Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Facing" Technology

In the face of rapid technological innovation--when there are more and more gimmicks and gadgets to capture our imagination and dollars--we sometimes forget what that technology is supposed to do.  What it means to real people doing real things in a real world.

Here is an example.  The iPhone is a cell phone, right?  It is a gadget, and people migrate to it and line up to buy new versions of it--even if the antenna doesn't work right sometimes.  But the people at Apple realize something very important.  No matter how many Gs it accesses or what the data bit transfer rate is or how easily it can acquire a cell site, it is far more to their customers than a telephone/game device/camera/GPS.  Watch this video, and than I want to compare this to another technology that is near and dear to my heart:

Now, let's talk about broadcasting.  And by that, I mean traditional, over-the-air radio and TV.  How do the guys who have the keys to these stations reach to the heart of their customers, their listeners and viewers?  By playing "the best of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today?"  By "playing more of your favorites without commercials?"  By running promos with "The Night Team" out on the street (where they NEVER are!), coatless, tie undone, shoving a microphone into the face of a firefighter?

When has radio truly offered companionship, a shared experience?  When has your local TV station done something that met a real need for a significant number of its potential viewers?  When have broadcasters truly done something that reached the hearts of the people they purport to serve?

When have they done what Apple is doing and used their technology to do anything more than try to jack the ratings?

Don Keith

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