Thinking about ‘de-linearising’ media

Fantastic post from Tristan Ferne on the nature of time-based media, complete with little diagrams and everything. It’s a follow on from the Annotatable Audio project that Tristan worked with Tom Coates and others at the BBC on, and it sets my head a-spinning.

What if…

The problem with a radio show-related blog post is that the discussion is not only distinctly textual, it’s also decontextualised because the blog post is separated from the audio. If you don’t hear the show at the time it’s broadcast, (or during it’s ‘play again’ period of a week, on the Beeb at least) then commenting on it is hard – you can only comment after the fact. Even if you do hear the show, the blog doesn’t allow you to comment easily on a specific aspect of the broadcast discussion without having to reiterate that point up front. So whilst the blog is a valuable tool, it still limits the conversation.

What if you were making a discussion radio programme, and you could firstly chapterise it issue by issue, and then sub-chapterise it by caller, or by point made, and then people could both annotate the audio, adding in links and supporting/refuting evidence, and could leave audio comments using Skype or Odeo or whatever on specific sections of the programme.

I’ll admit most of this post is informed by conversations with Kevin (we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about innovation in journalism recently), but I think it pretty much applies to any type of show where you want discussion, whether they are radio or podcast. I think there’s a huge opportunity here not just for podcasters to make their shows more interactive, but for big media to find new ways to reconnect with their audiences.