After over two years of weekly collaboration, fun and musical inspiration, this Friday (22nd July) will be the last ever official 80sFriday show on monkehRadio, and indeed the final day of broadcast for monkehRadio.
Where it all began
What started out as two guys sharing a playlist every Friday afternoon quickly turned into a mini-phenomenon on the social media scene.
80sFriday was born after James Allen (@CFJamesAllen) and I both discovered a mutual appreciation for 80s tracks, and thanks to Spotify we were able to create a shared playlist that enabled us to add tracks together to share our personal favourites. At 2pm every Friday we would simultaneously hit 'play' and listen to our combined selections, discuss, chat and laugh about (some of) our choices.
It wasn't long before people in my office at that time discovered our playlist, and started joining in adding tracks and listening, and thanks to Twitter we were also able to share the plans with people around the world (whether they wanted to know about it or not). From there 80sFriday grew into an actual event of sorts, and something that people started to look forward to each week as a release from the working week and an early way to unwind for the weekend.
Taking it 'global'
monkehRadio was originally an idea I had to create an online podcast / streaming radio show purely for development / tech talk. In actual fact, the original working title for it was monkehRIAdio (see what I did there?), and I had started working on plans to create these tech chats and interviews with community members, Adobe professionals and web folks. At the same time, numerous other projects were also on the go, and as a result the tech side of the streaming never took form.
During the time spent playing with streaming audio and broadcasting, I discovered a way to share the 80sFriday fun for all to hear without asking everyone to count down "3,2,1.. press play.... NOW!" to sync the playlist. As a result monkehRadio was born, and was primarily only ever active for 80sFriday. This generated a lot more interest, listeners and contributors including development friends from the US and beyond. This was truly an exciting time for James and I as we suddenly saw the fun, feedback and responses from people joining in with our little playlist experiment. The social side of 80sFriday (if nothing else) was truly immense.
James worked hard on a superb control panel to read the playlist contents, update the list via ajax calls and archive each week's playlist for prosperity - built using ColdFusion, naturally. This enabled non-Spotify folks (primarily those in the US) to see what tracks had been added.
Behind the scenes, although it may not have been obvious, there was a lot of cool development going on to automate, promote and enhance the station and the shows, from the control panel to a mobile-enabled request system (using ColdFusion 9's ORM capabilities) to automatically request and insert songs from the vast music library into the playlist, to automatic tweeting thanks to built-in event schedulers and monkehTweets.
From there, monkehRadio grew into a 24/7 streaming station with regular shows including James' incredibly popular "#80sRewind" show, Tim Cunningham's "Timmy C and the Geek Chic", #70sWednesday and #90sThursday... although it always bugged me that the 70s, 80s and 90s shows weren't in order :)
Codebass Radio started up shortly after monkehRadio, and quickly grew into a successful station thanks to the massive effort of its manager / producer / owner Vicky Ryder (@fuzie) and the collaboration and teamwork of it's various contributors. Despite my best efforts, I could not keep monkehRadio going with the same level of management and promotion that I would have liked. Automating the system using various methods (including a version of Delphi scripting and plenty of ColdFusion) certainly helped to keep it going, but as time progressed listeners and their requirements changed and the stream started to buckle as a combination of my workload, side projects, writing obligations and normal life.
All things need to evolve and change, and as a result last month I decided to end monkehRadio (and as a result 80sFriday and all other shows that originated from the station).
I am incredibly excited to say that the monkehRadio team (myself, James and Tim) will be moving over to Codebass Radio and our shows will now be broadcasting as part of a much bigger team on (what I think) is a kick ass schedule. It's a true testament to team work, collaboration and ultimately the passion and dedication from Vicky as manager that has turned CBR into the success it is, and I for one am really happy and excited over the future prospects and the merge of the two stations.
The 80sFriday playlist will always be available via Spotify for any wishing to add tracks and continue to share the 80s music love, but we will no longer be streaming the collated playlist as a show on monkehRadio.
Please join us this Friday (22nd July) to help celebrate 80sFriday and to give it the send off it deserves. I would love for as many people to tune in as possible, contribute tracks to the playlist and enjoy the final broadcast of what became the definitive way to kickstart your Friday.
As usual, the show will start at 2pm UK and stream until 6pm. Follow @monkehRadio on Twitter for advanced warning and notification and prepare for the final run of the definitive collaborative 80s show - 80sFriday!
I have to say a massive thank you to James for joining me in our interactive journey / experiment. The past two years+ of 80sFriday have been such great fun to do, and together we have built some pretty cool systems to ensure it all worked.
Thank you to Tim for joining monkehRadio and providing the geek chic. Big thanks to Vicky for working alongside us, for helping break in various systems and for having us join Codebass Radio. Massive thank yous MUST go out to each and every one of our participants who have added in tracks, tuned in to share the fun and generally supported 80sFriday; there are seriously too many names to mention here without forgetting someone but I will mention:
- Darren Walker (always ready for playlist submissions and for his infamous 80sFriday tweets)
- Tara Mclean (king of bizarre song selections)
- Cate Stewart-Gifford (for putting up with 80sFriday and monkehRadio chatter)
- Stephen Moretti
- Will Swain
- Andy Tuffill (the third person to join 80sFriday)
- Billy Fagan
- Andy Allan (for adding in Slayer and whatever the hell else thrash metal just to annoy James)
- Laura Springer
- Marc Esher
- and anyone else who ever once looked at, listened to or retweeted anything 80sFriday.