MGT 554                                      Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

MGT 554                                       Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Content Consumers:
       Content ...
MGT 554                                       Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Small start-up organizations with U...
MGT 554                                      Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Vocalo’s Social Media Footprint

MGT 554                                        Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Lesser used Vocalo conversation hu...
MGT 554                                     Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Appendix I: Metrics

MGT 554                                   Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Appendix II: Twitter Metrics

Twitter M...
MGT 554                                   Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Facebook Fan Page Metrics

Page Content...
MGT 554                                 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Engagement Drivers       Like   Comment...
MGT 554                                    Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

Appendix IV: Other Social Media Platfo...
MGT 554                                    Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor

LinkedIn                         Total...
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Vocalo Social Media Footprint


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Vocalo Social Media Footprint

  1. 1. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor :Vocalo - “YouTube for Radio” Understanding the Product and Its Social Media Footprint Background Billing themselves as “YouTube for Radio”, Vocalo is a radio station, website, and online community whose content is almost entirely user-generated. Vocalo enables users to submit audio content and then (after some filtering by staff) Vocalo plays that content on air via their Chicago-based radio station, WBEW (89.5 FM), and online nation-wide at Their website also enables a broader range of user-generated content (UGC) through blogs, audio and video uploading, and connections to various social networking outlets, which are discussed below. Started in June 2007, Vocalo is a project of Chicago Public Radio (CPR) with the primary purpose to expand the traditional public radio fan base beyond its largely white, upper-middle class, suburban demographic into a younger, urban, and more racially and ethnically diverse audience. Interestingly, the goal is not necessarily to drive new traffic towards traditional public radio outlets, but rather to create a new forum for a new audience that can further public radio’s mission-driven values of public discourse, education, outreach, and “democracy of the airwaves.” Given this ambitious goal and its innovative (especially for public broadcasting) use of online technology, Vocalo has received significant national attention and funding in its first few years. It appears that many in the public radio field are looking at Vocalo as a potentially replicable model should it prove successful. Unfortunately, Vocalo has so far dramatically fallen short of its high expectations. Unofficial estimates puts WBEW’s weekly listenership at just around 20,000 to 30,000 (for comparison, CPR’s news station, WBEZ, had a weekly listenership of 575,000 during the same time period). It remains hugely dependent on outside foundation funding as last fiscal year it only managed to raise 1% of its annual budget of $1.7 million. In order to become self-sufficient, Vocalo executives estimate that Vocalo must increase its combined radio and online weekly listenership to 100,000 by 2012. 1 Consumers and Market Segmentation Vocalo has several different audiences it seeks to engage: Content Creators:  Vocalo’s content creators are social media friendly early adopters, public radio enthusiasts, and young people. A qualitative analysis of non-Vocalo fan pages on Facebook reveals consistent support for community-level arts organizations including local theaters, comedy clubs, radio stations, artists, and innovative radio projects. For these audiences Vocalo likely represents a kind of democratization of radio that pushes traditional Public Radio farther than has been done before, and integrates Social and New Media in innovative and exciting ways. Content Creators are more likely to be so-called ‘Digital Natives,’ and so are more capable when it comes to expanding traditional radio interactions into the User-Generated sphere. 1 “FM, web audiences elusive so far for innovative Vocalo,” by Mike Janssen. Jan 11 2010. 1
  2. 2. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Content Consumers:  Content Consumers represent a more diverse audience for Vocalo because they identify with a more traditional relationship to radio than that of a content creator. Consumers are passive, but interested in the radio project, and likely trend toward being older, wealthier, and more of a mainstream Public Radio audience.  Unique visitors lingered between 1,300 and 6,000 per month (avg) until October of 2009 (the last month for which there is available data), when it began a steep upward tick to over 30,000 per month, likely based on the addition of a celebrity blogger (Feder). Given the uptick around the time that Feder joined the broadcast (and the amount of publicity around that shift), it seems likely that the majority of this 30,000 Unique Visitor datapoint is representative of the Content Consuming, rather than the Content Creating, market segment. Potentially Non-consuming/creating target audience:  Vocalo was created, in part, to bring new and formerly unengaged market segments to the Public Radio audience. Popular media articles cite these under-accessed audiences as those which are both urban and minority-dominated, and situates Vocalo’s creation in the context of Public Radio reaching out to these communities across the board.  Although site data (see appendices) seem to indicate a deficiency in connecting Vocalo to the Non-consuming/creating target audience, Vocalo’s web traffic rivals, for example, that of, and its child organization,, nonprofit organizations with strong web presences and comparable web-based interactive platforms and campaigns, despite Ashoka and Changemakers having been available for a much long period of time. Vocalo, although perhaps not successfully reaching the full breadth of it’s target audience, is still experiencing success in finding an overall market of listeners. Competition Large multiplatform organizations/media aggregators with well-established brand identity:  You Tube – Although Vocalo is not competition for YouTube, YouTube is perhaps the most obvious competition for, what with the presence of media creation and sharing space, the opportunity to rate and rank favorite media pieces, and a multiplatform setup which could be easily expanded into other offerings (including radio)  Rival PR Stations – The Chicago Public Radio market is the third largest in the country - o Although other Public Radio stations are not in direct competition with Vocalo (and even though CPR and Vocalo deliberately deemphasize their relationship), Vocalo is a project of CPR intended to help the station to tap into under-accessed markets, and as such is competition with other PR stations which are currently doing similar work to explore nontraditional forms of radio  Google (Buzz, Wave, et al.) – Although Google does not currently offer a UG radio platform, consistently expanding multimedia offerings create the opportunity for the company to expand in that direction. Vocalo cannot directly control or respond to this potential at this time (as it may remain unrealized) but it is beneficial to Vocalo to be cognizant of such a possibility 2
  3. 3. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Small start-up organizations with User Generated (UG) radio offerings  Podcast Alley – ( – Podcast Alley is a website which offers creation, uploading, and sharing of Podcasts, in a way not dissimilar from that of Vocalo. Podcast Alley has limited multimedia capabilities, however, no advertised intention to expand, and only a single staff member  – ( - is a radio site which integrates user feedback and preferences about songs into both those that the listener hears and those that are available and made accessible to others. It offers an online community, review space, Flickr, Twitter, and blog links, as well as opportunities for customization. is one of Vocalo’s strongest possible competitors.  Goom – ( – Goom is a UG radio creation website which offers capabilities comparable both to Vocalo and to – users can create, modify, rank, rate, share, and arrange music on the site, and has announced it intends to develop technology to allow users to create and upload their own radio content. It, along with, is one of the strongest potential competitors for Vocalo.  Your Red FM – ( “User Generated Radio” allows users to sign up and create their own radio shows and content, with dedicated mediastreams for interested listeners. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Product: Strengths  User-generated  Urban –speaks to new demographics not usually listening to Public Radio  Quick on its feet/Adaptable  Incorporates new technology (cell phone call in)  Multi-platformed  Innovative  Like a wiki – multiple contributors also monitor content for quality  Very youth friendly Weaknesses  Chaotic feel to website  Lack of obvious filter options to sort through less interesting material to the more desirable content – hard to know where or how to find such content  Little advanced/long-term/consistent programming  Difficulty ascertaining how many consumers are also content creators and how many content creators seek to listen to others – this affects the realized size of the audience/reach.  If more consumers are on the content consuming side than the creative side Vocalo risks becoming a more traditional passive radio consumption format, and therefore will be compelled almost by default to compete with traditional Public Radio outlets, including its mother program (Chicago Public Radio). 3
  4. 4. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Vocalo’s Social Media Footprint Vocalo’s 3 major conversation hubs are on its blog, Twitter, and Facebook Fan Page. Blog ( The Vocalo homepage is built on a Drupal Content Managmenet System, while the Vocalo blog is built on an embedded WordPress CMS. The original mission of the homepage was to make it as easy as possible for content creators to upload new content. Now that the homepage has gained a substantial listener base, it needs to focus on user-friendliness, as well as search engine optimization. However, both the blog and homepage have an impressive number of social and digital media opportunities (listed in Appendix I), and unique visitors have tripled in the past 3 months with the addition of blogger Robert Feder. Significant features include2: • Integration with the broadcast system at the radio station for syncing on-air playlists and schedules with the website and allowing hosts to easily broadcast user-generated audio on the air. • A cross-browser, AJAX-enabled media library allowing users to seamlessly upload images, audio clips, video files, and media from 3rd party sites like YouTube into an online WYSIWYG editor with a drag-and-drop interface. • Telephone podcasting which allows users to call a hotline and record audio content directly onto the site using only their telephone. • A full palette of online community features including social networking, private and instant messaging, and folksonomy. Twitter (@vocalo) Vocalo’s Twitter presence is smaller than on Facebook, but more active (detailed in Appendix II). Vocalo was an early adopter of Twitter (joining in November of 2007), and tweeted on average twice per day in the past month. In the last 9 days, their 16 tweets generated 193 mentions by other twitter users (a 12 times conversion rate). Vocalo’s follower count velocity continues to pick up, increasing number of followers by 10% in January 2010. Vocalo’s followers are primarily men in Chicago, 85% were active on Twitter in the last 10 days, nearly 50% consider themselves professional artists, and have on average approximately 200 followers themselves. Assuming no overlapping networks, Vocalo has potential second order reach of over 14,000. Facebook ( Vocalo’s Facebook Page has over 1,100 fans, 2% of whom engaged with Vocalo in the past month (detailed in Appendix III). Vocalo primarily posts links and responds to fan’s comments, and fans engage via wall comments and likes. In the past 31 days, Vocalo posted 45 pieces of content on Facebook, and 28 fan engagements are captured on their wall, for a paltry conversion rate of less than 1. Vocalo’s fans demonstrate interest and affinity towards public radio in general by subscribing to other pubmedia fan pages. Engaged fans tended to be White, Male, Chicagoans, in their 20s, but several Hispanic enclaves around the US also appear on the follower density map. Vocalo’s second order reach from engaged fans in the past 31 days is just over 8,000 Facebook users. 2 case study on Vocalo’s creation ( 4
  5. 5. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Lesser used Vocalo conversation hubs include, in descending order, its: 1. YouTube Channel (vocalo and VocaloDotOrg) 2. MySpace Profile (VocaloDotOrg) 3. StumbleUpon (Stumbler: Vocalo) 4. UStream ( 5. Delicious Bookmarks (created by others) 6. LinkedIn References (created by others) 7. Google Search (created by others) 8. Vimeo Videos (created by others) 9. FriendFeed Mentions (created by others) 10. iTunes Podcasts ( 11. Flickr Photostream (vocalo and VocaloDotOrg) 12. Wikipedia ( 13. Yelp Reviews ( 14. Foursquare Location (WBEZ) Further details on activity levels of each platform can be found in Appendix IV. Vocalo’s communication strategy up to date does not seem strategic nor very intense. Their Twitter account is updated via Facebook status updates. Facebook is only checked every few days. Most news articles referring to Vocalo are actually negative. Their webpage is incredibly challenging to navigate. Due to concern about tarnishing the brand reputation of Chicago Public Radio (Vocalo’s founder and parent organization), the two brands are never linked in advertising campaigns. Vocalo’s blogs’ popularity stems mainly from a celebrity blogger, and not the average user. While a lot of buzz is generated around Vocalo, they’re not actually engaging with users. And yet, Vocalo continues to be awarded multi million-dollar foundation grants year after year because the model is so different from other radio stations, and everyone in the public media system wants so bad for them to be successful. 5
  6. 6. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Appendix I: Metrics Homepage Total Registered Users 1,900 Pieces of content 24,000 Monthly Unique Visitors 30,303 (note: tripled in last 3 months) Site Visits 56,323 Search Engine Optimization Top Search Terms Robert Feder Blog, Teen Living, Vocalo, Chicagoans Top Referral Sites Facebook, Google, Boardhost,, Top Destination Sites Facebook,, Google, Boardhost, About Homepage features Facebook Connect Drupal CMS Streaming Content UGC Upload Ability Most Recently Uploaded List Merchandise eCart Shout Box Share This UGC Tags User Profiles Filtered Search Discussion Groups (55) Wordpress Blog (embedded) Podcast RSS Blog Features Recent Comments Subscribe by Email Twitter badge Facebook badge (CPR) Flickr badge (CPR) Homepage badge RSS Events Feed (CPR) Blogroll (1) Blog Metrics Total Blog RSS Subscribers 94 Average blog posts per week 56.7 RSS Feeds 10 Podcast RSS Subscribers 2 Podcasts posts per month 1 Blog began Apr-08 Blog Authors 71 Blog Categories 71 Posted Today 12 Comments Today 157 *65% of comments from 1 post 6
  7. 7. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Appendix II: Twitter Metrics Twitter Metrics Total Followers 725 Following 711 Founded 15-Nov-07 Lifetime Tweets 1,514 Tweets in Last 31 Days 64 Listed 44 Lists 1 Favorites 3 Platform Facebook Engagements 9 DAYS END 2/10 @vocalo 1 #vocalo 39 Link: 95 Vocalo’s tweets 16 RT @vocalo 4 RT #vocalo 29 Foreign 25 TweetMeme 7 Days Stories via 10 Retweets 206 7
  8. 8. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Facebook Fan Page Metrics Page Content Total Total Fans 1,126 Favorite Pages 3 U-Stream App 1 Notes 10 Events 17 Photos 28 Photo Albums 3 Photo Comments 12 Fan Photos 1 Links 100 Discussions 2 Discussion Posts 3 Content Type Last 31 Days Link 17 Response 17 Phote 4 Event 2 Song 2 Vocalo Comment 2 Video 1 Response 14 Like 9 Comment 3 Fans Video 2 Vocalo 45 Total Fans 28 ROI =F/V 0.62 Content Intent Vocalo Fans Request/Question 15 0 Promotional 12 9 Informational 11 5 Affirmative 3 3 Give Away 3 0 Spam 2 0 Creative Content 1 0 Total 47 17 *"Likes" are excluded from this analysis 8
  9. 9. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Engagement Drivers Like Comments Request-Photo 1 Request-Photo 4 Request-Photo 7 Informational-Link 1 Informational-Link 1 Promotional-Link 1 2 Promotional-Link 3 Promotional-Link 1 Creative Content-video 1 Creative Content-video 1 Demographics Last 31 Days Total Fans Engaged 20 Gender Male 13 Female 6 Page 1 Age 20s 11 40s 3 30s 2 Unknown 3 Ethnicity White 9 Hispanic 6 Black 2 Unknown 2 Location Chicago 15 Indiana 3 Unknown 1 Total Fans' Friends 8152 Average Fans' Friends 543 9
  10. 10. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor Appendix IV: Other Social Media Platforms YouTube Vocalo VocaloDotOrg Channel Views 1552 51 Total Upload Views 6623 791 Joined 22-Mar-07 17-Mar-09 Last signed in 2 hours ago 4 months ago Subscribers 16 4 Channel Comments 1 1 Uploads 28 10 Most viewed video 3085 323 Most viewed video's comments 9 1 Subscriptions 37 0 Friends 22 0 Favorites 4 0 MySpace Total Profile Views 6,657 Last Login today Member since 5/8/07 Friends 487 Comments 95 Last comment made 8-Feb-10 Contents: Blog, upcoming events, embedded music player, photo stream StumbleUpon Total Views of 123 Favorites 38 Subscribers 3 Reviews 2 Tags 28 Subscriptions 0 Last Seen Today U Stream Total Followers 4 Total Views 1825 Joined 6/26/09 Last Broadcast Nov-09 Contents: Twitter stream embedded Delicious Total Others Bookmarking 146 Tags for 30 Bookmarks tagged vocalo 87 10
  11. 11. MGT 554 Rob Levy, Devon Smith, Meredith Trainor LinkedIn Total Work(ed) at 41 Groups 0 Companies 0 Google Search Total Google Page Rank 5 Google Indexed Pages 12,300 Search results for 583,000 Links to 563 links to 882 First relevant mention 1998 Most recent relevant mention Today Vimeo Total Videos (created by others) 3 FriendFeed Total Mentions Today 85 iTunes Total Podcast episodes 15 Reviews 0 Ratings 0 iPhone Apps 0 Flickr VocaloDotOrg Vocalo Uploaded 1 1 Wikipedia Discussions 1 Categories 6 Contents: History, References, External Links Yelp Reviews 1 Stars 4 Foursquare Vocalo WBEZ Check-ins 0 4 11