Now: YOURadio… Next: OURadio
: Infinity Broadcasting’s announcement that it is turning over a transmitter to the people is big, big news: great news, gratifying news, inevitable news. But it’s still just one milemarker on the road to the future of citizens’ media. And no, kids, we’re not there yet.
This is still a big company handing over its time and using the second-person plural: YOURadio.
We’ll know we’ve arrived when the people take over that station for real and change the name to OURadio.
At YOURadio, there are still executives picking what goes onto THEIR air.
At OURadio, WE the audience will pick what goes on OUR radio from what WE the producers make; there will be no difference between audience and producer, there will be no THEM: It’s all OURs.
That is where this road is going. And we’re still driving.
Still, I’m delighted by YOURadio.
Now we have a newspaper made totally from citizens’ content: NorthwestVoice. We will have a radio station made totally from citizens’ content: YOURadio.com. We will have a TV network made almost completely from citizens’ content: Al Gore’s Current.tv. (And last night on MSNBC’s Connected, I joked that blog TV is next and when we get there, I said, we’ll invite Ron and Monica on.)
But ultimately, they’re all still networks. They’re all still one-way pipes (but with a new way to dive into the pool that feeds them). They’re media.
This is why — I think — Doc Searls and David Weinberger and the other visionaries behind this thing we have here refuse to call it media. Doc says it’s speech. This, I believe, is why David got cold sweats at becoming part of media at MSNBC (see here and here as well): He said, ‘I’m not media, I’m something else.’ I call it conversation. (But I also am of the old “media.” And I call this new thing “citizens’ media” because this is like the English language and “snow:” We don’t have as many words for that fozen stuff as the Inuit have. We don’t have a word for this thing we’re doing. So until sombody invents a new word — something more sonorous than “blog,” please — I’ll keep calling it citizens’ media.)
So anyway, we’re creating new things:
Google is the new library… and network… and ad agency (see the post below).
Blogs are new newspapers, right?
Podcasts are new radio then.
Vlogs will be the new TV, yes?
But then again, no, they’re not. They’re none of that. They’re new, they’re different, and they’re not done yet.
And for that matter, old media aren’t done yet, either… if they know what’s good for them.
So each is trying to figure out the other, how to dance and who’s leading — and that’s good. That’s what the blog segments on MSNBC are about. That’s what YOURadio is about. They are process.
Now having said all that, I’ll repeat that YOURadio is big news and good news for a few reasons:
First, it is big media recognizing that it’s time to listen — and do more than listen: Let the people speak. It is big media recognizing the value of citizens’ media.
Second, it is an admission that the old, one-size-fits-all, top-down, one-way models of programming are broken and the audience can do it better.
Third, it an admission that the old business models are soon to break and that the people can provide more talent for less than the old talent could. It’s nothing less than the economic salvation of old media… if old media is smart enough to financially support citizens’ media and not just exploit it.
What’s important is that a big media company knew it was time to stick some dynamite up the alimentary canal and push the plunger.
It is the tipping point.
: I’ve been saying that we’re at the tipping point. Glenn Reynolds is tipping, too.
Jay Rosen says:
It has been pointed out that tipping point talk is cheap. But Infinity Broadcasting actually tipped over today.
: See Rex Hammock on top of YOURadio. That’s the frequency, Kenneth.
: Now let’s tune in for a big, honking reality check from young MasterMaq, whom I last quoted on why he can’t stand newspapers. Now here’s his reaction to YOURadio:
You’d think I would be excited about the launch of the world’s first “all-podcast radio station,” but instead I’m disappointed. San Francisco’s 1550 KYCY will now become KYOURadio and will feature content submitted by listeners. The problem? It’s not podcasting at all:
In part because of licensing requirements, which usually cover only broadcast and streaming, the company has no plans to provide downloadable program archives.
More and more, individuals and organizations are attaching the term “podcast” to their audio endeavours, trying to jump on the bandwagon. This is very clearly one such example, and it’s disappointing. KYOURadio is not a podcast radio station – they simply play content submitted by listeners.
He’s a tough master, Maq.
: Doc, the original radio geek, geeks out on the signal.
: LATER: Mark Glaser sums up the efforts of new services serving our video (and audio).