Tuesday, February 28, 2012

3 creative ways with audio content: Ideas to get ears to your social media

Many observers think sound will be bigger than video online -- which is saying something, since online video's still the 500-pound gorilla of social media, any way you look at it. Yet lots of communicators see audio as the forgotten flavor of multimedia, and have to be talked into the idea that online audio tools can help journalists (and smart communicators). If you're one of the hesitant, or if audio hasn't made it to your to-do list, check out this trio of creative ways with audio content to steal, emulate or investigate further:
  1. Socializing a sound archive:  The British Library has just launched its online sound library with a selection of 50,000 spoken word, natural-sound and music recordings users can explore for free. The gigantic stash has been socialized, too. There's a section of sound maps, showing where recordings of accents and dialects or oral histories were collected; occasional "sound of the day" posts on Facebook and a blog with "recordings of the week;" case studies and video testimonials on how researchers and others have used the sound recordings; and basic audio tools to help users access the collection. (Fair warning: Some recordings will not work for users outside the European Union, but many will.) It's a lovely example of opening up an archive and paying attention to the ways users put it to work.
  2. Going from pastime to pro:  Nieman Lab took at look at how the popular Grammar Girl podcast went from being a hobby to becoming its own media network, a fine model if you're blogging or podcasting audio and wondering whether it will ever pay off. Audio is central to the growth of this business, but it's augmented and supported by email newsletters and social media outreach.
  3. Rethinking a sound offering: Audio tours in museums are getting a rethink as some museums look to use visitors' own smartphones as the listening device, but in France, they're taking it a step further. The Louvre is swapping its audio tours for hand-held game consoles with themed commentaries, multiple language capabilities and even 3D capability, through a partnership with Nintendo.
What are you doing with audio content and social media? Share your ideas in the comments.

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