Radio

Reason Writers in Virtual Worlds

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I'll be appearing tonight on Virtually Speaking, a talk show conducted in Second Life, to discuss the history and future of radio. Here is the host's write-up:

Whenever a new medium comes along, the general critic/pundit/futurist reaction is "Death Knell!!" to the dominant medium that predated it. In fact what happens is that while everything changes in response to the new medium, old media always remain with us. Television was supposed to kill radio. What it did, of course, was change radio. Television was a much better format for The Lone Ranger than radio was, but radio is a much better format for call-in talk than television will ever be. The Lone Ranger is better with pictures, while Rush Limbaugh is decidedly better without. It takes a while to work these things out, as the old guard still trying to keep things the same are forced out, and the new guard engages in sometimes desperate experiments to keep the business afloat.

Jesse chronicles this process in the first half of the book [Rebels on the Air], focusing on smaller operators, most especially operators who found ways to create content programming that responded to local interests, and local material. In Seattle, Houston, St Louis and other large American towns, there are thriving social and musical scenes that translate beautifully into radio's broadcast limitations. The limited scope of the enterprise makes experimentation possible with little downside risk–you can keep a midnight to six program going for a while without endangering the future of the station, especially if nobody was listening in the first place. So we will talk about that pretty darn colorful history.

Don't know if you've noticed, but we are in one of those periods of change right now. Media like newspapers and magazines are going to have to change or die. The end of local monopolies over classified and merchant ad content has doomed many newspapers that cannot find a new, web-centric business model fast enough. But for media like radio, the web is a potential godsend. A station like WFMU…now has a potentially global audience for its unique free-form style.

We will discuss how this has, and will, play out in an environment that is also dominated by (colluding) corporate and regulatory heavyweights.

The program begins at 9 p.m. eastern/6 pacific and will last about an hour; you can join the virtual studio audience here, or you can just listen to it as a regular podcast here.

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  1. old media always remain with us

    We’re not quite dead yet!

  2. Is Second life where some naked troll avatar can run up and kill your avatar while its talking?

  3. Virtual world interviews segues nicely into a Cracked.com article I read today: “5 Ways Video Games Are About to Get Way More F#@kable.”

    Nice article, but what occurred to me is that there is another angle that they missed (unless I skipped over that part): Sex as augmented reality. In that case, you’re with your regular partner, but the experience is virtually enhanced in some way. For instance, visual signs of aging are edited out. You could also engage partial exoskeletons to replicate more athletic feats. And so on.

    I figure humanity dies out from all of this fantasy crap sometime in the next fifty years.

    1. Leaving behind millions of horny robots.

      1. The saddest legacy of mankind’s departure, to be sure.

      2. and millions of very frightened washing machines.

        1. Dammit, why did we make our washers self-aware? Why?

          1. If you didn’t get yourself “dirty,” you wouldn’t have to “wash.”

  4. will you be recording the video, and posting it here, please?

    (Also, why not just record the audio, post that, and tell people it was conducted on the phone, and ixnay on telling anyone it was on second life?)

    1. I know they’ll be posting an audio podcast after the show airs. I can’t remember whether there’s a video one as well. Whatever goes up, we’ll link to it here.

    2. Sorry. Overlooked the reply link. Response below.

  5. Could some of you start showing up in a game where I can blow your faces off or hack your limbs off?

  6. Lookit you, sneaking your way onto a straight-line left-liberal interview show through a side door. 🙂

    Funny, I’ve subscribed to that podcast for some time now and occasionally listen to an episode if it looks promising, but I had no idea it was conducted in Second Life. Which may help explain the horrible audio quality.

    1. conducted in Second Life. Which may help explain the horrible audio quality.

      Guess it goes to show you that you’re ultimately going to regret spending this first life of yours being an audiophile.

    2. Sorry. Missed the reply button. response to this below.

  7. It’s Second Life; there are no consequences. I would make the show unnecessarily antagonistic, and when the host tries to calm things down I would accuse him of being Hitler and throw a virtual chair in his face. Maybe add a paternity e-test for my cybergirlfriend’s sister’s cyberinfant. Really get the online audience hooting and hollering.

    Now that’s a show that will signal the shift from traditional media.

    1. Phone lines are open, my friend.

      646 200 3440

      9pm

      1. I don’t know, if I can’t have my surrogate actually get thrown offstage by your avatar for being a dick, it’s not as fun.

  8. will you be recording the video, and posting it here, please?

    The podcast will be available at the same URL. We are creating short video highlights these days. When (or if) we make one, I’ll pass the link on to Jesse.

    (Also, why not just record the audio, post that, and tell people it was conducted on the phone, and ixnay on telling anyone it was on second life?)

    BlogTalkRadio is our primary distribution system. Second Life provides with a live studio audience, not dependent on anonymous cowards unwilling even to call in.

  9. Lookit you, sneaking your way onto a straight-line left-liberal interview show through a side door. 🙂

    The reason Magazine business was something of a giveaway….

    If you are interested in the inspiratin for the program, you can find it here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo…..e-Airwaves

    Funny, I’ve subscribed to that podcast for some time now and occasionally listen to an episode if it looks promising, but I had no idea it was conducted in Second Life. Which may help explain the horrible audio quality.

    It’s actually the US telecom system quality that’s at issue. The BTR broadcast is piped into the SL environment.

    Coughing that has made it past the mute button in the last couple of broadcasts (most sadly, digby and greenwald) appears to be a BTR software bug.

    That shouldn’t be a problem tonight; I am over the cold.

  10. Did 3D dildos make an appearance?

  11. Technology often works by imbrication: laying down new layers onto the old. Some of the old get obscured, while some remain.

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