Monday, September 19, 2011

Seminar 3 topics

1. Future radio defined?
What is radio today? What will radio be in the future? A combination of distributions channels (FM, podcast, streaming, satellite etc.) and formats/genres (sport, news, weather, music, documentaries)? Is an editor (a filter) that/who chooses content for you important (excludes Spotify)? Does it make sense to talk about "radio" any longer, or should more fine-grained and specialized terms be used? Which distribution channels (transmission of signals through the air and/or Internet convergence) and formats will thrive in the future and which are doomed?

2. Economic models of (future) radio
Skip the part about defining what radio is and what it will become (above) and jump right in to a discussion of how economic factors affect current and future changes in (the business of) radio! What new business models could/are arising? What formats will thrive in the future and which will be in decline (due to economic pressures of varying kinds)? What is the future of public service (license fees)?

3. Radio advertising of the future
Single advertisers (companies) could "own" whole shows at the birth of commercial radio, now they just buy time on popular channels. What is the history, the present and the future of radio ad formats, radio ad trends and the radio ad business? What kind of ads, or ad for what kind of products "work" on the radio? Could we see the return (development) of older radio ad practices with single advertisers owning or sponsoring a web radio channel or a podcast show?

4. The death of radio
Radio is dead, long live radio! Radio as we know it (broadcast of electromagnetic signals through the ether - be they analog or digital) will soon be dead and it will be replaced by [please specify]. What will a post-radio world look like? Where (how) will we listen to music and talk formats (news, weather, documentaries, radio theater, sports etc)?

5. On the synergy of old and new media
Competition is a point of view, synergy is another. Old and new media do not only exist in parallel, but depend on and strengthen each other! Radio and the Internet complement and blend into each other! New developments forces "old" media to find its unique strengths, to refine these strenghts, and ultimately strengthens its form and expression - just as the arrival of commercial radio in Sweden (1990's-) forced public service radio to improve. How will radio be strengthened by recent developments in media technology?

6. Music radio and talk radio
What is the relationship between music and talk on the radio? What is the role of talk aboutmusic (for example in-between songs) on radio? Is it a nuisance, or is the talk, the point of view and the contextualization of music ("that was a great song from X and here is the latest from upcoming Norwegian trash metal band Y...") something that adds value (and that makes radio different (better?) than Spotify playlists)? Does talk about music bridge music and talk radio? Is there a role for music on the radio in the future? If so, which?

7. Glocal radio
Mass radio mixed with extremely local content, for example customized/personalized information about the traffic flow on the road or the subway line you use when you travel to work (but not other roads or subway lines), about the weather where you are /will be during the day (but not other parts of the country), about stuff that has happened nearby where you live, or related to the sports team you cheer for (etc.). How would such radio come true?

8. Amateur radio 2.0
The parallels between amateur radio and modern day blogs are quite striking in terms of direct and fast ways of communication and the access people have to it. So, what could be learned from amateur radio (google “dissertation Bogdan amateur radio”)?

9. Niche podcasts
What is the future of (amateur, zero-budget) producers of niche podcasts and their audiences? Who spends their leisure time doing weekly 90 minute long podcasts about recent events in World of Warcraft or about the Electric Vehicle scene (and why)? Who listens and how does producers and audiences find each other? What are the options to commercialize such podcasts as a supplement to or as a main source of income for producers? What does the world of (niche, amateur) podcasts look like, and what will the future bring?

10. Radio channels in an age of abundance
If there is an infinite number of radio channels (or an infinite number of podcast shows), how do listeners find their favorites and how do radio channels (or podcasts) find their listeners? How can you create meaning and find/form a taste of your own in the flood of content that washes over us? Can radio channels or podcasts be "tamed", classified, organized, clustered, tied to specific interests ("user who like this podcast usually also listen to...")?

11. Radiotwitter
Should they be 10 seconds long, or 20? Who should manage them (if not SR)? What connections to other existing networks, big or/and small, could attract meaningful soundbites? What kind of limitations would help keep quality high?

12. Social networks and radio
Radio reached the masses (before). Today social networks reaches the masses. How can/might social networks + radio become a hit in the future?

13. Radio bringing people together
Some students commented that early radio ads that sold "togetherness" and "community" - listening to the radio was something you did together as a family. Today's radio use is primarily done alone with earphones or in front of a computer, but could this change? Could radio bring people together and be the basis of collective experiences in the future? Some persons in one seminar group referred to "radio festivals"...

14. Important message to the public - handling crises in a post-radio age
Radio/broadcast has and still does play an important role in times of crisis. How can the government reach citizens and a whole nation in a post-radio age? The hurricane "Gudrun" hit Sweden in January 2005. Around 75 million cubic meters of trees were felled by the storm and 100 000 persons had no electricity four days later (it took 40 days to restore electricity to everyone and it was fortunately a relatively warm winter). What is the role of radio in times of crisis and what will happen if radio itself will go through crises in the coming decades?

15. The end of broadcast is the end of democracy and the balkanization of society.
Everyone should have access to the reliable and inexpensive news and high-quality information. Public service radio fertilizes the public sphere. A lively public sphere is crucial for a democratic society. What are the risks to Western democratic and to other societies if radio declines in power and scope? Is there a value to many people or even a whole nation listening to the same thing at the same time? Is radio (and limited choice) good for you, or, at least good for society? If so, how should societies work to "restrict" (?) diversity and choice (encourage mass audiences) for a better future together?

16. Who listens to the listeners?
Instead of the managers of the public service radio company inviting listeners to a blog, why not have a “trusted third party” invite those managers and other insightful representatives from that company, and reps. from other companies and institutions to a focused discussion on the main challenges of Swedish public service radio? But who would that trusted third party be (students, being the future listeners), what other institutions would be invited (private radio, the press), and what are the real challenges to be discussed (decentralization)?

17. Public service of the future
What is the role of public service in the future? More important than ever? A relic, a dinosaur looming towards its extinction? What is public service? Radio and TV, or, using available media/tools (including blogs and the Internet) in order to do [something important]?

18. Journalism 3.0 moves to Wikipedia
Instead of the chaotic structure of the SR "blog book" "Journalism 3.0"/"Radioormen", why not a few wikipedia pages dedicated to the major challenges for public service radio? What would these themes be? "Media decentralization" (with a focus on radio, and refs. to Daniel Johansson, Adam Davidson and others)? "Mass self communication" (refs. to Manuel Castells, Henry Jenkins and others)? Adding a section “2.3 Relationship to radio” in the wikipedia article about Participatory culture?

19. The comeback of the radio set
Radio was one furniture and later smaller (portable) radio sets. Now radio is everywhere, in our cell phones, in our iPods and in our cars. But could the radio set as a stand-alone gadget be revived, perhaps combing super-easy and convenient access to "long audio" podcasts, web radio and other sorts of "non-traditional" radio content and distribution channels (preset/programmable buttons? automatic subscriptions to favorite podcasts? - think of the audio equivalent of a digital photo frame)? Could it be customized in the manufacturing process according to different users' varying needs? What would such a radio set look like and what functionality would it encompass?

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