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Category Archives: Radio

Podcasting is hot stuff. Again!

There seems to be a growth spurt for podcasting.

I love the fact that the audio format has been on the upswing, even despite the explosion of screen-based communication options. Depending on who you ask, they will tell you video didn’t assassinate the radio star for various reasons. Such as

  • Podcasts is immensely portable, and does is perfect for multi-tasking
  • Podcasts capture the ‘authentic’ voice of the person or the moment being represented – no fake ‘DJ voice’ required
  • Podcasts have in their DNA something akin to long-form journalism – deep dives into content, rather than skimming a topic

  • Podcasts lend themselves to drama, even while being authentic. The nearest thing to the documentary.

My recent favorites are Snap Judgement, Serial, Invisibilia (former radio Lab producers), and Star Talk.

Apart from the usual line up of This American Life, For Immediate Release, and EdReach, an education podcast for Ed-tech matters I now dabble in.

 

Interestingly this year will be six years since I first got into podcasting. And this year may be the year we begin podcasts at my school. More on this in a later post!

 

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Podcast – Blast From the Past –with BitGravity

I came across a podcast by Tracy Swedlow of BitGravity in 2009, when I worked at ASU’s Decision Theater. It made me go back to the early days of podcasting, and how it lit a fire that made me look at social media and self-publishing in a whole new light.

Link here:  Podcast with Bitgravity CEO
New News Podcasts with Tracy Swedlow on BlogTalkRadio with The TV of Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Radio, Social Media

 

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Why SoundCloud rocks

Whenever I get tired of reading the news, I switch to SoundCloud.

I’m currently doing a series of lessons with my students on audio, and having them experiment with the power of voice. (I know: It fits nicely into the theme I’ve been plugging in my book, Chat Republic.) Truth is, young people are enamored by video, and instinctively see audio as its poor-relation.

But ever so often, one of them says something in a microphone that makes them realize how simple and real an audio experience could be.

Here’s one that is part of an NPR experiment itself. An experiment to study why audio seldom goes viral.

It’s almost impossible to listen to this and not (a) feel close to the event (b) wonder how someone managed to record this near-death experience.

 

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Truth, Lies and iPhones

I had been fascinated about the Mike Daisey story that broke some months back here in the US.

It opened up a can of worms about how truth (or ‘truthiness’ as Stephen Colbert put it) and how we twist and maim words and facts. Politicians do it, as do talk-show hosts, reporters, advertisers, scientists, corporate leaders etc.

As someone who writes for the media, I thought this brouhaha was way too important to dismiss as one man’s folly. Daisey was the everyman in a culture of compromised truths and spin; a culture that sometimes believes the means justifies the end in getting a message across. (Anyone remembers Message Force Multipliers?)  The infamous scientist who lied about climate studies admitted he had has a  “serious lapse” of “professional judgment and ethics.”

The classic statement by Daisey for me was this:

“I’m not going to say that I didn’t take shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind my work… It’s not journalism. It’s theatre,”

Is marketing also ‘theater’ then? It could be argued that some aspects of it –product display, packaging etc– is staged, right?  Could some forms of PR (stunts, at least) be also considered theater? Are we sometimes taking Daisey-esque ‘shortcuts’? This is the uncomfortable space many of us operate in.

That’s the background to my recent piece in LMD Magazine, titled “Truth, Lies and iPhones.” Read it here.

Or download a PDF of the article here.

(Incidentally ‘truthiness‘ despite its quirkiness, became the Number 1 Word of the Year in 2006.)

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Media, Radio, Social Media

 

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Six months in ‘multi-media radio!’

Can’t believe it’s been six months since I took up the challenge of starting the weekly radio show, Your Triple Bottom Line. It’s truly been a terrific ride!

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes, lining up the guests, planning topics, keeping the content fresh on the web site –which runs on the WordPress blog platform — and using Twitter to chat with listeners, often while the show is in progress! Sometimes we upload photos, and have even tried video streaming. And then, after the show, I edit down the file (shrinking the commercial breaks, etc) to  a podcast format that I upload to iTunes and Libsyn. With so much multi-media rolled into the show, I find this new radio format invigorating.

It also lines up nicely with my other digital and social media work.

I am truly grateful to all our guests (who agreed to be under the microscope, so to speak), and of course our listeners. Thanks too, to my co-host Derrick Mains who is such a natural on a talk show.

Speaking of whom, listeners, many of you may have been tuning in to the live stream or listening to the podcast via iTunes, seem to add an international flavor to  show that happens to be primarily out of Phoenix Arizona. Listeners seem to come from Australia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Chile, Brazil, UK, Israel and a few other places, apart from the national audience.

How do I know this? I use the URL shortener bit.ly, which has a great feature that tells us about incoming clicks on the live stream link, http://bit.ly/Your3BL.

Next week, we plan to do a survey to get more feedback from listeners. Till then:

 
 

A working model of ‘Social Capital’

I’ve been indulging in Wikis a lot this year.

I wrote quite a bit on the topic here and elsewhere, recently. And his Monday I was in charge of the wiki portion of what amounts to the launch of the first open source business development plan in Sustainability, for Arizona. More about this here.

So on Wednesday, when I visited Gangplank to get a better sense of this remarkable working environment I could not help notice the parallel.

If Gangplank is a piece of software, it would most probably be a Wiki!

It’s a a true collaborative space, whose ‘permanent residents’ (independent businesses) don’t pay rent, though they get to use the utilities, the workspace, conference rooms, wifi etc for no charge. Derek Neighbors, co-founder of Gangplank and our guest on the radio show this week, prefers to call this an investment in ‘social capital.’ It reminded me of another semi-financial term used in the book Groundswell –how collaboration earns a person ‘psychic income.’

But to get back to the topic of wikis, if you consider how much time has gone into Wikipedia –approximately 1 million man hours, according to Clay Shirky-– it is a model that works even among largely anonymous people. So of course it world work when you get a room filled with creative people.

Just step into Gangplank, and you’ll see a working model -or a ‘use case’ if you prefer another geeky term!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Arizona, Disruptive, Radio, Social Media

 

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When you can’t broadcast, why not podcast?

A funny thing happened on the way to the radio station this week.

We had a great guest lined up, but were informed a day before that that time slot –7 PM Arizona time — was being preempted because the station, KFNX, had a prior commitment to carry the University of Arizona basketball game.

Rather than take a hiatus, I decided to pull out my trusty Zoom H4N and record a podcast with my co-host Derrick Mains. It happened to be a fitting week to talk of the launch of a baseline study by his company, GreenNurture and Miller Consultants. (More details here at the show web site.) This podcast also includes a report from Heather Clancy, our second on-the-ground correspondent.

The irony of this is, the radio show grew out of a weekly podcast! So, using social media-based format to broadcast a ‘show’  is more than a fall back. It’s an integral part of what I’m doing in radio in the digital era.

 

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