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Radio Listeners Make

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Chris Vallance | 12:18 UK time, Thursday, 30 November 2006

What if an audience made it's own radio programme? That is in essence what is happening over at Blogspiel.de a fascinating new radio programme and website produced by Deutschlandradio Kultur. Although the site is in German (which I don't speak) I've been mesmerised by the idea since it was introduced to me at a conference in Frankfurt. Here's how it works: A community of users upload audio they've made to the site, the community then rates clips and the top rated clips each week go to make a weekly 30 minute radio programme broadcast on a national network.

What's really interesting is that there's no editorial direction given to the content, and although there are some guidelines on what may be posted for legal reasons, the wishes of the community are paramount; the top rated clip always gets into the programme.

I don't speak German so it's hard for me to judge the quality of the content that results, but the producer responsible for the site said they were very happy with what users had produced, and they have more than enough content submitted each week to fill the radio programme.

This is both an example of the wisdom of crowds and of the creativity of crowds. It's a brave step by the producers, but the unfiltered nature of the programme - the fact that it is an open space must result in some truly surprising outcomes. I think, personally speaking, that the best art is always surprising.

It lacks a sophisticated tagging and search function (including geographical tags) and the ability generate custom RSS feeds of searches - add that and you would have the ability to allow users to remix audio along themes and create their own 30 minute programme. It would also be interesting to see Deutschladradio producers jump in to the community and post "seed" bits of audio that others could remix or respond too.

But what a great site. Message to Santa - I want one of these.


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