LISTen Plan for 2009

With the collapse of Pownce through acquisition of its assets by SixApart, it is fairly reasonable to ask what is looming of a new media outlet. There are some areas through which the podcast operation wishes to expand in 2009. While these may sound like huge leaps, they are instead fairly timid when assessed against the broader realm of new media outside librarianship.

First and foremost, I want to expand coverage. Only a very brief glance at the world can happen from my perch in Las Vegas. In a time when technology means so much to so many, having boots on the ground can sometimes be far more effective. A goal in 2009 is to commission freelance works from English-speaking nations other than the United States so as to promote the sharing of perspectives.

Secondly, I want to expand reach. Not that many years ago there was a notion of a “digital divide”. In terms of podcasting, there still is perhaps not enough market penetration to call it a mass medium. For around a thousand dollars time can be brokered on a shortwave radio station to provide further access to program content for an entire year. With decent shortwave radios these days running between USD$50 to USD$100, this would be an option with far less overhead than that incurred in downloading a podcast. This goal in 2009 would be to secure access to a weekly time slot on a suitable shortwave broadcast station to ensure that both sides of the digital divide are potentially served.

While these goals are interesting in and of themselves, there is one aspect missing. That missing link is funding. One of the biggest costs in a media outfit is manpower hours. To produce some of the content heard lately requires full-time work. Navigating the realm of public relations officers is not something that moves quickly and can sometimes involve days of work.

While there are things like Google News already out there, that only serves to point at stories already told. Technology has not gotten to the point where we can completely separate human involvement from storytelling. North of Las Vegas one finds Creech Air Force Base where the operators of the Predator drones work every day. While the drones are great for demolishing targets, they aren't so great for talking to people in investigation. If they were, the United States would not have a need for agencies like the CIA and others.

This is not a request for dollars. No, that was sent out to fifty very particular prospects. No, that letter with enclosed budget figures was not over my signature but someone else's. All this post happens to be is my taking a moment to communicate.

Communication is a key thing that under-girds librarianship. Interlibrary loan could not operate without it. During a media realignment such as what we currently experience and considering the role of planetary economic woes as an accelerant, now is a fabulous time to build up something while cultivating as strong a base as possible. If that means we have to schedule a LISTen meet-up in Las Vegas, then that can definitely be considered and potentially forged into a plan for a cooler part of 2009.

While Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis said on Twitter that the challenge in 2009 was to survive, I want to strive to do more than just survive.

Creative Commons License
LISTen Plan for 2009 by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at lisnews.org.

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