Braiding Radio with Social Media


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This was my Keynote at Radio Ink's Convergence Conference

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  • I’m a social media guy. Over the past ten years much of my life has been involved in championing social media. I was early in predicting that the new conversational media was disrupt almost all institutions including traditional media. I’ve written several books and articles on the subject.
  • In my view, social media is completing a stormy 10-year period, in which almost every institution has been pretty much turned upside down. This Age of Disruption is now coming to a close. Social media is no longer a novelty. It has become a part of the lives and work of everyday people. Some businesses have embraced it, others—like radio- continue to lag. But stations must develop a strategy or they will be left behind as we enter a new, longer, more stable time that I call the Conversational Age.
  • Personally, I have lots of interest in what the disruptors have done. They started the fires that have changed communications between people and institutions. I call them fire starters. I’m writing a book about them. One interesting aspect is that radio is one of the seeds that grew the revolution now coming to a close.
  • My generation fomented this Conversational Revolution. It is, in part, a result of the culture that shaped us as we grew up. An example: In 1955, Rock Around Clock beat out Love & Marriage for most popular song. Rock would become the music of a generation a music filled with rebellious notes, a music hated by many of our parents but embraced by our children and now grandkids. Rock set the rhythm for much revolution and radio fed it to us.
  • But there was something else going on in the 50s. The Cold War included policies that scared Hell out of us kids. We were schooled that in case of nuclear attack, we should jump under our desks and cover our heads with our hands. After the blast, the next thing we were supposed to do was turn on our radios to Conelrad—the Civil Defense network. Civilization as we knew it might disappear, but radio would be there to give us the information we needed to start over again. A few years later we realized that all this was both macabre and silly. We began not to trust authorities at their word. But somehow the voices on the radio, maintained and expanded their credibility.
  • In the 50s, we began our lifelong obsession with electronic devices: At the time there were three biggies: TV, record players and radios… Radio had one improtant asset, the other two lacked…
  • Radio was portable. Went with us in cars, on beaches. It was with us when parents were not. It gave us our rock. It let us follow sports and it made us realize, there were others people us in other places, listening to the same stuff. We started to develop a national youth culture. Radio connected it. We trusted our DJs to tell us not just what to listen to, but what to watch, and what to buy and even how we talked, man.
  • The rebellion, cultivated silently in the 50s exploded when my generation went off to college in the 60s. TV may have presented dramatic visuals. But radio was with us as we marched. In this photo here, there are probably scores, perhaps hundreds of people with portables. We learned about our demonstrations as we marched from the radio. Radio told us how many we were, and if somewhere, we had turned violent. It often told us what police planned to do about us.. Radio in the 60s played the same role as Twitter did in Egypt as a source of information for people on the streets.
  • It wasn’t just the protests. Radio studios started mobilizing & coming to our events-- County Fairs and block parties. Basketball games and campus gatherings. Suddenly the voices in the boxes had faces. This humanized them and humanization would have much to do with the Conversational Revolution that was to come. DJs gained influence. Their very presence made an event a bigger deal. Just like live blogging and Twitter enhances events today.
  • In terms of social media, the biggest radio phenomenon was talk radio. It changed your medium from one-way broadcast to two-way conversation. Some would argue that social media started here. Talk show hosts had a certain anti-establishment attitude we emulated. We learned the power of a good story and above all we learned that dialogue is better than monologue.
  • 1. People want to be heard 2. People like me are best 3. Trust people over institution 4.Conversations sell goods
  • We were the 60s kids. We thought we’d give you world peace but we didn’t come close. But we came up with some pretty cool tech stuff. They’ve give people better tools for whatever struggle they face.
  • I’m not a radio guy & it is presumptuous for me to tell you what you need to do. But I am fairly aware of the issues you face, particularly in local radio. The web diminishes geographic realms. People would rather talk with then talk at . Economics have eroded resources. And so on. I’m here to tell you about one solution that I think can help you.
  • Let me tell you about a somewhat related are of news coverage. The news media has been adjusting and recuperating from free-fall for the last year or two. Social media, 1 st disdained, then hated now seems to be a significant part of the solution. Discuss three cases. Key Point: Years of budget cuts cost medi their correspondents, stringers & travel budgets. Now they’ve discovered that we are the feet on the street and we do a pretty good job of it. Better still-we are very often eager to volunteer we create-video, photos and text we provide. We do it for the news media. We would gladly do the same for local media. What we want is recognition & distribution. What we want is credibility and we like to be generous.
  • Pt 4 Tell Scoble camera store
  • Host model: SAP Topic focus: Pick issue people care about [complex & divisive] Let them choose
  • Braiding Radio with Social Media

    1. 1. Braiding Radio with Social Media
    2. 2. Part 1 The Conversational Age
    3. 5. Duck Down & Tune In
    4. 8. Voices in the crowd…
    5. 9. Voices show Faces
    6. 10. Conversation Starters
    7. 11. What SM learned from Talk Radio
    8. 12. Legacy of the Disruptors <ul><li>Wanted world peace. Failed. </li></ul><ul><li>Best we did was PC, web & Social media </li></ul><ul><li>Big steps in right direction </li></ul>
    9. 13. Part 2 Why & How to Braid
    10. 14. Braided News <ul><li>Szechuan quake </li></ul><ul><li>Flight 1549 </li></ul><ul><li>Iran </li></ul><ul><li>Cairo </li></ul>
    11. 15. Why Braid? <ul><li>New listener source </li></ul><ul><li>New content source </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost/new revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Talk radio on steroids </li></ul><ul><li>Social now part of life </li></ul>
    12. 16. Radio Today <ul><li>Talks > listens </li></ul><ul><li>Uses SM to self-promote </li></ul><ul><li>Lost sense of hometown </li></ul><ul><li>Budgets cut & cut </li></ul>
    13. 17. Braided Radio <ul><li>A listening host </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperlocal </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbors as stringers </li></ul><ul><li>User-generated content </li></ul>
    14. 18. Framework <ul><li>Host model </li></ul><ul><li>Topic-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Upload vid, audio & photos </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of little rewards </li></ul>
    15. 19. 5 Idea s <ul><li>Students podcast/photo/video </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast/blog debates on local issue </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-reference online/onair </li></ul><ul><li>Point out more than in </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdsource [reviews and polls] </li></ul>
    16. 20. 5 More <ul><li>6 . Q&A Column [Quora] </li></ul><ul><li>7. Local causes </li></ul><ul><li>8. Guest bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>9. Tweet program playlists. Sell track </li></ul><ul><li>10. Merchants provide rewards/prizes </li></ul>
    17. 21. Parting Thoughts <ul><li>Restore hometown championship </li></ul><ul><li>Listening beats talking </li></ul><ul><li>New merchant revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Recapture Lost audiences </li></ul>