With the goal of furthering social media innovation, Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) has agreed to host the student-run Internet radio station WERW on the third floor of Hinds Hall.
“I am thrilled to have WERW joining us in the iSchool. We are all about information innovation, and that is exactly what Internet radio is!” said iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. “The WERW team is active in both social media and entrepreneurship – two key focuses of our students and faculty. I envision a glowing future for WERW, and we are pleased to be part of it.”
WERW is hoping to capitalize on the technology savvy iSchool student population in order to further its goal of innovating Internet music with the purpose of bringing back a human element to online music.
“We feel that our mission as an Internet radio station is that we should have the newest technology that the iSchool has,” said WERW General Manager Marina Zarya ’11, a triple major in advertising, psychology, and Spanish. “Traditional radio is phasing out, and it’s so hard to find quality content in terms of music. Most people turn to iTunes and Last.fm, but what’s missing from that is people.”
One of the radio station’s strongest supporters is iSchool Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies Jeffrey Stanton, who was instrumental in securing an administrative office and providing bandwidth for the upcoming WERW web site, which will be hosted at werw.syr.edu.
“I think there are many synergies between WERW and the iSchool, particularly on uses of social media and reputation techniques to get feedback from a listener audience,” Stanton said. “I’m hoping that a substantial number of iSchool students will realize the natural crossover between their skills and what WERW is trying to achieve and that they will decide to get involved in the station.”
WERW has also enlisted the help of iSchool Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Passetti to create an interactive web site as one part of a comprehensive social media plan for the radio station.
“Through college radio, students can meet interesting music fanatics, band members, and some of the most creative people on campus,” said Passetti, who teaches Web Design and Management. “WERW has the potential to create a tight-knit community consisting of folks who share the same love of college radio shows, folks who’ve played in bands, and those who support hit shows at local venues to support local music and touring indie bands. The use of social media on the web site will help improve the interaction between radio hosts and their audience.”
In addition to the web site, WERW has a twitter account (@WERWradio), Facebook page, blog, and Wikipedia entry. The station will be working with iSchool social media Professor Anthony Rotolo and his students to further integrate these social networking components into an overall media strategy to foster a better sense of community at the school.
Encompassing a sense of community in radio is important to WERW, and organizers plan to extend their online presence offline as well. Every Saturday, WERW deejays host Real College Radio from 8 p.m., until 1 a.m. on WAER 88.3, the local Syracuse National Public Radio affiliate. The station is also planning to host a number of community concerts, including one on October 15, 2010, at the Westcott Community Center, featuring Pitchfork Music Festival Opener Sharon Van Etten and local Syracuse artist Sarah Aument.
“We’re all about promoting new talents, especially local student artists,” Zarya said. “What we’re doing now is just the beginning.”
The station officially launched on October 1, 2010, and can be found on the web at http://18.104.22.168:8000/listen.m3u or by searching “WERW” in iTunes.