How I Got Hoodwinked By The Internet

Stan Bush - Peace, Love, and Understanding


It was 1994. Everyone was wondering where their flying cars were. Except me. I had already physically seen Moulton Taylor's Aerocar. They were here. Nobody was buying. I should have taken that as a sign.

I should have taken that as a sign


I had been running online 'bulletin boards' for a few years. Prodigy, Mindspring, Compuserve and Delphi were losing ground to AOL. Probably because of the number of CD's they were sending. Nobody really cared about the online stuff, especially in Middle Georgia.


Out of the blue I got a call from the owner of a radio station. It was literally the lowest rated station in the area. The format was "New Adult Contemporary"(NAC). Sometimes referred to as "Smooth Jazz". This meant a bunch of Kenny G., Toni Braxton, and Dave Koz was being played to an audience that was more attuned to The Allman Brothers and Lynrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson and George Jones, or Otis Redding and Gladys Knight. He was losing 30K a month. They needed a manager. I told him I'd never been in the radio business. He told me the person that recommended me had told him "He's the only guy I know that can fix this."


That's how I got a job in the Radio Business, was mentioned in  Arbitron in less than 6 months, and that's how I wound up working online for the rest of my career. 

Just in case you don't know, getting listed in the Arbitron was a big thing. The jackass music director was in the business for 18 years, and had never accomplished that. 


That year, the Internet sort of became "a thing". 

Nobody else in the area had picked up on it. In fact they all wrote it off as a 'fad'. Since I had some online experience, I knew they were wrong. But the buzz was there. And that's what marketing is all about. Everyone had heard that the "World Wide Web" had a bunch of Websites. But they didn't know what that meant. Since none of the other media outlets were doing anything online, I decided I would use it to pull the station from the brink of bankruptcy.


Value Added

I decided to give away 'websites' as 'value added' addons when someone signed up for our top shelf advertising package. We began to make some traction, although people didn't know what they were buying.  But we still weren't profitable. Nobody in Middle Georgia was actually listening to us.


So I decided to tweak the format. 

I thought about the phrases "Rock and Roll" and "Country and Western".  I decided to drop the "Rhythm" association and use the phrase 'Jazz and Blues" instead. I began mixing Miles Davis and Mingus in with Little Wing and Little Martha. That change resulted in the first profit for the station in over 5 years.  The station was sold, and I waited for the offers to come in to run other stations. That never happened.

What happened instead is the new owners switched it right back to NAC and dropped anything to do with the blues.

What happened to the Station?.. Well..they closed in less than a year.

Go figure. 

Me. I Spent The Next 30+ Years On The Web

Doing stuff. Lots of it. For other people. People that did some good. People that did some bad. When I look back at it, I don't really have any regrets. Maybe it was a financial disaster, after all I never figured out how to monetize anything much. At least not for me. I was successful in helping others, but not so much myself. I suppose if I'd have had a business manager as a partner we'd have done fine. I tried that once. It didn't end well.
But it did end. 
That's it for this post. There's a lot of stuff I could tell you about... but that's for another day. 
Peace, Love, and Understanding...
Stan Bush

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