Pay up to support free culture

It’s that time of year again. I have spilled a lot of verbiage about the world’s greatest radio station in this space over the years, and I’m almost at a loss to come up with something more. At this point, it seems clear to me that to describe WFMU in 2010 as a radio station does not work anymore. Instead I think of it as a node of incredible creativity that fuses what is best about the web and free culture.

Over the past year, WFMU has continued to roll out the enhancements: new streams for catchy rock and soul, the wildest of the avant garde, and mashed-up goodness; the Free Music Archive continues to grow into an increasingly essential resource for curated copyright-friendly tunes (this post says it all, and it now features lotsa Canadian content); and the station has just released an absolutely amazing new iPhone app (Android coming soon) that allows for a very rich on-demand mobile listening experience.

Perhaps more importantly, WFMU remains a place where gifted and deeply committed people pursue a vision that emphasizes the “free” in “free culture”… The station is one of those increasingly rare places where things can still go haywire in a truly delightful way.

A big part of its success stems from the elegant simplicity of its sustainability model. It derives all of its funding directly from its listeners, and ultimately is accountable only to its listeners. Of course, this lovely ideal only works if listeners pony up the cash — so if you do listen, or if you feel a commitment to supporting free culture, I urge you to pledge.

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