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Yes, you read that title right. As of this morning there were some calls made. None were fruitful. A somewhat positive e-mail was received later in the day from one potential radio affiliate.
LISTen has gotten longer lately. If anything this was an accident. At the time of the review it was said that folks wanted more meat. Well, you've certainly got that now. The podcast has stabilized at just under thirty minutes in length. In dealing with network issues out here in Las Vegas there have been unique gyrations undertaken to ensure the episode gets posted. The compression has been somewhat harsh at points and I can imagine that that ticks some folks off. All I can say is that I am working on it. I just have not found an acceptable solution.
With a thirty minute run time I have started looking into what it would take to get LISTen available on radio stations. Since many college radio stations are looking for material to fill empty time slots I have started identifying prospects. The team here have been reviewing the prospects to see who to contact. Since the means of production result in modular files we can readily produce an edition that could be released to air for a radio audience while also preparing the podcast. The biggest thing I would have to do to make a radio edition is scrap all the advertisements due to legal restrictions placed on the stations seen as prospective affiliates.
For one thing, I see why Leo Laporte associates negative connotations with the term "podcast". Podcasting is merely a transport medium. In functional respects the use of RSS feeds to make materials available is no different from what comes over a feed for a radio station operating under automation. While one may quibble about the differences between "push" and "pull" it should be remembered that on the front line that is not a big concern. A radio show can be a radio show whether it is available via RSS straight to an iPod or available via a stream to an FM radio transmitter that results in what you hear on your radio.
So, what does all this mean? I have heard from one Canadian radio station already that is looking at the podcast. Calls made Wednesday morning by someone other than me were not necessarily fruitful. Efforts are continuing to see if we can get at least two stations to pick up a radio edition of LISTen. No money would be changing hands on either side in such transactions as presently envisioned. LISTen needs to reach more listeners. Campus radio stations have dead air to fill. This would effectively be a radio barter and not leased access which is good as LISTen has virtually no budget.
Why do this? The unique thing found in the research that was undertaken was that podcasts appeared to be times to gather around and listen to a show. While this makes it practically impossible for me to see any ad buys it does also indicate behavior. Podcasting has a unique reach. While the means of distribution are similar to journal distribution the content remains similar to radio. As violative of paradigms as this is an attempt to be rebroadcast via radio helps make content more accessible to more people.
So, what can a listener do to aid this project? Talk to your local campus radio station. If you think LISTen is a great program that more should have access to, tell the program director at the station. Mention that it is a podcast trying to make a leap into radio. Give them a way to contact us here in Las Vegas. You can find those details at http://lisnews.org/node/29265. If you local campus radio station is at an institution home to an ALA-accredited graduate program in library science it can be noted that carrying a radio version of the podcast would help support an academic program on-campus. Always remember to be nice, respectful, and moderate in talking to the folks at those stations. In many cases they are volunteers and have a ton of things on their docket leaving them with precious little mental capacity to devote to listening to you talk about a podcast out of Las Vegas on a strange topic.
Please remember that if you do not like what we have on LISTen, please contact us. The production team is open to suggestions.