It is now more than a year since CIDO FM radio went off the air. It is also about one year since Richard got the website up and running and posted the first video to YouTube. What have we learned in that year?
The Rolling Stones were right all those years ago – “What a drag it is getting old …”. When we started this project we foolishly declared an intention to post a new video every couple of days. We have more than 200 episodes of this stuff, and so it is not like we’re short of material. It has proven impossible to keep to that schedule. Various things keep getting in the way including illness and other life events. If we were younger, had more energy, and fewer responsibilities, we might have more time for such things. We hope that people will bear with us. Richard has not even had time to get the full list of all of the episodes up, though I continue to nag him from time to time.
The Internet loves Tom Petty – or zombies. When this all started I began with the Halloween episodes because I had no idea how to put images together and make a video to go with the radio show. I thought that there would be plenty of available material on a subject like Halloween. That proved to be correct. What I did not anticipate is that a relatively obscure album track from Tom Petty’s album “Full Moon Fever” would consistently generate about half the overall traffic that we get. I maintain that people are searching for zombies and stumble across this. Richard maintains that the traffic is not being generated in that way. Are people looking for Tom Petty? Who can say? When we get to the episode that we did for the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (episode number 205) we can compare.
Speaking for myself, I have no idea how this works. When you look at the number of views it is apparent that people do not consume this the way I assumed they would. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Why do people pick some clips and not others? As of the date that I write this episode 98a featuring a discussion of the musical career of Leonard Nimoy is 50 times more popular than episode 70 that features a classic track from Jimi Hendrix. And why does the Internet hate (or at least ignore) poor Jim Croce who as of the date I write this has managed to accumulate exactly one view in six months (thanks Mike!).
It probably was not a bear. Subsequent events on the mountain top where the transmitter used to be have made it more likely that the CIDO transmitter was the victim of vandalism. The possibility that it was torn down by an angry bear made for a more colourful story, but alas it probably is not true.
Comments are cool. So far we have not generated a great deal in the way of comments on the YouTube channel or the website, but we have had a few. I’m told that there are some occasional positive Facebook noises as well. What we have received has been pretty uniformly positive. And that is encouraging. It takes me a couple of hours to put together the visual component for each episode and it takes Richard heaven knows how long to prepare it for uploading, upload it, and maintain the website. So it is nice to hear from people, however briefly. Who knows, if we had more encouragement maybe we might even blog more.
We miss the radio station. As much as it took out of him to keep things running, I know that Richard does miss playing on the radio. For my part, I continue to run into bits of musical trivia that would be perfect. I am occasionally heard to mutter “ … And me without a radio show to make fun of this…”. However, despite some occasionally complementary or nostalgic comments in the community there does not seem to be a groundswell of interest for reviving Creston community radio. A pity, really. It would take about eight to $10,000 and 8 to 10 volunteers who could commit at least some time.
I am increasingly frustrated and somewhat disenchanted with ordinary radio. One of the great things about CIDO radio was the wide variety of the music played. This was particularly true when Richard was at the controls versus when the computer picked the music. On the other hand, conventional radio stations seem to play the same songs over and over again. This is particularly true of “classic rock” or “oldies” stations that are stuck on playing one or two songs from bands that have a much larger catalogue. Nobody loves “More Than a Feeling” more than me, but Boston did record a whole bunch of other music. It would be nice to hear some now and then. I will probably expand this last point into a full-fledged rant when time permits.