I’m a radio guy.

From a very early age, I was a fan of the radio, although when I was young, my choices were sparse. In the decades since, I’ve discovered the grand traditions of radio, largely because they are re-emerging now in both my day-job as the Program Director of an alternative, campus/community radio station and in my passion, which is podcasting.

I’m working on integrating these passions where possible, seeing where our radio programs can be podcasted and bringing shows I discovered as podcasts to radio. I continue to podcast and do radio shows every week, and continue to try to rediscover lost knowledge from the nearly-lost era of classic radio, as well as try to look forward to how it will all fit together in the future..

It’s traveling season for me, a rare treat in a life so busy, and I’m looking forward to it. What’s more, it all relates to podcasting, one way or another.

Next week I’ll be attending Balticon from May 25-28 near Baltimore, Maryland. It’s a science fiction convention by origin, but it also is perhaps the largest gathering of podcasters on the East Coast, save for Dragon*Con. There will be discussions mostly about the content of podcasts (fiction, news, fandom, philosophy), but I hope to pick the brains of several of the participants about the whole meta-discussion of podcasting. If I’m lucky, I’ll remember to record some audio for another UP! episode, but since these events also largely serve as my vacation and socializing time as well, I won’t exactly be at my most vigilant.

In June, I head to Kingston, ON for the annual NCRC event (National Campus/Community Radio Conference). At that, I’ll be talking to staff and volunteers from radio stations across this country (Canada) about the whole business, craft and madness that is community radio.

I’ll also be on four panels, two of which are going to relate to podcasting. One of them, in fact, is simply entitled “Podcasting”. I sat back last year and listened to what others had to say last year (my first year), but this year I feel confident that I can give advice and commentary (even if our own podcasting offerings have yet to flourish).

The other panel directly related to podcasting is entitled “The Future of Radio Technology”. Originally, I just proposed it as “The Future of Radio”, because while it will be related to technology, it’s not (to me) about better mics, better mixers and better transmitter. No, there is a definite need to consider what radio is, and to branch out from only having terrestrial broadcast as the primary medium. I don’t consider podcasts and broadcast radio to be the same, although the distinction between them is sometimes hard to see and even harder to articulate, but I want us to probe what the integration of such things can mean — and how we can position ourselves to best take advantage of them. It’s been a topic on the back of my mind for quite a while, but has been stifled as an active thought process by the other tasks in my life — most significantly, by the attempt to finish a PhD, which sees some progress.

The other two panels are on “Building a Kick-Ass Website” and “Advanced Audacity”, and while they aren’t directly related to podcasting, you can bet that my podcasting experience is related.

I’m going to try to record and release those sessions as podcasts afterward, but since they aren’t likely to be amplified and rooms where these talks are held are likely to be hard-walled and terrible for recording, I’m not sure what the quality will be.

If you find yourself at Balticon or at the NCRC this year, keep an eye out for some strange bearded dude talking to everyone about podcasting, by the name of Mark Kilfoil — sometimes known at the Encaffeinated ONE. :)


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