Internet & Radio day at the Berkman Center

Point: Today we’re focused on the relationship between the net and radio.  Chris Lydon, Dave Winer, Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Lewis Hyde, Jake Shapiro, JZ,
and other fellows and friends have gathered for our regular 4 p.m.
Tuesday fellows’ time.  Bill Buzenberg
of Minnesota Public Radio; Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company; Roger Kennedy, whose career describes description in a blog entry; and Vin Ryan, a long-time friend and
supporter of Chris Lydon and his good works, are special guests today,
among many others.  The idea is to figure out what a news
producer of a new kind of community-based conversation/show that is
Something Completely Different would do to merge, use, leverage,
whatever these two media.  Charlie Nesson has long felt that the
radio is the best broadcast medium for an international conversation,
with the internet as the feedback loop. Others see the two as more
melded, or converged, than that.  IRC, voice-chat, VoIP, sms, and
of course blogs are on the table. The primary point of agreement
so far is that we have to stop talking about having an “audience” for
any show.  It’s the BloggerCon un-conference idea turned into a
radio/net program.  The goal is to establish ever-extending
communities of conversations. Stay tuned…

Counterpoint: Seth Finkelstein, concurrently but from outside the
room and posting in the comments field, says we’re full of it: “Of
course there’s an audience. There’s 1-100 speaker slots, and an
unlimited number of listener slots. That’s just a mathematical fact.
Audience scales up, number of speakers does not.”

The hard question: So what
would make such a “show” different from what’s come before?  Is
it, as Ted Henderson says, that we can make a series of global
conversations happen that would otherwise simply not happen?

[Dave’s notes are doubtless more insightful than mine.]

6 thoughts on “Internet & Radio day at the Berkman Center

  1. FYI, if you want to use some recognized terminology, BloggerCon II was what’s known in fannish circles as a “relaxicon”. It’s very nice to have one, and kudos to all who made it happen, it’s heavy work. But it’s not exactly a revolutionary form of social organization either.

    Of course there’s an audience. There’s 1-100 speaker slots, and an unlimited number of listener slots. That’s just a mathematical fact. Audience scales up, number of speakers does not.

    Pre-emptively, when I point out the above, evangelists sometimes reply “What if you’re happy with just a teeny-tiny audience?”. And what if I’m not?

  2. In a room full of 100 people. 100 people talking at once. The speaking scales nicely. Not so the listening. You have to tell people near you to shut up so you can hear one person at a time.

    Same thing on the Internet. A million voices. But each person only has so much attention, only two ears, can only read or hear or watch one other voice at a time.

    This means we must choose. This means those systems create value that help us choose, that weed out chaf, that gist. Googles. Editors. Friends.

    Speaking scales. Listening doesn’t.

  3. All this talk of “the relationship between the net and radio” has roused my interest. So did anyone record it? And is the audio available?

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