PodCamp Hawaii: A Brief Wrap-Up

Laptop Brigade

I spent two days this past weekend at PodCamp Hawaii, an “unconference” that gathered geeks, computer users and mere mortals together for a number of concurrent workshops that focused on podcast production, podcast advertising, marketing, blogging, WordPress software and its use, and how social media platforms can impact life and business.

The two day conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on October 24 and 25 and attracted more than 330 attendees. I learned several things at PodCamp. In a short nutshell they included:

  • Use of WordPress software as a good content management system for general blogging and podcasting front ends.
  • How to customize and get the most out of WordPress.
  • It is difficult to install WordPress on your own hosted server. It may be best to go with a host that truly supports WordPress or hire a true geek who can install and possibly maintain WordPress and its associated files and database.
  • A good hosting company is better than a bargain basement host.
  • Most people who start podcasts burn out after 7 episodes.
  • Don’t invest too heavily in hardware on your podcast until you pass 10, 20 maybe even 50 episodes.
  • Maintain a tight podcast format, know and be passionate about your subject matter, and stick to a regular podcasting schedule.
  • Learn how to market your podcast and put it in all the right places (like iTunes, etc.)

There was a whole lot more including the introduction to a new version of WordPress that is supposedly easier to install and maintain.

PodCamp is also a good place to meet fellow geeks, business people and network with them. I don’t do very well in active networking, but if I am invited to join in with an individual or a small group, I warm up to the situation in time.

Photo caption: The laptop brigade soaking up information at PodCamp Hawaii.

Hawaii TV to go All Digital January 15, 2009

KITV 4 and....

Hawaii will convert all of its full power over the air TV stations from analog to digital broadcasts on January 15, 2009. The new deadline will put the state one month ahead of the rest of the nation which is mandated to make the switch by February 17, 2009.

The digital switchover will affect all full power broadcast TV stations and those viewers who get their TV reception over the air through a rooftop or “rabbit ear” antenna. The changeover for cable TV and satellite TV subscribers will be transparent and unnoticeable. There will be no need for cable or satellite TV customers to buy a digital converter box. Cable TV and satellite TV subscribers already have digital boxes supplied by their service providers.

For antenna users with standard analog TV sets, a converter box will be required to accommodate the change. The federal government is subsidizing converter box purchases with a coupon program. Digital converter boxes are available at most major electronics retailers.

Antenna users can also buy a new TV set. All new TV sets ranging from low end CRT models to high end flat screen HDTV sets now come with built in digital tuners. Antenna using consumers who already have a TV with digital tuning or who are going to buy one by January 15 will not have to get the converter box.

Hawaii’s local TV stations will be launching a public information campaign over the next 120 or so days to inform the public about the switch. The P-R campaign for the February 17 deadline is now a moot point in Hawaii.

The switchover from analog to digital is being hastened in Hawaii mainly in an effort to move Maui’s TV transmitters from the top of Haleakala to a new location a few miles downslope from the present place near the mountain’s summit. This is being done to accommodate the nesting habits of some rare birds on Haleakala.

Over the air consumers will be impacted by this switchover for all islands except Kauai, who get their analog signal from low power (LP) transmitters not currently mandated by the digital change.

Some Maui and neighbor island antenna viewers who will get their over the air signal from the new digital transmitters at the new Maui location may get a weaker signal or no signal at all since some of the digital channels on Maui were relocated from the VHF portion to the UHF portion of the dial.

Hawaii Radio & Television Guide will be updating its TV channel grid in the next few weeks to accommodate the change.

Links to more information

This was originally posted to the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide website.

News from Around the Dial

As originally posted to Hawaii Radio & Television Guide*

The economic downturn has hit KGMB TV. Erika Engle at StarBulletin.com reports that 9 employees at the TV station were laid off. None of the on-air talent were laid off. Advertising revenue at media outlets are down this year. Details at this link.


KSSK radio’s morning duo of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price celebrated their 25th year on-air this past Saturday (August 9) during a live radio broadcast aired from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral ballroom. More than a thousand people showed up for the breakfast broadcast. The duo was on air for 3 1/2 hours and were honored by dignitaries including Governor Linda Lingle, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Congressman Neil Abercrombie.

More on Perry & Price’s 25th anniversary:

The Big Island’s KIPA radio station has returned to the airwaves with new call letters and a new format. The station now goes by the call sign KHNU. AM 620 was silent for about a year and is now airing a news and talk format. The station is owned by Mahalo Broadcasting LLC in Arizona. The KIPA call sign was immediately acquired by Buddy Gordon at Parrot Broadcasting for use on a new FM under construction in Kona, also on the Big Island of Hawaii. More details at this link.

“Honolulu Skylark” Jacqueline Leilani Rossetti has joined Kimo Kahoano as a new co-host for the Hawaiian Talk Radio Show produced by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) called Nā ‘Ōiwi ‘Ōlino. The morning show airs Monday through Friday on Cox Radio’s KKNE AM 940 and statewide to various stations on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai. “Skylark” is a longtime radio personality who has been on various stations since the 1970s. More details at this link.

Local computer and internet enthusiasts get their own radio show via Burt Lum‘s and Ryan Ozawa‘s newly launched Bytemarks Cafe radio talk show airing on KIPO 89.3 FM (HPR). It is a weekly “one-hour radio magazine that showcases the innovation and creativity in Hawaii’s tech community.” More details at the Hawaii Public Radio website and Bytemarks Cafe blog page.

* I am the publisher of the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide.

Honolulu Arbitron Radio Ratings

The latest Arbitron ratings for the Winter period is reported in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. There are no suprises as the morning show team of Michael W. Perry & Larry Price on Clear Channel’s KSSK FM & AM lead the pack of prime-time morning shows.

Overall the top 5 radio stations in the Honolulu market are:

  1. KSSK 92.3 FM
  2. KINE 105.1 FM
  3. KRTR 96.3 FM
  4. KCCN 100.3 FM
  5. KPHW 104.3 FM

Ever wondered who the bottom dwellers are overall? You can see them at the Radio & Records Website. The 3 Honolulu Radio stations at the bottom of the Arbitron pile are:

  • 3. KKNE 940 AM
  • 2. KLHT 1040 AM
  • 1. KGU 760 AM

Traditional radio listening is on the decline. How many of you regularly listen to the radio all of the time or at least some of the time?

Note: I also operate the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide website which I have redone as a blog. I will be cross posting some of the articles from that site back to this one.

Traveling Interisland in the Wake of Aloha Airlines’ Closure

Go $49

More than a week since Aloha Airlines shut down their passenger service, interisland air fares are beginning to spike up in the wake of the closure. So far, the lowest advertised airfare is Go! airlines $49 one-way interisland fare, which is still available on many of their flights. Hawaiian Airlines has raised the price on many flights but if you make a reservation and are not too picky about travel days and times, there may be a few $49 seats available on that airline.

Experts in the travel industry continue to forecast higher interisland airfares. And while I don’t like any of those forecasts, I believe that they are correct. In time by the end of the summer for sure if not even before, I predict interisland air fare will be at $79 or $89 each way on the low end, though more common will be airfares of $100 or more. Deja Vu, it will be 2004 again.

Travelers coming to Hawaii and residents going to the mainland have suddenly found a shortage of seats to several destinations. While Aloha Airlines had a small percentage of mainland flights, the closure last week of ATA Airlines, only a few days after the Aloha shutdown, have many travelers scrambling to find new flights and change their reservations, often having to buy more expensive tickets. Some of the airlines have quickly filled the void, most notably, Hawaiian. Prices to and from the mainland have spiked more dramatically in the past week than interisland for now.

Industry forecaster predict that mainland to Hawaii travel prices will settle down after this week’s adjustments.

For people traveling to and from Maui between now and June, the Hawaii Superferry is offering $39 trips each way, per passenger. The cost is $55 for a standard sized vehicle. The superferry resumed service today after having their vessel tied up in dry dock for several repairs over the last 2 months. I hope Superferry’s technical problems are behind them and hope that they can provide reliable service in the coming months.

Finally a group known as “Friends for Aloha Airlines” recently put together a 30-second video tribute to the fallen carrier which have been airing on a number of local TV stations from last week. The video is shown below: