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posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, March 15, 2007,
- At 12:11 AM, Phil said...
Suggestion for Discussion - Social Networking for Media
"Our inaction is driving me crazy!"
Radio, as an old industry, likes to pick and choose elements of trends to capitalize on. On the whole, radio is still incredibly leery of letting go of its 'brand'. We don't want listeners to control the message.
We're a lot like politicians in that regard. We don't want anyone to go 'off message.' We want them to parrot our message.
However, a brand is what people think it is - not what we tell them it is.
So this is where we, as an industry, have got it wrong.
There's a big push within stations to get announcers to blog on station websites on a fairly frequent basis - essentially to write columns, and then accept and post 'letters to the editor" in the form of moderated comments.
What we fail to realize is that this is not the essence of social networking, or connecting. The idea behind blogging/networking sites like myspace is to form communities of like minded people who interact with the principal AND each other. 'Interact' is the key word here.
Radio has chosen the 'posting' side of blogging/social networking without factoring in the 'interacting' side. Once again, we have chosen elements that serve our old style of thinking. We think we are forming communities of like minded listeners, but we have failed to provide the mechanics for connection, because we wish to control the message.
We still think from a marketing standpoint that PUSHING content to the user is the way to build audience and loyalty. Well, it's not. Interacting is the way to build audience and loyalty. It's where they can use our content, provide content and interact with it.
I bet there's cash in it for someone who develops a proprietary myspace (radiospace?) style blogging function for radio, TV, etc. One where you can add pics of 'friends', reply to them individually or as a group, target them according to musical tastes, evening activities (clubs, movies, eating out?). You could monetize it by providing offers or special invites to 'radiospace' groups according to fave tunes, concerts, interests. You could hold station events for certain groups, and not others (fun runs? singles parties?).
You would have an ongoing dialogue with people who chose to join your group. And it would be 'in-house.'
In the meantime, social networking sites allow unfettered ineraction with peers and those whom you respect or share interests with.
Apparently, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is exploring - and I'm sure they won't misstep like Wal-Mart did with the unfortunate Wal-Mart Hub.