Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Augmenting Community Radio with Social Media

Social media is a term which refers to the user-generated, participatory applications of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is the defining feature of what some call Web 2.0 (OReilly, 2003) the interactive public sphere of the Internet. Web 2.0 delineates the participatory infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Its architecture is rooted in the principles and practices of rich public dialogues.

The impact of social media on the ways we relate to and communicate with one another has been significant: over half of the Canadian population is now signed up for Facebook (, 2011) ; over 13 million hours of video footage was uploaded to YouTube in 2010 (, 2011); and between 2010 and 2011, Twitter activity, measured by tweets per day, increased by 252% (, 2011). Social media then, provides individuals and organizations with a free and powerful tool kit for engagement and communication.

In the advertising world this is translating into social media campaigns around brands and products. Positive narratives about, and customer engagement with, the campaign are viewed as the keys to, and measurements of success to the advertiser. Social media is also a powerful tool for gathering market research, so that campaigns can be targeted and archives of user data can be accumulated. Social media campaigns are designed to sell a product or idea; a campaign is created around a brand or product based on an organization’s desire to do so.

In the activism world, this is translating into social media campaigns for social justice; fundraising efforts for Tsunami victims (, 2004) and the successful of the Egyptian revolution (, 2011) are two powerful examples of how individuals harnessed the power of social media independently to mobilize and effect positive change. Social justice campaigns are designed to help and share; a campaign emerges around a cause or an issue based on individual response to it.

Next week, Ryakuga will be releasing a handbook for using social media to augment community radio events, campaigns are blended. The “product” being sold is individual and community identity, the positive change desired is sustainable community and individual self-esteem development. The campaign also allows for an archive of the event to be created, and can provide a virtual home base for the community event or station.

Adding a virtual overlay to an existing community can strengthen the bonds between the people within it and can have phenomenal positive identity effects (Willson, 2006). Social media can facilitate the emergence of a community dialogue using text, photography, video, and sound.

Participating in a community becomes a specific and deliberative action when social media is used within it, and active participation becomes documented and archived for reference. Recognition for participation is given through direct feedback from other community members, which reinforces feelings of inclusion and belonging in the participant. Using social media to participate in a virtually defined community is a self-referential action and becomes connected to the very essence of the community itself.

Using social media, community dialogue is documented as the multitude of voices that participated using social media tools. It is the whole of the communication between the community members who created it.

(Charlene Gagnon, 2011)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Radio Week in Cuslett!

By Arlene Morrisey
Here's a brief summary of the Radio week in Cuslett from November 21-25, 2011.
The Radio Communications week in Cuslett was a component of a training/work experience program and the concept was to 'engage 10 TIOW participants between the age of 55-64 with the operations of a community radio station' for one week of the project. Each participant developed content for the programming and all learned how to operate the equipment. 
Monday, November 21st. Interviews with local farmers reggie Careen and Dermot Power, Fatima Academy and lots of local music from the Cape Shore area.
Tuesday, November 22nd. Another busy day with interviews from the locals, lots of music, a live performance by Priscilla Dalton of St. Bride's and the participants got involved with developing commercials for local businesses. Fatima Grade 7 students dropped by to entertain for awhile.
Wednesday, November 23rd.: Along with the Radio there was also a theater component and tonight there was a Turkey Dinner prepared by the group and a play was staged 'on air'. The participants also sang songs and did a traditional set dance from Harbour Deep..."Running the goat" Other students of Fatima dropped by to entertain again during the day.
Thursday, November 24th. was a 'Snow Day' but we got on the air in the afternoon and we interviewed local resident, Doreen Coffey about her recent trip to the Bahamas. We also interviewed former resident, Carl English of the Cape Shore who is now residing in Spain. Tony Power also dropped by and told ghost stories. Of course we had lots of tradional and local music.
Friday, November 25th.: Fatima Academy students dropped by again and we had an interview with former resident, Connie Foley who is now residng in Taiwan where she runs her own private school. We clued up the week with a review of the radio programming and the participants helped dismantle the tower. We had a great week and it was alot of fun and great learning experience for everyone involved.
We kept the schedule flexible to allow for spontaneous events to occur. It was a valuable week of learning and we were pleased with the outcome.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Network 11 starts tomorrow!

Network 11 is an unconference. According to Wikipedia - An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term "unconference" has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization.

So the Thursday night meeting when we get together at the cottage hospital is important. It's then we decide on mini-sessions, mini workshops and the radio schedule - and the management committees so together we can ensure the two days run smoothly as possible.

The Food Committee has already been established: Joanie Cranston of the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation; Kate Power and Erin McGee of VOBB, and Allison Eaton, Bonne Bay Marine Station.  Incidentally, they are asking if anybody has dietary concerns. Allison suggests people even bring their own mugs to help keep the unconference as green as possible.  We will need people to work with them to ensure food distribution and cleanup.

Another initiative already started is the Virtual Facebook committee. Charlene has put a lot of volunteer work into getting Facebook set up and she will be participating virtually in the event. Mallory McGrath and Arlene Morrissey are also helping out virtually. Dan Murphy (leading our Skype initiative) and Donavon Taplin will be taking part from the conference.

We need to both report from the community to Facebook and report on-air what's happening on Facebook. Joan did a fine job of that during the Conche simulcast.  Charlene will also be tweeting updates from the event on the Ryakuga Twitter

The third mechanism is the programming committee. Some programs are predetermined such as the Benefit Concert; Harvest Festival; Rural Secretariat Session, and the Thursday night introductions. Saturday afternoon is youth programming - designed and controlled by youth.

But that leaves lots of time for specialty programming from the different communities. We have recorded programs from earlier events and live programs. Please come prepared to discuss your ideas. The programming committee will begin on Thursday night to time slot the programs.

The fourth group to choose from on Thursday is the Technical Committee - we need people to operate the equipment throughout the event. (Although Nicole could probably do it by herself : ) This committee will interact with the photographers - to ensure documentation - and the Virtual/Facebook group.
We will also need to archive and document all our programming.

We can all sign up for committees, mini-sessions, and mini-workshops when we arrive at the Network 11 Unconference (or let Fred know before the event).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Network 11 Logistics

Network 11 Unconference is designed to facilitate informal networking. We also hope people make use of our FaceBook and Blog before and during the event.

In other words, we want people to make suggestions online. And, at any rate, all will be discussed and decisions made when we are together face to face on Thursday.

There are a variety of sub-agendas on the go. For example, St. Anthony wants to set up a permanent station; Fogo Island wants to use community radio as a networking tool in their 2012 anniversary celebrations.

Also, this suggested agenda doesn't include a radio programming schedule. People are already sending in suggestions and requests for programs.

Thursday 7 pm:

  • Gather on air with snacks in the cottage hospital radio studio/social networking center
  • Groups and individuals introduce themselves and their interest/projects (basically where we've been with communications and networking)
  • Later off air with discussion and choice of mini sessions, workshops and conference committees
  • Review and discussion of the unconference schedule

Friday am:

  • Continental breakfast
  • Mini sessions and mini workshops
  • Radio programming including report backs

Lunch - town hall

Friday pm:

  • The Rural Secretariat is facilitating a deliberative dialogue session on the development of networking among community media practitioners in Newfoundland and Labrador - town hall
  • Potluck supper/social - town hall
  • Radio programming

Saturday am:

  • Continental breakfast
  • Garden Project Initiative (10 am)
  • Harvest Festival and Craft Fair (11 to 4) broadcast - town hall
  • Mini sessions and mini workshops
  • Radio programming including report backs

Lunch at the craft fair - town hall

Saturday pm:

  • Youth radio broadcast
  • Wrap up round table in the marine station - building the network
  • Radio programming including report backs
  • Catered dinner social - town hall
  • Benefit concert (8 pm) - remote broadcast - town hall
  • Social - Lion's Club

Sunday am:

  • Continental breakfast

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups

This was originally posted in the Network 11 Facebook Working Group on October 16, 2011 by Charlene Gagnon as a resource for determining appropriate use of Facebook platforms.

Facebook offers two types of organizing and promotion tools that can be used to augment community radio projects : Pages and Groups.

Pages and Groups offer different features and are intended for specific uses.

This post will try to explain the differences so that you can decide which platform works best for your community station.

You are reading this post in a Facebook Group.  The Network 11 Facebook Group in fact!

This group is open, in that any member of the Facebook can come to this address and view the content if they have a Facebook profile.  And any member of the Facebook can request to join this group.  When a person becomes a member of this group, they can add new members to it.

A person is never sent a "request" to join a group, the default setting is for people to be automatically added.

The default settings for groups is to receive email notification any time a member of the group posts to it.  You can change those settings by clicking the "edit notifications" button in the top right of the group home page.

You can share links, photos, videos, polls and docs to a Facebook group.  You can also have live chat with all group members that are online at the same time.

You can post to Facebook groups from email.  For this group, members can email and the email will show up as a post in this group.

Ryakuga on Facebook is a Facebook Page.

A Facebook Page has a single "official" voice.  It can have multiple administrators, but all posts appear on the page as from a single voice.  For example, the Ryakuga Page could have 4 administrators, but regardless of who posts, it will always just show as a post from Ryakuga.

If a Facebook Page is published, it can be seen by any member of the public regardless of if they have a Facebook account.  Anyone with a Facebook account can "like" a Facebook page, and they will receive updates in their news feed of activity.

Settings controls are a lot more detailed with Facebook Pages than with Facebook Groups.  There are a variety of viewing and posting options. People who "like" a Facebook Page can add links, photos, videos and contribute to discussion forums on the page.

Anyone who likes a Facebook Page can recommend the page to anyone on their friends list.  It comes in the form of an invitation.

Pages can "like" other Pages, and administrators are given the option of using the Facebook as the Page.  So the Ryakuga Page could post to the Network 11 Group.

These are a few of the major differences between Groups and Pages.

The general rule is that Groups are used for horizontally organized information sharing among members.  Pages are more for promotional/public relations purposes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Network 11

Network 11 is a participatory event about participatory communications.
It will take place from October 20 to October 23 at the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital and Marine Station in beautiful Bonne Bay Newfoundland.

The purpose of the Network 11 event is to support the creation of an informal network of community groups interested in using community radio - enhanced by participatory media tools - as a vehicle for community development and community-based research.

During Network 11 a variety of sessions/workshops about the bread and butter of participatory communication processes will be held, and then reported back about on-air through a live radio broadcast. Simulcast online using Internet tools.

Participatory communication processes are designed with the goals of sustainable community development and community-based research guiding them. These processes support the growth of a culture which promotes collaboration, self-help and citizen engagement.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information on Network 11.

RSVP to Network 11 on Facebook

You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feile Tilting Community Radio 2011

FĂ©ile Tilting 2011
A Celebration of Irish/Newfoundland Culture
Listen Live September 8 - 11, 2010 on 105.9 & 102.5 (Fogo Central) FM
Online at

Schedule of Events

Feile Tilting Facebook Group

Monday, September 5, 2011

Participatory Media

What is participatory media?

Participatory media is:

  • any media in which the audience can also be the broadcaster

  • any media “whose value and power derives from the active participation of many people. Value derives not just from the size of the audience, but from their power to link to each other, to form a public as well as a market.”(Rheingold, 2008).

  • any media which facilitates the emergence of public voice and dialogue through active engagement with citizens of a community

Why is participatory media important?

Participatory media allows participants to express their voices, explore their identities, and connect with other members of their communities; all elements of active citizenship. (Rheingold, 2008). The ability of citizens to be able to communicate with each other helps promote democracy and good governance through the emergence of public dialogues.

Dialogue is defined as “the ongoing civil project of building collective norms and values through the broad exchange, articulation and dissemination of knowledge... dialogue has the ability to bridge asymmetries in democratic practices, by building collective norms, values and governance among diverse sectors (or “stakeholders” in the modern parlance of government) of Canadian society.” (Naylor and Dale, 2005).