A few months back, I babbled in Mixed Media about this Internet radio show thing I’ve been doing. Well, I’ve been doing it for a bit longer than just a few months, but that’s not really here or there So what the hell am I talking about?
Well, there is a little bit of a long story attached, but I will spare you, and give you the basics.
LUG Radio Live was a bi-weekly podcast that Darkliquid and I listened to quite avidly. The presenters talked about Linux and other geekery/ sillyness in a frank manner that we found highly appealing. When they announced they would be ending the show, Dark and I thought it would be fun to do our own podcast. About the same time, a good friend of ours, Lorcian (not real name) who was already involved in an Internet radio station, contacted us to say his station managers wanted a general geeky show and were we interested? We said yes.
A year or so later, just when we were going strong, we got told our station was closing. Lorcian, myself and Crace (Dark having dropped out), kinda looked at each other and unanimously decided we liked doing our show too much to just give up. So we made our own station, g3-radio.net.
Yes, but what exactly does this whole ‘Internet radio’ thing mean
? I hear you ask.
Basically: we talk at microphones, you press a ‘listen’ button, and the imps that run the intertubes make you able to hear what we say, and the songs we play. Obviously it’s a lot more complicated than that, but I’m not exactly a technical person...But how is that different to a podcast?
Most pod- and vidcasts are prerecorded, feature little to no musical content and last for around an hour. On the other hand, Internet radio is live, with a couple of music tracks played at least every half hour. Our shows generally last for three hours, barring technical hick-ups. We are also able to interact with our listeners via our chat-room (#g3-radio) hosted by the lovely Geekshed.net, and occasionally get calls via skype, all this while live and broadcasting.What happens on the shows?
Content can vary from presenter to presenter, but we’ve tried to keep the whole geek and sillyness theme, with various subtleties. For instance Hagley and Wright on a Tuesday Night take a musical twist to their shows, with interviews from bands just starting out, whereas Mr_Potz’s Geekfest on a Wednesday sticks to gadget and gaming news, and my own show on a Friday is more chilled, with wellness tips and ‘happy’ news.
As I said, the general theme of the station is geekery in all it’s forms, as well as providing interesting and illuminating conversation in general, with an overall light-hearted feel. Now I come to think of it, it’s like a radio version of this site...
But that’s not all. From time to time, we pack up our various studios and take them elsewhere to broadcast. The most notable of these is the Multiplay Insomnia
gaming events, where we broadcast right from the site of the event.What about the music though, is that legal?
Yes. We had to apply for 2 different licences from two different companies, PPL and PRS, to broadcast non-original music in the UK. We also have to submit reports stating how much music we’ve played, and how many listeners we have every month. Technically we’re not supposed to be accessible outside the UK, and though we do our legal duty, there is no way to prevent people from other countries listening in for that is simply the nature of the interwebs So what’s this ‘content’ stuff?
Simply put, it’s what we talk about, or do when the music isn’t playing. We each have our own sources - Google, personal experiences. Some of us have sung, or played instruments. I occasionally read short stories I’ve written. As I said, there are roughly five links (points where we’re talking) in each show which amounts to two and a half hours, which is a lot of time to talk if you don’t have anything resembling a topic, and that is where content comes in. I spend a couple of hours before each show finding things to talk about and making myself a prompt list. One thing I’ve learnt is you can never have enough content. Even if you think you have too much and you’ll never get through it all, get more because if you’re flying solo you’ll burn through it in no time.But why do it? D’you get paid? It sounds like a lot of work...
Didn’t I mention - We’re all volunteers. In fact that’s one of our taglines: by the community, for the community. We expense out some of the really expensive show stuff from our donations, but that’s as far as it goes with money to the staff. We made a vow at the very start that all our accounts would be publicly accessable, so if you donate, you can see exactly
where you money goes.
I can’t lie, it is
a lot of work; Playlists to make, content to find, requests to process, technical gremlins to exorcise. Even more so if you’re a manager like myself (Herding cats anyone?)
But the adrenalin and endorphins you get from presenting a really good show, and the kick you get from that one person who emails to say thanks. The listener who comes back time and time again, or that one guy in chat who always says, ‘no, stay on a little longer’... That
is what makes all the work you do so very worth it.Think all this sounds pretty awesome?
Then tune in! We have a really great community developing, and new presenters joining all the time. Speaking of which, take a look at the schedule
for our other presenters and their shows. Or think the whole presenting gig sounds up your street? Then drop an email to email@example.com
and we can figure something out. If you do listen in, give a wave in our chatroom, and you’re more than likely to get a shout-out. And if you like what you’re hearing drop us a line to say so, or better still, consider donating some money
Those licenses ain’t cheep...Dru is the Administration and Assistant Manager, as well as a presenter of two shows, on G3 Radio. She is also a long time member of the Spacefem forums. Want to get in touch? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org