Feiren, good post.
I’ve been thinking a bit more over lunch. Alleycat’s pizza doesn’t half get the creative juices flowing.
What we have here is
a - an apparent demand for broadcast media serving the foreign community. (Clarification needed: are we talking about ‘western’ foreigners, or everyone?)
b - new technology and practises that make it possible to sidestep a lot of regulation
c - a pile of the necessary equipment sitting around looking for a buyer. Not much market for it so it’ll probably be cheap.
d - an enormous PR opportunity
I’ll tackle d first. Someone just got himself into the newspapers and if he has any sense he’ll be appearing soon on TV begging for forgiveness from everyone he’s hurt. He’s a likeable rascal who also speaks Chinese. If he tells his story well he’ll attract a certain amount of sympathy, but more importantly he’ll get the word out.
If the people who were drawn into his web seize this opportunity they can ride the bandwagon and promote the WWRN agenda. (But change the name, please!) And they can attract advertising or even investment money.
This is all a bit different from the ‘community’ approach advocated by Feiren. I’m not sure that my suggestion is better, and would welcome more opinions. I guess the bottom line is that Ryan could be effectively used by a group of people wanting to launch a new project from the ashes of the old one. Whether or not it hired Ryan, or involved him at all, once up and running is a different matter.
OK, back to point a: I don’t honestly know how much demand there is for an amateur radio station. The last one did sound pretty amateurish at times and that puts people off. There needs to be more clarity about what the mission of the station would be and how to achieve it.
b - technical stuff:
- The numbers of listeners, according to server statistics, made WWRN an attractive advertising proposition. But how reliable are those stats? Can they be faked? I don’t know.
- Ryan made some pretty impressive claims about internet radio popularity. I have no idea how true they are. Perhaps someone can comment? 884% growth in the market since 2001, 108million (45% of population) Americans listen, 30million (21% of over-12s) Americans listen weekly, Taiwan has higher internet usage and broadband than USA, but internet radio is new, people listen to internet radio on mobile phones, wireless internet to serve 90% of Taipei by end 2005!
- I think Feiren is basically right, but he knows more than me so I shouldn’t be disagreeing anyway.
c - there’s an entire studio sitting in someone’s store room, and possibly there are rooms available to re-install it into. There are also a lot of people who are owed fair amounts of money. To set this up would require investment capital. And regardless of how much free time people have to put into this there is still the question of how you deliver the content to the audience. Are there no bandwidth (ie money) issues? I assume there are.
Finally, something like this would need a full-time manager who would need to be compensated for the money he/she is not earning elsewhere. It needs someone dedicated to making this happen, and that person needs admin support. The current debacle is evidence of what happens when a project is not properly managed. (And no, I’m definitely not suitable, or interested.)
A lot of us would like to see a new service flourish, but it ain’t going to happen without money, a clearly-defined mission, a business plan, and the right people to carry it through.
All those volunteering take one pace forward!