CBC’s Spark and Search Engine

CBC has been doing a fantastic job of making most of its programming available as podcasts. More recently, CBC has also upped their Internet cool factor by adding two excellent new shows: Spark and Search Engine.

Both of these shows cover the interaction of technology and the Internet with society in general. Topics range from intelligent and interesting discussion of the forthcoming Canadian copyright changes to the funeral of a main frame computer, and more recently the applicability of the publication ban laws in the presence of blogs and social networks sites such as Facebook.

What is really unique about Search Engine and Spark though is how far they go to integrate the show into the web; or maybe it’s the other way around. Both shows make extensive use of their websites for listener feedback and to look for new story ideas. If this doesn’t seem particularly novel take note of how much these shows try to integrate ‘blog culture’. Search Engine starts each episode with keywords like a blog post. All of the music used on Spark is Creative Commons licensed and linked from the show’s website. Most importantly both shows sound very personal. Almost like an audio version of a blog post at times.

On a final note, these are not geek shows. If you read blogs or publish your own or use Facebook regularly you are likely to get something out of each episode.

2 thoughts on “CBC’s Spark and Search Engine

  1. Dan Misener

    Dan, it’s Dan from Spark here. Thanks so much for the mention, and for the link. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the show.

    We’re still trying to figure out ways to make the linear medium of radio sound more like the non-linear, random-access world of the web. I think the blog, our new wiki, and using CC music are some good first steps, and I’m excited to think about where we might go in the future.

    Thanks again.

  2. Dan Siemon Post author

    Thanks for commenting Dan. I think you guys are doing a great job of utilizing the web.

    Another point I meant to add to the original post is how much of a service these shows are doing for Internet culture. Both Spark and Search Engine air on ‘normal’ CBC radio. People who would otherwise never hear about copyright, blogs etc are being reached by these shows.


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