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Chavah makes the newspaper! (Sort of!) And naming my tech startup

Summary: Chavah Radio is booming, I’m forming a company around it, one of my clients made the newspaper, and I need a name for the new company.

Fine Messianic readers, Chavah Messianic Radio has opened up so many avenues for me. I created it for the benefit of my local Hebrew Roots community just two years ago, but since then, it’s exploded. It’s the most popular Messianic radio on the web, an international audience, tens of thousands of songs streamed per day; it’s become the place to go for Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Roots music, hodu l’adonai, it’s been awesome.

From Chavah to tech startup

Odd thing happened: as Chavah grew in popularity, folks started contacting me asking, “Can you build me a radio station like that, but playing music X?”

End result: Chavah has allowed me to start a business: as it turns out, lots of people want their own internet radio stations: local tunes, ethnic music, independent artists, and other niches. We’re now powering 6 radio stations on the web, and working on a 7th.

Chavah in the papers

One of my clients, PrairieAsunder, got a writeup in a local Taylorville, Illinois newspaper. They were kind enough to mention myself and Chavah:

Internet radio allows local artists to shine
Prairie Asunder is the future:
Derek Parris
Breeze-Courier Writer

PALMER — Are you tired of hearing the same six songs on the radio station? Does the music you listen to on the radio seem to become more and more mainstream every day?

Joshua Bailey, of Palmer, has a solution to these problems. He recently re-launched a version of Internet radio called Prairie Asunder.

Prairie Asunder is an online operation with the intent of spreading the sounds of local artists around the globe.

“My hope is that this radio station could draw more people to live performances for original artists. There are amazing tunes being crafted in our own back yard,” said Bailey passionately, “I promise that you will never love a song the way you will love it when you catch a glimpse of the real personalities behind it...before they are purchased, made over and coached on how to be successful in the mainstream radio market.”

Bailey said he got the idea streaming local music online in the ‘on demand’ format like it is now from an application he found on Judah Himango’s “Chavah Radio” which he crafted to suit the Messianic Jewish Community due to the lack of Messianic Jewish music on Pandora.

When Bailey contacted Himango, he helped get Prairie Asunder up and running, along with the help of Pete Banning.

The website is actually about two and half years old, with the first version of the site using a traditional stream running off of an old computer server in Bailey’s garage.

“I started Prairie Asunder in responded to a rather disheartening appreciation for local art in our community. As a behind-closed-doors guitar player for about a decade, I have a lot of respect for musicians that spend the effort to perfect their craft,” stated Bailey.

Most participation on the first version was musicians and it was difficult for the site to garner consistent fans. Bailey remained optimistic and stated that even through this journey, he, his wife and family met some amazing people and made some great friends.

Eventually, Bailey was forced to put Prairie Asunder on hold for activism. As he surrounded himself with local art, he was drawn to the awareness of the global situation that music is in. This took him a journey to find a way to deliver streaming local music with an “on demand” style application to draw more attention to local musicians.

“I believe that there is a sincere purpose behind art. If athletics strengthen the body and scholastic advancement strengthens the mind, then surely art must be a way to strengthen our souls and emotions,” said Bailey.

Prairie Asunder’s goal is to allow local musicians a way to get their music out to the area and even the world through the Internet.
In a mainstream dominated by artists that have discovered little more than a formula for profit, Bailey believes a lot of ‘soul food’ is lost in 98 percent of what gets packaged and sold to the public.
Even when local artists or bands do perform for a public crowd, many times they are forced to play covers because that is the music that people hear on the radio. Prairie Asunder is meant to expand listeners’ spectrum and get people interested in original music and local artists.

Prairie Asunder is currently funded solely by Joshua Bailey and his family. “I’m pretty bad at this whole capitalism thing. I think money, sponsors and advertisers can quickly ruin the sincerity of what we seek to accomplish in drawing attention to local music. So I’ll happily eat the cost to avoid any temptation at putting profit over our musicians.

For any artists who are interested in adding their music and getting it out to the world, Bailey has made it very simple. Artists can submit their songs (mp3’s) and the album’s cover art in any email to Artists can also add their shows and events to the Prairie Asunder events calendar by inviting Prairie Asunder’s Facebook account to their Facebook event’s page.
Currently there are 55 local bands/artists on the playlist.

When Bailey started keeping track in the last week of June, there were 29 visitors a day; in July there was an average of 37 and in August there was in average of 57 per day, bringing the total to 2,698 visitors and nearly 8 GB in bandwidth transferred.

Prairie Asunder’s local music and art event calendar can be found at Prairie Asunder will also feature, on occasion, live broadcasts (via Ustream) focusing on local talent, while also featuring broadcasts in a radio broadcast format. More information can also be found at

Well, it’s not the venerable Chicago Tribune, but hey, having the stuff you built mentioned in even a local newspaper really tickles the ego.

I’ve brought in several hundred dollars through this internet radio stuff – purely as a side job, without even trying to sell or advertise. The clients have come to me, paid me, used my consulting services. And just this morning, I got my first recurring revenue via another client: I host a radio station, provide backup and patches and all that, and they pay me a recurring fee.

Now we’re cooking with gas. I think this thing might actually get off the ground.

Naming a new company

It’s time to get serious and start a company. Build the website. Offer services. Advertise. Grow this thing.

Now, friends, I need a name for this new startup.

I want something that’s playfully related to tech, short, memorable, and bonus points if it’s got a hidden meaning.

I’ve had 2 names thrown around recently:

  • Digital Synapse
  • BitShuva
  • Got a better name?

Give me your vote in the comments.

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