akamike (2007-2010)

GWRadio - The Future

Not long ago I just finished a little IRC gathering to discuss GWRadio, the online radio station I manage for Gaming World. It's nothing big, but I think it could be so much better than it has been. I am just going to copy and paste what I said in the topic, but still feel free to add your thoughts here or there.

GWR's Future:

The Problem In the past, GWR has run scheduled and unscheduled content, primarily music only. Every few months, GWR dies and there's maybe a show twice a week (total), which is understandable as this is not a business. This is a fun hobby, a side-project, for GW's members. It's unfair of me to point a finger at a DJ who misses a show, it's too strict and not how GWR should be run. However, at the same time GWR needs to provide content, and I think everyone can agree that a higher level of content is required.

The majority of shows are the same, someone makes up a playlist of songs they probably got from the Zoo or heard about here. Yes, there are a few DJs who do play something different, and there are DJs who actually talk. It's been pointed out by many non-listeners that the reason they don't listen is because they can just get the exact same songs and content in their own time without missing anything. Personally, I don't really have a problem with people playing the same thing, I just dislike the idea of people just giving up their show because they can't get listeners (because people don't listen due to my previous point).

Our best shows are the "special" ones, album releases mainly, which is understandable. These contain new and unique content, a massive change from your standard show. Another thing to note is the time factor. A lot of people will go out of their way to get on for these shows, and if they can't then they know they have the option of getting it later via a download.

Loop back round to your standard show. People lose aren't as bothered with these shows because they aren't important enough or lack the quality for listeners to put in the effort to listen, add in the fact that they can't be heard later and you just end up with listener-less shows.

To sum up, we have periods of time where lots of people will play and listen, but then that dies down after they realize it's just the same thing over and over. DJs have to stop their scheduled shows because of their real life commitments, which is fair enough. GWR dies, wait a while, repeat. Important events get higher listener counts due to the good quality content.

The Concept
First, we solve the problem of things being too strict with a schedule: we get rid of it. No more official schedule, a DJ is free to keep their own routine if they like and if they don't then no one will bite their heads off. Special events can be booked, and listed on the mainsite (and here) so that people know when they are so they may attend them. I'll (or if you think I am crazy and want to opt someone else to manage things) deal with DJ applications as usual and solve any arguements, but I won't threaten to kill you if you don't do a show, it's your show.

Podcasting. A concept first introduced to GWR by KTT a while ago, a form of new media popular on the internet. You pre-record a show, you can optionally stream it live as you do it, then offer it for download. This is [b]NOT[/b] for music shows. It pointless to have people download an hour of music as one file, if you want people to hear a song then tell them to go get it. I am fine with music review shows where you play a very brief clip and then discuss it, but nothing more. If it's an album, that's not a podcast. Podcasting will provoke a change of content, a focus on discussion.

However, there is a problem with podcasting, it requires much space and bandwidth. As discussed on IRC, there are three options:

We don't necessarily need to stick with one, we can always switch to whatever is best. We could start hosting our own shows and then move them to a main content server when it is feasible.

Podcasts on your own server also means it goes beyond GW. For example, I have been considering a web/tech podcast to run on my blog. I would want to have a co-host (+ guests) from GW to talk about the past week and future predictions, etc. I would host it on akamike, my blog, and then I would also like to index that with GWR so that it's still a GW podcast but also allows me to market it on my own site. This opens up the more centralized content that we see in shows, where everything is the same because I LIKE PORCUPINE TREE/RM2K/MILK @_@/etc. I don't expect it to be too widespread, maybe pulling in communities around GW (Happy RMXP Land or something) and people's own personal sites.

Another point is hosts could obtain sponsorship from friends (a 10 sec ad about their game and how you should TOTALLY CHECK IT OUT) which gives them an option of a little pocket money. Of course, if it was hosted by GW or GWR then I wouldn't allow this for the fact that proceeds should go towards GW itself, which is cool because it just opens a new source of income for GW.

Beyond GW Radio
GW Radio could become GW Media, if things got to a point where people wanted video content or animations (remember GWTV?), offering a wider range of content for GW and opening up more options for content producers. But that's way into the future, so I'll stop here.

So yeah, this is your (GW) station, so give feedback and ideas. The basic idea is we stop the schedule, DJs are free to do shows whenever, we run special events like album launches or GAME SHOWS or something, and move into podcasting to open up a new content area. There will be a site, probably just DJ profiles, special events, applications and podcast index, but we need to deal with the content first. Let's build a model for GWR to make it last longer, be more interesting and (hopefully!) a bit more fun.

And yes, I am thinking about starting a podcast here at akamike.