Last week I noticed a number of people that I followed on Twitter had started using a new way of creating and sharing content using the Anchor App.
For those of you who have not seen it here’s an example of an update I created on it earlier in the week:
The idea is that one person records a short audio clip (under 2 minutes) on their smart phone (iPhone only I think at the moment) and posts it for others to hear. They can share it to Twitter or other social channels or even embed it on their blog as I just did and then others can reply to it by recording their own short audio clip.
I’ve heard a couple of people describe it as like a purely audio version of Twitter. Others described it as being like short podcasts that is all hosted for you.
I’m new to Anchor (you can follow by searching for Darren Rowse) and it’s a new network but I’m already seeing some real benefits for us as bloggers and content creators.
Here’s a few:
1. Record Your Thoughts on the Fly
Sometimes when I’m out and about I will record an idea or thought in Evernote so that I can come back to it later. While some of these ideas are probably best left private until I can develop them more I’ve enjoyed this week putting them out there to get an immediate reaction on the idea.
Dan Norris is planning on doing this. Listen to this little clip he recorded on Anchor on how he plans to use it to test ideas before developing them into longer form content.
2. Mini Podcast
Vanessa Smith shared with me on Anchor (in the following clip) that she had been wanting to do a Podcast with short episodes but had been put off by the setting up of one – Anchor essentially means she can get up an episode in as long as it takes her to record a 2 minute clip! Here’s Vanessa’s thoughts.
It strikes me that Anchor might be a great place for those thinking about starting a podcast to experiment with audio content. Create some episodes and get used to the idea of speaking your ideas, test to see how your ideas are coming across and whether you can sustain talking about a niche/topic over a few weeks and you might just come away feeling inspired to start a longer form podcast.
3. Reader Generated Content
This one really excites me because as a long term blogger I know that my readership knows a whole lot more than I do and that tapping into ones audience can often make us all a lot smarter. Anchor presents itself as a great way to get insights from your audience pretty easily.
As you’ll see above I’ve already used two clips from those in my network in this blog post. There’s the ability to post just a single person’s clip as I’ve done above or a whole conversation.
For example here’s an embed of a full conversation with me kicking off an idea and the replays that came in after (click the arrow on the right to scroll through the replies):
I am also really excited by the idea of using such clips in future podcasts to feature ideas from my network. At the moment there’s no easy way to download these clips from Anchor but I can see the files in the source code of Anchor pages so it wouldn’t be hard to grab them.
This adds variety of voices into your content, shows your readers that you’re really interest in hearing from them and giving them a voice.
What a powerful medium!
4. Deepen Reader Engagement
There’s something very powerful about hearing someone’s voice. I’ve already had audio responses left by people who I’ve interacted in blog comments and it’s blown my mind to hear their voice and realise how different they sound to what I’d imagined. I’m impacted by their voice and I know from previous experiments with using video on my blogs that it also impacts readers.
I think use of talking head video, live streaming, podcasting and now anchor can’t help but deepen the relationships that we as bloggers have with our readers and can’t help but personalise our brands in ways that can be difficult with the written word.
5. An Alternative to Comments on Your Blog
I also wonder if down the track there might be potential to use Anchor as an alternative way for blog readers to leave comments on a blog. Imagine if we could build a WordPress Plugin that allowed readers to hit a button and record their response to a post as an audio file rather than have to type it.
I guess in the mean time I could record an Anchor in advance and embed it in the bottom of a blog post to invite comments. In fact – lets give that a go.
If you see potential for Anchor – I’d love to hear how you see it as being useful in your blogging and content creation. Leave a comment below (the old fashioned way in text) or by responding to the following Anchor!
Update – there’s some lovely responses already coming in via the Anchor wave above. You can listen to them all by hitting the little arrow on the right of the wave to scroll through them.