James Cridland

Visuals, and Radio at The Edge

Earlier this week, I was speaking at Radio at The Edge, an event produced by The Radio Academy (disclosure: I was on the production committee, too).

The event went much better than I’d hoped it would - partially, perhaps, because there was slightly too much to the day, so everyone’s presentations were shortened. In my case, it meant that a presentation I was due to give that lasted thirty minutes ended up lasting almost half that: the lesson learnt is that actually, it didn’t suffer too much as a result. Arguably, it didn’t suffer at all.

The conference itself was fast-paced and very interesting: with a near absence of “this is my company, aren’t I brilliant?” presentations that infest most conferences like a virus. Truly interesting and well-produced panels kept the interest up; a slightly too-dry presentation from the boss of Commercial Radio Australia got a panning in The Guardian’s blog, but that was probably because the journalist didn’t listen to his rather stark message: which could be distilled into “We in Australia aren’t going to fuck up digital radio like you poms have”. (Not sure I entirely agree, but that was a fascinating view to have).

My talk was around adding visuals to radio; mostly, it was videos of interviews I’ve made with others over the past few months. Universally described as the most interesting was Sharath Chandra, who works for Radio Mirchi in India: he’s more interested in what you can do with the mobile phone (100 million owners in India) instead of the internet (10 million owners in India). Time didn’t allow me to use all of the material in our chat: notably that Radio Mirchi produces news content on their Visual Radio system which they’re unable, because of government regulations, to broadcast. Enhancing their product in this way is a fascinating use of the medium.

I hope to do a slightly longer version of the talk in 2007, including that bit; but in the meantime, Matthew Honey from Unique Interactive, and the rest of the committee, deserve a pat on the back.