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Archive for January 2011

Get on the air in your community – The Local Community Radio Act 2011

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Good news for those who want to set up community broadcast stations and “get on the air”.

January 24, 2011

The New Year ushered in a new era for community radio.  President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act into law, allowing for the biggest expansion of community radio stations in U.S. history and allowing low-power, neighborhood based stations to broadcast in urban areas for the first time. Hundreds of groups waiting for radio stations were ecstatic at the news.

A day later, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission pledged “swift action to open up the dial for these new stations.” In the coming months, the FCC will be working to develop the rules for an application window for new radio licenses, which could happen as early as November 2011.

Just in the past few weeks, Prometheus has been contacted by hundreds of groups wanting to start a station, adding to the many hundreds who have been waiting and advocating for more radio licenses for ten years.  Prometheus is planning a nationwide campaign to help groups apply for licenses and is seeking donations, volunteers, and partners from media and social justice organizations to assist with outreach. Learn how to get involved.

Passage of the Local Community Radio Act marks the first major legislative success for the growing movement for a more democratic media system in the U.S., and represents the power when grassroots groups, media advocates, and policymakers join forces to overcome corporate opposition to media diversity. 

After building political will for ten years, this team effectively mobilized thousands of people to contact key Senate offices in the final weeks before passage. Hundreds then called the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the lobby group that had been blocking the bill’s progress by convincing Senators to put secret holds on it. They urged former Senator Gordon Smith, President of the NAB to stop pulling strings to kill the bill. But when radio advocates received little response, they chose to take more colorful action..


Read the story –
You can find all the info here –
Low Power FM Equipment Guide –

The History and Future of Hyper-Local Radio

A great resource – find radio stations that you can hear in the proximity of a zip code, city, state, or world radio.  Shows frequency, call sign, distance, estimated signal strength, and city.  Also includes streaming audio stations.  If you need to find an unused frequency for your in-house FM audio distribution this site can make some recommendations for your area.  Radio Locator –

Professional FM Transmitters –

Written by frrl

January 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm

What do you do for a living? Are you a victim of a Career Crisis?

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Are you in a moment of a career crisis?  When someone asks you, “What do you do for a living” what do you say?  How much do you inflate what you really do and, if you inflate or exaggerate your job title or the responsibilities you have been granted by the corporation where you work, then why do you do it?  Have you seen this behavior in other people?  Perhaps these are moments of career crisis.  Perhaps this type of response clearly demonstrates and articulates the existence of a gap between the hopes and reality of life.

If you get to the top do you own your career success?  Likewise, if you don’t, do you own your failure?  Isn’t your lot in life and your career achievement the result of every decision you ever made?  Why shouldn’t you own your success as well as your failure?  Is this too simplistic?  Is there relief in the concept of Tragedy?

Is there hope for people who suffer moments of career crisis?

Now everybody, all politicians on left and right, agree that meritocracy is a great thing, and we should all be trying to make our societies really really meritocratic. In other words, what is a meritocratic society? A meritocratic society is one in which if you’ve got talent and energy and skill, you will get to the top. Nothing should hold you back.

It’s a beautiful idea. The problem is if you really believe in a society where those who merit to get to the top, get to the top, you’ll also, by implication, and in a far more nasty way, believe in a society where those who deserve to get to the bottom also get to the bottom and stay there. In other words, your position in life comes to seem not accidental, but merited and deserved. And that makes failure seem much more crushing.

You know, in the middle ages, in England, when you met a very poor person, that person would be described as an “unfortunate.” Literally, somebody who had not been blessed by fortune, an unfortunate. Nowadays, particularly in the United States, if you meet someone at the bottom of society, they may, unkindly, be described as a “loser.” There is a real difference between an unfortunate and a loser. And that shows 400 years of evolution in society, and our belief in who is responsible for our lives. It’s no longer the gods, it’s us. We’re in the driving seat.

That’s exhilarating if you’re doing well, and very crushing if you’re not. It leads, in the worst cases, in the analysis of a sociologist like Emil Durkheim, it leads to increased rates of suicide. There are more suicides in developed individualistic countries than in any other part of the world. And some of the reason for that is that people take what happens to them extremely personally. They own their success.  But they also own their failure.

Is there any relief from some of these pressures that I’ve just been outlining? I think there is…

Watch this TED talk to find out  – Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Written by frrl

January 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Amateur Radio – When all else fails

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A quaint video from 1939.  But notice this.  What is new and current to one generation is nearly incomprehensible to the previous generation.  I’d put the yardstick of time of “one click” to 20 years.  In 20 years – one click on the technology timeline – and (perhaps the majority) of folks lose cadence with the ever evolving mainstream society transformed by technology.

If I’m applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there’s an Internet, and there’s Facebook, and there are movies like … ‘The Social Network,’ which I couldn’t even understand… — Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

During the last presidential election much was made of John McCain’s lack of knowledge of use of the computer or the internet.  At least one of the Supreme Court justices is “perplexed” by the story of Facebook … “The 72-year-old justice said in a speech at Vanderbilt Law School on Tuesday that he was perplexed when he recently saw the film “The Social Network” about the origins of Facebook.” ( read the story )

But, through all this new fangled technology of the Internet, Twitter, e-mail, the cell phone infrastructure, satellite phones, and given the limited range of smoke signals and unreliability of carrier pigeons – Amateur Radio will get through when all else fails.

If you need to send a Radio Gram here is a handy form –

Bonus video – The “New Math” –

Written by frrl

January 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

What Talent Wants

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Companies and countries will compete for the best and the brightest. Talent scarcity is driving the growth of an internationally mobile creative class that encompasses five  generations of workers. 

Competition for talent will come not only from the company down the street, but also from the  employer on the other side of the world. It will be a seller’s market, with talented individuals having many choices. Both countries and companies will need to brand themselves as locations of choice to attract this talent.

The millennials, a generation born digital, are completely at ease with technology and will have a much stronger impact on social behaviour than  we currently assume. As they enter the workforce, they represent a huge engine of transformation for  every institution — public and private.

What’s your perspective on the future?  How you think is how it shall be.  Are we standing on the precipice of doom and gloom or is this the vantage point of what could be the greatest potential the world has ever known?  Who’s your peer group what do you think?

Amid the doom and gloom that I hear every day from the Boomer and previous generations there is a ray of hope.  And that ray of hope is the talent of the Millennial generation which is positioned to utterly transform the world.  The Millennials have two enablers that previous generation did not have.  First, they have technology which places them on a trajectory of having the world’s knowledge at their fingertips.  Second, unlike previous generations who lived in a neighborhood, city, or state the Millennial’s live globally, always connected, and together.  The synergy of  technology, knowledge, and collaboration will give the Millennial generation a creative advantage possessed by no previous generation.

The Millennial worker will not necessarily “go to” a workplace as understood by previous generations.  They will work virtually and globally.  There may be “no place” to go work.  With an internet connection you are already there – where ever you are.  Will the Millennial workers have a domestic or country identity?  Why? If there is a global demand for talent and you can work (virtually) anywhere then how does a domestic or country identity make any sense?  Will countries be reduced to brands like Google and Apple that compete for talent?  To previous generations companies competed for talent that was local or at least in the same city, state, or country.  But when the demand for talent is global why not “go” to where the demand exists – no matter where on the planet the demand exists?  In the supply and demand for talent are country borders of any concern?  For Millennials, talent will be highly mobile.  Millennials will also challenge the concept of a company or firm in the
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Written by frrl

January 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tom the IT guy: How to get ahead by really trying

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Mildly amusing… the story of a stereotypical IT technician stuck in a dead-end job.  This video was done by a software vendor to promote its products.  Somehow, by buying the vendor’s software, (and a makeover) you can get promoted from a dead-end technician to an IT Manager.  And, become promotable beyond that.

This short video (slow at points) depicts some basic truisms about getting ahead

  1. If you want to get ahead, you need to look the part.  Dressing like a nerd may get you “street cred” with a peer group of engineers or technicians but it’s a liability in the context of executives.  (And the secretary in the video has an opinion as well)
  2. A single-minded focus on technology (as an end in itself) will get you nowhere.
  3. Being tagged a “techie” by middle or executive management is a near career-ender
  4. If you have a “distinguished” technical job title and no management responsibilities – your career advancement is over.  Executives have tagged you as “non-promotable” to even a first management position.  (Read about Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt on How to Manage Geeks )
  5. If you want to get ahead you need to understand the business of the corporation.  You have to make what is important to the executives important to you.  You need to see the “big picture” of the corporation and how all the piece parts fit together.  Note Tom’s discussion with the CIO in the video.
  6. To get a new job then get a new peer group.  I don’t think that most people really appreciate the affect and effect that peer groups have on them.  Peer groups hold, maintain, sustain, and enforce aspirations and values.  Peer groups can be enablers and well as disablers.  Peer groups can be assets or liabilities – depending on your perspective.  Perspectives are not right or wrong or true or false – they simply “are”.    In Tom’s “old world” his peer group of technicians and engineers was an asset to his job in sustaining aspirations and values to remain a technician in that peer group.  Now, in Tom’s “new world” of a first management position his old peer group and its aspirations and values are a liability.  If Tom wants to continue in his career path in management then he needs the aspirations and values of the peer group of executives.  The short video is mildly amusing – but accurate.

I realize that not everyone wants to get ahead.  I “get that” – but yet I don’t. 
Read some related articles here and here.

Written by frrl

January 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tracking the Millennials on the Future of Money

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Read our related posting on the generations (here)

The Millennials – those born between 1977-1992 now between 18-33 years of age – were born into a world that is fundamentally different from that of the Boomer Generation (born 1946-1964).  What is one of the significant differences?  Global communication and global collaboration.  And, this changes everything.

The young kids that created the computer revolution in the 1970’s and 1980’s were smart and innovative.  Ask most successful Venture Capitalists (VC’s) and they will tell you that, on a first cut, they skip much of the business plan and go to the section on management.  VC’s don’t invest in ideas; they invest in people.  And, if the idea is not quite right then the right management team will get it right.  When you pitch to a VC you are mostly pitching yourself and a team.

So, let’s think about the 1970’s and 1980’s.  No easy global communication and collaboration.  For a team to assemble the right people had to be in the right place at the right time – a sort of random walk at the whims of geography.  But what if these people could easily find each other and the reach was not limited to the same neighborhood, the same city, or perhaps the same university or college?  What if there were no limits of geography to collaboration?

This global collaboration is the advantage that the Millennials have over previous generations.  So what is the impact?  Can the innovation clock-speed multiply 10x, 50x, 100x over previous generations where team building, collaboration, and communication was limited by geography and finding other people who shared your vision, ideas, or values was mostly the result of the random walk of chance and serendipity?

So, what are the Millennials up to using this “taken for granted” global communication?  What does technology want now (read)?

Check out this video on the Future of Money and see and hear what the Millennials are thinking and the future they may be building.

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Written by frrl

January 15, 2011 at 6:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Generations, Cadence, and Dropping Out

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This is simply an observation.  It’s the observation that at some point, in the world of society, culture, innovation, technology, and the daily “taken for granted” reality of how people operate or conduct themselves in the world, some people “fall off the map”.  And, by this I mean that their recognition is diminished – even when they are duly fully present in their physical existence.

Being not recognized means that you slide into a state of a sort of personal irrelevancy as judged by new product development, communication channels, marketing messages, and common ways of working, thinking, and communicating that operate on a daily basis.  Perhaps you even become irrelevant to your (former) close friends.  Ed Yourdon has something to say about this and is quoted later in this posting.

Why do some people “drop out”?  That it is the case is true – the research and statistics are in.  But why is it the case?  What is the cause?

The Cadence of Society, Culture, and Life

Aren’t we all “on the same page”?  We live day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade.  There is a cadence to the thing.  Those who have been living  the longest should be the most adept at the cadence.  Why do some people fall off the cadence?  At what point do you say that the game, the race, or the walk is over?  At what time do you “drop out”?  More importantly, why do you drop out?  Once you drop out and lose the cadence of the society or culture in which you are embedded and must live then you become – in societal terms – irrelevant.  The rest will move on and leave you behind.

Why does technology leave some people behind?  And why is this related to age?

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Written by frrl

January 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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