I have an internet radio station called fredwilson.fm. You can listen by clicking on that link or by clicking on the black banner at the bottom of this blog.
I add one new song each day and so when you listen to fredwilson.fm, you are listening to my favorite songs (mostly new stuff that I find on the web) in reverse chronological order. That's it. Pretty simple and very easy for me to program.
As Internet radio services go, fredwilson.fm is tiny. It averages around sixty listeners per day and gets around 1,300 visitors per month.
Fredwilson.fm is a perfect example of nanomedia. The service has a tiny audience and will never amount to anything other than a hobby of mine. There may be some hardcore fans of fredwilson.fm, but they are measured in the tens, certainly less than a hundred. It will never be a commercial property. It will never run advertising.
So it's easy to ignore services like this. And many do. But those who do miss a very important point about nanomedia. Each service in its own right is borderline meaningless. But the aggregation of all of these nanomedia services are a big deal.
My friend John Borthwick and I were interviewed by Seth Goldstein a few weeks back at his social media bootcamp. The video of that interview is here. I asserted then that "the aggregation of all of this social media is the greatest media that has ever been created."
Let's keep looking at music blogging (which is what powers fredwilson.fm). My stream and your stream and your friend's stream might not get much of an audience. But when you combine them all together as the Hype Machine, elbo.ws, and We Are Hunted have done, you get music services which start to amass sizeable audiences.
On the open web, services get built on top of services. Fredwilson.fm is built on top of Tumblr and Streampad. Hype Machine and Elbo.ws are built on top of services like fredwilson.fm. As we move up the aggregation stack, we start to assemble larger audiences. And then a song like the Velvet Underground song, Pale Blue Eyes, I posted to fredwilson.fm a while back can get more plays (1505 as of right now) than the total number of visits fredwilson.fm gets each month.
The new media is a disaggregated medium, where the channels themselves may be small but the microchunks that flow out of them can be very large. And that's why nanomedia is important.