Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Radio Tech Guru Is A Luddite? Or, Is Your Humble Servant Just a Geek?

A&O's Conclave 2008 session (click for our handout) was a full house on Friday morning, right between Jerry Delcolliano on radio's high tech/younger demo future and NAB President and CEO David Rehr's rousing pro-radio pep talk.

Just between us: O'Malley is the laid-back, easy-going, people person. I, on the other hand, am the obsessive compulsive who wants to get the equipment all set up 90 minutes before our session just to be sure everything works.

Imagine my panic, then, when I walked into Jerry's terrific presentation on what he has learned about radio usage from his students at USC and watched him make a big show about removing all of the technology in the room, where we were to speak immediately after him. I suppose his point, as he ordered the AV folks to get rid of the presentation graphics projector, screen, and even all the playback equipment and microphones in the room, was to showcase the importance of high touch in a high tech world.

(Gulp! ...maybe there was also a lesson in there for me?) ... which served to place me in an immediate state of panic, since our presentation was nothing BUT carefully produced and edited tech, with audio and video. Without those fancy gizmos in the room it was going to be a very long hour for "A," if not "O."

Fortunately, Delcolliano finished about 15 minutes before our session and the Minneapolis Marriott AV dude was a miracle worker, got everything working with seconds to spare (as I was sweating blood for all to see!).

Note to self: relax more in advance of your public presentations. Everything works out just fine in the end.

Note to Conclave and Marriott AV staff: thanks for putting up with my panic attack.

Note to Jerry: please read a little Marc Prensky before your next class ( .. not to mention before you precede US in the same room again).

You'll be a more compelling, Gen Y-engaging college prof ... and I'll be right at home at the podium, surrounded by the comfort of my wireless mics, FM/infrared mouse remote controls, presentation graphics, sights, effects and sounds.

2 comments: said...

You know, I wonder with amazement at our inbred radio industry where in our arrogance we view anyone who hasn't programmed a radio station in the last few years as suspect, but you are making yourself look bad.

It seems to me that the people who are programming the stations are the ones having trouble adapting. Look at the industry. Look at the ratings. Look at the lost generation. I sure wish you made that point.

In fact, the problem is, maybe more of them should go out and meet the next generation the way I have for the past four years.

By the way, tying in PowerPoint presentations with technology is bogus. I'm attaching an email from one of my students (an A student, I might add) and look at the analog bent to her message.

Maybe its time for everyone -- even the arrogant programmers -- to in a sense you back to school and learn about the next generation the way they really are.

In any case, it's all good. After Clear Channel, I cannot ever be offended again.

Here's my student's email if you are interested:

Meredith has left a new comment on your post "Radio: Watch Out for Twitter":

I don't know if you've seen it, but the idea of "you can turn it off" is starting to be seen with all things among people I know my age. I'm starting to see people who used to spend their saturdays on IM texting now going hiking for four or five horus--putting an away message on the mobile AIM and only checking their phones during water breaks.

I'm seeing kids who choose to drop the earbuds for a half-day of wake boarding or surfing. Who can leave the computer long enough to enjoy a sunset or walk down the street to the store (cuz gas is so expensive). And who can turn off their cell phones for a week to bring food to starving kids in Africa.

And then there's the new wave of young kids, who could have become the fat adults on the Axiom in Wall-e who only watch media, but instead have turned off the tube or computer because they'd rather read a good sci-fi book or hang out with their friends or be the best baseball/basketball/soccer/etc. player.

My generation's parents may have forced us to have crazy after school schedules, those gen i kids who grew up on the internet seem to know something about the perks of turning the media off. And I'm glad to say some of us Millenials are starting to pick up message.

- Jerry Del Colliano

Lisa said...

I think there's nothing wrong with a good improve class thrown into the mix. It helps you roll with the punches and enjoy the ride. Seriously. Managers, Programmers and even air talent can all benefit.

It also helps to cut down on the panic factor.

Just found your blog. Thanks for the insight.