Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Ham Radio Explains Social Media

Repeaters. Your hand held radio may not get out, but if you send that signal up to a repeater, all the other hand helds will hear it.

If Scott Bourne's theory of multiplied value (if a blog is 1x, then using a Twitter account to spread that word isn't 2x, it's 3x; add Facebook it's 7x, etc), consider the very real multiplier effect of getting your various individual Twitter/Facebook accounts to operate in unison. Let's call it the Bourne Effect.

Not only do you the voices in working together in the harmony of the company hymnal, you get the multiplier impact of a repeater.

Does everything go out on the repeater? No, ham radio theory again. Some traffic or information is local, and that is just shared among the smaller group. But the net controller will pick up and decide what needs to be shared. In turn, that may be passed along in other local groups.

Hey, you've lost all the non-emergency communicator types.

OK, going back to our original concept that the main voice of the department breaks news - the play-by-play person - and other feeds (coaches, administrators, SIDs, players, other specialty feeds) provide the supporting commentary - the color analysts.

In our world, @ArkRazorbacks handles the top line news. Starting soon, we will bring in sport specific feeds to add more granular detail. The main feed promotes all home events, but not all road ones.  There is a place for that with the sport level. But what if we have something big happen on the road with a sport? Pick it up from the sport feed and retweet.

The announcement of a big award won by an athlete - lets use DJ Williams and the Mackey Award. That's obviously main feed and football news, but why not the volleyball coach sending along his congrats? Hiring of Mike Anderson for men's basketball - chance for lots of welcomes to drive back the news to fans following other sports only.

That kind of "repeater" work can BR managed by the person running the lead feed - in the ham world, the net controller. Sort of the same on a live blog, they steer, they direct the chorus.

Thus a different and equally important Bourne Effect as big news gets retweeted around the department's social media.

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