A note on the RAJAR figures, from our Head of Content, Amanda Brown.
We love listening at Audioboo and, being a touch techy, we like analytics as much as the next geek. So, we were excited to discover that some of our content partners at the BBC have done particularly well in this quarters RAJARS:
The World at One on BBC Radio 4 (Click here for their Audioboo Channel!) recorded over 3.5 million listeners.
More listening online and on mobile
Audioboo have now clocked up over a million registered users, marking the trend for more listeners moving to digital platforms.
RAJAR notes that, “listening online has recorded an increase of 43% year on year”. Digital listening has gained 43 million more users, up to 343 million in total.
In fact, listening online is increasing much faster than listening on digital television (listening online is up 43% in the last quarter, listening on digital television is up 16% in the last quarter)
Listening on mobile is up 28% year on year… That must be all those people listening to Audioboo via our lovely new site or links from Twitter and Facebook
Guest Post from our Education Researcher Delores William
Well finally all the planning, arranging and crying has at last come to fruition. My dream to see channels on Audioboo where VI users and sighted users can get together to have long term conversations and discussion are up and running- Hooray!
First up we have Vip Advisor, run by our very own Paul Gough VIP Podcasting. The moment this channel was handed over to Paul it began to fill up with boos. The first discussion was on the subject of travelling alone on public transport and how good London Underground staff are at helping their blind users. Makes a nice change to hear so many positive comments about London Transport!
Then we have Ricky (Caribbean Blind-man) who lives on the paradise island of Puerto Rico. If you have come across Ricky you’ll know how inspirational he is. It is a delight to start the day in the office with the sounds of the parrots, crickets and all the other ambient sounds of Ricky’s Caribbean back garden. He is also very much a tease and will always let you know how hot and sunny it is compared to our cold mid-winter gloom. Ricky is very well known in Puerto Rico and uses his charasmatic personality to help other VI people in his community. He is one of our favourites.
Last but not least is wonderful David Bailey MBE, who is running our first European Channel, it is based in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will be entirely in the Bosnian language. David feels there is a real need in his adopted country for a place where VI people can hang out and a channel which in his words “will help empower blind people and also educate sighted people to the fact that being blind is not something to be ashamed of”. As part of his mission David would really like your help. He is looking for old phones and laptops, if you listen to his boo to hear why. So if you have any old equipment you would like to donate please contact us here at Audioboo – or let him know directly.
Interestingly enough yesterday afternoon I invited Kevin Satzisbal and Freaky Fwoof (Andre) into the Audioboo offices to test our new apps. David was delighted when he arrived and sitting there waiting for him were two of the very people he really needed to talk to about the channel. “Good Shout” as the Aussies say. We had a great afternoon. see the boos below.
The idea of all these channels came from chatting to some of my followers who happen to be blind, Audioboo is a social place but you have to be prepared to reach out and you have to make the effort to make friends. What struck me was how many people felt that Audioboo had changed their lives. I feel very proud to be part of that.
You can visit any of the channels and throw in your own two cents by recording a boo straight into them. They are all moderated and run by the channel owners (not us at Audioboo!) so it’s a great platform to share your thoughts. Once you’ve uploaded your boo the channel moderators will check it out for swearing before publishing them for the World to hear. I know all three of these fantastic new channels want to hear from you – so get booing!
So we all know that Audioboo is fun to use – to share your thoughts, to capture a moment – or to have a bit of a rant – but did you know that it’s currently being piloted right now in schools as a tool to improve literacy and vocabulary?
One such school is the Michael Faraday School in South London, where teachers Jason Cobb and Gabrielle Khan have been working with their year 3s and 6s – and already the results are obvious.
Here’s Gabrielle speaking about the project:
They first recorded the children speaking – there was never any pressure on them to be brilliant and clear, just to be themselves.
Next the children made mind maps to help guide them for the next stage, they were only to used as a prompt.
And then the children were recorded again. Jason tells us that they weren’t quite prepared for what happened next.
After listening back to themselves a couple of times, and after their teacher giving them pointers on their actual speech, they found the following…
- Children self-correcting pronunciation of words.
- Children speaking more confidently and audibly.
- Children altering their speech to suit the audience and purpose i.e. using more formal language rather than slang.
- Talk well structured with detailed and developed sections.
- Links made between sections leading the listener on a seamless journey.
- Varied sentence openers used for effect and to avoid repetition.
- Details, reasons and description used to interest the listeners and paint a picture in their heads.
- Clear openings and closings signalled
And what’s more – it’s even possible to hear this clear improvement! Check out the following two Boos:
And here’s what the Headmistress Karen Fowler had to say about it all:
What a lovely way to end 2012. We’re currently working with the Michael Faraday School and many other education partners to develop our offering for schools and learning! So we’ve got all of that to look forward to in 2013!
If you go down to the Audioboo homepage today you’re in for a treat – we’ve just rolled out Phase 1 of our redesigned website – and very pretty it is too, if we’re allowed to say that ourselves.
Major kudos are due to our excellent development team who have managed to get things up and running before Christmas. And worry not existing users – all of the features and functionality are here still. And here’s a rundown of what’s new:
The first thing you’ll notice is that the whole website looks fresher, shinier and modern. What’s displayed is hopefully now more relevant to you too – if you’re logged in our homepage will give you one click access to your messages, your Boos, your boards and much more!
We previously called them playlists, but we think that “boards” gives a greater idea of the full scope of what they can be used for. Now you can curate Boos into boards – both your own and those of other people, so that they can be listened to together.
You can also add an image to represent the board around the Audioboo website. We’ll be doing much more with Boards in the new year – so stay tuned for Phase 2.
We’ve got over a million Boos on the Audioboo website – and that’s a lot to organise! So to make finding a Boo that’s relevant for you we’ve added categories. Now when you upload a Boo through our website you’ll be asked to select a category – so that casual browsers will be able to find something to listen to.
Brand New Apps
We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our brand new apps – for iPhone, Android, Nokia/Symbian, Windows Phone and Blackberry. We’ll let you know when they go live – needless to say, we can’t wait!
Your Feedback Wanted
Today’s rollout is just the first step – and we’d love to hear what you think! So please do send us feedback – leave a note on our Forum or you can tweet us on @AudiobooSupport. You can also talk to our shiny new (ie: bald) Product Manager Lance @LPAudioboo about the relaunch, new products, and where we’ll be going in 2013. Or at least as much as he’s allowed to say…
So yesterday was the 12/12/12 – and at 12:00 many of users took part in “Time2Understand” – Booing at that exact moment what they were up to. We’ve put together this playlist of some of the submissions and it’s fascinating to hear the wide range of things our users were doing. My personal favourite was this one from Bletchley Park – the home of the WWII codebreakers! You can hear them all in the playlist below:
Congratulations to user RJNet for organising and thanks to everyone for taking part!
The British Comedy Awards took place last night on the 12/12/12, a date that will never occur again….just like every other date. Audioboo got lucky with backstage passes to talk to some comedy luminaries.
Check out the channel: here
And for further info The British Comedy Awards Website
Following hot on the heels of AudioMo is another new initiative from one of the members of our community. Next month RJNet wants you to Boo – on the 12th December at 12pm – that’s 12/12/12. Here’s how he describes what he wants our users to do:
At midday on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the third millennium the world will pause to take Time to Understand.
Beginning in the Pacific, and continuing across Australasia and the Indian Ocean, tracking across Asia, Africa and Europe, crossing the Atlantic and reaching North and South America before ending once more in the ocean; as the sun reaches its zenith in every corner of the World people everywhere will be making their mark in the biggest audio snapshot of a single day.
Some will stop and stand where they are to record the sounds of a buzzing city, a babbling brook, church bells tolling the hour, children playing or animals calling; others will use the moment to greet the world, to introduce themselves their life, their town or village, the issues close to their heart or their message for the worldwide community.
Audioboo is a disperate community of people, separated by artificial boundaries, by different accents, climates or ways of life – but brought together by a love of sharing sound, of telling tales, of celebrating difference and embracing similarity. The Audioboo community is today reaching out the Global Community, encouraging people everywhere, whoever they are, whatever they think, or what they do, to join together, to speak as one, to take Time to Understand.
Taking part is easy and requires little more than a clock, a means of recording sound and a connection to the World Wide Web.
So, will you be there with smartphone or recorder in hand, at the stroke of midday on 12/12/12? Will you be ready to make your mark in the greatest audio snapshot of life on Earth? Will you be ready to take time to convey your life, time to impart knowledge or say your piece, time to make your mark and to be heard – will you be ready to take Time to Understand?
So why not get involved?!
Today is an important day in the United States – the fourth Thursday of November is officially Thanksgiving: A chance for Americans to reflect and give thanks to the people who deserve it – just like they did during the first Thanksgiving, as illustrated in the painting below (we don’t have a Boo from 1621 we can embed, unfortunately).
Now as you may know, Audioboo is based in London, England – but don’t worry, we’re not deaf to the sensibilities of our American cousins. After all – you guys make up around one third of our users. So even though Britain’s relationship to America’s foundation may be a little… awkward… for us to discuss – we’d still like to wish all of our American users a very Happy Thanksgiving!
My colleague Delores has put together a playlist of some of the great Thanksgiving Boos we’ve been getting – you can hear them below:
Hope everyone has a great day!
Here’s one for you Twitter users out there. Hopefully you’re already following @Audioboo for all of the latest news and announcements from us – as well as links to some of the best and most interesting Boos we have incoming. Previously we’d been supporting our users through this account too – but because Audioboo is so popular, we’ve had to make a small change. Now if you need help or support – the best place to contact is @AudiobooSupport.
This is simply because @Audioboo gets so many mentions it is hard to keep track – so rather than risk your query go whizzing off of our screens – the support account will keep things at a pace that we can keep up with!
So why not get over to Twitter and follow @AudiobooSupport?
At 11am this Sunday silence will descend as many countries around the world stop to remember those who have died in war. Ahead of this, my colleague Delores has put together a playlist of some of our most interesting Boos about the Remembrance commemorations. Do have a listen – there’s everything from poetry, music, memories and stories from people touched by war.