The Grind

From a fighting hole innadesert:

Finally. Our website is up and running. Almost all of the bugs have been worked out. So far we have received positive feedback on it, although I was looking forward to negative feedback. It’s criticism that gives a group the most valuable evaluations. We’ll see what happens when more people start to view the site -especially the half-chan and full-chan people that unwittingly spawned us. This is all your fault Anons.

The server is taking a bit longer than all of us had hoped. Our initial launch date for the new stream was April 1st. I was hoping to sneak in a long playlist of obnoxious and meme songs for April Fool’s Day. But maybe the delay has spared us from this bad idea. We’re excited to get as far as we have. DJ Ivan, and Server Ivan have been grinding away, trying to work out the bugs in the software, and get everything running smoothly. Once this is done, then we’ll have to add RadioDJ to administer it all, and pipe this through streamlicensing.com to Tunein.com.

On my end of things, it seems like every time I make some progress, three or four things get added to the pile. I try not to complain. DJ Ivan for example, is at University full-time, studying a highly technical profession. His workload between classes, labs and homework is extremely high. He’s managing to make progress, so I keep truckin’.

I’ve operated, or have been part of the operation, of several small businesses now. But a radio station is an entirely new beast. I am having to take crash courses on Copyright licensing, advertising sales, and internet marketing. All territories I have never ventured into. Sometimes the work seems daunting, but there is a sense of exhilaration I get from flexing my grey matter.

I have dozens of phone calls to make today and tomorrow. I’m trying to reach the Publisher of an obscure history book written decades ago. The author of the book compiled after action reports from the U.S. military spanning the latter half of the twentieth century, from WWII to Vietnam. Big Dick, who is a friend and sometime co-host of Mid-West Nugget Fest, has offered to do a weekly show where he reads one of the more interesting examples from the book. “The After Action Report, with Big Dick”, it has a nice ring to it.

And we need all of the original content we can get. I have decided to place the weekly news show, “Kommando News” on hiatus until we can find someone to take up the mantle. It is post-production heavy, and sometimes if the quality of the submissions require a lot of editing it can take hours to produce a single 10 minute show. I would like to see the run-time expanded to an hour, and have a broader range of Correspondents contributing.

At the moment though, we have little to offer for compensation. And as I’ve discovered, fun and novelty wear off rapidly when a higher degree of consistency and dedication are required. Something enjoyable can quickly become a burden when it begins to feel like a job.

So I am on the hunt for someone with a good voice, and some free time. It would take me maybe an hour to teach them how to use simple audio recording and editing software, and it wouldn’t cost much to set them up with a basic USB microphone. In fact, we need to offer that as one of the perks of Corresponding for Kommando Radio.

In lieu of my involvement with the Kommando News, I am instead going ahead with a show I’ve been planning for months, “All Rounds Expended”. It’s a parody of NPR’s “All Things Considered”. I plan to do an evening show, Monday through Friday, and aim for a runtime of around 120 minutes. At first glance, and hour and a half show might seem like a lot of work. But with commentary, asides, dirty jokes, and flatulence it will be easy to fill an hour. Obviously, there will be station ID and ad breaks too.

All-in all, once I get a workflow down and wedge pre-production into the small amount of time I have at my 9 to 5, I should be able to prepare enough for an interesting show each day. The nice thing is, the format and topics will be unlimited. I may discuss firearms one day, policy, philosophy or something else entirely the next. I’m looking forward to it.

We’re also currently looking for advertisers, we have to keep the lights on, buy merch to sell, and offer perks to our content contributors. The radio stream would start to suck if we did the half hour blocks of mind-numbing ads that traditional broadcast radio runs. So that’s the last thing we’ll ever do. Luckily the costs of operating the actual stream are low, save for one thing, the licensing of the music we intend to play.

We thought long and hard about it, and the vast majority of Kommandos are rock and metal listeners, so that’s our focus. There will still be evening, late night and early morning blocks of classic /k/radio music. But we want to be a consistent source of entertainment and really engage with the listener, not just be the occasional novelty.

In order to play contemporary music however, we have to pay, and pay dearly. As listening hours increase the number of listeners, and gross revenue of the stream increases, then so does the licensing fee increase in correlation. It gets expensive, so in order to keep good music on the air, we have to sell shit. We’d like to not only be self sustaining, but turn a profit. At some point, we have to buy new music, new equipment, obtain higher bandwidth, and do awesome giveaways for our listeners. All of this costs money.


Anyway, that's the SITREP for now. We'll keep everyone posted as things develop.

--Dave