Call for Curation

Radio hams have really taken to online media. Hardly a week passes without the announcement of yet another new podcast or video program. This sort of content isn’t new in amateur radio, but the pace of new programming has stepped up dramatically to the point where we are overloaded with choices.

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The programming bandwidth may be unlimited for producers but the spare time required to consume all this new media is not. What’s sorely lacking in our unique world is content curation.

Content curation is nothing new. Museums and galleries have curators to select items for collection and display. There are also curators in the world of media, for instance DJs of radio stations tasked with selecting songs to be played over the air. What would be fantastic would be yet another new podcast — one that reviews and recommends the very best programming and content for radio amateurs this week. The nuggets of stuff that shouldn’t be missed that are buried deep in the expanding pile of forgettable content.

Of course, that task would consume a lot of free time. And whoever takes it on would have to be objective and not subject to merely gushing over the latest new podcast — unless its worth gushing over. A seasoned ham with deep knowledge of our hobby and an abiding interest in seeing it properly promoted.

Most importantly, it should be a labor of love. No KickStarter, Patreon, or other for-profit schemes — including sponsors. ICOM has already polluted the well by underwriting too many programs for amateur radio. I never know if what I’m consuming is real or an informercial anymore.

Perhaps someone with all those qualities doesn’t even exist — but I like to hope that they do. And even more, I hope that they will step up and begin highlighting the best of the best. That work will keep these many new producers honest and continuously working to produce the very best content that educates, informs, and promotes amateur radio in the new century.

Author: Jeff Davis

 

2 thoughts on “Call for Curation”

  1. Overall, I agree with you.

    But… I think there is amazing value in the programs created by people like Gary Pearce.

    Gary goes out and spends a lot of time and money creating grade-A programming for the ham community. I don’t think you can get that level of quality –at least in the long term — for free. Kickstarters, etc. are just creative ways to fund them and hopefully be less beholden to a specific (usually commercial) interest.

    That said, if you the the time to personally create this, I’d certainly tune in!

  2. Hi Matt — there is indeed much value to be found in the content being produced by the fraternity. Digging it out is getting tougher though because there is so much of it. I don’t know about you, but I have maybe an hour a week when I can catch a podcast or video program. I’d just like a little direction so that time is well spent.

    The money makes for a more interesting discussion. None of these producers NEED to charge for their content. Bandwidth, the most expensive component has become free. Even so, there’s nothing wrong with people being paid for their efforts. But it does move things from hobby to vocation and we shouldn’t forget that — even as new payment models emerge and evolve.

    I would never trust an equipment review from someone being funded by an equipment supplier, etc.

    Gary is unique in that he’s a professional playing the role of “amateur”. His approach is the most refreshing of all. He told everyone upfront that he believes he should be compensated $100,000 a year for what he does for the amateur community. So far, his audience doesn’t seem to agree but at least he’s open and honest about his quest to make a comfortable living producing ham radio videos.

    There may be one or two people talented enough in all of ham radio (Gary is one), with the skills to make a living ‘talking’ about the hobby — but these seem to have inspired dozens of others in the same quest. And not to be a dream crusher, but NONE of them have yet crossed that threshold.

    Best advice for those who yearn to be successful in the content business — forget the money and produce the very best content possible. If it’s good enough, the money might come — but even then, it usually doesn’t.

    73, Jeff

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