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This week we start off with speakers talking about what it is like to be single trying to work the steps and stay sober in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are speakers from a “Singles in Sobriety” conference held in Lake Murray Oklahoma in 2002. They share their experiences in a heartfelt manner that captures the essence the twelve steps and shows how AA works for all people regardless of personal circumstance.
We round out the week Friday with a speaker from the Carry the Message group in New Jersey talking about his experience with Step One.
As noted in the last post, we found a great trove of old speakers from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, that we are in the process of trying to cleanup and digitize. Many of the old tapes are in poor shape so the work moves ahead slowly, but, we are making progress. We will make these available to our loyal audience as we get them ready. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Speaking of our loyal audience, the staff at Recovery Radio Network would like to thank you for your continued support of our efforts. We believe it is important work that provides a much needed service; and apparently you do too, as reflected in our server logs.
Recovery Radio Network used to average about 2000 visitors per month to our site when we were streaming media only,but since rebuilding the site, using modern tools that allowed us to add features like Blogging, iTunes, and Podcasting, we currently average over 7000 visitors per month. Our server logs also show that we have been visited by people from over 120 different nations and, oddly enough, from people on ships at sea as well. People aboard Cruise lines and US Navy warships have sent us e-mail detailing how they found Recovery Radio to be important to their individual recovery while at sea.
Ain’t technology great!!!
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We found a tresure trove of old tapes this week and have been working to clean them up and digitally enhance them for broadcast. It is time consuming work but well worth the effort. Among the tapes we found are Sister Ignatia talking at the Long Beach California conference in 1960 and a speech by her that we believe was first given in 1953. We also found a speech by Bill W’s sponsor, Ebby Thatcher, given in Memphis Tennesee in 1958. The Reverend Dr. Sam Shoemaker is also represented by a speech he gave at the Long Beach conference of 1960. It is rewarding work to be able to preserve these voices for future generations. Imagine what a conference that must have been in Long Beach in 1960. It was a celebration for the 25th anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous and they had an all-star lineup. Bill Wilson, Lois Wilson, Ebby Thatcher, Sister Ignatia, Rev. Dr. Sam Shoemaker, Chuck Chamberlain as Chairman. I myself was so young in 1960 that I had not begin drinking yet but ,through the foresight of individuals in California, coupled with the marvels of modern technology, I have been able to attend that conference this week. It was great!
I ran across an interesting item this week for those of you who might own iPhones. In the iPhone app store is a little application called “Pocket Sponsor” that might be of interest to you. Here is a link to the description. Also, if you are looking for a mobile version of the “Big Book” to load on a PDA, Palm Os, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile device try here. I find it useful to have AA literature with me during the day to help me grow spiritually, and these little electronic versions fill a need. I carry a Windows Smartphone and have it loaded with literature that can help me gain a better understanding. Since it is so handy and always available I use it more than if I had to find a book on a shelf somewhere. this way whenever/wherever I find myself with a few minutes to kill, I can pull out the smartphone and start reading. This works well for me since I seem to absorb information in small bites anyway. And, it is a great way to fend off boredom while waiting for something else to happen. Seems to be a better use of my time than just standing around building resentments!
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The week beginning Monday June 22nd will be devoted to the Chuck C. series of speeches titled A New Pair of Glasses. This series of talks was first given in 1974, and became the basis for the book by the same title. My sponsor suggested I read that book early in my sobriety and it was an eyeopener for me as a newcomer to the idea of recovery. I hope it might produce the same enlightning effect for you it did for me. This is actually a series of six talks so, we will finish up with the last post on Monday June 29.
On a related note, the Recovery Radio Podcast only publishes new shows five days a week, Monday through Friday. The weekends are reserved for the actual work that goes into preparing the indivdual episodes for publication. Once prepared, they are then cued up on the site and automatically scheduled for publication using a scheduler application. This gives your station manager time to attend to his regular job. The one that keeps food on the table and a roof over his head.
Traffic to the site has picked up since we started publishing to iTunes. I have noticed about a 25 percent increase in visits to the site and about a 50 percent increase in first time visitors. Even though they get their audio directly from iTunes in many cases, people come to the site to see what we are all about. As of this writing, people have checked in from 28 different countries since April. If you click on the Cluster Map in the right hand tool bar, it will enlarge, and show you the names of the various countries from which our visitors have been coming. To my mind this goes to show two things. First, just how wide spread the problem is and, secondly, it lets me know that the solution is the same everywhere.
Thank God for modern technology that helps us stay in touch in even the most remote locations. I say this because I recently received an email of thanks from a listener who, knowing he was going on an expedition to the Brazilian rainforest had downloaded several episodes to his ipod to take along with him. He writes to say that as the only alcoholic on the expedition, it gave him great comfort to listen to recovery speakers in the evenings, and that the connection to Recovery Radio helped him ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation. He says that even though he was far removed from the rest of the world, he never felt out of touch with the worldwide fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous thanks to his ipod and Recovery Radio. We were humbled to have been of service in such circumstances.
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We start this week off with Milt L. giving a step workshop at a 1997 conference titled The Dumb Guy Approach to the Steps. It is a four part series so we will begin it on Monday and wrap up Thursday, delivering a different part each day. Milt has some very interesting observations on step work that are valuable to newcomer and longtimer alike. I hope you get something from it. We will finish up the week with Tom B. speaking on the subject of Emotional Sobriety from a 2002 conference. This talk addresses the part of recovery after, plug in the jug, where you have to start to grow up as an individual and brings important insights to the process. I think you will enjoy it.
Remember, if you miss an episode, you can find it in our archives section on the website. From there you may listen to it online or download it for future use. If you are an iTunes member, you can download it from there directly to your computer or iPod.
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We have a good lineup of AA speakers coming up this week.
First off is Jim K. from Brainerd MN speaking on the topic of service work and how important it is to personal recovery. Then, we have Mark H from the Big D, Dallas TX, speaking at the New England Fellowship of the Spirit Conference. He is followed by Pat P. from Cleveland OH,speaking at the C.A.H. group in Euclid OH. Next up is Scott B. from Jamestown ND speaking to the Northern Plains group in Fargo. And finally, to round out the week, we finish up with Sonya B. from Golden Valley MN. speaking on the topic of “Came to Believe” at Speakerjam 2009 in Waverly. These are people carrying the message of recovery with the hope that someone will hear it.
On the technical side, we had a little trouble with our feed to iTunes not working properly but, it looks like we got everything worked out finally. You can now subscribe to the RRN podcast through iTunes by clicking on the Advanced menu within iTunes then selecting the “subscribe to podcast” item and entering the following url into the popup box. http://recoveryradionetwork.podcastpeople.com
In a few days, after the changes have replicated through the iTunes system, you will also be able to browse for us in the iTunes store under the podcasts section, or just type recovery radio network in the search box to find us. Since this is new for Recovery Radio, we will keep an eye on things to make sure everything is working as advertised. Our job is to be technical so you don’t have to. This is one of the reasons we decided to launch the Recovery Radio Network on iTunes in the first place.
Late breaking update: We just received confirmation that the podcast feed for the Recovery Radio Network has been accepted by the iTunes review committee. Here is the direct link to the program provided courtesy of iTunes .
You will need to have iTunes installed on your computer for it to work of course. If you do not already have iTunes installed, here is a link to get it.
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Well, we have finally finished the Joe and Charlie series on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It seemed to be well received as it was downloaded many times and, although I got a lot of nice e-mail about it, I have to tell you I was beginning to tire of seeing the same tag about it on Itunes. Something about the way the feed was formated for Itunes caused extra characters to appear in the description. I guess this goes in the “Live and Learn” category.
Yes, I said Itunes. Recovery Radio is on Itunes and you may subscribe to us through them as well, if you are using an Ipod. The subscription on Itunes is free of course, and we thought that having another distribution channel could not hurt, especially if it was the largest, most popular podcast repository on the planet. Stop by Itunes and check out our new “Cover Art”
We are moving on from Joe and Charlie this week and will start with some Al-Anon speakers. We have a two episode Mary Pearl talk that is, as usual, hilarious. I think everyone can relate to Mary Pearl regardless of what program might be their primary focus. Give it a try and let us hear your feedback either by leaving a comment on the site, or by dropping us an e-mail.