In the 21 years community-based internet radio has existed, we’ve made a lot of effort to communicate live with our listeners while doing shows, many of which are conducted solo. Internet radio broadcasters do not have a control room on which to fall back, nor a staff of people to sift through the many technical challenges involved in doing a show. At TBRN, the bulk of our staff is blind or vision impaired, which means we have to adapt the mainstream services we do use. Unfortunately, since 2018, technical changes at Twitter and Skype, the closure of AIM, and the shift toward web apps in general has made swift broadcaster access to messages more difficult…so it became time to roll our own. Starting tonight on the no Holds Barred Music Show, our multi-year effort finally begins its official rollout. Text messages have arrived!
It works as follows. Any listener can text +1-866-558-8276. When you send your first ever message to our system, it will not be sent to the broadcaster, because it does not know who you are. The system will ask you to enter a name that will allow broadcasters to identify you. Only this name will be shown to our hosts, no phone numbers are visible. Once the system knows who you are, you will be able to simply message any show that accepts SMS while it’s live, and broadcasters will be able to respond, either on air, or by replying to your text messages. Please keep in mind that if your network charges for SMS to the United States, those charges will apply.
This system is in beta, albeit a mature one that is close to a release candidate. In order to properly finalize the code without swamping Quinn, our developer, we’re staggering the rollout. Not all shows will have access to it at the outset, but we believe the entire staff will be using it within weeks. The broadcasters currently using it are Damon, Nick and Bob, and Derek. To find out when new broadcasters are added to the system, please follow us on Twitter.
Centralized listener interaction has been a cornerstone of TBRN’s model since the day it launched, and in many ways, to internet radio itself. This group of volunteers at TBRN has been interested in innovating a stagnant form of entertainment, out to prove to the world that Internet Radio is not dead! This new SMS system is the first step of many on that journey to keep it alive.