It's 6:06 on a Saturday evening and I'm hanging out at the WJOB studios on the campus of the Purdue Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. And get this, the three or four of you, you can get a lot of things done when no one's here.
That includes blogging to you, which doesn't happen much anymore. You've been replaced by Facebook Live. I'm sorry about that, but in the end I've been searching for a way to tell the story of My American, Radio Life. And telling it to you here on this blog is only telling a part of the story in one of many storytelling methods.
There's photos, live radio on AM off the tower, live radio now off the FM antenna, photos posted on smugmug, podcasts posted on podbean and Itunes. There's this blog... and then there's Facebook Live, which as mentioned in previous posts is the New Radio.
Check out yesterday at about 3pm. Mott Handley waves me down in the hallway of the Purdue CMEC here - "Hey, there's a couple of people I want you to meet." It's Chad Hayden and Trevor Medved, and they have this idea called Travelbox.
Trevor starts to give me his 30-second pitch... and I put my finger to my lips. Shhhhh. And I lead them into the studio, where they sit down, Debbie and Tony Panek and I get the studio ready... and then we go live on facebook. We don't even go on the radio. We just go straight to video on Facebook Live.
Now that was 3pm on a Friday... Here we are at 6pm on Saturday evening and that video with Trevor and Chad has had 1900 views... without ever going on the radio with the interview.
Also, I did a live video when I went to lunch yesterday at Giovanni's and that's had 1000 views. I got a haircut a few hours ago and that's had 300 views - on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer.
What is happening here?
I suspect that there's a new direction for me to tell the story of My American, Radio Life. That's one thing that's happening.
But I also sense that some fundamental change is taking place. It's not that all of the sudden instead of local radio pumping out one-way local content... we're gonna be able to draw that same audience to places like Facebook Live where you can get two-way conversation. A fundamental problem with radio, to me, is that it's a one-way conversation. You can act like the thousands of listeners are part of the show, but in the end it's you blabbing and them listening. Very few get through to talk to you directly.
But not so with Facebook Live. It's a two-way conversation. Just by logging on and watching you've registered yourself as interested in what I'm saying or doing. And you can like the video or comment while I'm doing it or share it. That's a lot more features to the interaction of local people talking about local things.
I sent a message to the developers of facebook today. I told them that I do local radio with students all around and we want to work with Facebook to help us in local media better connect with other local people. Facebook Live and my suggestion - Facebook radio - can do that.
Facebook Live is the New radio, I told developers. Let's see if they respond.