Detour and the Maturation of Podcasts

Many of our Detours are journalistic in that they tell true stories about history, people and neighborhoods. But this is the first time we’re using Detour to tell the story of an issue.

We don’t take you to a landfill or a dump, show you a place,” and talk about it. Instead, we walk you through the nooks and crannies of daily life in San Francisco, from a convenience store to the trash cans in someone’s driveway to a brewpub to a Bay-side park — with lots of surprises along the way. Because the front lines of San Francisco’s war on garbage are everywhere.

-Marianne McCune, Walking the Trash Talk”, Detour

Awhile ago, I linked to a service called Detour. At the time, Detour was just an idea and an email list. Now, Detour has launched with a nice-looking iOS app and web presence. Detour is a fascinating way to experience the sights and sounds of a city, particularly for locals who are looking for experiences and information off the beaten path.

Last week, I received a promotional email from Detour telling me about a new Detour1 to talk about trash in San Francisco. With the recording, came a blog post about the making of the Detour and the information behind it—San Francisco’s plan to rid themselves of traditional trash removal by 2020.

Detour is not in my area or any area I intend to visit often, so its use to me is still limited, but this release reminded me of another media to which I listened the other day: Relay.fm’s Inquisitive podcast and their new Behind the App series. These two aural adventures are examples of the fact that innovation can still occur within established mediums.

Detour is starting to bring their users the news through experiences (and walking tours) with informational accompaniment, while Inquisitive’s new series is taking podcasts to the level of polish that was seemingly reserved for the likes of NPR or nightly television news programs. Both are exciting and everyone should watch them closely, as they make innovative history in their respective spaces.


  1. Detour is both the name of the product itself and the name of the episodes” of content that they provide to the app. In essence, each episodic Detour is a literal detour that reports to you what you see as you walk a neighborhood with the app’s guidance.


Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.