Listen very carefully

Everyone needs to have some time in the working week when they can look outside of their area of business and gain some much-needed inspiration. I was lucky enough to have a chance to do that this week when I was invited to an Audioboo training session at Media City.

I have used the Audioboo application a few times but basically as a tape recorder. It was used to retain comments in a short interview that I could then post on social networks to assist its circulation. But it was clear from the presentation I watched that there is much more to the app than being a mere voice recorder.

The BBC are now starting to use the app to promote elements of the radio programmes. They take the best bits and circulate them on social networks thereby taking the programme to where a whole new audience may be. For the skilled broadcaster finding clips that will be of interest is easy.

However, the most important element to the application and the training that I was able to get involved in is the ability for Audioboo to  be used to engage with people. Again it is about using social networks to do more than broadcast but instead to use them to start and continue a conversation. If you don’t know, and I didn’t, Audioboo allows you to have a channel which means people can then post audio with an image, which you can moderate but is able to be linked to websites and networks. It starts to present great opportunities for communication professionals and their organisations.

I was particularly taken by the facility that allows people to phone in a ‘boo’. This means that a whole new audience can make use of the application, including those people who may be uncomfortable using apps but are at ease with telephone calls and answer machine messages. It is the sort of thing that my parents would be comfortable to use. This makes the network even more accessible.

There is a lot said about how important photography and video are to communication in the 21st century. But let us not forget that audio in many respects can transport people into the heart of events, explain what is happening and do it in a way that build a living picture. Most important for me is that as I was listening to the training there are so many possibilities of how Audioboo can be used if you think creatively. I haven’t even gone past the first chapter.

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