Editing Guidelines (draft)

If you’re involved in editing the directory, or might be interested, the document’s purpose is to put in writing the principles and reasons for what is in the directory and why things are the way they are.   If you deviate from these guidelines, you may be asked to explain why.   If you disagree with something in the guidelines, start a discussion before you create a public confrontation.

Note that these are guidelines, not rules.  In life there are always gray areas, so don’t create friction by pointing out exceptions the Editor has made to the guidelines.

What never appears in the directory

Guiding principles – each item added to the directory commits us to time and effort in the future to test and maintain that item – adding is the easy part.   Items that are of no significant interest to the type of people searching the directory clutter up the results and slow down the server.  StreamingRadioGuide is not a place to promote a new show – it is a place to find shows that people already know about.

  • Recorded paid infomercials, especially herbal cures and investing “opportunities”
  • Sunday morning church services – they change frequently and nobody is searching for them
  • Internet only radio stations
  • Radio stations outside of the United States (tried it, nobody listened)
  • Local music DJs  (unless you know they are in a major market like New York and you know they have name recognition)
  • Recorded religious teaching programs
  • Non-English talk programs
  • Very short shows – nothing less than half an hour long, and even then be sure a half hour show has some general interest
  • Schedules for student run college stations
  • Stations in Arizona.  AZ doesn’t follow Daylight Saving Time, and they creates huge problems that would take hours to explain.  Just don’t add them, please.   Of Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, or Guam.

Things you might see rarely in the directory

but think long and hard before adding them – would you or anyone you know ever go to Google and be search for this show?

  • Live infomercials – some programs are clearly buying the radio time, but the show is live with real callers and talking about interesting subjects – the most obvious example of this is “Duke and the Doctor” – they are  promoting their own line of healthy living products, but the Doctor is a real M.D. and they answer questions on a lot of different topics, often having political aspects.  Roy Masters would be another example
  • Weekend local advice shows – but only if the person’s credentials suggest that their show is of interest outside of the local area.  Most garden shows fail this test, since each part of the country has very different timing and concerns – so do local car repair shows, local real estate agents, stock brokers, lawyers, home repair guys.  They are on the air to get local customers, so that’s their focus.
  • Live (or close to live) religious oriented programming that talks about topical issues that extend beyond religion…  examples would include Jay Sekulow and Focus on the Family.   Jimmy Swaggart preaching about sin would not, even if the show is live.
  • Programming you have a business connection with.   If you work for a radio station, don’t load up the schedules with local block programming shows to send to your station manager when you’re asking for a raise to not take a pay cut.

Adding a New Show

Putting a new show [temporarily disabled] into the database is the area that has caused the most friction, so here are some things to keep in mind to avoid conflict:

  • If the show is a non-local show that you’ve heard of and you get “not found” when you search for it, use different search words, double check the spelling.  It’s in there. If you add a “new” show that is a duplicate, not only did you waste your own time, but now extra work has been created to merge the two shows back together.  Trust me, it’s in there.   If it isn’t, I need to be told about it to investigate why and I’ll add it in.
  • Don’t trust station web sites to be accurate.  Often they can go months without being updated.     Don’t add a New Show until you actually have heard enough of the show to be sure it really is the show on the air.  It could well be a show that “used” to on the air, but ended months ago.
  • While a “blurb” from the station about a host may have useful information to write a description, don’t just copy/paste that text as the show’s description.   Apply Wikipedia-like edits to make the description a neutral recitation of facts to explain who this person/show is and why someone might want to listen to it.  Try to keep it to a few sentences.  If it sounds like it was written by the Sales Department, heavily edit it, especially words ending in “est” (Best, longest, fastest, biggest, funniest, brightest, smartest,quickest…) Don’t repeat the schedule information inside the description, as the viewer may be in a different time zone and that just creates confusion and something else that can become out of date.Visitors don’t care about their collection of local Peabody awards – they might care that you served in the Army in Iraq.  Watch out for resume padding like saying “attended ‘x’ university”, or “has a degree from” (is it an earned degree or honorary?).  If in doubt, use the web to check things out.Example:   (Red is “fluff” – this is not picking on this host :))Original:Errol T. Louis has been a columnist of the New York Daily News since June 2004, writing on a wide range of political and social affairs. Mr. Louis is a member of the Daily News editorial board. Mr. Louis is also host of the Morning Show on radio station AM1600 WWRL, one of the city’s liveliest political talk shows, from 6am to 9am every weekday. A wide variety of authors, intellectuals, experts and public officials regularly appear on the show, which is fast becoming required listening for New York’s political, cultural and business leaders. Talkers Magazine recently named him one of the “Heavy 100,” the top talk show hosts in America. In addition to his newspaper and radio work, Mr. Louis made more than 100 appearances as a CNN Contributor during the 2008 election season, providing expert commentary at key points throughout the presidential elections, including the Iowa Caucuses, South Carolina primaries, Election Night and the Inauguration. He also appears frequently on local CBS and ABC news, and has served as moderator for televised debates for New York City Mayor, New York State Attorney General and other top offices. Mr. Louis holds degrees from Harvard, Yale and Brooklyn Law School. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Juanita Scarlett and their son, Noah Louis.

    Concise:

    Errol T. Louis is a columnist and member of the Editorial Board of the New York Daily News.   He appeared frequently on CNN providing his opinions during the 2008 election.  He  is the son of a New York City Police Department inspector, holds degrees in Government and Political Science and received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.   His guests include authors, public officials and others of interest to people in New York.

Prestream ad

Definition – a prestream ad is an extra ad inserted before the stream begins to play, typically lasting 30 seconds.   Stations that don’t think 15-20 minutes of ads per hour is enough, and want to push an extra 30 penalty seconds when you choose them is “old school” radio thinking, and is heavily penalized in the directory.   It’s both important to identify stations using this practice, but also to not “ding” a station that isn’t   

If the station is using prestream ads, the rating cannot be forced above 5. (new) 

How do you spot a pre-stream ad?

  • The most obvious case is – you click on a stream, hear an ad starting from the beginning, close the stream, click listen again and hear the same ad again starting from the beginning
  • If the clock timer on the player resets back to zero when the stream starts, that’s always a prestream ad (see exceptions below)
  • Just because the first thing you heard was an ad doesn’t mean it was a prestream ad – you’ll often click just as a commercial is starting
  • Just because you didn’t get a prestream ad doesn’t mean the station isn’t using them.   They may have temporarily run out of ads to serve or the advertisers know enough about you to not want to waste money on showing you an ad or the time of day they don’t run ads
  • Most video ads are prestream ads, but not all.   The really smart software looks for the dead air on the station (maybe they’re in a news break or local ads), and plays a video ad in what would otherwise be a silent spot
  • On NPR/NonCommecial stations, deciding if they cross the line is difficult.   If the prestream announcement is longer than 15 seconds, or is a “sponsorship” of a business that supports the station, that’s a prestream ad.   If it merely states what station you’re listening to and who runs it, that’s not an ad.    If it includes a solicitation for money, that’s the gray area…. a lot depends on the length of the message and how high-pressure the request for money is…  “this is KZQZ, a service of Fredonia University.  This stream is supported by donations from listeners like you” is probably not….   “Welcome to KZQZ’s streaming service.   This stream is very expensive and we really need your financial support to pay for it.  Please donate today by calling 1-800-FREDDONIA during business hours” would be a pre-stream ad.

Leave a Reply