watching radio

April 12, 2013

Some of the most compelling television I have watched in recent years has been radio… And if that’s not scenic enough for you, I don’t know what is.

Stay with me.

Radio visualisation is everywhere now. From Radio 1 to Five Live to the Today programme, cameras in radio studios now mean that we can regularly drop in online and see the faces that go with the voices.

What makes it so compelling to me is that radio is a fantastic communication medium. It is all about storytelling, conversations and music. It’s always acutely aware of it’s audience. Radio talks to you. The cameras merely offer us a glimpse behind the scenes, while radio carries on doing what it does.

Unlike television, radio talks to us while we can get on with other things. Television and video demand our full attention. We can have news or music TV on in the background for the sound, but we have to stop what we are doing to watch it. With radio you can engage in the story or the conversation while driving the car, doing the washing up or browsing the web.

Can this be a pointer towards more effective virtual or digital events?

We replicated some simple, but key elements of radio and used them as an experiment during a virtual event and guess what? It transformed the experience. It was immediately more engaging and focussed. It started speaking to the audience. Watching video on a computer is often a very different experience than sitting down to watch television. There are a lot of distractions. To make virtual events really work we need to look at them differently. Radio may well give us a clue or two.

Jinne Stiksma

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