Thursday, May 05, 2005

Chipping Away At National Public Radio

Are you sick and tired of the pledge drives on your local NPR (National Public Radio) stations?

If you’re a fan of NPR (and most bloggers are) then I know you’ve endured your share of the dreaded pledge drives. To give credit where credit is due, the folks who run the pledge drives really do a great job but how can grown people begging for mine and your hard earned money not get to be a little over the top from time to time?

Here’s an idea I got from listening to an on-the-air caller to one North Carolina, NPR station:

Someone needs to design a computer chip that could be installed in radios that would allow those listeners who have already contributed to only listen to the regular programming without having to listen to the pledge drives. Give the volunteer folks at NPR your credit card number, tell them how much you wish to contribute, and as soon as they key in your info your radio switches back to your favorite NPR show-- without all the begging.

Now for those of you who are in the know, I know there is no way this can work-- yet. You see, our radios are for the most part, analog, but more and more radio is changing to digital everyday and such a chip and/or program could be designed to work with digital programming. In a few years digital stations and digital radios will be standard equipment everywhere you happen to be. Many NPR stations have already started broadcasting dual signals so they can get on satellite radio channels so it’s only a matter of time before all radio becomes digital. If you could design the necessary chips and/or programming then you would be ahead of the game.

Hey, maybe the satellite radio people could use this same feature to help in their billing.

And don’t forget, television is going digital as well. Can you say, “Public Television chip?”

Got an idea? Want to share it? Is there something you wish someone would do, invent, or sell that would make your life easier? If you’d like to share your idea then send it to idlehandsmag (at) and maybe the world will soon know about it. If you’re a blogger and want a link back simply include your URL in your e-mail and we’ll be happy to link to you when we post your ideas.