State of the Station Report
from the desk of radio free fedi . please do not follow or boost this blog account or post. it is only a reference to long form we can't smash or make into 1 of 12 threads in masto.
What we've learnt so far in our first 7 weeks and from putting it out there about possible growth.
There can be a response to jump on a wagon of cool, now “hey be all the stations/playlists/genre silos like spotify/soma/etc/etc.” We can't because we are:
- unapologetically niche. all fedi, wildly diverse. weird and wonderful.
- community driven, volunteer, will always avoid commercial or walled garden mechanisms in our sphere, and fedi presence for artists and highlighting consent and attribution are not negotiable!
- committed to ALL are welcome and we do mean ALL, all humans (and a few raccoons, possum, badgers, alien deities etc), all genres and genres busters! except nazis, and fascists, and racists, and anti trans, and anti queer. fuck them. we celebrate sound and each other, not otherism.
- because of the above item we will never automate nor payola submissions as a trust mechanism for the community we are a part of and want to celebrate. time sink yes, good for community also yes.
- weird wild and lavishly diverse to yes sometimes gently challenge, but mostly to spark adventure and discovery
- meant to be a transparent non-commercial non-corporate intermediary for discovery not an end point for consumption
- against highly siloed curation that shifts focus away from artists toward a platform. the main stream will always be weird and wonderful drop-in and explore as you wish
- most likely not be doing highly curated genre channels because that makes RFF more of an end point of consumption and not the discovery layer to get you to the artists which is the mission
- a jumping off point to go fedi interact with and to support fedi artists on their platforms of choice which we do not judge. SUPPORT FEDI ARTISTS
- the artists, connections between them and with listeners are the absolute focus, not any RFF layers hence no RFF specific “app” or distracting web stuff
- you will continue to hear electronic and metal, folk and classical, downtempo and bangers, sometimes you catch a wave, sometimes you catch a basket of wth. enjoy.
Trouble we are having:
- some days it feels like 1 in 3 fedizens are a soundscape, noise, drone, ambient, experimental artist with 17 minute compositions. we are trying to feature excerpts of things like sound collage into spots like theTrafficReport and be as inclusive as we can but without artists taking this onboard and providing us said excerpts or edits we can't always afford the editing time
- similar to that, we do our very best to get SOMETHING on from everyone who submits, but again long format, very long loops, poor sound quality or well outside of levels sounding balanced in broadcast we try but simply don't always have time to adjust submissions. these things are just not neighbourly to the other artists or the listeners in a diverse unscheduled drop-in discovery format
- expectations? we are the opposite of a paid genre curated artist obscuring service. we work very hard to balance artist rotation based on number of tracks by each to maximise variety. many people get it, it is 100% not demographic, algorithm, payola, ad driven. This IS 100% community driven. What is on the station, outside of the above issues, is exactly reflective to what is submitted. As previously stated going hard silo and making the THING an ultra curated endpoint you consume is not a goal. The THING is a little challenging sometimes, but it is celebrating diversity, each other and THE FEDI ARTISTS, not a curator or a website or a playlist. Want more of a certain genre? Then please help encourage more fedi artists to participate.
- there are many things we could do. technically and content driven. however, rule 1 is not to distract from core mission of interact with and support fedi artists!
- if not hyper curated “channels”, scheduled genre shows will take a MASSIVE chunk of programming time and could technically be on a side stream, but as it stands, we do not feel they should be on the main stream. “you” may like it, but it thwarts the drop-in anytime and catch some diverse discovery ethos.
- as a disabled person needing remote work, saying “I'd pay for a feed/show of xyz” would be exciting to me were it not antithetical to the station mission. I can't yet see a way to balance that up without becoming the things we are actively not.
- so so many stories of discovery, mutual artist support, listeners subscribing and buying and giving words of encouragement to artists!
- the overall support for things we recognise as being weird and different and the core tenets we are standing on
- have you heard “golf punk” by sockpuppet or everything by Helen Bell? I mean come on, we are so excited these amazing artists came into our feed.
- it's a lot of work but we are having fun with artist spotlight interviews and hope you are liking them
- your boosts and interactions tell us that you like or tolerate our nowPlaying mini reviews and we try to do an 8 or 12 hour boost on most station posts to catch you awake
where to then?
Therefore, given the poll direction, and more importantly some very constructive chats with listeners, and assuming continuing patron help with some infrastructure upgrades, we think the following is the least distracting most “on brand” for a RFF small growth step.
We are in the process of scaling up and developing a “comfy” station feed. This will be both a subset of contributing artists and a superset of tracks, being able to feature more material maybe not included on the main feed. This will not be a genre channel persay, rather a vibe.
NEW “CHANNEL” FACTS:
- this channel will not have spoken word bits and sound collage at top and bottom of hour
- there will be no jump out at you surprises in terms of drastic sonic clashes and we hope that helps some listeners
- sonic and vocal pallets of light beats and rhythms we hope most will agree are suitable for focused OR background discovery, chill out and enjoyment
- while we are shaving off some of the experimental, hard, rough, piercing, throbbing edges, this will still be wildly varied from as many artists as possible who ALL will still be on the main discovery feed with varying degrees of track overlap
radio free fedi comfy!
What we need:
- keep supporting fedi artists!
- continued celebration of our difference and of our community
- keep sending in original music, if you are already contributing to the station please let us know when you have new stuff we can consider and help hype
- keep putting hands up to do station reads
- if you have the means, help offsetting infra costs is how this thing is evolving from the initial smell of an oily rag operation and we have begun to separate out some tech for resilience going forward
- more understanding that there isn't always time to respond to queries that might be pretty clearly answered on the site, that we can't always find a way to include every submission nor have the time to adjust things to within parameters to do so. We can't always respond to every post about “why don't you use this platform?” or “I hate Martian Speed Casio Waltz, why is there not more Hungarian Death Lute Polka!?!?”. The station is and will as direct as we can hustle behind the scenes to make it be a direct reflection of who contributes material. Any compassion, help with care taken with quality submissions to minimise our workload, or maybe holding off on helpful demands that would obviously strain or distract from our core ethos is a massive help.
- Not my style but I have been told it is worth noting that a lone volunteer spent 60 hrs a week for a month getting this community experiment up and running if that helps with understanding that this is not spotify in resource, ethos, or hatred for artists.
phew, thanks if you made it this far. we hope it helps to have a place other than truncated threads to document more long form some of the behind the scenes in evolving a community driven artist discovery tool
KEEP SUPPORTING EACH OTHER AND FEDI ARTISTS
and keep fedi weird
listen and contribute: [https://radiofreefedi.net]
Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei Kia ora rawa atu