Garrick is at MPR’s The Loop Tonight

I’ll be in the audience of tonight’s recording of MPR’s The Loop: Digital Divisions.

Hopefully I’ll see some you there as well.

My notes and thoughts from the event:

  1. All the chairs are filled. A good cross-section of Minnesotans. Far more diverse in age, background, and ethnicity than the last time I was here at MPR HQ.
  2. They made fun of the usual suspects – without any sense that the iPod is the same as the Walkman and the transistor radio before it, that text messages have a lot in common with telegrams, and that being transported to another world in books is somehow not exactly the same as Second Life.
  3. There were 100 people in the room. Maybe 10 were on mic for the 90 minutes we were there. Like the elderly gentleman next to me, I too, expected more of a discussion, less of a performance. It would have been more interesting to actually have a discussion.
  4. Blah. Feels like an opportunity squandered.

Jesse Ross feels differently.

Huge thanks go out to Jeff Horwich (Host of In the Loop) for stopping by and leaving an excellent comment. I think there are some fairly simple ways to dramatically minimize the risks he identifies, while increasing the value of people attending the program. I’m reminded of Unconferences and the notion that:

“The sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of expertise of the people on stage.”

2 thoughts on “Garrick is at MPR’s The Loop Tonight

  1. I have to say, even though I thought it was fun, I don’t completely disagree with your sentiments.

    1. Totally agree here. I hadn’t been before, but it did seem like a good representation.
    2. Yeah, good point. Perhaps Apple’s choice of distinctive white earbuds is to blame for them being an easy target 😉
    3. I also think a true discussion would have been more interesting… but perhaps logistically a bit harder to have, due to the sheer number of people. Also, maybe that format would be a bit too far out from what is typically expected of a radio show (not a bad thing from my perspective, but could be harder to sell to the higher ups)?
    4. Maybe in this case… but they take recommendations and suggestions, so let’s push them to make it even more interactive.

  2. Hey guys. Glad to have you both not only there, but responding to the show. (Wondered who that was with the Mac in the back row — blog away, I say!) Of course we appreciate Jesse’s review . But Garrick makes some good points, and we need that too. I might go point by point as well:

    1. We’re trying to do what we can for a diverse audience — ages, backgrounds, incomes. I’m glad for the progress we’re making there.
    2. True enough. iPods are easy targets…not just because of the earbuds but because of their sheer ubiquity…which also meant we got lots of suggestions from people our network suggesting we had to at least give a nod to it. (You’ll notice tonight, though, that we had to cut the iPod stuff to fit the show into an hour.) Interestingly, we had a rough idea to attend to these historical comparisons…but it kind of lingered without a format, and other ideas filled up the show (and then some).
    3. You’re on to something here, though Jesse’s response is also very close to the truth. A true discussion is our goal, at least for a portion of the show…but we have found it is also very difficult to pull off as good radio — Hence the reason you don’t hear it very often outside of community radio stations. The value as a listening product can be quite low, and it’s extremely difficult to edit into something that feels coherent to someone who was not in the room. We’re trying to just get better at it each time — as it is, we go farther than any other program I can think of (how many actually push beyond having audience members just ask questions of some big-shot guest?). In the six shows we have done in the Forum the audience segment has always been kind of a wild-card — not surprisingly, because an audience on any given night is a complete unknown. So it’s hard to plan the show around it. As a result, we try stack the show with other strong content, while we maintain the audience involvement as a staple of the show whose formula we are still working on. Seriously: We deeply value any constructive criticism on this.
    3a. One other thought: A lot of our interactivity happens on the front-end, in planning and discussing the show with our community. This isn’t so evident in the Forum as the show tapes, but it’s very important.
    4. Hmmmm…..well, we think we’ve got a radio show on the way tonight, which is the top-line goal (for us, our listeners, and those bosses Jesse mentions). And with luck, we’ve got many more to continue getting better (and, no doubt, return to variations on this kind of eternal technology-and-society theme).

    Sorry for the length! I had some time to kill while our assistant producer rolls the show into our system for the evening broadcast. But thanks again for both of you for joining us. Love to hear from you any time and I’m happy to continue this discussion.

Comments are closed.