[Noisebridge-discuss] Noisebridge FM Radio

Johny Radio johnyradio at gmail.com
Wed Aug 28 08:38:18 UTC 2013

The fantasy of Noisebridge Radio is very alluring. "Noisebridge 
Radio"--- ah, i can hear the sound of angels from The Simpsons, mixed 
with the scream of a drill-press.

But, what do we really have to SAY? We're not really a "message" project.

I did a radio show for a year on an internet/pirate radio station. The 
station grew out of live audio streams from anarchist demonstrations at 
a Democratic National Convention in the 90's.

We had a dude driving a van around with the xmtr in the back seat. Which 
I expect had higher coolness factor than practicality. I mean, a xmtr 
driving around at street level could not be an easy signal to receive, 
unless you're in the next car over!

But Norm's proposal here is not internet radio nor pirate radio; 
licensed FM radio is a tight, regulated relationship with a Federal 
Agency. Is that really Noisebridge? No cussing allowed! Is that really 
Noisebridge? A licensed station takes a lot of organization. It takes a 
lot of work-- who at Noisebridge going to commit to making sure it gets 
done every day?

On our pirate station, when somebody missed their slot, it was no big 
deal. But an FM license carries a higher expectation of having no dead 
air, and delivering fresh content constantly. I think it would be 
challenging enough for Noisebridge to muster even a single radio 
program-- I don't see Noisebridge producing 8 hours of programming, 
every single day!

Noisebridge does not have a history or a culture of producing audio 
content. A few weeks ago I initiated a Noisebridge Spoken Word project. 
I recorded about 6 interviews of Noisebridgers, and I encouraged others 
to record interviews. Nobody did! I even made a page explaining how to 
do it:

Instead of trying to take on the administrative responsibility of 
operating our own licensed FM station, I think we need to demonstrate 
the capacity to produce a single, monthly, 15 to 30-minute program. I 
frankly will be amazed if NB manages to produce even just one of these.

What can we include our monthly show?

We can include my Noisebridge interviews, and recordings of performances 
by the hacked-instrument Noise Orchestra. But so far, I'm the only 
person i know of who has actually generated ANY audio content at 
Noisebridge! Let's not put the cart before the horse (or whatever is the 
latest trendy geek metaphor).

What else? We can do audio instructables, that would be cool.

But not spinning our favorite tunes played on non-hacked instruments-- 
what does that have to do with Noisebridge or hacking?

We can post our monthly program on our website. We can rebroadcast it on 
other community internet radio stations. We could distribute it through 
various national internet radio networks. That would be cool. We might 
be able to get a monthly slot at Mutiny radio (there might soon be a 
Noisebridger with a Mutiny slot who might let us get some Noisebridge 
airtime :)

If we really, really demonstrate that we can deliver daily content, we 
should do pirate radio. That's more appropriate for NB. Let's make a 
copter or balloon xmtr. Just kidding, that's silly and illegal, and we 
should never do that. So please don't talk about it on the list ever 
again. Besides, it's just totally unrealistic and unlikely, and we're 
too lame, so just forget about it. It's not gonna happen. End of story!

Now, what about our giant street-facing alphanumeric display, with a 
web-based message-entry form? That would reach hundreds of pedestrians 
on Mission every single day! Maybe it should be mechanical for better 
daytime visibility? Hopefully somebody will be inspired to work on this :)


Johny Radio

Stick It In Your Ear!

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