App For Success ...
July 12, 2016
From time to time, someone points out a new app, gadget or information I can use. It's like the Christmas adrenaline rush I used to get at eight years old. These sorts of things cause me to take the time to find out what new shiny object can help me with personal tasks and work. I then advise others to do the same thing; I figure strength in numbers will widen my search for information.
My point is, reboot and reorganize to try and make things easier for you. For example, occasionally one of the things I do is to visit Best Buy, Sharper Image, or Radio Shack to look around for new technology. It doesn't take long to get outdated if you don't make a concentrated effort to stay in the know.
There Is Always Room For Improvement
Years ago an air personality friend of mine got me into the habit and I have been on the constant update quest ever sense. I can remember getting to work one day before my on-air shift and seeing him in the production room writing. My curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to know what he was doing because I noticed he was not set up to record anything.
He told me he was updating the resources that he used to gather information for his show. This PM-driver had pretty good ratings and was considered one of the station's mainstays. I was surprised he was changing anything. He explained it to me as keeping his job by constantly fine-tuning. As he explained his process of finding new resources and dumping a few no longer relevant, I became a believer and updating became a part of my strategies. This was long before I knew what a strategic plan was.
Faster Information Cycles
Because things move so fast these days, no one can afford to wait yearly any more to update. I am on alert 24 hours; sometimes I feel like one of these computer cleaner software programs, constantly cleaning out, to then turn around and add something new.
Personalities Have To Stay One Step Ahead
Knowing your audience will help in updating your resources. It is the equivalent to spring cleaning - dump the outdated, keep the relevant, and add the latest. Being good on the air is about mental preparation and doing your homework. Double-check and look for better resource materials or sources. This is the kind of work ethic that separates the great shows from the good ones.
Resource & Services Sites
Show prep services are fine, but you need your own sources for information as well. Take a look at an activity you perform and check your smart phone for an app that might make things easier. Check with social media friends at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram and elsewhere for Internet sites with software you can use. I highly suggest you always go directly to the company website to download. Too many still Google a topic and download from any place mentioning they can provide the software. The catch: Those sites are a source for future popups and leaching malware/add-ons.
Websites For Show Prep
(If case you have not noticed, in each of our format music download sections there is artist info for each song available for streaming or downloads).
This site gives you access to national news sites, which includes cable and network news sites. The other fun thing is that all U.S newspapers and many others from around the world can be found on this site.
This site constantly updates artist information in all genres of music. When you get to the site just type in the name of the artist and search.
Lists various destination sites to make your work easier for accessing listener information.
Lists of even more websites with information air personalities can use to prep for the air.
Blogcritics covers a variety of cultural topics.
This has been around for a long time and I think people forget what a great resource it can be. It has short stories covering fiction and non-fiction. You never know where a great idea may come from.
This is wonderful for timeless and timely information on a variety of subjects. The scope of Mental Floss is wide ranging and includes music items from time to time.
This is a one-stop listing of all the sites just listed. The lists of websites are periodically updated.
Although many use Google Alerts, a lot of air personalities still don't know it exists. It is a great way to find out all the latest music and entertainment up to the minute information from a variety of Internet sources. It is like a search engine for topics with up to the minute results. You can be set up to send you an e-mail anytime something is written on a particular subject.
Short list of Useful Smart Phone Apps:
No reason not to stay up on the latest in music and news. Our mobile app will do the trick
Tired of using your thumbs, try dictating your content for texting and it's great for quick notes to self.
Audio editing all done on your phone. Works great with any audio software editing programs. The sound is awesome.
You can broadcast live; live podcast, sports show, live sound bites, etc. It even provides analytics.
Read Paper Products
Web-based show prep services are fine, but you still need to risk getting ink on your hands and read newspapers, magazines and books. Visit a bookstore or library and scan through the racks for new magazines or some you might have overlooked. Once again, the goal is to update your show prep materials.
Keeping Things Timely
Trying to stay fresh and stay ahead of the game is a constant struggle; new information sources and technology can be a huge help. Truthfully, these days by the time a personality starts his or her shift, the majority of the audience has seen things on social media, search engine home pages, or heard about it on cable news.
In order to talk about music and the artists, you have to really dig to find things which might give you a different twist on things. I hesitate to use the word, "facts," because much of what we read these days is not sourced.
Stop wasting time and update your information sources often, visit a library or bookstore frequently, search for new time saving smart phone apps, and read something with pages. Holding a newspaper in your hands is a form of escapism that allows your brain to slow down enough to absorb and think. It is amazing how many new ideas will pop into your head while reading a printed publication. I have this theory that although multi-tasking and e-readers can come in handy; it distracts our brains from the pleasure of thinking. Reading information online is like slamming down a burger while driving as opposed to sitting down and enjoying a meal. Savoring the printed word can help you pinpoint your search for topical insight. Remember, it takes a lot of work to be brief on the air.