RadioIowa.com

My next “small histories” project will be an Internet timeline showing when and how the company I worked for viewed and used this new technology. We registered our first domain (Learfield.com) on August 30, 1995 but didn’t do much with that (corporate) site. In July of 1996 we created a site for one of our news networks (Radio Iowa) but I don’t recall what kinds of content we were posting in those early days.

By November of 1999 we had gotten the hang of things and were putting up a lot of news (text and audio). The Iowa Caucuses pulls lots of attention to the state every four years and our network created a feature called Campaign Countdown. Our website made it possible to extend the life of the stories we fed via the radio network and reporter O. Kay Henderson cranked out a LOT of stories and interviews, all of which went online.

As we moved and updated servers and software, much of this content was lost. Or so I thought. While poking around on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine this weekend I found the Campaign Countdown reports.

The design of the website is nothing to write home about (that’s on me) but he history is real and — thanks to the Internet Archive — preserved. (I made a donation and hope you will, too). From this screenshot (partial) of our Affiliates page and you can see that about half of the stations had websites in 1999.

In my experience, radio stations were slow to embrace the Internet. There were a lot of reasons for this. Some good and logical, some not. Most of the programming on small market stations was music and licensing and technical issues made it impractical to “stream.” I’m not sure we had that word in 1999. And why, many station managers asked, should I go to the expense and effort of creating a website when everyone we care about (advertisers and listeners) can hear our programing on the radio? Duh. And nobody was going to listen to music on a computer. (iTunes, the iPod, and XM Radio came along in 2001. Podcasting in 2004)

Chipotle FM

I eat at Chipotle’s a couple of times a week. On Friday I realized I was bobbing my head in time with the song coming from the restaurant sound system. Didn’t recognize the song or the artist. Thinking back, it occurred to me the music there was always to my liking. So I asked Google “do all Chipotle’s restaurants play the same music?” and found the answer in a story at Businessweek (yes).

Chris Golub the founder and sole employee of Studio Orca which “creates customized playlists for restaurants tired of putting their dining atmosphere in the hands of Pandora or Sirius XM Radio. His job consists of researching music, discovering bands, and asking questions such as, “Would you rather hear folky banjo music or classic Motown as you eat your steak burrito bowl?”

“Golub runs Studio Orca out of his spacious apartment in a Brooklyn high-rise. There he spends 8 to 10 hours a day researching music for Chipotle, which lets him play anything he wants. “I’m looking for songs that make you want to dance around your kitchen in your socks and underwear before you’ve even had your second cup of coffee,” he says. “Not many songs can do that.” Golub listens to about 500 songs before he finds one that will work.”

“Chipotle’s 1,500 stores all play the same music. […] Four times a month he loads up his iPod with 15 to 20 new tracks and goes to a restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood to see how they sound in the store. Once a month he sends the updated list to Mood Media, formerly known as Muzak, which then streams the mix over the online service Rdio and into every Chipotle store.”

I put the Rdio app on my phone so I can listen to Chipotle FM for a bit.

Selling MINI’s without a store

This is a great example of innovative thinking. Not just “out of the box”… they shredded the box and flushed the pieces.

Opening a new MINI store in Paris was too expensive, so the agency figured that the only thing you really need to sell a MINI is the car itself. Complete with a salesman, brochures and opening hours, the stores could be taken for a ride. Ten MINIs were transformed into stores all over Paris, and the places they were parked was branded as a MINI location.

Rejecting evolution

Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics

“…creationism has failed to provide an alternative explanation for the vast majority of evidence explained by evolution.

It has failed to explain why birds still carry genes to make teeth, whales to make legs, and humans to make tails.

It has failed to explain why the fossil record proposed by modern scientists can be used to make precise and accurate predictions about the location of transition fossils.

It has failed to explain why the fossil record demonstrates a precise order, with simple organisms in the deepest rocks and more complex ones toward the surface.

It has failed to explain why today’s animals live in the same geographical area as fossils of similar species.

It has failed to explain why, if carnivorous dinosaurs lived at the same time as modern animals, we don’t find the fossils of modern animals in the stomachs of fossilized dinosaurs.

It has failed to explain the broken genes that litter the DNA of humans and apes but are functional in lower vertebrates.

It has failed to explain how the genetic diversity we observe among humans could have arisen in a few thousand years from two biological ancestors.

“…the belief that scientists can discover truth, and that, once sufficiently debated, challenged and modified, it should be accepted even if it creates tensions for familiar belief systems, has an obvious impact on decisions that are made everyday. And it is that belief Christians reject when they reject evolution.

In doing so, they’ve not only led America astray on questions ranging from the value of stem cell research to the etiology of homosexuality to the causes of global warming. They’ve also abandoned a central commitment of orthodox Christianity.”