Ok, I know, it’s Tuesday. I’d already decided to move the social media feature, Social Friday, to Monday due to the fact that I’ll be commuting from Cincinnati to Indianapolis most Fridays.

Today’s topic: Pandora Internet Radio.

Yesterday morning I attended the fifth Social Media Breakfast in Cincinnati. The keynote speaker was Pandora’s founder, Tim Westergren. Tim opened his presentation with two questions to the audience of about 100:

1. How many of you own an iPod? (I think all hands in the room went up)
2. How many of you are sick of your Playlists? (Yep. Me too, and just about everyone in the room).

Westergren went on to say that data shows that when people get their iPod (or other player) they’ll load up their CDs, download some songs from iTunes, make playlists, listen for awhile…and then get tired of it and go back to listening to the radio.

The problem – you’re not discovering anything new. Back in the day, we used to go to the record store and spend an hour or two browsing through LPs, or maybe today, going to the CD listening stations to check out the tracks. But still, who’s got that kind of time?

The way Pandora works is this: you go to Pandora.com, set up a free account (they ask for minimal personal info) and then you type in the name of an artist or group to create a “radio station” based on your input. Pandora plays some of that artist or group, plus others that are similar based on the analysis done by the Music Genome Project. As songs come on, you can skip them, give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. And Pandora refines your radio station based on your input. You can create multiple stations, share your stations, and find listeners who share your musical taste. And of course, buy the music you hear.

If you’re interested in watching/hearing Tim’s full talk – it’s available on Ustream.tv (thanks to Kevin Dugan). And Dave Bowman (disclaimer: he’s my little brother) gives a thorough report of Tim’s talk on his blog.

What does this mean for you? For churches? For religion?

Here’s one: many churches still rely on the “one-to-many” model with preaching and worship. But all around us, that model is disintegrating and control is shifting dramatically to the consumer/member/individual. He or she is also likely to be a creator of content.

I’d love to know what YOU think.

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