Who we are?
Third Place Audio is housed in the Communication Studies Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The website is created and maintained by Dave Engen, Associate Professor of Communication Studies. All comments below come from Dave.
What makes you qualified to create a website about audio documentary?
Let the record show that I’m relatively new to audio production and I’m well aware that others have far more expertise and skill than do I. That said, I had the good fortune to study at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, and I couldn’t believe more in the power of audio storytelling.
How did you get involved with audio work?
After years of listening to public radio, one day I just decided I wanted to learn how to make audio, and I wanted to help my students do the same. I had virtually no training in media production before I attended Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. I recently wrote about my journey into audio; I present it here not to be self-centered or because it is so interesting, but because it may provide a path for others to get involved. My story might be of particular interest to educators interested in audio production.
Why is the site called THIRD PLACE audio?
The term Third Place comes from the sociologist Ray Oldenburg and refers to those places between the first place (home) and the second place (work) where informal community is created. Third places range from the corner tavern and diner to the neighborhood beauty parlor. Third Place Audio is not intended to be a virtual third place; instead, our goal is to use audio to capture the rich diversity and conversation so often found in third places. In short, third places are lively–full of people joking, sharing stories, meeting new people, getting away from the hustle–these are just the sorts of things we hope our website honors and maybe, in some small way, even creates. If you’re interested in learning more about third places, here’s a handout I give my students from the book The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg.
Who is the audience for this website?
- First, and most importantly, those with an interest in audio production but with little or no experience–teachers, students of all ages, directors of historical societies, etc. In short, anybody interested in recording life around them.
- Second, through its featured stories I hope this site appeals to those interested in stories about everyday people and places–there are a lot of poets out there. We’ll highlight people and places often overlooked–from the guy running the neighborhood hardware store to the life in that diner with no internet.
Thanks for your support (with apologies for anybody I’m missing)…