Why I’m on radio instead of just podcasting



By Michael W. Dean, Freedom Feens radio show

I get asked this a lot. Podcasting is much easier, and has far fewer rules of what you can say. And to do radio right, you have to introduce the show at the top and bottom of each segment, which sounds odd on the podcast archives to people who aren’t used to talk radio and only listen to podcasts.

Yet despite all this, I worked very hard to be on radio, and continue to work hard to add more stations.

There are a lot of reasons I do this. The first three are the most important:

–To reach new people we’d never reach otherwise. Internet podcasting is kind of an echo chamber. People tend to find things they’re actively looking for. Whereas, voluntaryist talk media on commercial conservative radio stations is an anomaly (other than us and Free Talk Live). Radio listeners are NOT looking for something like this, but get to come across it anyway.

We’re still on the Internet too, both streaming live and as podcast archives, to reach the rest of the world where we’re not on radio. And I don’t edit out the intro and outro for each segment on the podcast archives, because I like it. Though I do edit out the four or five minutes of radio ads out each break and just put in 60 or 90 seconds of our ads each break.

–The Freedom Feens is a liberty media teaching hospital … helping others learn to do live spoken media well to a show clock, which is a format that will still exist long after radio is gone. Doing that on actual radio is much better training than doing it on the Internet only, even if we did it with a show clock on the Internet. It’s more real, and the stakes are higher, which forces people to “sink or swim.”

–Terrestrial radio (especially our satellite uplink) has the remote possibility of eventually contacting intelligent life on other planets. There is a possibly habitable planet 4.3 light years away from Earth in the Alpha Centauri region.

These are my other reasons:

–I actually like the four- and five-minute breaks. I can stretch, pee, get a drink, talk to my wife, and especially I can plan the next segment with my co-host.

–Having to form my thoughts live, on the fly, around a show clock helps keep my aging brain sharp. Not being able to cuss keeps my brain sharp, and also teaches me to be able to not cuss. I’ve never had much occasion to not cuss in my life until I was on radio.

–I like the format of a show clock, especially how the whole show works as a piece (including how I edit it later for the podcast). If I’m not on radio, I tend to get lazy and not do podcasts to a show clock and not do it the same time every day.

–Doing a show on radio live to strangers who’ve never heard the ideas of liberty, to a show clock, pushes me and the co-hosts to do a better show.

–I like the fun of the gear. It’s a blast researching, learning and using a new piece of gear, and teaching others how to get the best sound they can on the least amount of money. Radio and podcasting can use some of the same gear, but radio has some additional specific gear.

–I get a kick of people hearing me, live, who’d never hear the show otherwise.

–I like the challenge of doing radio. I’d gotten so good at podcasting after doing is since 2006 that I liked to have to master new aspects of audio production.

–A lot of people have more respect for radio than for podcasts, so they are more likely to consider you an authority when you talk about new concepts like true liberty. This is because ANYONE can do a podcast, whereas being on radio means a commercial network believes you are worth spending money on, and commercial stations believe you are worth airing. The barrier to entry is higher, therefore people are more likely to take your message seriously.

–I can write, produce and place freaky activism ads on three dozen commercial radio stations on one day’s notice any time I want without spending any money.

–Being at the same place at the same time every day is interesting to me. I’ve been self-employed for so long (13 years) that actually having a little bit of structure in my life feels almost radical. lol.

–Radio has more commercial value to ad space than on a podcast. We give most of our ads away now, but occasionally sell an ad for something we believe in, and can make more money doing that than we could as a podcast-only show. (Most of the money we make goes into covering expenses anyway.)

–More new listeners every show. This also leads to new listeners on the podcast who would never find us simply from surfing the web.

–I’ve been wanting to be on radio since I was a kid.

–I’m played delayed on the station in my town, so I get to actually hear myself on actual radio. I get a kick out of that. Again, this probably goes back to my childhood dreams of being on radio.

There’s a pic of me listening to my show, on the car radio near the station’s antenna, at the top of this post.