Monday, May 28, 2012

Introduction To Internet / WIFI Radio

The SWLing Post has a new article up that talks about the relevancy of Internet Radio, otherwise known as WIFI Radio.In this article, the author asks a great question that Shortwave America would like to address. Re-thinking Internet Radio, Part 1.

"is internet radio “cheating?” Is it really radio?"

The answer to that is...WIFI Radio IS radio, it is simply put into a digitized format that uses servers as opposed to RF producing transmitters. 

The article tackles another VERY GOOD reality: If the company that manufactured your WIFI radio goes out of business, your WIFI radio is nothing more than a paperweight due to the fact that the radio needs to connect to the company's servers via your home internet connection for its internal database to function.

In a conversation recently, the Founder and Owner of Shortwave America spoke with radio legend, Bob Zanotti of "Switzerland in Sound". The topic of the conversation was internet broadcasting. There seems to be a very well noted problem with some internet broadcasters in that they don't always have a good, professional filter in regards to their level of professionalism.

This writer and radio broadcaster couldn't agree more with Bob! Something I learned early on from my own observations and professional mentoring is that AUDIO QUALITY MATTERS as does your level of professionalism! Your presence needs to command respect of an audience. Commanding respect of an audience means thinking out what you want to say, and saying it well; it means speaking with confidence. This leads to a quick discussion about content, something this publication has spoken about in other articles. If you are going to produce a radio program, your content needs to be specific to the audience you want to reach, it needs to be solid and easily comprehended by your audience.

Some of the more experienced radio broadcasters can easily get on a mic and talk. Their experience has taught them how to do this and do it well. Here is another good point I want to discuss: just because you have an internet connection, a web cam, and a microphone doesn't make you ready for hosting a show. You need to think ahead about what you want to do, how you want to do it, and who is going to listen / watch. You need to have a plan for promoting your work, which means knowing WHERE you can promote yourself.

People who are naturally talented writers or actors tend to go well with radio because they know the value of presentation and they know how to promote themselves. You can be popular but never be profitable, and therein lies the dilemma of internet broadcasting. If you are going to devote yourself to this, you have to work full time at it and chase every opportunity, every idea for becoming profitable if you want to pay your bills and survive.

In my conversation with Bob the other day, I made the point that this is how careers sometimes start. Shortwave America is a good, realistic, example of that statement. You start from nothing, start small, and work it up from there. Each broadcaster has their own strategy, and that strategy is never publicly given away. Find your strategy and keep it a secret! This means finding your "groove" and sticking to it! The old adage, "Stick to your guns" applies well here.

The good thing about internet broadcasting: REAL radio stations do go to certain places to find new shows for their daily schedule, and they DO use the internet talent they find in various ways which range from asking them to program a new show for them to asking that talent to do other production work.

Shortwave America will be following the SWLing Post and will write a public response for each part they release on this topic.Thanks to Chris Freitas for the lead to this story!

1 comment:

WB9HOK said...

Our Evanston Base Station/Antenna Farm stands ready for your comm 'projects':