Advanced Social Media

Many thanks to the gentle baboons who have kept this blog going for several months and especially the past few weeks while I’ve been distracted by work.

Our Fall Membership drive is underway at Fresh Air Community Radio – we’re in the middle of the second week of fundraising, just two days away from the scheduled conclusion. Just recently I’ve been preoccupied helping friends like the Morning Blend hosts (pictured above) as they try to get listeners to call 612 375-9030 to make a contribution.

KFAI_SignIf you’ve never listened, you should give it a try. The most baboon-friendly show on the schedule is Stone Soup, Wednesday mornings from 10am to noon. I often hear host Pam K. playing music that was, or would have been, featured on the old MPR Morning Show.

But that’s no surprise. Our station has many personalities, literally and figuratively. We are the antidote for anyone fed up with tightly formatted radio. While the most popular stations in town strive for stability by trying to sound exactly the same whenever you tune in, we are like the flowing river. Stick your dial at 90.3 / 106.7 FM and you’ll find that you can’t listen to the same station twice. No matter what you think you’re going to hear, it’s always going to become something else.

KFAI_State_FairSome people look at that and say we’re hanging on too long to an outdated model, suggesting that the volunteer-based grab bag approach to programming where individuals use the medium as a form of self-expression is a hippie artifact. They say we’ve got to step into the digital age and create a coherent multi-platform brand that is consistent and predictable and is tied to something more marketable than the quirk factor.

But I look at the digital age and see an environment where any form of media that’s seen as monolithic and prepackaged is at risk of being overwhelmed by thousands of small-time operators who are creatively and subversively employing the same tools as the big players.  And I don’t think subversive is too strong a word.  After all, we have a broadcast frequency in a major American city, and we routinely hand it over to just ordinary folks so they can be heard.

In that sense, community radio is the original social media.

If we were Facebook, we’d give everyone their own show, and I do sometimes encounter people who think they can walk in the door  at KFAI and have an on-air slot within days.  After all, they have excellent musical taste!  Unfortunately, we’re limited by the number of hours in a day, and new program hosts soon find out having your own weekly radio show is a more demanding commitment than simply posting your thoughts and putting up a cat video every now and then.

But it is an enticing thought.

If you had a radio show, what would it sound like and what would you call it?  

43 thoughts on “Advanced Social Media”

  1. “Excuse Me.”
    That way people would know that I would offend some one, if not everyone. Not on a bold, in your face way, but by a stupid slip of the tongue or cheesy attempt at humor.
    I would play music like a blend of all the music streams on MPR. Oops, there you see. I mentioned the competition.But I would add in some hymns right at the end of my show , or rather religious music of al, sorts, especially Jewish music, a cantor every Friday.
    Every mn day we would have the Pun Hour. People would email in puns on a topic I choose. We would have “The Local Crop Report”. People would call in about their gardens. I might throw in after some easy jazz a show called What Is It Like To Be You.” A show about one person who does some normal but under appreciated thing, like a crossing guard, a day care worker, a bus driver.
    I would name a topic for Holly to find three songs every Tuesday. Steve would lead off “The five Five Sentence Story Hour” and be followed by a few others. That would be book-ended by ballads, real ballads. Tim could lead off a show “How nuts It Is” about the hectic pace these days. It’s associated music would be March tunes.
    I am thinking I should not address this fine post of Dale’s, such elegant gentle erudite prose, when I have had so little sleep.
    Now, of course, Dale, you salesman with your foot in my mental door, I will have to pledge.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I am nobody’s dj and did not really grow up hearing music on the radio.

    My show would be The Urban Ag Report. What’s good at the market this week. What seedlings should you be starting. Tips on seasonal house and yard chores, a seasonal recipe.

    I’m not an authority on any of this, so would mostly be wrangling a guest list.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. When I was in college, a friend and I toyed with the idea of proposing a show (probably just for the J-term/interim session, so four weeks) of all the teenage death songs we could think of like “Leader of the Pack” and “Teen Angel.” We figured we wouldn’t have enough material for a full semester’s worth of shows, but maybe the four weeks of January. We had a show title which I have since forgotten…Dead Air could work.

    Not sure what I would do now, but would want to include a segment on “skills I have that I never thought I’d use to earn money or at my day job,” because I am fascinated by skills that leak from hobbies and avocation into people’s income-earning work…and not like people who give up dentistry for pottery – more like people who find that learning how to ride a unicycle on a high wire has applicability to their work in brain surgery. I could call that one Don’t Quit Your Day Job.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    The Facebook metaphor is one that does not work well for me–after all I took down my page due to chronic feelings of being overwhelmed by it and never really understanding how the system works. So no show based on that model for me!

    I cannot get KFAI on my home radio. I never have found it on my computer either, but I must remember to do this–I might like Stone Soup.

    Meanwhile, I have had this on-going fantasy about radio shows. Really. Who fantasizes about radio topics? Me. I would have a show (that can be featured as a podcast) that features a rotating content of “How to:

    * Urban Agriculture techniques i.e. gardening in small places
    *Cooking and nutrition features (daily stuff, not high end–gourmet stuff–that is covered the Splendid Table.
    *Cleaning/housekeeping methods.

    Yes, folks, a Home Economics show. My generation let this ball drop and gave up some of this. The 30-somethings don’t know how to run home cuz my generation drove them to soccer games and Destination Imagination groups picking up McDonalds on the way.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. J – neither MPR nor KFAI get along with my work computer very well. But I found a site called RadioShaker where I can get them both (not at the same time, of course). Maybe that will work for you!

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  5. I’ve been enjoying KFAI for a few years now–once I heard they’d hired Dale after The Station That Will Not Be Named had fired him, I switched my dial and never went back. The mix is even more of a surprise because the website, and thus the schedule, is blocked at work (no streaming media), so unless it’s Thursday at 10 AM I never know what I’m going to get when I turn on my cubicle radio. I bought that thing just so I wouldn’t have to keep missing Dakota Dave Hull!

    There are other people doing good Neopagan podcasts online, so if I had my own show, it’d be a mix of international roots music. Heavy on Irish, Scots, Finnish/Nordic, pre-war Blues, and the Wobblie songbook, of course, but including traditional music from everywhere. I’d also have recipe and craft segments, getting people to come on and talk about their traditional foods and about traditional skills they’re practicing and preserving. Maybe even a segment for “third-world,” working-class, and other non-mainstream poets/writers to read their work. Of course, this is all theoretical, because I’m far too introverted to ever do such a thing, but if a show like that was running, I’d dig money out of the armchair cushions to help support it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I misspeak, I switched to KFAI when that other station fired Dale, even before KFAI hired him, because I couldn’t bear to listen to it without TLGMS. I remember listening to KFAI’s previous morning show–The Takeaway? something syndicated, anyway–before The Morning Blend got started.

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  6. First things first. Please do not “step into the digital age and create a coherent multi-platform brand that is consistent and predictable”. Ick. I like the quirk.

    I have Dakota Dave, Bop Street, Womenfolk and Stone Soup set up in my Outlook so that I get a reminder before they go on the air!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Second things second. I’m not sure what I would call my station – will have to give that some thought. But after 25+ years of listening to TGLMS and then Radio Heartland – I’m pretty sure it would sound like that! And I’d like to have Ducks Breath Mystery Theatre on my station!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m afraid my radio station might morph into “All Eva Cassidy and Sam Robson All the Time,” but I would probably start out with the goal of playing the best of the best, no matter what genre or era,

    There are so many truly brilliant musicians in the world who never get heard by more than a handful of people. I would simply celebrate their talent by saying “Hey folks, this artist plays the best (fill in the blank instrument) or sings the best (fill in the genre–blues, folk, rock, classical, Broadway show tunes, Tuvan throat singing, whatever) that I’ve ever heard. I want to share truly great music with you and help you realize what truly great music sounds like, not what some radio exec has decided is the music that will sell the most ad time on his/her station.

    Since I’m far from an expert in most musical genres, I would hire like-minded people who really know who the best of the best are in their particular genre and have them do 2-3 hours every day of their choices. That would be my only rule: Don’t insult our listeners with crap.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  9. I’d like to have a show called Surprise Me! It would play requests from listeners. There would be some kind of database tracking that would take the requests and analyze how many times each song had been played on the show before. Priority would be given to the least-heard songs, so that you would get some really unusual stuff. Then once an hour or so, a frequently requested song would be played, so that there would be a little familiar music in the mix. It might be a really interesting show, or it might be a complete failure. Or perhaps both, simultaneously.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I would have a show of music for the mood at the moment. Some days are Bartok days and some days are rowdy celtic days, and some days are Beethoven trio sonata days. The play list would depend on my mood.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Good morning. i listen to KFAI. It is my favorite radio station mainly because of the many different excellent DJs found there. I also like some of the public affairs shows. I listened more frequently when I was home alone before my wife retired and I continue to listen to several shows per week. I have thought about becoming a volunteer at KFAI and I am still keeping that on my list of things I might do.

    I’m sure I couldn’t take the place of any of the good DJs that are currently broadcasting at KFAI. My speaking voice is not the kind that projects well over the radio. Maybe I could come up with show that would work and could develop a better radio speaking voice. Perhaps I could do sort of a variety show with some music, interviews, and information covering community and political issues and events.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. On second thought, I do not think I could trust myself in front of a microphone not to rail against ugliness, which would make me ugly, too.

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    1. I’d probably listen. I don’t mind the holiday music per se, but the stations that play it 24/7 have a really shallow base of music. Nobody really needs to hear Santa Baby six or seven times a day from Thanksgiving to Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’d be terrific! The “you will be jolly or else” aspect of Christmas music gets particularly oppressive when one’s holiday celebrations are all about darkness, silence, and the yet-to-be realized hope of the light’s return–my tradition is unusual in that the Light is planted/conceived in Earth at Midwinter, but the Sun doesn’t really come back until Imbolc (Feb. 1).

      And VS, no one needs to hear “Santa Baby”, or at least not more than once in hir life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By the time we get close to Solstice, I’m pretty much done w/ holiday music on the radio. However, despite celebrating Solstice, I will admit to having a HUGE collection of holiday music on CDs. But none of them have Santa Baby on them!

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  13. I would have an hour-long show called The Quaker Hour. I would only speak or play songs when the Spirit moves me, with silence most of the time. I don’t expect that anybody would tune in for this show.

    Can you tell that I have Too Much Noise in my life?

    Liked by 5 people

  14. I guess I haven’t really thought about it much. In high school, I remember I wanted to become a DJ — but I had a bad stutter, so everyone laughed at me for having that silly dream.

    In college, I worked with a friend on a show for the college radio station. I would read children’s stories and they played appropriate music in the background. I remember we spent time recording sound effects and other goofy stuff — we had a lot of fun. I sure like all your ideas for radio shows.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh, I want a Baboon Radio Station. Several of my ideas appear in part above… an Indigenous Music Hour of dance and choral music from around the world (kind of like Crow Girl’s traditionals); a cooking show about inexpensive, easy dishes (probably from around the world) with no more than 5 or 6 ingredients; to piggy-back on Jacque’s Home-Ec show, something about tips for downsize and organizing.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Years ago when I lived in Southern Minnesota I couldn’t listen to KFAI. On my trips to the twin cities, in those days, I would sometimes tune in to KFAI when I was close to the Cities traveling in my car. I especially remember traveling home late one night and listening to a show of heavy metal music played by women. This show was very unique and I enjoyed hearIng it even though I almost never listen to metal music. I don’t know if this show is still carried on KFAI. I think it is or was an example of the very wide diversity music that you can hear on KFAI.

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  17. hidey ho there baboons and babettes… lowercase tim here to spin those baboon tones and make you bale for the trail. ho ho
    start the show with hey good good looking and end it with happy trails and in between in honor of my two favorite radio paltforms the morning show and bob dylans radio hour we would pick a theme and build an hour around it. you want to suggest a theme and a tune? bring it on. call in comments form radioland groupies who want to hear themselves on the radio (dylans were priceless) he was on xm and the morning show was on that other for profit station with the big staff building and ego across town.
    trains bears butterflies heartache dance potatoes summer fall and christmas each get one show
    tunes tend to last 3 minutes so 20 tunes per topic should leave you wanting more
    little schtick to grease the skids between tunes and little opportunity to play the tunes I love and rather than build around my hit parade do a fave collection bouquet
    plug me in to the baboon trail radio hour with lowercase tim from the platters that matter to the baboons who love tunes…..

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Evening–

    OK, I’m going to confess to something.
    Every morning while getting ready, I have Radio Heartland playing through iTunes on my computer.
    A few weeks ago it was playing music just a little different than usual. There were several show tunes, some Maynard Ferguson, some other songs that you just don’t hear very often.
    I was really loving this change.
    It went on for a couple days; slightly different music and I’d think ‘Wow! I have that song too!’
    I even noted on their FB page how much I was enjoying the deeper music tracks. And to hear Maynard Ferguson a second day in a row! Wowzers!
    ….And then they played a voice memo. One of my voice memo’s from 2013 with crop notes as I planted a field.
    What the what—–??

    Somehow even though it was showing Radio Heartland and the Radio Heartland logo was popping up in the iTunes box, iTunes was actually playing one of my playlists.
    And then I felt really dumb.
    And I imagined Mike Pengra thinking, “Hmmmm, it wasn’t that deep of a playlist…”.

    I will never refer to this incident again.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Funny, Ben. Looking on the bright side, at least you recognized your own voice. I do hope Mike reads the blog today, that would give him a good laugh.

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  19. I am a d j. To an audience of one. I got speakers and blue tooth for the living room. Sandy sits there and reads and I select the music for her, radio, or play lists, or albums from iTunes on my computer. Of course she has music and I do not.

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    1. i have been told that every dj every artist, every writer every creative effort is done for one.
      i have a person i write for in music poetry and in blog postings. i dont always identify the person but i know who i am writing for.
      when im singing i it is for one member of the audience. if i am choosing a playlist it is for that one enigma i envision
      yours is nice and concrete. ill bet she enjoys the heck out of it.
      good for you plug a little john gorka in there for her. hes not on her list but how can you not enjoy john gorka?

      Like

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