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WFMU Building Open Source "Audience Engine" Web CMS for Radio Stations

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New Jersey's WFMU.FM is a legendary freeform non-commercial radio station that embodies community from its supportive listeners to its wide-ranging programming. WFMU recently embarked on a new community adventure with their decision to develop an open source version of their currently proprietary CMS (content management system). The new CMS is called Audience Engine and its designed not only to manage content and build community, but to support fundraising.

WFMU.FM is a unique example of community radio. Their approach is carrying over into the development of an open source CMS, or Content Management System, for radio operations on the web.

Dubbed Audience Engine, Nieman Journalism Lab reports that WFMU has been developing their own CMS since 1998 and, though it looks outdated, they're raising “about 70 percent of WFMU’s annual $2 million budget...through its website."

So there's apparently a robust feature set but the software is proprietary and the developer wants to keep it that way.

Audience Engine will employ modular APIs so that other stations can choose which features they desire. FMU is also planning to launch a for-profit subsidiary offering training and other paid services which are often a revenue source for open source software developers.

See Nieman Journalism Lab for more details and the thinking behind this move.

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