Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Torey Malatia Talking About Vocalo

On March 27th I attended Media Re:Public forum that was held on the campus of the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication.

The actual folks that created the forum was The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School.

Truth was I got in on a mercy ticket. I also thought the forum would be different than what actually occurred. More on that in a future post.

Anyway I went to a number of sessions and of course I brought old faithful. In this video, Torey Malatia is talking about a new project that is being created. My understanding is that it will be a social participation portal. The name of the project is Vocalo

Contributors can create content that can be uploaded to the site. Some of that user generated content could be ported over to the radio station and once folks get digital that content could also be displayed on a digital channel of the radio station.

There are a number of concerns I had that I wished I could have asked him about.

He mentioned that there are segments of the population that basically has no relationship with public radio and that group sees no need to develop one. He did not mention race but he did mention class as a possible reason for the disconnect.

I wouldn't disagree or agree but I think it is also a matter of content. There has been a systematic homogenization of public radio for years. I do like many of the programs but NPR and American Public Radio does its best to sound like every one is exactly the same with the same wants and needs. It is Lake Woebegone. (No disrespect intended)

Er, no. There is no room for non-pasteurized content or people. And if you don't connect with the multiple communities that a radio station services why should I listen?

I'm getting off track again. Where was I? Oh yeah, Another question I wanted to ask Torey about the decision not to be transparent about the connection to the radio station.

Hey if you are going to fling words like "social networking" then you really have to understand that you gotta be up front from jump street. Hiding your connection to NPR will do you no favors.

Say to your listening community - NPR wants you. I'm going to give him a freebie. Find out where the local poets hang out. Commission them to create content for the site. Make it clear they own their own stuff and give them a running start on how to podcast for you.

Boom. Content and word of mouth marketing in one swoop. Then do the same for the painters, the gardeners, the low riders and anybody who has something to say and has been waiting to be asked.

Just a thought.

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