"Radio 4's Thought for the day" slot might be temporarily used for this purpose"
Had a brilliant holiday with them few years back. Sad to see them close. Boss says "All these internet sales are depressing. The cheapness of it. They have no idea what they’re selling. They have no idea if there is building work near your hotel. It’s the new bucket shop. These dot-com people are selling rubbish. When good companies say ‘we’ve had enough’, it is terrible for the travel industry. "
Radio 4 blog is Daily Mailed. Didn't take long. Entire blog post is lifted and quotes from users comments. Unsurprisingly users aren't credited and no link back to the blog.
brilliant 10 min by 10 min tag clouds documenting the ireland v italy tag rugby match (via aarons)
Category Archives: Uncategorized
The rather brilliant radio preview column in the Stage.
“Because if all music is accessible, all the time, it’s what you do with it that makes it interesting. You as curator, you as DJ, is what music becomes about. Just as there was always one kid at school who made the best mixtapes, there are people out there who make the best playlists. Online, it’s music bloggers, of course.”
“there are constant invitations by individual programmes to phone in, or text, or press the red button on the digital handset to interact with what is going out on air. Every time we do, it is added to the statistics as evidence that the programme is being heard or seen. The comments we make are not necessarily noticed or answered.
With Feedback you can be certain that Roger Bolton will pursue the question, thoroughly. ” (from late 2007)
liveblogging/tweeting yesterdays darwing day “By popular demand, and as promised on Twitter, I have a clutch of photos, video and a few reflections of my Darwin Day in London to share with you.” from the very fine Beagle blog.
Melvyn Bragg’s speech on Darwin’s bicentenary from the Natural History Museum. (filmed on a mobile i think from a long way away but audio is good).
Matt Deegan’s tweet on reading Mark Damazer’s first blog post “@JemStone reading Mark’s post about what the blog won’t do is very depressing. He could absolutely do most the things he says he can’t.”
Great chart of the top UK radio presenters/journalists on twitter with # of followers/followed.
"YouTube Comment Snob filters out undesirable comments from YouTube comment threads"….capital letters, spelling mistakes, excessive punctuation. Ho ho.
Letter to the Times.(from 2005) "Sir, Being middle-class and close to 54 I fit the description by Mr Mark Damazer, the new controller of Radio 4, of his average listener (report, July 28). I don’t wear tweeds, nor do I play golf. I run my own little business."
Guardian ran not just the first print interview with Sharon Shoesmith but largely un noticed published the first audio interview too. (before that afternoon's Weekend Womans Hour on Radio 4).
A Radio 4 sticker by Michael Wincott/radiothings.com
This week I was part of the team that helped launch the new Radio 4 blog.
The Controller of the station; Mark Damazer has used it so far to introduce himself to listeners, explain how and why he schedules repeats, and the background behind the selection of the Reith lecturer . The post that has received the most feedback, however, was an explanation as to why Weekend Womans Hour dispensed with its format for a week to run a 45 minute interview with former head of Haringey Social Services; Sharon Shoesmith.
Now there have been many, many other places to discuss this issue online both hosted on the BBC and elsewhere. but i was taken aback by the quality, range but also the provenance of the comments that Mark’s post attracted:
They included a:
- A charity worker explaining how she used to visit families in their homes
- A middle manager from a local authority childrens service.
- A lawyer with years of experience of working in a family court.
- A social worker with forty years experience.
- A head teacher from Haringey.
- An interpreter who works regularly with inner city social workers.
- Another user with an intimate knowledge of the Childrens Act 1989.
Mark, in a follow up post called them “richly informative thoughts and comments. Some of them reveal significant expertise and personal experience.”
The myth about commenting, because its often done very badly, is that its all back of the taxi cab, and teenagers txting and offers no value. Yet this is more due to poor design, a lack of community management. rather than comments per se. I also wouldn’t want to overstate the impact of comments or message board posts on Radio 4 programmes. Direct email (even letters) are still a more familiar and comfortable way of interacting with Radio 4 listeners for production teams and listeners. This is largely true of other BBC networks where sms/mms and voice of course is still the default techique for user contributions used widely across R1, 2 and 5Live.
However this particular set of responses and in a much more social context; the rather incredible Archers message board overseen crucially by a brilliant host) is an illustration that the usual doesn’t normally apply when you try to work with Radio 4 audiences.
Because in a small way the R4 listeners have shown here that they have the capacity to respond in intelligent, unexpected ways often confounding expectations. Again. Should have expected that really.
(NB: R4′s Feedback this week featured both Jill Burridge; the editor of Womans Hour responding to the listeners reaction to the Sharon Shoesmith interview (mostly via email as it happens) and a feature/interview with Whizz Bang Joan about her experiences on the Archers message board.)
"All of this, and the very smart move of putting those pics on his Radio 2 blog, surely means that Evans will now inherit Wogan's throne"
Nicely done by Dale. Leaves a generous apology by posting to a West Brom fans forum having monitored the reaction to his appearance on Today last week discussing thatcher/golliwog row. (via TomWatson)
"BBC Radio 4’s controller Mark Damazer has started a blog to explain how the radio station operates behind the scenes and to find out what listeners like and don’t like."
"This success, for which Auntie deserves our congratulations, is a testament to Britain's continuing national appetite for quality public service broadcasting"
"The basics of my job revolve around links and I will keep linking and linking and linking. Linking out needs to be seen as a valuable editorial thing that people do as part of their jobs, as valuable as for example writing a news story."
"While interviewing Wale on his show last Saturday, Semtex noticed that the Mark Ronson protege had Twittered, "Am i the only artist who hates doin interviews??"
Screenshot of Tweet by Befnee/Bethany Vaughan.
(I was going to actually do this as a presentation but because of the weather. I ended up doing it as a (very long) blog post instead. Bear with me.)
So I’ve been playing with various formats to try and represent and reflect, from what is already out there how users respond when they listen in real time to Radio. Now there are of course, for the BBC’s output at least, regular mainstream print reviews which serve to highlight interest in programmes in the past. Yet, as with Television, print media (broadsheets, the political weeklies, the sundays) now focuses primarily on fairly anodyne previews of programmes in the future and considered reviews are are now in retreat, from what was a fairly low base to start with. The handful of reviewers, now left, pretty much work on a weekly 7 day review cycle with one or two honourable exceptions. So this means that, podcasts aside, by the time they’ve generated interest in something; you’ve probably only hours left before that iPlayer 7 day window closes. In a speech in November 2007 to the Radio Academy, the Controller of Radio 4; Mark Damazer chose to highlight how speech radio struggles to attract attention.
Compared with television, Mr Damazer said, “Serious radio simply gets too little coverage.” He added that serious newspapers had failed to cover Radio 4′s output – exemplified by the Sunday Telegraph’s decision under its former editor, Patience Wheatcroft, to abandon its weekly radio column. However, he admitted that Radio 4 needed to up its game in terms of marketing its programming.”Or perhaps we are too shy,” Mr Damazer added. “I have, on occasion been amazed by what we’re able to do, only to find that I had not known about a particular jewel in advance and thus was unable to even organise trails to alert the audience.” He gave as examples a two-hour Classic Serial adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls featuring Michael Palin, and an afternoon play staring Helen Mirren, broadcast after her Oscar success with The Queen.”We’re trying to do better and I challenge the serious newspapers to do likewise,” Mr Damazer said.
Unfortunately its unlikely that we’ll ever again be able to rely on the press to market some of the “jewels” that Mark Damazer talks about here hidden in amdist the wealth of BBC Radio output. So what are the ways we could try online to increase discovery of the rest ? Now thanks to the pioneering work at the BBC of the likes of Dan Hill (who pretty much wrote the book on this in his blog post Ripples and the Social Life of a Broadcast in 2004) , Gavin Bell and Tom Coates nearly five years ago, then we do have the right infrastructure in place that starts to build products that make this possible. On demand BBC radio of course thanks to podcasts, universal broadband and BBC iPlayer, but also in the last few years the permanent link to our programmes that enable referencing of discussion around an object. And now that we have a mobile real time web combined with services such as Twitter going mainstream. then i thought it would be interesting to see how to construct some sort of sense out of that blizzard of short messages, shared links, and announcements.
So having just read this I thought I’d take a fairly random day. Saturday January 31st and track and curate tweets about BBC Radio adding in extra info such opportunties to listen to the shows referenced. I’ve also annotated various sections with extra information about, for example other BBC announcement twitter bots or other BBC presenters using Twitter.
Things i was mulling over. Could or should this be done after the event around, lets say, Radio 4 ? (see this one I prepared earlier for Radio 4 on Saturday November 22nd). Does picking out tweets like this work better in real time like for example the techniques that BBC News now use regularly for major events such as Obama’s inauguration where they take tweets, blog posts and emails and weave them into real time updates. (inspired obviously by the Guardian’s original live text for football matches.). Probably both I’d say…
Anyway its time to begin. So lets start at appropriately enough, just after midnight.
This has been a quieter Friday/Saturday night for DJ Semtex (He has a couple of shows a week for 1xtra ) who as The Guardian reports in the morning had a difficult experience the previous weekend with a DC MC called Wale who had been posting negative tweets live whilst Sem was in the middle of a show.
“It probably isn’t a good idea for an artist to post tweets like that while they’re being interviewed – but there’s no beef and I will continue to support Wale,” says Sem, who adds that he’s a firm fan of this method of social networking. “The experience is far more intimate,” he points out. “You can follow the instant thoughts of your favourite artist, which is brilliant, as long as they remember that several thousand people are watching 24/7.
- 1.01am Radio 3 Text Live / bbcradio3live “Through the Night – Radio 3′s night-time service broadcasting Classical Music throughout Europe.”
- 5.20am Charlotte Green Bot/ CharBotGreen“Starting now on Radio 4: Shipping Forecast #pid:b00h3h4k http://www.bbc.co.uk/progra…
- 6.00am Shipping Forecast bot / ShippingCast “FrIlse, Froes Sly or SEly, bec. cyclnc in Froes l8r, 6 2 gale 8, occ sev gale 9. V.ruff or hi. Rain or sqly shwrs. Mod or pr”
Tweeting away overnight are many unofficial and several (mostly R&D) radio related announcment bots. Radio 3 Live Text and now Radio4Live port the text/data more commonly seen via DAB or Freeview and both recently cranked into action thanks to @njh. The relatively new CharBotGreen (geddit ?) was developed by @libbymiller using the feeds supplied in programmes/developers/. (Libby has just posted a detailed tech explanation here of how it was done) Its brother bot, perhaps, is Shipping Cast. This feed, using Met Office data, is a lovely thing that similarly turned up a few weeks back and @timd explains on his blog how it was put together.
One of the first I made was @shippingcast, which takes the UK Shipping Forecast and squirts it out onto the web in a Twitter stream.Unless you’re British, the Shipping Forecast probably doesn’t mean a lot. It’s one of those curiously English anachronisms – four times a day, the BBC broadcasts weather forecasts for offshore shipping areas [RealAudio link] on Radio 4 (the BBC’s main “highbrow” speech station). The waters around the British Isles are divided into areas, and the whole thing follows a strangely poetic format. There’s an entire generation of Brits who have never left dry land, but can recite “Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth” as if they know what it means.
Tim Duckett: twittering the shipping forecast
But back with real people:
- 8.39am r4today / Today/R4 team “Listen to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales discusses the more controversial entries of the online encyclopedia. http://is.gd/hTkP “
R4Today is one of several BBC related team accounts including the 4th floor (Radio 1),and BBC 5 Live, tweeting from studios or offices and giving an insight into putting a radio network on air. (My non BBC favourite if you want a flavour for this behind the scenes/overheard stuff is the excellent Channel4News)
And talking of the Shipping Forecast another recent Twitter convert is Radio 4 announcer Zeb Soanes but unfortunately for my rather contrived day in the life his first tweet of the day isn’t for another 11 hours. (shopping). Damn. So I’ll have to seek out a smattering of other twitterers who at , 8am are starting to wake up or start to plan their day. (with Radio in the background).
- 8.40am John Markham /JFMarkham “Listening to Kermode’s 5 Live film reviews, while daughter watches Postman Pat! | Mark Kermode
- 8.42am Mark Brown/THXII38 “made a caffitieree of coffee, put radio 4 on, trying to wake up.”
- 9.04am tommyogden “Saturday morning in Turnpike Lane, Radio 4 and tea. We played board games til 04.00, eek. Empty Set practise now, before heading to town.”
- Early Morning Official Coldplay Twitter / Coldplay “on my way to pick up chris to go into radio 2. chris is playing a couple of tracks for Jonathan Ross. will give update when we arrive. p”
- 9.06am Jon Holmes /jonholmes1 “Off to radio 4′s loose ends to interview a man about his book even tho’ I haven’t read his book. Wonder if there’s a Brodie’s Notes?” | Loose Ends
Of course the last two tweets are from people getting ready to head towards Broadcasting House in central London. More on @wossy in a bit but comedian and radio presenter; Jon Holmes has a busy day ahead. He’s recording Loose Ends at lunchtime (its broadcast later in the day) and then his live show on Six Music this afternoon. at 2pm. Needless to say he had a few Tweets offering him help and he finished the book in question on the train. (The interviewee was in fact; Brian Viner about his v.fine book on seventies sporting TV.)
- 9.38am David Stansfield /David_E14 “Going to the Maldives soon and just heard a programme on Radio 4 describing fleas that lay eggs in your foot. In the Maldives. Typical :-\” | Probably Saturday Live
- 10.23am Cressboy /Dave Spellman “Radio 4 discussing photographs of Pendle Hill and they are using one of mine on the Excess Baggage web site without crediting me! buggers” ( Its now been credited at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/excessbaggage/ )
- 11.24am Clarer / “listening to Wossy on Radio 2 – great to have him back”
- 11.28am Jonathan Ross/ Wossy “Am doing radio show with alan carr. We are just about to talk about twitter” | Jonathan Ross
We’re now half way through Jonathan Ross’ show on Radio 2 and although there are plenty of tweets from listeners in anticipation; Wossy’s just tweeted for the first time today. In true “meta” style. Its about twitter of course and his impending chat with, according to the papers, future R2 presenter Alan Carr. Carr has 10,000 followers on Twitter yet follows nobody. Unlike Ross who follows and @replies like there’s no tomorrow. He’s due to tweet a further 100 times this weekend most of them replies to listeners or viewers of his weekend programmes. Wossy’s brief mention of their twitter chat is then re-tweeted dozens of times and there is a constant stream of other listeners tweeting quotes and incidents from the show. The steady volume of these also means that services that track the most popular keywords used on the service in real time like search.twitter.com or twitscoop.com start to show up first “Wossy” and then “Radio 2″. in their top ten lists or tag clouds. UK terms rarely show up there, but BBC radio related terms will stay there for the rest of the day.
- 11.58am Daniel Bennett/ Dan_10v11 “One for @darrenwaters. Twitter’s just got a mention on Radio Five’s Fighting Talk in ‘any other business’.” | Fighting Talk
- Late Morning NatNav /Tristan Gooley “Just emerged from a chat with John McCarthy on Excess Baggage, Radio 4. Very nice man.” | Excess Baggage
- 12.13pm RobbieFowlerfan “Listening to Danny Wallace on 6 music, he’s played Beirut, The Strokes, and I’m sure this is a Patti Smith song, he’s won me over music-wise” | Danny Wallace
Jonathan Ross’ show is now over but he’s still tweeting and he’s posted a picture of Chris Martin from inside the Radio 2 studio to his Wossy twitpic account. But now the focus shifts to Radio 1. Asian Network DJ; Nihal who also has a weekend show on Radio 1 has just started his show.
His producer;Chris Cox is a recent Twitter convert and they are trying out using it alongside their usual interaction with listeners via text and email.
- 12.56pm Nihal A/ TherealNihal “Not long till the show, tag any messages with #nihal if you want to interact, myself and Producer Chris @bigcox will be tweeting on air.”
- 12.58pm Chris Cox /bigcox “hello from the studio. Today’s question for the first bit of the show is “The best bargain I’ve ever got was” remember your name & #nihal”
- 1.19pm Jonathan Ross/wossy “Chris martin on radio 2 ! http://twitpic.com/19k91
- 1.23pm Chris Cox / “some great responses guys… keep them coming and tell your fellow tweeters #nihal”
- 1.32pm Stephanie Hallsworth DarkAngelMJH “#nihal I would buy another horse and a house with lotza land for them!plus sports car lol.steph from Manchester”
- 1.40pm Chris Cox / bigcox “twitter mention coming up guys #nihal”
And now, in admidst the dozens of retweets for Chris Martin’s picture and plugs for that song about Jonathan (the one that mentioned Fawlty Towers) that encouragement by Producer Chris and Nihal over on Radio 1 in soliciting live feedback and queries via Twitter and crucially quite a few reminders to use the hash tag #nihal meant that in amidst superbowl, iphone and davos is weekend Radio 1 DJ Nihal. Who’d have thought it ? Or more likely it shows that for these trending stats then you need fairly low volumes (about 100 tweets in quick succession tagged correctly pretty much).
http://search.twitter.com/ 2pm, Jul 31st 2009.
http://twitscoop.com/ 2pm Jul 31st 2009
And then briefly (see above) Nihal was the #1 trending word across Twitter. Some gaming going on there obviously and I’ve no idea how robust Twitscoop is but clearly a small visual illustration of the power of radio to engage listeners online. (in this case er, collectively upstaging the word Pee ?. No I don’t know either.) For more examples of how the BBC are experimenting with visual representation of users texts/interaction in real time then see the series of blog posts about the BBC’s recent visual radio trial.
The challenge there is of course how do you capture what can be thousands of texts and emails being received in real time when producing a two hour radio show. The fascinating thing about Twitter is of course the permanence. The links are still there years later so piecing together January 31 2009 through BBC radio tweets is entirely possible. Not sure if its advisable but it is possible. Put that together with most of the listening being on demand and you could, for example with podcasts, simulate online that social listening that downloads have obviously fragmented.
And so Saturday goes on. In a parallel Radio 1 universe; early morning DJ Greg James is also logged into Twitter, replying to listeners and enthusing about his recent appearance on Pick of the Week.
- 2.35pm GregJames replies to a dozen tweets including @heathandy hello mate – nice of you to stop by…Getting the hang of this twitter business!
- 2.42pm “@FrazJ i think i might do a live twitter from the surgery”
- 2.44pm GregJames “@jmlares career highlight. So many of my parents friends heard that.Old people love a bit of Pick of the Week!”
- 3.07pm Chris Cox/bigcox “http://twitpic.com/1a606 – Nihal singing mid link to songsmith stuff on air”
- 3.12pm Richard Tunstall / rtunstall “Another rehearsal completed! This time for our final appearance on Radio 3 ‘The Choir’ Live special programme at 6.30 on Sunday”
- 3.13pm Natcast “Sir David Attenborough on BBC Simon Mayo Podcast: www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcast… CAUTION: Creationists may find the content offensive.”
And as the sun sets in case you’re thinking that this is all Radio 1/2 flavoured, there are also a steady number of tweets through the afternoon talking plays, opera and speech.
- 3.57pm Dan Wilson/WilsonDan “Brilliant Pownall play on Radio 4 with Stalin, Prokofiev & Shostakovitch: http://tinyurl.com/sqk2“
- Late Afternoon Dave Langton/foxonthedocks “Just listened to a Radio 3 doc about Stockhausen while the mother-in-law was out for a walk. Didn’t want to give her the screaming abdabs.” | http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00h3y7r
As i start to run out of steam so naturally do tweets. Radio audience falls sharply in the evenings anyway and tweets start to slow. Even the brilliant live event of the night; Elbow live on Radio 2 is now not a one off occasion and has been available to view via Red Button and online over the past week. There has naturally been more discussion about this on twitter post the actual “live” event. And then it ends.
- 9.03pm Martin Smith/ martinsmith “feels old… saturday night listening to Elbow on the wireless (radio 2)” | Elbow with the BBC Concert Orchestra
Screenshot of Tweet by Ickledot.
(and goodnight from him. Yet more on twitter and radio broadcasters to come. I bet you can’t wait.)
"auntiepathy (auntee-pathee) n. Ingrained tabloid hostility towards the BBC."
Manifesto from Nick Piggott "Let’s start by reminding ourselves that we have the most successful implementation of free-to-air digital radio anywhere in the world. There is no discussion, no set of statistics, no spin that can deny that fact. "
"As a matter of course, public servants should be active in online peer support forums concerned with their areas of work, be it education specialists in parenting forums or doctors in health forums. Public bodies should investigate and publish lists of the major forums and other discussion sites within their areas of responsibility and engage with these following a published plan". Well yes.
"everyone can occasionally manage a good short observation, aphorism or joke." Even the Spectator can summon up some mild enthusiasm for Twitter .
"The medium refuses to atrophy: we remain in thrall to a form of entertainment born when corsets were whalebone and horses pulled the plough. "
"Radio is not a medium where reviewers are very heavily PR'd: the odd Proms invite, plus gratis canapes, is as much as we can expect."