I’m a longtime listener and subscriber of Melbourne community radio station Triple R. I generally tune into regular programs on ‘drive time’, in the car on my way to and from work. Ironically, in the week I began research for this blog critiquing digital media & marketing, I serendipitously drove home late from work after drive time and heard a broadcast I’d not heard before.
Byte Into It was the aptly named show, a weekly technology talk show on Triple R focusing on computer news, reviews, tech talk and opinionated chat with feature interviews and regular guests. 
Intrigued at the novel idea of ‘listening’ to tech news through traditional media in an emerging online world, I listened on. The show was easy listening and announcers sounded well versed on ensuing topics, beginning discussion with the latest ‘tech news’. Reports on the iPad 2 launch (Apple confirmed availability in spite of US shortages), and ViewPad10 Android tablet in Australia quickly synergised into Amazons new app store launch ‘Amazon Appstore for Android’ (US only), with subsequent discussion on Apple’s attempt to deny Amazon that name through a trademark claim on the term “App Store.” Following on news of Mozilla’s Firefox 4 browser launch and the battle of the browsers added to topics of the day…All of interest to an emerging ‘tech head’ of course!
Moving on to broader topics, a more in-depth chat on Internet democracy touched on the severance of Internet connections to Egypt and Libya in the past couple of months, and “what would Australia do if we turned off the Internet?”… I shudder to think! It’s technically unlikely according to the Internet society of Australia (isoc-au). Announcers referred to an ‘isoc-au’ meeting this week that discussed the likelihood (not) of Australia’s Internet disconnection and would it be possible technically, would our democracy allow it? One announcer said it got him thinking “what if it was a targeted attack – could we manage, would it be chaos, would we go to work…how would we organise our bday drinks?” 🙂 Interesting futurist theories proceeded. 
Convergence with new media was naturally (given the subject matter) encouraged throughout the show. Listeners were advised to send feedback through twitter, email or the blog. Interspersed with this were repeated comments of prior discussions had on the show, “all available through podcasts on the blog. The historical references worked for me, on the back of listening to the 1 hour show I subscribed to the weekly podcast via RSS Feed that evening.
What really sparked my interest on the program, was a segment on South by South West (SXSW). A yearly conference festival in Austin Texas (USA) offering the unique convergence (a resounding theme) of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies.
Guest presenter, Keren Flavell  spoke of her experience at the conference attending in particular SXSW Interactive. Keren ascertained it was an “amazing conference that brings together designers, programmers, VC’s (venture capitalists), CEO’s…what sets it apart is that it’s a melting pot of people there because they want to advance the industry…it’s a peak event for people around the world sharing information on interactive media”. Keren Flavell was an eloquent speaker and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her analysis on the varied content presented at SXSW. She also headed a discussion panel at the conference on the ‘growth of open source crisis mapping tools and social media networks…given rise to community driven disaster preparation and response‘, an extremely relevant topic in today’s climate.
Following the show I explored the SXSW website and schedule of events, wishing I could teleport myself back to Texas for the interactive feast that is SXSW. Futurists might say it’s only a matter of time!
There were additional topics of interest about SXSW (and more), so if this post grabs your attention I encourage a listen to the show, and certainly a visit to the SXSW website for a fix on the latest in global interactive. Overall I found it hard to fault the long-running (since 1993) traditional media show, voicing updates from our digital world. I’ll listen to the online weekly podcast…or catch it offline on my drive home!
Till next week,
Melani @ d8