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Series 2 - 5. Religion

Good Radio Club

Friday 12 June 2009, 12:45

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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This weekend sees the return of Good Radio Club, our experiment in 'social listening'. If you joined in last time you'll remember that it involves tuning in to a radio programme and discussing it with others while you listen. There's a blog post over on the Good Radio Club web site that explains how to participate so I won' t repeat it here.

But why social listening?

It's where radio's going. No one doubts that the singular and intimate experience of listening to the radio - voices and sounds from far away - will persist. But the collision of radio and the Internet is producing a kind of hybrid: personal and collective at the same time. Listeners will spend part of their time in the old radio bubble, alone with the voices they love, and part of it in this new social space, where they share those voices with others and contribute to a conversation about them.

We want to test ways of organising social listening. So far we've used the simplest of tools - most of which don't even belong to the BBC: Twitter and third party tools that allow you to search Twitter and find other listeners like Twitterfall, Tweetgrid and Twazzup (we're not endorsing these tools - there are others that do the same job). It must be the cheapest technology experiment in radio history!

We're looking for ways to bring the conversation about Radio 4 programmes back into the programmes themselves. Could we use questions and comments from Good Radio Club participants in the Q&A after a future Reith Lecture, for instance? Or could Twitterers influence the course of a drama?

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    Comment number 1.

    Can I start this off by saying how depressingly dull and predictable the 'News Quiz' is becoming. A couple of laughs in a half-hour programme at best. Really derivative material and a lack of enthusiasm in the guests.

    Sandi Toksvig is talented, but cannot rescue this show which should be put out of its misery. Sounds dreadfully 'scripted' and lacking in spontaneity.

    I cannot be the only one who thinks this, surely ? Just trying to put some sexy references in to make it sound 'edgy' just succeeds in showing up how hideously old-fashioned it all sounds. I'm not asking for 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks..' just something that is genuinely amusing, witty and funny.

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    Comment number 2.

    Hi LordbeddGelert This is a bit off. Not your rather robust views of The News Quiz.! but what on earth has this got to do with Steve's post about Good Radio Club. and Archive Hour/Reith Lectures (please join in by the way). You are a valued regular round Radio 4 blog towers. Please keep things to the matter in hand. Cheers.

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    Comment number 3.

    I think that you ought to engage with your existing message board community as well, Steve. After all, many posters have been posting about BBC Radio 4 programmes there for several years, even if they have been turfed off 'Today', 'Woman's Hour' and many other R4 programmes. Why the reluctance on your part? Do you feel out of control? Or can you not cope with the flak? Cheers (lightly roasted breakfast coffee)!



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Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.


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Find out about this year's panel and theme