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Information Technology Committee (Formerly Technology Committee): March 5, 2014

Information Technology Committee (Formerly Technology Committee): March 5, 2014

Call to Order
Present: Markus Lowe, Johrdan Vicstein, Cleveland Dietz, Ronald Neely, Richard Fish
6:00 PM

Improving Our Streaming Signal

WFHB will switch its streaming service providers. Markus recommended we go ahead and sign up for ShoutCheap and keep our service with GoDaddy until the new stream was in place and operating. This was agreed. We will pay for two services for one month. ShoutCheap will save the station at least $5.00 per month, and provide more reliable service. It will also give us more capacity. The present stream begins to have problems when 20 or more listeners are on at the same time. The new stream will be good for 50 listeners, and is scalable in steps as our audience increases. ShoutCheap also gives much better statistics and analytics. The high-quality stream will still be 128K, and the low-quality stream will be at least 32K (as it is now), but could be greater.

Cleveland will sign up for the service, and Markus and Johrdan get the new stream up and running.

Improving Internet Connectivity

WFHB will switch its Internet service from Comcast to Smithville, which will upgrade us from coaxial cable to fiber optic. Smithville’s connectivity will be more reliable, could be faster, and will be cheaper. Cleveland has consulted Smithville, and their service is available to us. They already connect the Waldron and Fountain Square. The next step is for their techs to come out and do a site survey, to see exactly what will be required to extend the fiber connection to the station. Having done that, they can quote us an installation cost. This will happen soon. Cleveland did not have a definite date. Actual installation will be scheduledd with Johrdan, so he can be present when it happens.

March 10, 2014: Cleveland reports: “No go on Smithville for ‘probably a couple of months’ as they don’t have the fibder down to provide voice service. We’re going to have to wait a bit. Tony said he’d have more information in a couple of weeks.”

Website

Markus reported that Alycin asked for links to the archive to be placed on all program pages. He will do this.

Online Ticket Sales

Cleveland asked if it would be possible for us to sell tickets for WFHB events on our website. The Buskirk-Chumley Theater will do this for us, but not for free. Markus thought it might be somewhat complex to create our own software. After consideration, it was reckoned that we might have 12-15 events each year for which we charge admission, so there is a limit to the amount of hours and effort it’s worthwhile to put in.

Mobile Credit Card Sales

Cleveland asked what it would take to be able to take credit cards in the field, for sales or donations. Markus and Johrdran recommended we get an account with square.com for this purpose, and also purchase a “My-Fi” adapter to get Internet connectivity anywhere through cell phone service, which would cost about $100.00. This would work with a smart phone or laptop. Cleveland noted that the station has a Chromebook which is not used much and would fill the bill.

Remote Internet Feeds

Cleveland noted we have a dongle with Verizon, a service which allows remote Internet feeds, costing $60.00 per month. It is not used much at present, only for Local Live shows from recording studios. Johrdan suggested that we eliminate that service and sign up for a different service that would only cost money when it is used.

The Newsletter On the Website

Markus reported he is working on this, and must integrate the MailChimp program that distributes the newsletter. People need to be able to find the newsletter on the website (and the archive of back issues) and also subscribe or unsubscribe.

Computer Use at the Station

Richard brought up some problems he’d had producing his Bloomington Beware module on Sunday nights. He asked that when system changes be made, more efforts should be made after that to inform all the users of the system. Cleveland and Markus pointed out that the production computer in the small studio is practically an antique, but keeps working for the present.

Everyone also reported finding computers left in the middle of something, files not saved, browsers or emails or Spinitron not logged out, etc. This is a human problem and a training issue. Cleveland may put out the word on Spot-Online about this and ask Alycin Bektesh to tell the News Department. Richard will start mentioning this when he trains people. Johrdan recommended strongly that people always browse the Internet in “private” or “incognito” mode (Control-Shift-P in Firefox) to avoid loading the system with everybody’s browsing history, but did not know how to make this the default.

New Committee Member

Markus asked Ronald about his experience and interest in the committee. Ronald has some audio and IT experience and will see about checking out the Facilities Committee before he decides how he best fits in.

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