Supporting technologists in Community Broadcasting


TR17 event: 16/17/18 June 2017

TR17 Education day Friday 16 June

Register now for Technorama 2017!

It’s quick, online, and protected.  Rates for TR17 have been kept to the same price as TR16 (or even slightly lower).   Over the next weeks, we’ll release details of programming, but Earlybird registration is available right now.    Click here to make registration happen.

Talk to anyone who attended TR16, and they’ll tell you how valuable the experience was – and TR17 is shaping up to be even better.

We will also advise you on where to stay, and which hotels have Technorama rates (you should budget from $115 to $170/night, depending on the hotel you pick).   Right now the smart thing to do is grab cheap airfares.  Want more information?  See the TR17 at a Glance page.

Join Technorama right now

Special deal:  Membership of Technorama Incorporated costs only $10 for Station personnel, but here’s a special deal if you haven’t already become a Technoraman:  by joining now and then registering for TR17 you’ll get $15 off the Conference non-member rate.   That’s right – it’s almost like we’re paying you to turn up.

Click here to make membership happen.

The handy hint is: join Technorama before you start filling in the Eventbrite form, so that you don’t time out during Eventbrite registration.   While we’ll eventually be fully integrated, we’re not there yet, so it’s two separate forms.

Technorama Awards

New and improved, with additional categories to recognise your colleagues, volunteers, mates and even your organisation.  Check out the categories here, but don’t leave it too long.   Award nominations must be registered by end of day on 15 May 2017.

TR17 Guest of Honour announced!!

Each Technorama we welcome a senior member of our community to share something about their world with us.

Our special guest for TR17 is Steve Farrugia, who will be joining us for the weekend.

Steve is Chief Technical Officer for Broadcast Australia  and is actively working on the future of communications in this country.   Expect to hear much about emerging technologies including 5G, and come armed with questions about transmission and linking.   Many of you might have known of Steve in his previous role as General Manager, Engineering for Broadcast Australia, where he led the team responsible for all of BA’s transmission sites, core engineering and project management.

A membership system: just what you’re looking for?

Membership Systems will be one of the topics for TR17.  Almost every community radio station has members and subscribers, and we thought that most of you would have automated signup and billing.  So imagine our surprise when the survey showed that a large proportion of stations still have a manual system.   It’s hard to believe that there’s nothing better available than a spreadsheet and a lot of manual effort, but that’s what you’ve told us.

The system that Technorama has implemented is very suitable for a community station, and we’re working up an installation guide to take all the sting out.   For now, give it a test run by becoming a Member of Technorama.

Travelling to TR17

What you need to know:  TR17 starts with the evening function from 1830 on Friday 16th, and you will need to be at Campbelltown RSL by then (or plan to drive a bit).  So ensure that you can arrive in Sydney around 1530 and you’ll have no trouble getting to Campelltown by train, to your hotel and then the RSL by 1830.  We take care of arrangements after that.

You’ll be away from TR17 in time to catch a 1500 flight on Sunday 17th.  Or stay around!

Those registering for the education event on Friday 16 June will need to be ready to start at 0930, and our recommendation is to come in the night before.  Plan travel accordingly.

TR17:  find cheap airfares

Several of the airlines have had rolling sales with very good deals for fares to Sydney during the Technorama event 16-18 June 2017.   The airfares have gone up a bit since we announced TR17 in November, but aren’t too bad if you buy now.  A quick check on 30 March showed under $250 return from Melbourne, $260-320 from Adelaide, $190-230 from Brisvegas, and $400-440 from Perth, and $330 from Cairns.  But airfares keep going up:  it’s now $1030 Gove (was $800 when we announced).  By the way, these airfares are for real airlines that don’t charge another $400 for a bag.   There are occasional bargains – our search found a single flight at $500 from Alice (is mostly now $660).   So hunt for bargains, but don’t spend your life playing “chicken”, because you might find the great airfare just vanished.

A really good tool to use for fare-finding is Matrix ITA which gives you much of the power to compare airfares that travel agents have at their fingertips.  However there are definitely other, maybe even better, deals on the web if you poke around.  One of our regular delegates nabbed a Sunshine Coast to Sydney/return airfare for $131 by doing just that.   A huge advantage of the sale prices is if you can travel with a full-fare airline for the same or lower price than the cutrate fliers, and therefore take advantage of the much more advantageous meal and luggage policies of Qantas and Virgin.

There will be other sales closer to the event, but if you have your funding ready to go then grab the bargain while it lasts.  If not, start a discussion with whoever approves your travel (maybe look in the mirror?) so that you’re ready for the next cycle.

Tip: if you can’t get a good fare on the day you want (especially for a flight out on the Sunday night) check the day either side.

The upside of an advance booking is that the fares will only go up, and it’s possible that the airfare now plus change-cost later would still be cheaper than the later fare.   Plus you’ve locked in something, at least.

What happened at TR16?

These photos show that we met, learned, and had a good time.

 

Stay in touch…

Maybe there’s a reason why you can’t become a member right now.  Just fill in the online contact form which will put you on the mailing list.   The form is on the right of this page, or at the bottom, or via a hamburger – all depending on your device.

If you’re not a member, or if you’re part of an organisation, being on the mailing list is the best way to stay informed and up to date about Technorama activity.  Our promise:  you won’t be spammed or fire-hosed.

technorama.org.au goes HTTPS!

Since mid-January 2017, the Technorama IT Subcommittee has been moving our platform towards best-of-breed secureness.  You will now note that this website and all our tools use HTTPS to ensure that every page-get is end-to-end secure.   This is important.   While we all accept that secure protocol is needed for transactions which involve financial or personal information, partial HTTPS still doesn’t fully protect those interactions from man-in-the-middle attacks.   The only way to ensure that your pages and users are protected is to be totally HTTPS, for all calls to your site.

technorama.org.au is now enabled for HTTPS, our core apps have been cut over, we purchased a secure domain certificate which supports wildcard access (so we now have subdomains like member.technorama.org.au) and we use Cloudflair to provide CDN, DDoS and DNS protection, and we have some nifty plugins assisting WordPress.

Expect discussion on the topic of Web Security at TR17.  Oh, and you’re only as secure as your passwords!

TR facebook page headerThe Q&A page works a treat – get answers!

Currently being discussed at the Technorama Q&A Facebook group:

  • On-screen display for script reading
  • OB linking
  • OB Van layout and the new truck
  • What are the gotchas with AoIP consoles?

…and heaps more.  It’s Facebook, so search is minimal, arrangement is annoying, and some posts are hard to find.  Delve in, because it’s worth it.   Join the conversation:  see the link on this page for how to find the Q&A group and join up. And read below for a bit of a backstory on the FB group.

Qantas (and just about everyone else) has TR weekend on sale

Flash 1 Feb:  airlines have dropped into sale mode and are offering fares to Sydney at Technorama time at good prices.

Around $200 return from Melbourne, $250 from Adelaide, $200 from Brisvegas, and under $400 from Perth.  We even saw $800 from Gove, $630 from Alice, and $330 from Cairns, on real airlines that don’t charge another $500 for a bag.

See below for our suggestions about how to get good deals on air travel.

Technorama IT Subcommittee:  answering questions you haven’t asked yet

TRITS at work!!

One of the first actions for this year has been creation of the Technorama IT Subcommittee to take on some of the technology challenges that we now have as an organisation. Founding members are Shaun Dennis, Damien Spanjer, Harry Valerio, Steve Hutson, Stephen Wilkinson and John Maizels (chairing).

TRITS (get it?) has a simple mission:  develop best-of-breed solutions to support running Technorama, and in the process build a bag of tools that can be used by any community broadcasting station.   We do the work, so that you don’t have to, and we’ll make the outcomes available to Members.

The first TRITS project is already live:  the new Technorama membership system.  Definitely suitable for small to medium community radio stations, this system is capable of doing most of the work that you need: sign people up, handle membership fees (remember:  Technorama Membership is free right now… won’t last!), do mailouts, manage events, publish calendars, and comes equipped with a really easy-to-use administrative back end.   The package takes a bit of tailoring out of the box, but the TRITS team is building a wealth of knowledge about how to implement and tailor the system, and we are working towards a quick-start guide.

TRITS is well down the track of  building the new Wiki, a fault-logging and problem ticketing system, and stand by for a reskin of this website.

Got questions?  Reach the TRITS team via the Q&A facebook page.

Technorama AGM: the Committee

Your Technorama Board hard at work to achieve consensus...

The most recent Technorama Committee meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Technorama Incorporated was held by telepresence on the evening of Thursday 15 December 2016.   It was an interesting experience.  You’ve probably attended many corporate and governance meetings;  there’s quite a different nuance in making a meeting work by telepresence.   But we proved that we can run meetings using the net, and we can involve all participants via cyberspace, and it’s another example of learnings that Technorama has developed – and which are available for use by our members.   Technorama is committed to making our organisation work with almost no physical travel, and we’re happy to share how we do that.

2016 AGM summary:  accounts are healthy, planning well under way for TR17, and list of committee members is updated on the Resources Page (see top right of this website).

Meet the committee by clicking on TR-Inc Board in the menu at the top of this page.

Technorama bulletin: the mailer

In November 2016, just ahead of the AGM, we sent a mailer to all the people who had
registered on the website or have attended a TR.   If you missed it, then you can download the bulletin here.

Technorama 2017 is announced!

We’re excited:  Technorama 2017 will be held on the weekend of 16-18 June 2017, and by popular support we’re going to be back at the Campbelltown RSL.

The program is under development and registration isn’t open yet, but all the facilities bookings are firm.   We expect registration price to be similar to this year (in 2016 it was around $100 earlybird for station volunteers, and that covered everything).  This year you can expect Members of Technorama to get special treatment.

Start discussing the dates and your attendance with your Board or Committee, and you can safely book travel.

Put the dates in your diary,  and stand by as we call for session ideas and presentations.

Technorama Question and Answer FB Group created

November 2016:  To help stations with quick tech queries and as a starting point for tech questions related to grant submissions, we’ve created a special Q&A Facebook group which you can access if you click here.   It’s a closed group, so you will need to ask for access, but once that’s happened you’re in!!  Start asking away.

Facebook isn’t the best tool for storing long term material, but so many of you have said that Facebook is a good way to make contact, and we’ve listened.   To back that up, and ensure that nothing is lost in the Facebook mire, we’re working on ways  (eg:  WIKI and Forum) to do the heavy lifting and capture the excellent discussions and information that have been contributed.

Thanks to CBAA for assisting with this project.

Sign up now and get on the mailing list

 

What’s happened at previous Technorama events?

Check the Past TR section of the site, accessible from the menu line at the top of this page.

 

Contact

The site is being updated all the time, but maybe we’re not fast enough for you, especially between annual events.   If you have unanswered questions, please contact us and tell us what’s on your mind.

Gratitude!!!

It would not have been possible for an unincorporated group of enthusiasts to run effective events without organisational help.   Technorama gratefully acknowledges support from the Community Broadcasting Foundation  and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.  We are deeply indebted to the hosts of past Technorama events:  the South Australian Community Broadcasters Association Inc,  the Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria, and Artsound in Canberra.   Without the backing of these people, we would not be where we are today.

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© Technorama 2016.  All rights reserved.  Some rights unreserved.  Some wrongs righted.  Some Wongs knighted.  A partridge in a pear tree.  Really, does anyone read this stuff?