Here I am, a day late with The Listening Post again. The last half of my Thursday was taken up with one of those big-think conversations that can (eventually) result in big changes. There have been a lot of meetings lately–small and large, formal and off-the-cuff, over the kitchen table and over the internet here at NCPR. There is a feeling that NCPR’s digital services have hit a plateau, that there’s things we are missing out on, and things we are putting energy into that could be done better and easier, or be done away with altogether. That’s a feeling I share.
People who were here at the station just before I was hired are saying the feeling was similar then–lots of people having lots of meetings, doing a lot of big thinking about taking the next step. That step was the creation of a web service, and all the things that have flowed from that since 2001. Taking a fresh look at everything we do is an exercise we try to do often, but it’s a little scary, and it’s not at all easy, and it takes a whole lot of meetings.
In the past, this process has resulted in what has come to be known as an “inflection point,” a term borrowed from differential calculus for “the point on a curve at which the curvature or concavity changes sign from plus to minus or from minus to plus.” [Wikipedia] (We’re hoping for a change from minus to plus.) We have more people doing more and better work in our digital spaces, and we think it’s time to–figuratively–pump up the volume.
At earlier times of “big think,” we have always turned to our audience to get a view of what we do as seen from your perspective. Given that NCPR is going to continue making a large investment of the money you give to us in providing digital services, what are the targets of opportunity? What should a media operation with a public-service mission to the communities of the North Country be doing, that we are not doing now?
We had one great suggestion last month from Mark Scarlett, saying that NCPR should take a role in matching up volunteers with the many groups that need volunteers for work and projects large and small. The alumni group of his alma mater was doing something similar.
That’s one. How about a dozen more in comments below.