Technology and Trends: What’s Around the Bend

It seems I have a half dozen sets of notes from the conference locked up in my mobile device. It would be good to get these out there for the handful of people who might be inclinded to read them. Here is the first of several…

During one of the afternoon sessions, I listened in on some big thinkers express their thoughts about public media and the changing landscape of the web.

Dennis Haarsager

Dennis Haarsager opens his presentation by citing Kevin Kelly’s article “Better than Free” he points out the Eight Generatives that give free content value.

If you give conent away for free, what can you sell. How do you create Value?

* Immediacy – getting it soonest
* Personalization – reflecting you
* Interpretation – software free – manual = $
* Authenticity – is it genuine
* Embodiment – how do you want it? Printer, Screen, Phone
* Patronage – Audience wants to support the creators they value – imagine wanting to support this american life and not support the station
* Findability – an unfound masterpiece is worthless


Dennis’ thoughts on Internet Radio are always interesting.

He asks us to check out – an online radio service which gives people an ability for people to be their own program director

Dennis presents an amazing slide for Combining HD Radio with WiMax (insert link here).

Note: HD Radio uses SMIL

I should ask Dennis Harsager about how to run a test of SMIL and HD content. I’ve use smil before. This might be interesting for folks at the station to see.

Diane Meringas

Diane Meringas is a hoot. She cites a recent article entitled “Is public media necessary?”

She replies by saying, on the other hand, enabling cultural Literacy is an activity that Public Radio can fulfill

She cites several change agents / niches that public media can “own”:

* Quality
* Social and Community Networking
* All about Connections
*Advertising/Sponsorship=Transactions (don’t be afraid)
* Local = personalization

Knowing about people’s personalization preference allows us to fulfil our mission online. Local in a community is just as important as local in an online community. We have an engaged audience online – that means they are local. They have an interest in us. They deserve to be engaged with their public broadcaster online.

She asks us to check her to do list from two years ago. (link here) chances are, there are a few action items left undone.


Doc Searls

I ran into Doc Searls in the elevator. He was just going up to his room after a long day at the conference. He spent the previous day, he tells me, driving back to his home several hours away in LA traffic only to get three hours of sleep and then drive back in to downtown LA to attend more conference sessions. Unless I’m mistaken, nobody paid him to come to this conference. It seems like he does this out of pure passion for public radio. It insipres me to know that someone so knowledgeable sees such value and such potential in what we are doing that he would expend such physical and emotional energy to want to make us aware of the potential that we as public broadcasters hold.

(Insert link to his latest blog for this presentation)

Think Geek Moment: Doc uses a Ramsey FM Transmitter to transmit digital audio throughout his house. I am doing the same with a heathkit FM transmitter as well.

There is no fight – but the Listeners are going to win

Listeners are not consumers anymore – They are producers.
They will bypass anything that gets in their way.

There WILL BE a new business model for public media. The change will come FROM THE LISTENERS to us. The LISTENERS will define THEIR END of their relationship FOR THEMSELVES. This will be called (VRM) Vendor Relationship Management.

As I think about it now, this seems similar to OpenID, in that a person’s personal security data isn’t be managed by the vendor to them, it is is manged by the person to the vendor.

Just because listeners gave us money and we gave them a coffee mug doesn’t mean jack!

For instance, a listener might say, she’s willing to pay money, but only if it goes directly to the activities and programs that this listner appreciate.

Gaguing the temperature of the waters in the seats around me, this idea seems to cause some trepidation among the attendees at Public Media 2008. In one person’s words, “we need stations” these programs cannot exist on their own.


Doc goes on to point out that cell phones will be the new radios and televisions will be the new studios.

Internet Radio will be coming through your phone.

Android – Google – Nokia Open Moko – Phones are going to be like PCs.

Websites will be as inefficient as transmitters.

Think river of News: Think: htttp://

Archives will be the new killer content.

We’ll work to make archives as easy as possible to find, consume and otherwise use.

* Brands and reputations will be matter more than ever
* Reputations will grow around participation
* Value will increase with engagement

“Full Service” radio will return – with active public stations.

Local COMMERCIAL radio has mostly abandoned the full-service model. There is a public service hole where full live full-service public radio can take advantage.


Rafi Ali

Rafi Ali explains that what paidcontent does is “follow the money”

He points out that consolidation and deconsolidation will continue to happen. He cites Google / Yahoo consolidations and Viacom’s decoupling.

“While all these companies fight among each other, they will leave public broadcasting to continue to do what it does untouched… but for how long.”

He says that open networks with phone companies will effect everyone. It will bring better phones and better alternatives. 3G – WiFi – WiMax. He cites one example of this effect, how Nokia decided to change its company from ground up.

This will change all the ways we consume media. Because of faster networks – online and mobile are merging. Expectations will progress from how well our content works on the web. The public will start to turn to how well our content works on the phone.

The shows will matter more than the brand. The people, the talent, the personalities will matter more. People will time-shift, they will podcast, they will become their own program directors. The relationship with PEOPLE and the shows they produce are important to listeners and they will want to support these things specifically – not so much the station itself.

Face to Face will matter a lot. Events, Getting Together – will matter a lot. Events will be a huge part of a program’s revenue.

He asks us to look to the example of “Brad Sucks” as a person who makes a good living giving away content and getting donations.


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