I’m kicking off the second semester of my MA in Online Journalism this week with a session on audio. As part of the preparation for that I’ve been looking at ‘micropodcasting‘, speaking to Mark Rock, the founder of Audioboo, and Christian Payne – better known as Documentally – who is a great user of the micropodcasting form. I thought it might be useful to post their thoughts here:
I asked Mark Rock what sort of boos (recordings) proved popular on the site. He listed the following:
- “Celebrity boos are the biggest here – witness @bobbyllew, who got retweeted from the site 45 times at the weekend.
- “Next come people who embed the player on their website – such as the Arsenal blogger – http://audioboo.fm/boos/94714-united-reaction
- “Finally interesting content – people who are using it for a purpose, such as my one! http://audioboo.fm/boos/94707-alex-walters-on-the-state-of-journalism.”
Asked what types of recordings people make, Mark provides this overview:
- “Micro podcasts. Chris does short photo tips: http://audioboo.fm/boos/51850-are-you-missing-daily-photo-tips-daily-photo-tips-with-chris
- “Interviews: http://audioboo.fm/boos/94682-talking-with-the-taxman-about-poetry-sort-of-jason_cobb-with-billybragg
- “Promotion of other content: http://audioboo.fm/boos/94834-bullet-proof-crocodiles-and-more-on-today-s-outlook
- “Educational support: A lot of use in schools – http://audioboo.fm/boos/94818-the-dark
- “Business info. Lots of realtors as well as big firms like BDO: http://audioboo.fm/profile/bdo
- “Audio projects. This guy has setup the firstpages tag to get people to read the 1st pages of books: http://audioboo.fm/tag/firstpages
- “Radio. Lots of radio stations using it for content – http://audioboo.fm/profile/BBCLondon949
- “Capturing the moment. Lot of personal social usage – http://audioboo.fm/boos/94794-sharing-my-thoughts-11-f-king-frustrated
- “plus ambient, children and more.”
On the whole I find short soundbites are more welcomed than long ones. As regards interviews, for me casual conversation tends to spread more outside of the podcast itself i.e others feel more at liberty to join in in the comments, twitter etc.
As far as editing goes, a top ‘n’ tail should be more than enough for a micro blog. It should all be about ease of posting and the immediacy of it going live. A non edited piece of audio sounds more intimate and less premeditated ‘programmed’.
All my types of Boo are really ‘personal journal’. It’s been rare that I have been talking on behalf of anyone else and so as far as the audio goes it’s just another way of documenting my journey. An audience is a bonus (sometimes) for me. I boo to document and remember the moment. there are countless categories available should you want to tag certain styles.
As for tips, he says: “Be random.”
More importantly than anything (in my opinion) I feel a micropodcast should be and could be anything from one episode or boo to the next. It is the element of ‘anything could happen next’ that keeps me subscribed to the boos I listen to. I want to be taken to new places, though not on any scheduled flight – more of a magical mystery tour.
We have production studios in our pockets and they go with us everywhere. Why create a studio environment when there are so many great places/sounds/conversations/situations and moments to share?