Tag Archives: internet radio

Solution is advertising!

23 Aug

I’ve made some posts lately about the struggles of keeping an internet radio program up and running, as well as free for listeners by pleading for donations.  I really hate doing that, and while I greatly appreciate the handful of people that have responded, we felt we needed a better solution, especially since we’ve had some equipment failures lately too.

So what did we come up with?

Advertising.  But, it’s still advertising with a difference, as well as with a look back to old time (pre-television) radio programs.  Remember how the old time hosts would say something about their sponsor’s products during the program?  It’s the same concept.

We’ve just modernized it.  It’s low cost, we’re debuting the concept at just $20 per “mention”, making it affordable for everyone from new independent authors that want to get the word out about a book launch to someone sponsoring a program segment in lieu of a traditional (and somewhat mundane) birthday card.  It’s also a bargain, considering that the Dawn of Shades has over 250,000 logged in listeners each week, with the numbers steadily increasing.

This way, instead of just getting a thank  you for donating, it becomes a totally different beast as an actual purchase of advertising.  For businesses, it then becomes an actual business expense too.

It’s just a short piece that will be read by the host (almost always me!) on the air, and there are only four slots per program available, so once they are gone…they are gone.  There is also only one discount available, and to receive that, you would have to be a member of the group on Facebook.  (It’s a closed group, but all legitimate appearing accounts are granted membership.)  The group is found here, if you are interested.

The same program is available for Greg’s show, the Voice of the People, on Saturdays too.

There are a few rules.  We won’t lie and say we use/endorse something if we really don’t have a clue.  We can’t advertise illegal items. We also cannot advertise porn websites or shady commercial ventures with offshore businesses.  You can only advertise a website if you own the domain too, except for a few exceptions such as Amazon & other familiar retailers selling books, audio recordings, videos, etc.  (Indie authors & artists, as well as more traditional writers/musicians, all use these sellers.)  You can promote a cause, but we also will not accept one that advocates illegal actions, such as overthrow of the government, etc.

We will only accept payment via PayPal.  It’s easy and secure for both parties, as well as a minimally difficult process for everyone.  There are deadlines too–we can’t arrange for an ad during the last hour before we go on the air!  We have to agree on the message, vet the website, etc. before the advertisement is accepted.  A particular slot is never guaranteed before payment is received either.

Want more information or to buy a slot for yourself?  It’s easy–just email me at giascott at exogenynetwork.com!

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Spittin’ in the wind

12 Aug

Well, the cable company was even less patient than I’d hoped.  They hit us this morning with a cut off.

Thankfully, courtesy of the donations we’d received, we were able to pay the minimum payment to keep it on for now.  So…even though we were $75 short of paying the whole bill, we have internet for a while longer.

We didn’t get much response, compared to the number of listeners we have.  I guess I would have been inspired by more response, even if the response came without a donation, but…that’s the way it is.  We haven’t even gotten any response on the poll we posted on a previous post on this blog.

I really need a bit of encouragement.  So does Greg.  

In the middle of all of this, our little feist was failing fast after another stroke, and she passed away early Saturday morning.  Granted, she was very good at annoying people, and not very nice to most of them, but we loved the little dog anyhow.  The show Saturday evening was tough for Greg on the heels of digging his little buddy’s grave.  She was a “daddy’s girl” dog, and they were especially close.  Despite having other dogs, we are still depressed over losing her.  Our dogs are like our four legged children, I guess.

But…with all of that aside, I’m done begging for donations.  It was a very difficult thing for me to do anyhow, and I didn’t like it.  Beggars also have a tendency to suddenly become invisible, and that’s the last thing I wanted.  We’re going to have to consider alternatives to the donation method of funding, that’s obvious.  We’re exploring those avenues now, and it will likely result in advertising, sponsors or pay-per-listen for the podcasts.   Maybe something will come up, but I’m leaving that to the Universe.  If we’re meant to stay on the air, we’ll find funding somewhere.  If not, well…we won’t be.

It’s kind of like spitting into the wind, you never know what will happen for sure.  You might get a face full, and then again…maybe you won’t.

In the meantime, the next month’s worth of shows are coming to you courtesy of Steven and Elaine, our benefactors.  I’m very grateful that they donated.

Does anyone hear?

8 Aug

Yesterday, I swallowed my pride and admitted we are at the end of the rope.  We have a short time to figure out how to pay the internet connection bill before it is cut off.

I haven’t heard from anyone indicating that they even care that the shows are looking at possibly coming to an end.

Out of over half a million listeners, surely someone cares whether or not we continue doing the programs?

I had scheduled a series featuring Native American writers and I am genuinely excited about the series, but I’m also genuinely afraid we won’t get to do all 9 programs we had planned.

We still need a miracle, but it isn’t a huge miracle.  It shouldn’t be impossible to have it happen either.

All we need is a very small number of fans who care enough to contribute about what it costs to go buy one fast food meal to make an equivalent donation via Paypal.

That means if just a dozen people, less than is usually standing in line at lunch time to buy that burger and fries, to donate $10 each…and we’ve bought more time to stay on the air.

Just twelve.

Twelve seems like an awful lot right now, with the deadline breathing down my neck.  Twelve seems impossible when you don’t even have a single donation yet.  Twelve seems like a vast number when it seems as though no one seems to really care whether we’re on by the end of the month or not.

Do you honestly enjoy independent talk shows like we do?  Do you look forward to the programs?  Do you ever download one to listen on your mp3 player while you are doing something else?  How many hours of entertainment have the programs given you?  Has it broadened your horizons?  Introduced new & interesting ideas?  Made you laugh?

Isn’t that worth something?

At this point, even a comment or email indicating you appreciate what we do is better than nothing.  At least we’d know we’d not wasted our time entirely.  Instead, so far we have had nothing more than stony silence.

Help make a difference.  Be the first to donate.  You don’t have to drop us an email, we’ll appreciate you anyhow.

If you want to be that first donor, use Paypal and just send it to giascott (at) exogenynetwork.com

I’ll even thank you on the air (unless  you prefer to remain anonymous).

A cry for help

7 Aug

Sad stories are a dime a dozen these days.  It seems that everyone is telling one.  That’s part of why I hate to start on ours.

But, it is necessary, there is a lot at stake.

For years, Greg & I have paid for the expenses of the radio programs we host.  We have had some very much appreciated donations along the way, but the truth is…they are few and far between.  Years of donations, if lumped together, would cover a single month of expenses.  We don’t spend a lot of time soliciting donations though, and we certainly don’t hire someone to do it for us, unlike major charities.

The truth of the matter is, despite having a new series of shows featuring Native American writers scheduled to start on August 13th, we’re looking at it all coming to an end in less than two weeks.

We are looking at a shut off notice for non-payment for internet access if we don’t come up with $120 by then.  We couldn’t pay the bill last month.

To us, it looks like a vast number.  We’ve had our fair share of “bad luck” lately.  Greg had a major heart attack in the spring, resulting in a long hospital stay, as well as expensive medication, weekly blood tests, and regular doctor visits—all of which are financially challenging.  We couldn’t afford his medicine last month.  We couldn’t afford mine either, but I did have a month’s worth of one medication on hand.

We’ve also had mechanical break downs.  Our primary vehicle is broke down and its tags are now expired, rendering it undrivable on two fronts.  Our lawn mower sputtered out.  We’re having electrical problems with the house.  The mini-van we’re driving is worn out, the a/c doesn’t work, and the suspension system soon has me in agony.  Our badly needed all-in-one scanner/printer/fax machine died this week.

Everything has drained our resources.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re treading water as fast as we can.  But there is no choice, we have to have donations or we’re facing going off the air.  We just can’t cover this bill.

Here are some numbers, just to show how many people do listen.

Last week, on the Dawn of Shades, we had over 260,000 listeners log in to listen to the program.  It was another record setting audience, but that’s just about every week.  We seem to have more and more listeners each week, and that tells me that I must be doing something right.

Greg has about 400,000 listeners log in each Saturday to listen to the Voice of the People.  He must be doing something right too.

That means that roughly 660,000 people are listening to us each week.  Free.  More people listen by downloading or streaming the archived show, and others listen when the shows are re-run on the network.  It’s all free, too.

We have no sponsors, no advertising revenue, and we’re not paid by the station either.  We not only don’t make a living doing it, we don’t even make a starving doing it—we receive no funding from anyone to support what we do.  Because of the station’s rules, we are not even able to ask for donations on the air.  We can only do so through our blogs and websites.

We pay for the radio programs.  We do occasionally ask for donations, but we have never counted on them before.  Right now, it’s critical that we get those necessary donations though.  Even though we’re crippled by being restricted from asking on the air, we are asking all of our most loyal listeners to “show us some love” by helping us stay on the air.

We aren’t asking for a lot.  We know that a lot of our listeners can’t afford to donate and are struggling to just stay afloat too.  All we’re asking is for you to give up the equivalent of ONE fast food meal, just $5 or $10, and show us some support for what we do as an independent media outlet.  If you can afford it, donate more to make up for all of those listeners who are living on fixed incomes or can’t afford even a trip to a fast food joint.  Even a movie usually costs more.  Besides, your waist will not mind exchanging that cheap burger for a couple of hours of fun, interesting, and upbeat programming each week.

It’s easy to make a donation through Paypal.  Just go to www.Paypal.com and click on “send money.”  Then put in the amount, and my email address, giascott at exogenynetwork.com (just replace the at with an @ and eliminate the spaces—spammers are everywhere!  Please don’t wait until the last minute—it takes about a week to move the money through Paypal and then into the bank to pay the bill.

Independent media outlets are important.  Programs you like and enjoy are also important.  Please support Exogeny Network’s programs today.

The Facebook Bubble

18 Apr

There are rumors flying that the Facebook bubble is about to burst, that it has exceeded its own growth potential, resulting in a speedy demise.

Maybe it has, and maybe it hasn’t.  I’m not an expert, but…I am smart enough to learn from the past.  That’s what history is for, isn’t it?

We have had a lot of bubbles related to the internet.  The dot com bubble burst some time ago.  MySpace, once the king of social networking, is pretty much history.  I have an account, but I have logged into it about twice in the last three years.  Even then, it was just to connect with someone who hadn’t moved on to Facebook, not because I cared about my own account.  I didn’t like it much, and I found it awkward and with an excessively youthful nature.  Facebook suited me better, with a more run of the mill air about it as Every Man and Every Woman took to it like ducks to water.  Now, I actually know some people who think the internet IS Facebook, never leaving its comforting pages to wander unfettered through the digital universe we have collectively created.

At the same time, people aren’t going to magically abandon Facebook unless something better comes along.  Google presented us with Google Plus, then disappointed many users as it adopted more and more features that resembled those of Facebook.  We hadn’t flocked to it for a Facebook replacement, we had flocked there to find something DIFFERENT.  Somehow, I think it may have failed to deliver what we were craving, although it does have some of the features people seek.

So what do people want?

That is the million dollar question really.  In general, among the people I have approached , they want some specific things:

Ability to connect with others with similar ideas/interests.

Ability to control how much information is made public.

Ability to integrate and yet separate their private and public personas.  (Yes, they are different!  We all have our pro side, and then we have the side who gets depressed, eats a quart of ice cream, a whole bag of chips, and vegs on the sofa for an entire weekend in their pajamas…featuring My Little Pony on the bodice.  Do we really want our co-worker and clients s to see our angst?)

The ability to share things, especially cute kittens and political  memes.  Oh, and their opinions, of course.  Often.  Without.  Thinking.

The real kicker is that it is hard to keep public and private separate, and yet it is very important.  More and more companies want to take a look at who you are on Facebook before..and after….hiring you.  There have been cases where they wanted the passwords as well, even before hiring you.  (Not sure how legal that really is, and I would object strongly, but desperation in this job market probably inspired many applicants to just give in.)  Law enforcement is looking harder at this information as well, and many people suspect that the government spies on us all continually through social media.  If so, I hope they enjoy the recipes and cute animal pictures  that litter my posts.  Oh, and MouseHunt, the one game that I keep on playing.

So, that big mysterious agency, which is called Big Undercover Liberty Limiting Special Host of Investigating Technicians (BULLSHIT for short) is watching our every tweet and post, whether its on Google Plus, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or Secret Text Updating Data Inside Technology (aka STUPID) status update in search of covert, illegal, or terrorist activities.  That’s a big job, and it’s an important one.  After all, not even the super snooping capabilities of the latest CARNIVORE government spyware program can detect and analyze the language used inside of a cute kitten meme.  They have even found it necessary to put undercover agents into the dating sites in search of terrorists and anarchists who are using these sites to find women to marry and then obtain legal status to continue their illegal activities in the United States.

Sure they are.

The US is notorious, world wide, for their strong stance against illegal entry compared to other countries.

And I have a couple of bridges for sale, one on each coast of the USA, been in the family for a long time…

Go try sneaking into Mexico, China, North Korea, or heck, even sneak into Iraq while  you are at it.  After you have your “vacation” they’ll send you home, free of charge, right?

Wrong.

But that’s okay, we’re okay with that.  Just like we’re okay with the way Facebook is going.  Never mind that we’re already suspicious of their marketing techniques and desires to use our names and images to promote other goods and services.  We’ll happily go along with it, until the rats all find another ship to jump to.  All we have to do is figure out which ship will be the one they choose, so we’re riding along with our own cheese store, right?

At least  we know what it won’t be.  It won’t be Yahoo, MSN, AOL, MySpace, or G+.  Will it simply fracture apart, as people opt to leave the ultra populated space for smaller, more intimate and more user-responsive versions of social media?

Actually, I think that’s what I would place my bet on.  As shifts occur in how we interact, obtain our information and entertainment, how we shop, and where we work, we’re going to see that continual evolution.  Chat programs, while now usually subscription based, are becoming increasingly popular, and often oriented to topic or demographic data oriented.  We want our information and written entertainment also delivered digitally, and that creates another mode of connection.

That makes me wonder.  What if Amazon introduced a social media program, one that allowed people to discuss types of products, literary works by genre, etc.?  Would we see the rise of that type of social media connection, one provided by the seller of goods as a way to encourage people to continue shopping via their website rather than to venture into the “real world” with all of its inconveniences, expenses and dangers?

Or maybe we’ll see the right wing control factor coming into play, and instead of corporations operating the social media, it will become a government sponsored, controlled, and monitored environment.  We’ll all be tagged with our personal data, preventing any more mysterious encounters, as well as encounters of the really dangerous sort that we’ve all heard about.

The ancient Chinese may have regarded “May you live in interesting times” as a curse, but it’s our mantra.  We do live in interesting times, and who knows how they’ll be regarded in the future.  Are we going to be immortalized in unrealistic works of fiction that equate this era to the Wild Wild West that really never was what the movies portray it as?

That could be too.  All I know is that we’re going to see changes, some from evolution, others from reactionary governments.  We’ll see how our data is delivered and censored change, as well as who delivers what will change.  The wild and utterly independent voices of today’s internet radio may be silenced in the coming years, as expenses continue to rise as economies continue to struggle.  We don’t know.

But, it will definitely be interesting to watch and find out, won’t it?

 

Music in America and the Dawn of Shades

1 Oct

Music in America.  It’s a really, REALLY big topic, and there is no way I could totally cover it in a mere 8 week series of programs, but…we’re taking a stab at it anyhow.  Eight weeks of musicians, with a healthy variety of genres.  Some have been busting their chops trying to get that big break, some have had that big break, and some have walked away from a big break.

So what’s the story behind the series?

Music is something that really touches the soul of  a person, and it forms an integral part of our culture and society.  It reflects current events, as well as holds our history.  It’s the backdrop to events, big and small.

What would the demonstrations of the 60s have been without the music that went with it?  Would America have been the same if Woodstock had never happened?  Songs take us back to a time and place we can never really visit again, and yet we are as much there as we were the first time…whether it’s that first kiss, a major event in our life, or whatever.  Everybody has a song that does that to them, what’s yours?

So what can you expect with the programs in the Music in America series?

Each program features an artist.  We’ll find out what they play and why.  We’ll talk, just like we’d talk if we were sitting down for a drink or a cup of coffee, and the audience gets to listen…and ask questions too!  It’s a full two hours to find out what makes that musician the person they are, the music the way it is, and why you should listen to them.  It’s also totally unlike anything anyone has ever done with musicians before.  Nobody sits and talks to musicians–we all ask them to play and that’s it.  Rarely do they get an opportunity to actually talk about what they do, who they are, and why they do what they do.

So…who can you expect to hear from?

Should I keep it a secret?

Nope, couldn’t keep it a secret, I’ve had too much fun getting it all put together, and it’s come together in a way that says the Cosmos is smiling down on my graying head with this project.  Each show has been booked in order, almost as if that’s the way they were meant to appear in some cosmic ordering of the universe in which we live.  The last program is the sole open program, and it has been offered to another artist, just waiting for their aye/nay reply on whether they are available on that date.

So we start off on November 15th, with Keith Secola, (website) and his unique blend of Native American music.

November 22, it’s Brett Wehmeyer, black metal artist/singer, owner of Runefire Records, recently relocated to the Lower 48 from Alaska, he’s now a Wisconsin resident.

November 29th, we’ll talk with Belle, a singer originally from Australia, now makes New York her home.

December 6, we’ll talk with Jonathan Jenkins, a guitar playing composer & singer who hails from Kalispell, Montana.  He also happens to have lost an arm when he was young, so he has a very unique take on being a musician and disabled.

December 13, it’s Robin Miller, a New Age instrumentalist with a lot to say about his music.  He’s also the only one on the list who has previously appeared on the Dawn of Shades.

December 20th, we’ll be talking with the Willow Family Band.  Willow is a busker from New Orleans, his wife is his percussionist and back up singer, they also play at various venues around the country besides setting up in Jackson Square regularly in New Orleans.

December 27th will find us talking with Buddy Cage, from The New Riders of the Purple Sage.  Buddy is probably the best known of the artists appearing, and has an established following since he replaced Jerry Garcia as the pedal steel guitarist.  He’s played with Bob Dylan and numerous other artists over the years, and has a long term look at the music industry as an insider.  With literally millions of records under his belt, he’s got a few tales to tell, I’ll bet!

January 3rd is still TBA…and that has to stay a secret until I have a confirmation.  Don’t hold your breath though, you will turn blue!

We’re going to play music from each artist, a minimum of two songs, which will let you hear a bit of what they do to better understand who they really are.  We’ll also include how to get their music–some are available via iTunes, others aren’t so easily purchased, and you will have to send a check or money order in to buy a cd, which is then shipped to you.  We’ll have all that information on the artist’s webpage, making it easy for everyone to find.

With all of that said, don’t forget to mark your calendars–you seriously do not want to miss this series, no matter what!

 

Music, musicians, interviews, and intimacy

11 Sep

Ever dream of sitting down with your favorite musician, having a cup of coffee, and just having a long conversation and finding out what made them tick?

Very few of us get that opportunity, we’re much more likely to watch from afar, as a part of screaming, squirming mass of fans at a concert or via television.  Yet all of those “big names” started off as artists performing in local juke joints, coffee shops, bars, and clubs.  More musicians perform in venues like that than perform before screaming masses of fans in big ticket venues.  I suspect that there are days when a lot of artists miss the days when they performed live several days a week to their handful of fans, although they may not want to give up the bigger paychecks they collect from the larger venues and recording contracts.

If you have ever listened to one of my radio programs or podcasts, you’ve listened to the casual coffee shop conversation style experience.  It’s a style that works well for me, and while the majority of the programs that I do have not been with musicians, the same sort of style will carry over to the musician programs.  I feel more at home with that style, and my own background with the rough and tumble bars of my own misspent youth, places like The Galloping Goose, Lindy’s, My Office, The Cowboy’s Cradle and Patsy’s Palace…are the same sort of places up and coming artists have played, often right after (or just before) the latest crop of down & out were featured.  I’ve heard some great musicians play in small time bars…and I’ve heard some that should have been barred from any close contact with a microphone too.

Music touches something in our spirit, in our souls.  It can make them soar, it can make our entire body throb, it can soothe us to sleep…or bring us to pounding ecstasy.  It’s pure magic, something nearly primal in some cases.

Many people, upon hearing that my radio program, the Dawn of Shades, is featuring a series of musicians in America, may question how it fits into the overall theme of the program and its connection with the paranormal.  C’mon!  What is more paranormal, more potentially magical than our connection with the magic of music?

So, after audience requests for “something different” we decided…we’d fly with the music over the end of the year.  That means 8 straight weeks of musicians, and while there is no way we can even begin to illustrate American music in 8 weeks of program, we can touch the subject and begin to find our connection between us, our souls, and music.

Come and join in, the more the merrier and the more magic we’ll share.  Find out about these 8 amazing musicians and their journeys.  Find out about the music, about the songs, and about what makes it all come together.  See the world through their eyes.  You won’t be sorry!

The series runs November 15th through January 3rd, from 7-9 pm Central.  Check out the schedule at www.exogenynetwork.com !