Alcuni di questi argomenti, conclude Cridland, saranno ripresi anche dalla Radio Academy a Londra il prossimo novembre. Verrà affrontato il problema di come gli ascoltatori "usano" oggi la radio e come devono interagire con chi la produce.
... as I mentioned earlier, last week I went to the BCI conference in Dublin, and I was lucky enough to see Jonathan Marks, self-styled “radio insultant”, who did a good turn: he’s always someone I try to recommend in any European conference, given the large amount of countries he works in. Of particular note: he said that Irish radio (which is very strong) differed to radio in some countries, particularly Asia. He said that Irish radio “draws you in”, while radio elsewhere “shuts you out”: a concise view of exactly what is wrong with some radio (and particularly, some radio in the UK).
He was quite pessimistic about a typical (analogue) set: “great shows, lousy interface”, pointing out that we used to bizarrely tell people where to tune-in based on the name of the transmitter, hardly a user-friendly way of tuning in. (I used to listen to Moorside Edge; then, for a bit, Brookman’s Park, though I now listen to Alexandra Palace). The advent of an EPG should be warming the cockles of his heart, assuming anyone builds a radio with a decent one.
He made a great point about the term “user-generated content”; he says, and I go along with this, that it’s a deeply patronising thing to say. It’s just “content”. A great piece of audio, or video, is just a great piece of audio or video - wherever it comes from. To slap “user-generated” onto it is like when television stations used to slap “amateur video” over some piece of shonky VHS they were sent in, he argues - and the tools available to many people now mean that they are capable of creating content just as good as the ‘professionals’. He’s got a point.
And finally, he claims that “people don’t want to interact with a broadcaster’s website” - “they want to interact with their friends”. I don’t go wholeheartedly with this, but I would agree that nobody wants to interact with a faceless radio brand when they can be interacting with their favourite radio presenter, instead. [plug] Indeed, this is one of the themes of a session at Radio at the Edge, where we’ll have Absolute’s Iain Lee, the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones and Channel 4’s Dan Heaf discussing exactly this issue in one of the morning sessions. (Book now, you’ll get it cheaper). [/plug]
Jonathan’s a class act, even if he appears to have bought a new inexplicably pointless and bizarre-looking gadget every time I see him. This time, from IBC, it was a LED light ring which had no discernable effect on the quality of the photographs he was taking, but made everyone look round and wonder who the man with the bright LED light ring was, which was perhaps the point.