Soundscape of Ireland – Audioboo, a Social Media Tool

Audioboo is a web and mobile application that enables you to record and publish audio segments directly to the web and straight into other social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook if you have enabled the connections.

In this debrief one our correspondents, Bernard Goldbach, shares his enthusiasm and his experiences with the application as an educational and Social Media tool.

You may want to listen to this compilation that he and Peter Donegan put together to get an idea of the breadth and depth of what is possible with the audiboo format. It is also a rather lovely soundscape of Ireland in 2010.

click image for “Irish Boosters”
(background via Google Earth)

So how did you get started?

I followed the lead of Neville Hobson, a presenter of For Immediate Release, a weekly podcast for social media in a public relations context. He was doing a few of these. I could subscribe to them and they would just drop into my ipod. In my day job teaching third level students at the Tipperary Institute it’s important to challenge student’s observational skills. While it’s very difficult to get the newer students to write five to eight hundred words about a particular subject it is not difficult at all to get them to sit down and talk about it. Particularly if they described what they saw as if they were telling a friend. We knew right away audioboos could have a direct application to our work and they do.

I expect to see some really enthusiastic students leading the charge about six months from now with boos of their cooking group and friends of the Medieval Society and things like that.

</b?How does it work?

The ability to tap and talk is the way it is. You launch the app, you touch the screen, you are recording, start talking, tap the screen to stop, tap again to put a title or add a picture and tap again to send it up. It’s so simple. A conversation with podcasters just a year ago would have revolved around mixer boards, cables, bit rates. production values, hosting requirements, monetizing – all that. Now the conversation is about the creative process, what to say, how to script, how to theme a series of audio boos.

Audioboos have removed the entire technical challenge of posting audio remotely.

It’s simple to do, you publish right to the server and you share right away. An entire community is starting to unfold organically.

Who is it for?

Audioboo is for people who like to converse. Twitter is for people who like to confine themselves to a short-form of communication where things are frequently superficial.

The key thing is that it is self organizing which is always the best thing. You have professionals who use it, hobbyists, people who speak Irish as a native language, school leavers, college students, about 20 or 30 people in all who regularly provide one snippet a week from Ireland.

There’s a real Irish conversation involved. You can actually map it out; there’s Peter feeding his hens at 7am, his mum talking about the washing at nine o’clock and someone from the bus at ten and someone else is working in their office and talking about their conference call that happened at noon.

Some people are just doing pure audio. One guy went to a supermarket and just stood by the cash till and recorded the ambient noise

People want to know that they are listening to a real person. When you say something you are bringing someone into your circle. It feels like you personally talking to them as opposed to writing it on a piece of paper and you know that ten thousand people have read that same column.

There’s a more personal twist to it. You have to take an active step as well to give time to listen to conversation. People have shoveled out parts of their life to listen to what you’re saying. This investment leads to more engagement than just words on a paper.

What happens next?

In September will have it’s own digital radio channel. That means you will be able to listen to an assemblage of boos in your home or care wherever you have a DAB, radio. The internet is going mainstream.

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