Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wanna Wiki Radio, Part I

I came to know a bit about the wiki format because it was forced on me. A streaming radio station that I have been affiliated with since 2002, Whole Wheat Radio out of Talkeetna, Alaska became too unwieldy for it's creator, Jim Kloss, and it was transformed into a wiki format.

Over the years CD's flooded in and needed to be added to the library. As word got out that Jim played only RIAA safe (unsponsored and independent artists) the job grew considerably and that wasn't all. The listenership was growing and house concert production and streaming was also building to a crescendo. Jim gave a courageous stab at keeping it all up. Still, he yearned to plant flowers and do stuff he loved - things he did before he decided to design a radio station from the computer at the foot of his bed in 2002. It was either shut the streaming WWR down or devoted listeners where going to have to learn to love wiki. Of course, after years of listening, it was threatening to consider life without WWR so the website was transformed and we all began to learn how to help maintain the station so Jim could do other stuff.

In many ways I've already gone through the "AWWWW I've gotta to do THAT, too??" stage of wiki awareness...the little html bits! and I can no longer just load a picture into the chat room with a copy paste, I have to format things!...boo hoo...that whining has long since faded into history as the website has been wiki now since January 2006....The picture of my cat, Saturday, looking at the monitor on the header of this blog is a shot of the pre-wiki Whole Wheat Radio chat room page - WWR received honorable mention from the 2007 Web 2.0 Awards and because we are wiki we can all take some of the credit for that success (though, of course, it is our benevolent dictator, Jim, who is truly the heart of Whole Wheat Radio).

If you have a love of music, especially live music, I hope you will enjoy the clip that I have added from a house concert held at WWR in Talkeetna last winter. This is a clip from a concert that was broadcast (streamed) live over the Internet, remember...so besides the people in the audience, there are maybe 50 people listening on-line and a handful of the on-line listeners are communicating in the chat about their experience to each other while they are listening. They also leave messages that are read to the performers later and can call in to leave an adio message for the performers, the listeners or the audience.. Also, on line, during the concert there is the ability to instantly purchase all the recorded material the artist has to offer that will be delivered by mail and signed by the artist (even with your name, if you ask!)
There is a tip jar for the on-line listeners to add to, if they wish, during concerts with all of the proceeds going directly to the performers. I can't tell you how much fun these concerts are...it's one of those, "you had to have been there..." sort of situations. The videos don't do the live experience justice but you can get the idea. If you like this video, there are a few more video clips of WWR house concerts here.

How does Jim pay for all of this "labor of love", you might wonder? It is supported by donation. There is tally observable by all in the upper right corner of the chat room of all of the money needed to make the monthly bills. At other parts of the site all the disbursements are openly recorded for anyone to see. Jim insists it is to be like this and I think it is honorable of him to do it this way.

I want to make a statement about what I have discovered about my personal experience with wikis and experiencing them but I'm going to save that for another post....this one seems too long already. For now enjoy the music by Ann Pence, Robin Hopper and Radoslov Lorkovic among others......


Jim said...

Thank you for telling the story so beautifully and accurately. You are the smile on my face right now...

Terri Noble said...

Wonderful post, that says it all.