Friday, March 27, 2009

WJMA, Hear 2.0, and the Interwebtubes

The other day in my post "Podcast Review -- WJMA News" I offered some solid suggestions on how our local radio station WJMA could effectively repurpose their news reports as podcasts. It's not that they haven't been. News and sports podcasts are part of the new website.

But as I pointed out, audio clips from a broadcast can't just be thrown onto the web. A podcast is a different medium with a different audience and different conventions. Follow them, and your audience grows. Ignore them, and you'll be classed as an out-of-touch amateur.

Yesterday Mark Ramsey did a relevant post, "More Than Digital Duct Tape," on his blog, Hear 2.0. He cites a recent IBM study that shows an anticipated 63% growth in online advertising (and a corresponding drop in traditional media buys) -- and how media companies simply aren't moving to where the advertisers and customers want to go -- that is, online. He wrote:
... the digital elements in your portfolio are not "non-traditional revenue," they are "new traditional revenue."

Any broadcaster - and there are many out there (although not likely to be reading this) - who thinks our solution is to return "to the basics" and stick our communal heads deep into the sand is a fool.

Every broadcaster should be restructuring from the ground up around digital opportunities, not simply tacking on digital strategies like so many strips of duct tape.

This is a time of amazing opportunity if you have the vision and the will to have at it.
You can't think of a podcast as a recycled radio bit (even if that's the source). It has to be reworked for the new media.

Will WJMA make the necessary changes? I don't know, but I'll keep you posted.

We'll make Monday the official start of the WJMA pod watch. It'll end when the WJMA news podcasts have metadata that include appropriate IDs and graphics and a proper intro. The station had a static placeholder on their site for 344 days before the website relaunched. I'm hoping we don't set a new record here.

- Ralph

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