My Studio, Your Studio
For those of us active in the Participation Culture, you’ve got to be as delighted as I am at how the barriers to authentic media and content production have fallen to ridiculously low levels. From my home studio, I can (and do) create print newsletters (full color print); interactive ebooks; video; audio (podcasts too) with interview recording over Skype; and so much more. With sites like YouTube, OurMedia, LibSyn and so many others, the barriers to produce and deliver rich media content are virtually non-existent.
Came across BlogTalkRadio today and it’s pretty cool. It’s an offering that allows you to deliver a “radio show” or “blogshow” streamed over the internet live…with people calling in via a variety of methods like Skype, landlines or mobile phones. Your BlogShow lets you host your own talk show online. Receive live callers, interview guests, and broadcast to an unlimited number of listeners. All you need is any type of phone, an internet connection, and something to say. All your listeners need is streaming audio or any type of phone should they choose to call in.
I’ve listened to several shows and they’re just “OK” at this point. Clayton Christenson, the Harvard B School professor, writes that disruption goes through three phases: first it’s “crappy”, then it’s “less crappy”, then it’s “good enough”. When it hits the last phase is when the disruption occurs and the new method or technology accelerates and the old ways (and companies) perish.
In my view, BlogTalkRadio is “crappy” right now. Audio levels are too low, quality is undoubtedly 8khz (vs. Skype at 16khz or CD’s at 44.1khz) so it sounds weak, and the call-in quality hasn’t sounded good on any of the calls I’ve listened to from the archive. Based on what they’ve built thus far, quality is bound to get better and “broadcasters” more sophisticated (on one show I could hear the guys whispering and laughing just before the show started. Muting might’ve been good).
This form of live streaming will, in my opinion, become “good enough”, soon enough that it’ll continue the chipping away at the foundations of radio started by the podcasting phenomena.
Access to live streaming is going to get better as well. Yes streaming from a browser is usable or from special services (like VCast for mobile phones at Verizon), but radio-like use from any internet connected device would be great. When Wimax, city-wide wireless internet is more than just press releases and the devices that can use it proliferate, streaming audio will be huge.
Even Palm has delivered links in their Palm Mobile Portal (mobile.palm.com though the “audio” category doesn’t show on a PC-based web browser) so that I can stream CNN, Live365 and other stations right through my Treo 700p. I’ve listened to streaming audio when out on a walk at night and several times when stuck waiting in some line or other downtime.
So our respective “studios” are continuing to take on more and more capability. Just stop and think what you can buy with a credit card: the means of production to create and deliver media and content unrivaled at any other time in history.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.