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I mean, big radio shows sometimes have to wait for callers, maybe a small radio program makes it harder to consistently count on callers, specially since a part of people who will listen to it are on different time zones. It’d be interesting to know what percentage listens to it live vs recorded. This is not a critique, just saying that even if you do your part right, you might still get shows without callers.

Notice how the same dynamic repeats: When people do livestreams on youtube, twitch, instagram, etc, the live comments/chat feed is going by at a fast speed, with many comments. Of course, it’s a lot of lower effort blips, vs those who call who might gather their thoughts beforehand in order to avoid embarrassing themselves in front of everyone.

“Have our discussions up till now been too abstract and removed from daily life?“

Not necessarily, the fact that they may be things that people don’t get to talk or hear about in their daily lives might make it interesting to them. I think in many cases ya’ll are basing what you say on your daily lives, which can different from your listeners daily lives, but that doesn’t make it invalid. Maybe if you had a team of marketers with surveys you could know what your listener’s daily life looks like, and taylor your content to that target demo, but obviously that’s horrible, right.

“Do conversations benefit or suffer for structure?”

If by structure what is meant is a topic chosen beforehand, then not necessarily. But since it’s a live program and not a rehearsed affair, it’s nice to have the felixibility to change the topic on the fly, like with a real life conversation. Like improv or stand up comedians which respond in real time to their audience. If a topic is not garnering interest, or the conversation is stalling, you could ask callers to call about some else they’d like to talk about.

But if by structure what is meant is the “performance/content - audience/spectator” arrangement, then rip. You forgo being anti-spectacular by deciding to make radio, i think.

“If our goal is to grow the conversation how have we done so far?”

If by grow the conversation you mean longitudinally across time, since you’ve had various episodes already, then definitely. If by grow you mean how much “views/hits” or listeners you’re getting, then only ya’ll can tell, since you’re the ones with the stats on that, and this last aspect is not just dependent on your content, but also on advertising.