The Digital Revolution has connected billions of people from faraway places in unprecedented ways. Now for the worldwide community of radio, there’s something exciting and new on the horizon as we welcome in the holidays.
It’s Radio Garden, and for those of you who remember laying in bed, tuning in AM radio from thousands of miles away on a warm summer night, this new site will warm your heart. It may also remind you of Google Earth, except that it’s connected to radio stations from around the globe.
Recently, NPR correspondent Deepak Singh covered the story of Radio Garden, a concept that’s a collaboration of Studio Puckey and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Here is the mission statement:
By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places. Radio Garden allows listeners to explore processes of broadcasting and hearing identities across the entire globe. From its very beginning, radio signals have crossed borders. Radio makers and listeners have imagined both connecting with distant cultures, as well as re-connecting with people from ‘home’ from thousands of miles away – or using local community radio to make and enrich new homes.
When you visit the site, it geo-locates you, and then little lights appear across the globe. Click on one, and Radio Garden takes you to a station in that location. The site is still working out the bugs, and doesn’t always accurately connect the geography with local stations. And the organization is just at the beginning of populating stations, one of the reasons why I’m writing this post. By the way for those of you enjoy these things, there’s also a “Jingles” section.
There’s a lot missing. North American broadcasters will quickly realize there are holes. And part of the reason is because Radio Garden is still aggregating streams. I reached out to project leader Dr. Golo Föllmer who told me and radio station can submit the following info to firstname.lastname@example.org and be included in the project:
- Station name
- Station website
- Streaming mp3 URL
- City and country
Of course, many broadcasters don’t want their streams heard around the world for economic reasons. But if that’s not an issue for you, having your station appear as a bright light in Radio Garden might be a way of becoming an even larger part of the world of radio. The name itself suggests this ecosystem as something new, positive, and stimulating.
The world is a rapidly changing place, as we all know. Things that happen every day in places like Ankara, Berlin, and Washington, D.C. rapidly gain relevancy. Radio has always had the ability to bring people together, to connect communities, and to showcase local cities and towns. With Radio Garden, it’s now become even more global in scope.
It’s a small world after all.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.