Still messy after all these years – DS106 radio anniversary

Jim Groom has announced that he was scheduling a 24 hour marathon to celebrate 10.6 years of DS106 radio:

So let’s hear it for the longevity of this community radio project that started, like so many things it seems, with Jim riffing off an idea and not letting it go like a rabid dog with a juicy zombie bone. It made me go back and find my first involvement with DS106 radio. I found this post from Feb 4th 2011. I don’t know if it was quite the first session, but it was close to it. Jim had the idea that we would chat about 80s horror film (which is what we’d actually bonded on over blogs far more than this ed tech stuff). I even made some John Carpenter inspired adverts for a fictitious VLE called ZombieBoard. This was back in the days when I still did creative, playful things.

The tech failed us and our sessions never took off, but Jim persisted and set up the radio station with help from people like Grant Potter. At the time we would mainly upload mp3s to a site and it would play them. There wasn’t much chat back then, but it was still a buzz to know someone else in another part of the world was sharing your niche listening and you could connect over Twitter.

I dropped away from it then but I returned last year, when the radio really came into its own during the pandemic. Jim would do vinyl casts, and chat about his experience in lockdown in Italy, Anne-Marie, Tannis and Maren hosted a Sunday night fem edtech show, Brian Lamb would take it over with Oliver Reed impersonations, Nigel Robertson entertained us from New Zealand…

It really helped provide a sense of connection and humanity in alienated times. We were all locked in our houses, but we were also sitting in Jim’s kitchen as he and Antonella chatted about bread. The small scale is the key, these are people you know, or could get to know via Twitter. Listening figures are hitting peaks if they get into double figures, and that intimacy is its value.

So, Maren and I will be doing an hour slot on Friday 23rd at 6pm for the marathon. We’ll be playing some tunes from 2011 and those ZombieBoard ads may get an airing too (they’re still worryingly apt). If ever you fancy a go at hosting a show, check out Anne-Marie’s set up advice.

It’s probably no surprise Jim loves radio – as the two clips of films here demonstrate, it often plays a significant role in those formative films we wanted to discuss (goes off to watch The Fog again).

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