New bloggy radio programme: iPM

Radio 4 has a new programme about blogs and other internets stuff running for the next couple of months. Despite the fact that it has that horrible ‘i’ prefix which really ought to be banned, iPM is actually an interesting radio experiment.

I’m still not fully sure what iPM is. A spin-off of PM, certainly. This is good news because it means it’s presented by Eddie Mair, who surely has the best comic timing of any newsreader in the country.

Perhaps it is a quasi open source-style version of PM. Although the programme goes out on Saturday afternoon, the iPM blog is in action all week asking listeners about ideas. Early in the week rough notes and a draft running order are published, with what members of the production team are thinking about. Further thoughts are posted all week, with listeners engaging in a discussion with the producers.

Maybe iPM is also a bit like Pods and Blogs, but on Radio 4 and at a more sociable hour. Or maybe it isn’t — perhaps I am just keen on making the comparison because Chris Vallance is involved.

You will notice that Chris Vallance is ‘Mr Blog’ according to Eddie Mair. Apparently he was originally going to be Dr Blog. This would have made Chris Vallance a more legitimate Dr V than I am. He might not be a doctor, but at least he is a real V — I’m neither!

Anyway, bloggers may be familiar with Pods and Blogs partly because it is the home of the audio version of the Britblog Roundup. iPM has a neat feature where smart blogger types talk about their favourite bookmarks. And you can embed them as well. Apparently the BBC is beginning to do more of this sort of thing which is encouraging.

Add iPM Radio 4 – My Bookmarks to your page

I was asked to give my feedback on the iPM blog a month or so back when it was soft-launched. I’m not exactly sure if I offered much useful help, but I’m happy to have seen that they have implemented a few of my suggestions on the blog.

Best of all, iPM is available in podcast form.

3 comments

  1. Dr..I’m Rupert – iPM’s Editor. Chris Vallance would be too modest to say anything but he is a great asset to the programme and your early comments on our first posts were very helpful. The working title changed from “The Blog Prog” to “iPM” ( should I be telling you this? ) for the reasons that invloved trying not too sound too geeky to the audience on Radio 4 and make the link with the fact that people who bring you PM ( no i ) are the same people who bring you iPM. But accept it’s not going win everyone over. What we are keen on is the ability to be as transparent as we can be about how we make the programme and how the audience can help us shape what we do, who we speak to etc. We’ve been asked to produce a series of programmes using this format until Christmas – thereafter who knows, but I think it is a way forward and overwhelmingly the initial feedback has been good. Of course, what’s most helpful is the honest stuff we’ve had from you and others about the blog and the programmes we make. So thanks again.

  2. That’s great Rupert. I think it’s a brilliant way of making a programme. When so many TV and radio programmes are eager to put across the fact that they are interactive, most of them lack the meat. iPM is genuinely interactive, and the fact that you have posted a comment on my blog is real proof of that. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine too many other editors doing that. I hope the run to Christmas goes well. I’ll certainly keep listening.

  3. iAgree with the iPrefix. it’s like how in the late ’90s, everything was being prefixed with e-

    There’s a great Dilbert strip where his boss, who is the ‘Director of Information and Operational Technology’ (DIOT) was encouraged to add an e- to the start (e-DIOT) – it would work even better today 🙂

    Now I’m off to play with my iPhone.