Microbroadcasting

I’ve recently become interested-in and fascincated-with the idea of “microbroadcasting.”  In the radio world, the term microbroadcast referred to a small radio station, often a pirate radio station. These stations broadcast infrequently, and often you needed to discover its frequency and program schedule through a means other than the radio station.

On the internet, anyone can be a broadcaster using only a smartphone with an app, or a webcam and some software.  There are plenty of “broadcast-it-yourself” applications.  So what is it that makes one a microbroadcaster and not a broadcaster?

A microbroadcast in the internet world is a potentially short-lived broadcast.  It could include video as well as audio.  It may not gain much traction and it may have little permanance.  A microbroadcast is quickly started up, runs for a little while and then dissappears.  It is ephemeral.

For the audience, a microbroadcast should require little effort to tune-in to.  Ideally you should not need to install special software. As a listener, you should be able to preview the program quickly, determine if you want to continue listening, and move off quickly if you don’t.  You should not have to register with the broadcaster to preview the broadcast.  It should be freely available, but perhaps not listed: just like a pirate radio station.

A microbroadcast is different from a phone call or a video call: it is a one-to-many transmission.  It is different from a conference call, and it is not a hangout: since these require registration.  A microbroadcast need not be planned in advance and the audience is not necessarily “logged in” to an app.

It should be possible to start an impromptu microbroadcast because something interesting is happening around you.  And you should be able to share your microbroadcast as easily as sharing a link – just the way you might share a link to a relevant article that was just posted. In the case of a microbroadcast, the link should be a live broadcast program.

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