new system
  • Provide access and sharing through a Public Portal

Once we have raised funds, we have a 10-week plan to establish a digital image archive. It will contain a representative sample of approximately 750 images from 100 Talker articles. This Core Collection will begin to reveal the depth of history, and the re-use potential of the work.

Don’t make Talker beg in the snow with a tin can and torn jeans. From “The love ($) you get is equal to the love ($) you give”

For now, we need funds to set up the Archive. By relating images to Articles and categories, an awareness and knowledge can be developed. Talker can leverage its digital footprint and

  • Search and Curate by Creator or Contributor
  • Sort by Category and Date Published
  • Browse by Geographical Location
  • Filter by Rights/Permissions
  • Search by Description, Caption, Location, and Webpage
  • Curate and provide access to users through a Public Portal

The Talker Archive will centralize assets in a digital repository. It will also provide a platform, an interface and storage. Eventually, Talker fans also will gain access to the deep repository of the Talker archive.  This will enable fans and supporters to continue to contribute to and benefit from the Talker online magazine and its archive.

I hope you will join me in supporting this endeavor. Let’s make Talker history!


David Kay, MLS

Talker of the Town Digital Archive: A Preservica Starter Beta-Test Story by By David Kay, MLS Digital Archivy, Inc.



About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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