Talking tech since 2003

When it comes to radio most people think of commercial radio such as stations like Z100, PLJ, Q1043, WFAN, etc. (some popular New York based stations) However, there is a whole other market of radio out there – public radio. Public Radio such as the stations you can find on NPR.org (National Public Radio) might not be nearly as popular but they do exist. You can find all the same types of stations on NPR that you can find on commercial radio such as, music, politics, news, talk, and sports.

There are definitely differences between the two types of radio though. Commercial radio is fast paced, heavily commercialized, and jammed pack with advertisements. On the other hand, public radio is a bit slower paced, less commercialized, and not as full of on air advertisements. The show hosts and contributors on commercial radio tend to try and appeal to everyone they use simple language and tend to express themselves well. They typically are exciting to listen to and full of energy. Meanwhile, if you to go listen to a talk show on public radio the hosts are extremely mono-tone and serious, which to me is extremely boring to listen to.

Commercial radio plays the latest pop music and talks about the latest in sports or entertainment. It is there for enjoyment. I cannot say the same about public radio. Public radio is geared towards more serious listeners who want to either be informed or learn something. The music selection of public radio is generally not geared towards the latest pop music on the market.

Both types of radio definitely create a discussion forum for people, especially if they take live calls therefore allowing people to voice their opinions or ask their questions. Obviously they both have their respective audiences. However, I personally would have likely never gone to the NPR website to look for a radio station. However, with that said, I rarely listen to radio (at least for music) – I always play my iPod in my car with the adapter I bought to play it through the stereo system in the car which funnily enough uses the radio to transmit.

Ironically though, even though I don’t generally listen to the radio I do have my own radio show which is on WCWP (Our campus station) every Tuesday from 2-3PM. I enjoy doing that very much. I have incorporated a live video feed from the studio which broadcasts over the web to add a little extra to the show. My radio show (Call for Help) is a technology based show we do interviews, take live calls, and discuss the latest in the tech news. In fact, recently I had the CEO of Carbonite.com on the show for an interview. I have also lined up interviews with Chris Pirillo the founder of Lockergnome.com, David Ulevitch the founder of OpenDNS, a developer at Lavasoft (the company that created Adaware), and a number of other people in various areas of computing and technology. In my show I try to cover things that are of interest to my usual listeners and viewers (technology interested/savvy) however, I always keep in mind the average listener and/or viewer who may not be as technology oriented. It is very important to know who your audience is and to understand their needs as a listener. To me, that is the key to success.

What do you think? Do you prefer commercial or public radio? Leave a comment!

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