Three days back and I've had a dozen good conversations with participants, organizers and speakers.
I think there's a buzz--people were energized by the discussions, excited by the topics.
Then there's the reality of the situation. Here are just two quick thoughts (prepare yourself for less than uplifting stuff).
¨ Distribution Rights. That is a mountain. It will take a concerted effort by many parties over which we have little control. Even if you approach this optimistically, how long will this take? On the positive side, Paul Gerhardt laid out a road map that could provide a comprehensive model.
¨ Best practice: Well, of course we need to start with metrics, and that’s in process. On the other hand, just getting the metrics system in place took almost a year, and it won't be extended to most stations for at least six months. Can we afford to move at that pace: Eighteen months just to start measuring? If not, what are the realistic alternatives?
We're in a campaign. We need to secure our base--keep the people who really adore public broadcasting (especially public radio). We need a platform--what are trying to do and why? We probably need to form a coaliltion of like-minded parties.
However you cut this, we need to move more quickly and with greater resolve. We may even need—can I say this?—to spend less time discussing everything.
As we developed WXPN, I remember meeting with the staff one afternoon and saying: from this point on, we want to get votes from listeners. They vote by tuning in, and we'll do what it takes to get those votes, even if they trickle in a few each day. It took about four or five years to get real traction.
Am I just being foolish to think we think that we need something similar, some kind of campaign with the same kind of determination--and a lot more speed?