Campus/community radio in Canada: linking listeners to broadcasters with web 2.0 technologies.

Fri, 2012-05-11
This thesis is an investigation of campus/community radio in Canada and an exploration of its motivations and methods of using social media as a tool to interact with listeners. It develops and applies a methodology referred to as S.M.I.L.E.S., a methodology to create triangulation and validate results when researching in areas involving social media and minimal previous literature available. Radio station staff and volunteer programmers use social media, traditional digital and non-digital methods to gather feedback about the show and/or station, promote the show and/or station, provide additional content to the listener off-air, communicate about the station itself, and achieve personal, station, and community growth. Results suggest that campus/community radio members use social media very differently than commercial or public radio station. As a whole, the campus/community radio sector is generally slow in providing support and policy when facilitating technological change, which has resulted in tentative use and lack of support for social media. Geographical location is also irrelevant as regards the utilization of social media. Also, programmers must be careful in identity management when engaging in online communication, as well as using social media as a fundraising tool and forum for information dissemination. Finally, stations need to consider implementing policy surrounding social media in order to facilitate growth within the industry.