Thursday, February 12, 2009

Radio Innovations

On the blog 10,000 Words, Mark S. Luckie wrote a great piece this week called "Radio: Innovative ways to follow the aging medium" in which he outlines some creative uses of radio and technology. The article covers online radio, website features like the KEXP Music Explorer, mobile applications, and Twitter. He also mentions a site that lists radio stations on Twitter and I was surprised to see that it was a fairly short list.

In terms of college radio, the piece talks about a new iPhone application called College Radio Tuner that pulls together radio broadcasts from a number of college radio stations who are members of the IBS network.

In his post he also mentions some other websites doing radio commentary that weren't on my radar before. One of the sites, Radio 2020 ("A Guide for Broadcast Industry Professionals on the Future of Radio"), has an interesting post this week about public radio station WBUR's embrace of social media like Flickr, Twitter, and blog tools. By the way, according to their affiliated website RadioCreativeLand, "Radio 2020 is a cooperative effort between the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), and the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The goal of the group is to guide radio into a bright, new digital and creative future."

It's no surprise that the commercially-driven parties in radio are starting to figure out that they need to innovate in order to attract and maintain audiences. They should really take a look at college radio stations, who I think have been the real technology pioneers in radio. Many college stations utilized online tools well before most commercial stations. Online playlists, live internet streams, podcasts, song downloads, live video, blogs, and IM have been typical features of many college radio websites for a long time. And, I would guess that college radio has a much bigger presence on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter than commercial radio.

Is your station making the best use of technology and social media? What sorts of creative projects are you proud of at your station?

1 comment:

George "Loki" Williams said...

Hey Jennifer, thanks for mentioning us! Radio 2020 is indeed a project backed by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Radio Advertising Bureau, and the HD Radio Alliance.(Full details are available on Radio2020's "About" Page.)

My own radio background is mostly in collegiate and community radio, although my time as an independent producer gave me much experience in interacting with commercial radio. I was brought in because I have a passion for the medium.

As a pro blogger and social media consultant I am an evangelist for the Internet. That is why I blog about the convergent evolution we see happening between broadcast and the web. By the same token I have had first hand experience of the true power of radio during Hurricane Katrina and the levee failure here in New Orleans.

When my wife and I first returned to the city there was no Internet, there were no newspapers, and cell service often seemed a shifting mirage. FM radio told us where to find potable water as well as being our only tie to the big picture of what was happening.

Things are changing and evolving, but radio, the first wireless device, continues to be the most effective way for reaching BOTH side of the digital divide.

Lovely blog, and thanks again for the mention!

-Loki, Radio2020 Blogger