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What's in a podcast name?

Written by on September 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

When it comes to naming something, I'm better at quantity over quality. Whether it's a book, dog, slogan, or podcast, I'll throw out dozens of awful ideas and ask someone with more sense which one is the least bad.

Take for example these team names I proposed back in 2009, from which my teammate Tracy selected "MSChief Makers"

  • MSbehavior
  • MScreants
  • MSfits
  • MSchief Makers
  • MSery Loves Company

In the instance of launching this blog back in 2009, I started off with what Internet domain I would want to register, since a site's Web address can determine how easily it is found by both users and search engines like Google. Todd Krohne made the final selection from these candidates:

  • threedaysfiftymiles.org
  • challengeblog.org
  • challengewalkers.org
  • mschallengewalkNE.org
  • MAchallengewalk.com

Three years later, we decided to add a podcast to the show. Danielle Kempe and I had to choose from these suggested names:

  • Talking for a Cure
  • The Challenge Talk
  • Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk
  • Talk the Walk
  • The Walkthrough

It was suggested that "Talking for a Cure" might capitalize on Google searches for The Talking Dead, a television show and podcast about the AMC television series The Walking Dead. But we were launching an interview series about multiple sclerosis, not zombies, and we decided to avoid that overlap as much as possible, lest we confuse our visitors.

Once we settled on MS Challenge Talk, I went to register challengetalk.org. Like any good online business, my registrar tried to upsell me by asking if I wanted to corner the market by purchasing several similar-sounding domain names. The list of suggestions read like a thesaurus run amok:

Suggested alternatives for ChallengeTalk.org

My favorites: "Dare Chat", "Venture Talk", and "Hazard Call".

I wonder how Danielle would've felt about talking to me on any of those shows??

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

Talking with first-timers

Written by on September 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Rebecca UrquhartWelcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that introduces you to the people and stories behind MS Challenge Walk.

This week, host Ken Gagne speaks with walkers and crew who participated in their first-ever MS Challenge Walk in 2012 about what brought them to the cause, how they trained for the undertaking, and their experiences on the trail. Those who spoke to Ken en route to the finish line include Rebecca Urquhart, Ashley Doyle, Trevor Fairbaugh, Rose Milefsky, Jodi Dwyer, Anne Marie Rogers, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Tigger, Sarah Matera, and Emily Flanders.

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

Talking with Carolyn Rossi

Written by on September 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

Carolyn RossiWelcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that introduces you to the people and stories behind MS Challenge Walk.

This week, host Ken Gagne speaks with Carolyn Rossi, captain of Walk With Wheels. When Carolyn was diagnosed with MS thirteen years ago, her friends wanted to do something to help. But how could she let them do something she wasn't willing to do herself? She signed up for MS Challenge Walk — and has been tackling it from her red wheelchair every year since. The only help she accepts is knowing her husband is on bicycle crew and her son Ethan is cheering her on; with that support, she tackles every hill herself, refusing to lie down on the job, determined to see a day when there is no more need for this event.

This is the final episode of MS Challenge Talk. Thank you to all our guests and listeners for having been a part of this wonderful series of interviews!

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

Making connections

Written by on June 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

For the past two months, I have been sitting down with veterans of MS Challenge Walk and asking them to tell me their stories. Ostensibly, the reason for these interviews is to produce MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that allows anyone within or without our community to learn more about its members.

In actuality, the podcast is an excuse for me to do what I love most: make connections.

When my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, all we saw ahead of us was struggle. We knew that what started as a slight unsteadiness on her feet could someday become something far worse, closing her off from the rest of her life and her world.

What none of us saw was the connections we would make with others who were fighting this same battle. Through our involvement with MS Challenge Walk, we have made new friends, been supported by old ones, and gained more perspective than we knew was possible.

MS Challenge Talk is my own personal connection accelerator. Heroes who I've seen only briefly on the walk, in a context that lets me get to know them only in passing, are now inviting me into their lives and their homes and sharing with me the most intimate details of their hopes and fears. Every time, I come away awed and humbled — and having made a new friend and a stronger connection to the cause.

MS Challenge Talk begins with MS Challenge Walk. The walk isn't just to find a cure; taking the pledge to walk three days and 50 miles makes you the cure.

Thank you to everyone who is walking with me — and to everyone who is talking to me. Wherever it is we're going, we'll make it … together.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.