I am going to let you in on one very abysmally kept secret: Most of you have little use for our site. (And for the purpose of this conversation, let’s leave “show,” as opposed to “station” website, out of it. That’s an entirely different kettle of fish to be served up later).
It’s all there in the industry’s journal. Read it as I weep:
Local pubcasters are failing to attract significant audiences to their online offerings, according to data collected by the Integrated Media Association and presented at the Public Television Programmers Association meeting this month.
Forgive me for being a little on edge. Too much caffeine. And we got our own Van de Graaff running full tilt here at 890 Commonwealth. Happens every fund drive. If you could harness all that nervous energy sparking and crackling throughout these warrens, you’d have the output of three Niagaras. Easily.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate (about the website, that is).
As the article observes, listeners have found little value of our site beyond “practical info.” The article mentions “schedule.” I think we can safely tack on the live stream as well.
As someone who has spent a good chunk of my professional career developing unique online offerings, I find this news more than a tad distressing. Should we feature one ginormous “listen” button on the homepage, go home, and leave it at that?
Today I Tweeted questions about why, by and large, many blogs featured on public radio station websites flop harder than IHOP flapjacks. A lack of an authentic authorial voice, says Paul Levy. It’s because people are listening in their cars, avers Matt Griffin. More engagement with other blogs, suggests Bev Barnett.
All sound eminently reasonable and fair—and yes, Bev, I am past due to visit some listeners’ blogs. Hope to make up for my tardiness this week.
Still, I am troubled by our lack of inroads online. Have we been been on a fool’s errand all these years?
Brace yourself, I plan on asking many, many more questions.
And I’m sure you will have plenty of answers.