NATIONRADIO: A QUESTION OF TECHNOLOGY

Wanye
September 14 2012 07:55PM

 

With all the hoopla surrounding the lockout on the horizon and the Economics of the arena dominating the news, the Sports Section looks more like the Business Section these days. Who doesn't love a riveting cost analysis diagram where there should be a breakdown of the Oilers training camp line up? And we would rather see an interview with Fehr and Bettman wearing rumpled suits and rumplier faces than the Nuge all sweaty and talking about skating any day.

*gunshot*

Anywhoo, we thought we would pose a question as it relates to a conundrum for the Nation if this is how things are going to be. An entire article surrounding the economics of the Nation Network. On a Friday night with no hockey in sight. Bleak huh?

You're welcome.

BACKSTORY

The Nation Network started in 2007 as a Ryan Smyth protest site. At the time we were so upset that Captain Canada got dealt that we wanted to bring the very internet to its knees. We had never written anything longer than an email  in our lifetime and certainly didn't expect to have to do much of anything.

Then things took a turn for the surreal and we collectively decided to take a run at hockey blogging as best as we could.  Not as a business per se, but to add to the coverage of our most beloved Edmonton Oilers. This was 2007 and though things were grim we were only one year removed from the Cup Run. Things were bound to turn around soon!

*gunshot*

FIVE

The Nation Network turns five this November. That it has a community of hockey mad readers and contributors is probably one of the most amazing things that we have ever seen in our lives. Though we aren't a media type with any sort of brain for the game we have taken our mission very seriously out of respect for everyone who comes to these sites on a daily basis.

Find the best writers. Find the best MSM. Get the best content we can get then get the money to pay everyone the most we can to do the best job they can do.

We try and make content that we wish was already out there. Fun stuff, nerdy stuff, connected MSM stuff. Whatever it is as long as it is about hockey. We embrace other teams fans in so far as we acknowledge that they exist and are entitled to make up nonsensical SQUEEEE words about their own team if they so choose but they probably don't even have a player that is SQUEEEEE worthy much less their own version of said Squee.

Anywhoo, in the name of employing the most bloggers, most MSMers and finding the most interesting people to talk we have tried to offer multi platorm content as well.

ENTER NATION RADIO

The first time we had the good fortune to meet Lowetide we were blown away by a) how nice he is and 2) how he had the EXACT same voice as people you hear on the radio. "Man you sould like you should be on the radio" we said at the time "That's because I used to be on the radio back in the day" came his friendly and booming reply.

We swore on the very spot that if Lowetide would move some of his extraordinarily popular blog over to OilersNation we would find a way to get him to be the host of a Nation radio show. Over three years later, we have been able to bamboozle our way onto the radio with a two hour show on Saturdays on the Team 1260 in Edmonton.

Lowetide does an amazing job and he and his regular rotation of pirates put on a really entertaining show week after week. Their coverage of the Entry Draft every year is some of the best around and though they have yet to cover an Oilers playoff run we bet they have something awesome cooked up!

*gunshot*

The rest of the Nation sites have big plans on the horizon too. NHLNumbers publishes a podcast on the regular as does TheLeafsNation and CanucksArmy. As the transition continues to more evenly distributed traffic across each of the sites NationRadio will only grow in its importance to the Nation Network.

ECONOMICS OF DREAMS

Buying radio air time takes longer than negotiating the Treaty of Versailles and the cost is in the neighbourhood of what one would expect from a reparations payment owed to the good people of France.

Advertising sales is a slow process too but the show that falls out the other end thanks to Lowetide, the Team 1260 crew and Kent Wilson is well worth it. We listen to 90% of the podcasts and always enjoy ourselves immensely as tens of thousands of others do too week after week.

COST CERTAINTY

The looming lockout has an effect on a great many hockey related companies. It has forced us to take a look at our cost structures and see if there is anything we can do to reduce our risk in the event of a prolonged work stoppage. Potential advertisers are scared off by the prospect of the lockout and hockey related budgets are all on perpetual hold until play resumes.

Existing partners and advertisers remain thankfully committed and we are moving forward with our plans to hire more bloggers, more MSMers, more radio hosts and as Kent Wilson so often yells "MORE OF EVERYTHING DAMMIT" before polishing his Gold AK-47  and laughing at bi-annual meetings on his Evil Island.

As a part of this we have looked at our radio ratings and podcast downloads. Without boring you to death with how radio ratings work and the like suffice to say that the radio ratings for NationRadio are good and podcasts are even better. This makes sense - many folk in the Nation live all over hells half acre and can't tune into Team 1260 from their remote locations.

Due to the inconvenient fact "they have lives" other NationRadio listeners aren't able to catch the live broadcast on the regular so they download the podcast instead. Saturday afternoons from 12-2 PM isn't the best airtime for poor ol' Lowetide but it was the best that we could afford. As a result the podcast on the Nation Network and on iTunes is very popular.

Bottom line: Podcast listeners crush our respectible radio listener count.

THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

Does NationRadio actually need to be on the radio or would it be better served as a podcast only? Same show you love, same hosts same everything just podcast on the sites and iTunes.

Not having to buy airtime would mean more pay for everyone involved in the show and bigger budgets would mean more high flying guests, exciting co-hosts and PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES.

Heck we could even do call in shows! Think of the excitement!

Lowetide: "Hello friend you are on the air"

Caller: "DERP DERP DERP HORCOFF"

Its chilling to think where things could go.

Or alternatively we could continue on with the Team 1260 and our perpetual battle to get it on the air in other cities. Our mission is to make a show that people listen to from Coast to Coast and continue to focus on our Nation Network contributors and players past and present.

It is a tricky bit of business but we will leave our move up to you. Please provide us with any insights and suggestions you may have on NationRadio in the comments and vote in the poll.

With a lockout looming and long lazy summers in short supply NationRadio will not air this week giving Lowetide a rare week off while we all discuss the kind of show we want to hear when the season returns.

Love,

Wanye

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#2 Wanyes bastard child
September 14 2012, 08:05PM
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Whats a podcast?

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#3 RexLibris
September 14 2012, 08:05PM
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That Shakespeare dude couldn't have written it any better. Drama, intrigue, tension, near-insurmountable odds...and AK-47s, gold ones!

Get the script to Michael Bay and watch the fireworks fly.

Best of luck on the show guys.

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#5 Wanyes bastard child
September 14 2012, 08:09PM
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Ah, I listen on the site all the time, don't have iTunes so didn't know... still trying to cope with high speed internet eh...

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#6 I tried it at home
September 14 2012, 08:10PM
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I hope you keep the radio format intact, I enjoy listening on my way home between turnarounds up north. Lowetide is a heck of a radio talent and really, theres nothing else worth listening to in Edmonton on Saturday radio.

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#7 Kent Wilson
September 14 2012, 08:15PM
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Benefit of a pure podcast: you can swear and stuff. Also - much cheaper to make.

Be interesting too see what everyone thinks. Keep in mind folks we can live stream our podcast. So it could be an internet radio show/podcast meaning you can still tune in live...just on your computer/ipad/fancy phone/whatever. Or download later. Or catch it itunes still.

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#8 Velo
September 14 2012, 08:16PM
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Keep the show. Although, I rarely listen due to family stuff and poor timing, I think there's an intrinsic value to having the show as part of your arsenal. The nation is one of the finest hockey resources out there...5 years from now where do you expect to be? If radio is part of it, both as a medium and as a vehicle to transcend the divide between MSM and credibility, then keep it. If you have other plans in place to move in a different direction, then channel the resources there. However, I tend to see the show as a part of the whole Nation gig...an integral part that says, "We're for fun, but the substance is exceptional too."

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#10 canucknnv
September 14 2012, 08:32PM
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I enjoy the show and the hard work that LT puts into it and hope it stays on the air. Will it be more difficult to get the quality and volume of guests in a podcast only format?

Is satellite radio an option?

If the format is going to be changed in the future to podcast can you make it easier to access for the non-apple fanboys. I and a lot of others use android and I cannot find a podcast app that has the RSS url. I have to access the show via my browser and then stream it which is clunky at best and needs connectivity. If I can't catch the show live I would like to save to my device for later listening pleasure.

I hope it works out for LT,Nation Radio and Oilers Nation.

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#11 Kent Wilson
September 14 2012, 08:35PM
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@canucknnv

Is satellite radio an option?

I believe it might be.

We will also look for other options beyond itunes to disseminate things.

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#12 Reality Check to the head
September 14 2012, 08:35PM
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Gold AK 47's. Someone played Bond on the Old Nintendo super whatever.

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#13 Muji
September 14 2012, 08:36PM
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I only listen to the podcasts, but it's kinda nice knowing that it's on the radio too. Makes it feel more maintstream and official. Of course, I'd still listen in if it was podcast only.

Btw, I never thought about the lockout affecting one of my favorite sites on the internet. Friggin' NHL.

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#14 Kent Wilson
September 14 2012, 08:36PM
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@Reality Check to the head

Nintendo 64.

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#15 Archaeologuy
September 14 2012, 08:37PM
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What would I listen to on Saturdays when I'm trying to avoid my family????

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#16 Smyth94ever
September 14 2012, 08:37PM
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Color me dumb(er), but what's the difference HOW we tune in/listen to the show? Anyone who matters has access to podcasts. Sounds like that's the more fiscally advantageous way to go. No? Is there an advantage to radio that I'm not getting here? Anyhow, just keep the damn show going no matter how you gotta do it!! Also, MORE PRIZES! WHOOO!

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#17 RossCreekNation
September 14 2012, 08:45PM
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I've never downloaded a Nation podcast (although I have listened to certain segments here & there on this sight). I listen purely on the radio - be it in my vehicle, at work in the dozer/hoe, or ON THE TV!! - so I'd miss it if it did leave the radio. That said, it does make some sense to consider the change.

I do know what I'd vote for if I was a paid Nation blogger... 57% OF REVENUES!!!1!

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#18 Raine
September 14 2012, 08:51PM
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Without a season a talk show based on speculation and the lock out will get old very quick. It's best to write this one off until the waters are less muddy. Listening to basically the same babble is tiresome, and already it's very evident that the hockey world hasn't much of anything interesting to talk about.

Furthermore, when you do get back on air having the show faced directly against your competition in Oilers Now (630 ched) doesn't make sense. Get a different time frame so you're not up against Stauffer's show.

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#19 Toetag247
September 14 2012, 08:53PM
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If moving the show to podcast-only helps keep the site humming and the always excellent content plentiful, go for it. Also more photo-shop contests. Unbelievably funny every time.

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#20 Wanyes bastard child
September 14 2012, 08:54PM
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@RossCreekNation

They don't pay trolls around here ;)

But seriously, like Muji said, I hardly get the chance to catch it on the radio but just knowing it is there makes it feel like ON is a step up from other blog sites. I can understand the fiscal part of it if thats the best way to go but my vote is still for the radio.

Also, thanks for the ON stickers! Any idea how well one would last on my truck window?

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#21 Pharmboy
September 14 2012, 08:55PM
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Radio show is probably just expensive advertising at this point, better to just purchase ads for oilersnation/podcasts, reach a larger audience by advertising throughout the day rather than just on Saturday afternoons, sorry, I love the blogs and podcasts but i'd rather golf at this time.

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#22 RossCreekNation
September 14 2012, 08:56PM
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@Raine

Stauffer's show doesn't run Saturdays

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#23 Kent Wilson
September 14 2012, 08:56PM
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@Raine

Buying time on the station is a lot harder than think. Picking and choosing times if we stick with the traditional route probably isn't in the cards.

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#24 canucknnv
September 14 2012, 09:09PM
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@Kent Wilson

If you can make it cheaper and keep decent production value then it has to be looked at for sure. As for the swearing and stuff well... i'm not sure that's a selling point. I get enough of the potty mouth when i'm at grandmas house and the first time Horcoff's name comes up Nation Radio would get banned from the internet.

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#25 VK63
September 14 2012, 09:10PM
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IMO theres a lot of room in the podcast world to raise the bar. Start with a bit of quality gear or partner with a recording studio that already has the gear and a cut and paste guru editing the show and voila!

Gonna be way cheaper than conventional radio and with a bit of gathered momentum likely still an excellent vehicle for potential advertisers.

Its just 1s and 0s after all.

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#26 obvious mann
September 14 2012, 09:11PM
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Go on your own show Wayne. Id listen to you if you dont have a weird voice lol

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#27 Robin Brownlee
September 14 2012, 09:11PM
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I have received neither my stickers nor a radio show, podcast or otherwise. What am I doing wrong?

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#28 Velo
September 14 2012, 09:19PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I have received neither my stickers nor a radio show, podcast or otherwise. What am I doing wrong?

Was at Oodle Noodle downtown on Thursday and got stickers there. Perhaps some thousand year flavour in your near future!?

YUM

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#29 John Chambers
September 14 2012, 09:26PM
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In all fairness I doubt the actual radio broadcast grows the brand very much beyond the base. It's mostly Oilers stuff anyway which has limited appeal elsewhere. I love it, but it's like owning the overhead of a retail store when the majority of your sales are online anyway.

The NHL Numbers podcast has a broader appeal. There are hockey nerds all over the world who want to listen to other nerds talk about zone entries. IMO The trick is trying to get all the SB Nation faithful to become aware and then interested in the format.

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#30 canucknnv
September 14 2012, 09:29PM
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@Kent Wilson

I also think that if it isn't feasible to keep a traditional on air spot but at the same time expand the Nation brand, you have to look at the Kevin Smith Smodcast model. I don't like most of the shows in his network but the model has proven to be sucessful. If there was a one stop hockey talk internet destination that had excellent programming(podcasts),blogs and merchandise I don't think you would have any problem selling the ads to pay for the fellas and the Wanye Manor.

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#31 David S
September 14 2012, 09:31PM
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Velo wrote:

Was at Oodle Noodle downtown on Thursday and got stickers there. Perhaps some thousand year flavour in your near future!?

YUM

*Leaps off couch. Puts on pants. Grabs car keys and bee-lines for Oodle Noodle downtown.*

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#32 Kent Wilson
September 14 2012, 09:32PM
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Some interesting thoughts everyone. Thanks.

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#33 OilClog
September 14 2012, 10:12PM
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Who doesn't have the Internet?!.. People driven nuts by DSF, and gypsies. Podcast is the Darwin of fan nation evolution, Only seems right to amp the awesome, and minus the am. The Nation that never sleeps..

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#34 VK63
September 14 2012, 10:31PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I have received neither my stickers nor a radio show, podcast or otherwise. What am I doing wrong?

I would advertise on a bronte 5000 generated podcast. That could be epic!

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#35 dave miller
September 14 2012, 11:01PM
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Give me an app for my iphone. I live too far from Edm to get 1260. Radio is dead.

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#36 book¡e
September 14 2012, 11:03PM
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I never listen on the radio

I sometimes listen on the website

I mostly just lurk around here waiting for the opportunity to make smart ass comments.

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#37 book¡e
September 14 2012, 11:06PM
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5 years from now where do you expect to be?

Uhm, discussing year five of the NHL lockout and the Sternly Cup finals game between the Mexico City Gangstas and the Quebec City Canards.

I thought that was pretty obvious.

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#38 Wax Man Riley
September 14 2012, 11:20PM
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I love that the show is on the radio. It gives The Nation sites a lot of credibility.

To be honest, though... I listen every week online at 1260's website ,so for me it doesn't matter which www I put in.

I think if the ultimate, long-term goal is to be on the radio, that is great and realistic, but doesn't have to be today. I have no idea how much revenue The Nations make, but my guess is that you aren't necessarily rolling in it.

Keeping costs down in the short-term, including better content, and focusing on what made The Nation so popular in the first place could set you up better long-term and allow you to expand where you may not have necessarily been able to with less capital.

Either way, I've always got a bookmark up top for Nation Radio, no matter where.

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#39 Wax Man Riley
September 14 2012, 11:21PM
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book¡e wrote:

I never listen on the radio

I sometimes listen on the website

I mostly just lurk around here waiting for the opportunity to make smart ass comments.

YOU CAN COMMENT ON ARTICLEZZ??!!?

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#40 Wax Man Riley
September 14 2012, 11:24PM
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So, will it still be live, streaming internet radio? Or download only?

Having it live gives me something to look forward to. Like I might miss something if I don't catch it.

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#41 Whoknows
September 14 2012, 11:45PM
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I've never listened to the radio version. Team 1260 has such poor reception everywhere outside of Edmonton directly it's pointless. Podcasts are the way to go, mobile offices everywhere.

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#42 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 15 2012, 12:09AM
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Instead of going into retreat mode, why not change things up some, give the listeners more instead of less eartime.

Another writer here has a show weeknights from 9 till midnight....maybe LT could step in/guest host for an hour on Mon,Wed and Fridays with Jason Strudwick. An Oilersnation segment on the airwaves 3 nights a week.

Someone has to reel that Strudwick guy in, he's just making it look too easy. LT's just the guy to show him the ropes.

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 15 2012, 12:18AM
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Anyone know how i could convert the Tab button on my microsoft keyboard to rye and coke?

....or is that just a Macintosh thing?

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#44 Travis Dakin
September 15 2012, 12:22AM
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I guess the thing is that people (who have been sleeping under a rock) can accidentally stumble across Nation Radio. This in turn leads to easy advertising for the site and more viewers/listeners. The product on both ends is phenomenal and will always lure more customers. The problem is, that you don't accidentally stumble across a nation podcast. The only people that know about that are the people that always frequent the site anyway.

The question becomes: How much do you value new followers?

Or, do you think the money saved and subsequently spent on other aspects will help to garner more attention? Tough one.

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#45 Reg Dunlop
September 15 2012, 01:24AM
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book¡e wrote:

I never listen on the radio

I sometimes listen on the website

I mostly just lurk around here waiting for the opportunity to make smart ass comments.

I saw someone while I was lurking, was that you?

As far as being free to cuss being a selling point to a move to podcast... tempting but I'll pass. Like the Buggles said 'podcast killed the radio star'.

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#46 eastcoastoil
September 15 2012, 01:29AM
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I grew up in edmonton and now live in halifax, while in edmonton I would tune into every show on the oilers that I could, 1260 or 630.

Since being in Halifax, i no longer go to MSM unless it is mentioned here. The only radio that I listen to is the podcast. I wouldn't even know if it wasn't live from 1260.

My vote is podcast, more freedom for times and guests. You could "air" more than one show without the overhead...

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#47 svat
September 15 2012, 03:37AM
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It seems like the older demographic would support keeping nationradio on the airwaves, but speaking as someone who has grown up with technology, downloading a podcast and listening when I have time to do so as opposed to tuning in to something live is much more preferred. Factoring in keeping costs down and being able to pay your talent more, it seems like the only rational decision is to make it a live-streaming podcast available for download after, and taking it off the radio. Those who really want to listen to it will find a way to do so.

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#48 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
September 15 2012, 05:33AM
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Radio was great for home taping and for Christopher Cross. Podcast gets my vote.

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#49 Oilinmyblood
September 15 2012, 05:38AM
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just go podcast

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#50 Walter
September 15 2012, 06:09AM
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Love the podcast. If you went purely that route would that mean more of Lowetide's sweet, soothing voice? Could he get that fine lady from all his OKC articles to co-host? Could Struds get a podcast? Possibilities are endless on the interweb.

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