BlogTalkRadio, an internet radio network has announced a site redesign with new features that combine social networking and online audio broadcasting.
Originally launched in August 2006, BlogTalkRadio (BTR) is a free, web-based platform which allows any user with a phone and a computer to host a live, interactive radio show. Hosts call into the service by phone, managing callers on the web-based host dashboard. Shows stream live directly from the hostâ€™s BTR webpage. Since the companyâ€™s launch more than 8,000 hosts have broadcast on BTR.
The newly redesigned site features live text-chat, a social networking component and video uploading capability. BTRâ€™s listeners can also now create member profiles, share preferences and rate and save favorite shows. The enhanced search functions also let users find relevant content in the programming guide and in the archive of 23,000 shows.
â€œWe spent the first year developing the site with hosts in mind,â€ said Alan Levy, CEO and founder of BlogTalkRadio. â€œNow that we have over 3,500 active hosts and 200 live shows a day, we knew we needed to make the site more functional for listeners, more searchable and more interactive. The BTR platform is all about conversation and now we are building social communities around these conversations.â€
â€œWe also want to make it easy for the hosts to promote what theyâ€™re doing. Weâ€™re adding many Web 2.0 tools, templates and tips for hosts to promote their own content,â€ adds Lisa Padilla, VP of Marketing for BlogTalkRadio.
Once a show has aired on BTR, the archive becomes available for subscription via RSS for iTunes or any other podcatcher. Hosts can also place the BTR flash player on their blogs or websites, so visitors can access archived shows. No downloads are required to host or listen to a show.
Notable hosts and guests from BTRâ€™s eclectic list include host Marla Cilley, known to millions as The FlyLady; host Mark Frauenfelder of the top-rated blog Boing Boing; host the Los Angeles Fire Department; and guests Senator John McCain and actress Jennifer Hudson.