LEAP OF FAITH RADIO PRODUCTION with Bobby Ocean
Suddenly gone from the web are The Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame, along with the online version of our classic San Francisco Radio station, KYA. All those talented performers, that fabulous, colorful history with no place in the computer connected world? Many broadcasters and audiophiles scratch their heads and wonder.
Blogged questions included:
“If you had a business, would you ever consider advertising
on the museum or hall of fame websites?
“Who EVEN looks at the HOF or museum websites?”
Fair questions. And there ARE legit answers:
Q: “…consider advertising?”
Answer – Absolutely, advertising is a great choice on the right web address. Next question.
Q: “…who visits them?
Answer: You, the very person asking looks in regularly. I do, too, along with so many others AND the possibilities of many more.
Go get a sharp knife and a magnifying glass. We’re gonna go CSI on these lazy bloggers.
Immediately we see that a more appropriate question might have been: HOW can those who want to enjoy and honor radio programs and personalities put up a sustaining website, even one that turns a profit? That’s a query worthy of the pursuit.
And just look. The answers, unseasoned and raw, are right there in the questions:
How many different ways can we express the beauty of the original idea?
What kind of skin do you put on this to make it something appetizing?
How about hybrids for texture and dimension.
How can you control this new media venture?
Is it easy and fun?
Is there something irresistable for all the senses?
Could it be better? – How?
How can we express the changes that have evolved alongside, around and through it as it grows?
Look again. Any answers in there?
It’s so obvious now. In the Radio Hall Of Fame example, a museum motif wasn’t powerful enough by itself, the user interfaces not inviting enough, the displays are not shown in their most inviting light. And that online radio station? In spite of excellent talent, it was unable to thrive because people were largely unaware of it and it wasn’t quite “fun” enough to pull people to the site and keep them there.
We now know they needed a more appealing lure (probably several). Websites that need a regular audience need to be involved WITH that audience and it has to be immediately apparent on the website. The site must be constantly maintained, freshly written and focused for that audience. Visitors can and should be made to increase — by the site’s values. The values needed to achieve this must be identified, procured, extrapolated and utilized.
As we have learned, answers by themselves are insufficient, so we keep in mind: it is giving the data DIMENSION that draws the crowds.
The amount of visitors, and length of their stay, act in much the same way that ratings do for broadcast facilities; the more hits, the better. So — we have learned to ask better questions. Like, how to make our shop more compelling? How to keep it fresh and make audience grow?
People in radio broadcasting have been asking themselves these very same questions for decades, and they kept coming up with winning ideas. Today – identical problems, different media, larger, more diverse landscape, entirely newer population involved in the question asking: “How can we get more people?” “How can we make them stay longer, come back tomorrow?” “How can we make money?”
The answers by themselves are not going to be enough. But that’s where we can shine. FLESHING OUT the answers to your questions, then giving them character as well as identity, is WHERE THE MONEY IS.
Maybe this is a way for broadcast survivors to bring home the groceries for the next few months – act as consultants to online entrepreneurs.
Stuck? Ask a radio pro. Not a cluster employee, they’re doing nine jobs at once. Ask someone with a little time on her hands.