Today marks the start of the ambitious BBC Listening Project, which is being run in partnership with the British Library.
The BBC are asking people up and down the country to share an intimate conversation with a close friend or relative, to help to build a unique picture of our lives today. Some of these conversations will be broadcast across BBC radio and archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations.
BBC radio producers have been gathering conversations from across the UK, covering everything from living with Alzheimer’s to falling in love in the front seat of a Reliant Robin. Now they’d like you to have, record and share your own conversations using Audioboo.
Here’s how the BBC describe it:
“Perhaps you know someone with a fantastic story that you’d love them to share with the world. There may be something that you’ve always wanted to discuss with someone close to you. Or maybe you’d just like to celebrate happy moments in your life, or reflect on memories of a dearly departed friend. What you talk about is completely up to you. This project is about creating space for you and a loved one to have the conversation you always meant to have.”
If you’d like to take part you can find out more information and submit your conversation on the BBC Listening Project Channel.
Do you speak a language other than English? We’re looking some translators to help make Audioboo accessible in even more languages.
If you speak Chinese, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish, we’d love to hear from you.
Drop Lance a line on email@example.com and he’ll tell you more.
This week Audioboo has helped launched an exciting news project – The Great British Innovation Vote: a quest to find the greatest British innovation of the last 100 years.
Professor Stephen Hawking, who is shortlisted for two innovations himself, explained his support for the vote in a Boo, “I am passionate about British innovations. They’ve kept me alive, enabled me to communicate and transported me around the world.”
The people behind it are the GREAT Britain campaign, the Science Museum Group, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, British Science Association, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Engineering UK – and the shortlist features around 100 British innovations, from the splitting of the atom to the invention of the World Wide Web and the discovery of the structure of DNA.
Members of the public will be asked to decide on the most important innovation in British science, engineering and technology from the last century (1913-2013). Voters will also get the chance to predict which of ten recent innovations they think will have the greatest impact in the next century.
You can listen online to Boos recorded by leading figures championing their favourite British innovation. Perhaps you agree with Stephen Fry that Alan Turing’s Universal Machine is our greatest innovation, or believe Sir Paul Nurse is correct in championing the discovery of Penicillin? Or are you convinced that Brian Eno is right to celebrate the World Wide Web?
Voting has already started at topbritishinnovations.org on 15 March and will continue throughout National Science and Engineering Week, with the winning innovation to be announced on 25th March.
We’ve just launched the beta version of our new Android App to the Google Play Store. It’s our first update in some time so we’ve got lots of new features to tell you about!
All-new user interface
We’ve completely revamped the user experience in the app – we hope it will be simple to use, but with easy access to some of our more advanced features.
Download and keep your favourite clips to listen offline
If you’re about the jump on a train or a bus, why not download some Boos to listen to on your phone – so that if you go through a tunnel you’ll be able to carry on listening? This also means that you can download Boos on your WiFi at home, and not use up mobile phone data when out and about.
Explore Channels and Categories
We know we’ve got lots of great stuff to listen to on Audioboo – so we’ve made it even easier to find something that takes your fancy, by enabling you to browse our channels and audio categories more easily. Want the latest from Westminster or Washington? Check out the “news” category. Want something a bit lighter? Then why not have a look at “funny” instead?
Create and curate your own lists of clips with Boo Boards
It’s been a few months now since we introduced Boo Boards – which we’ve now brought to our Android app. Add your Boos and the Boos of others to Boards so you can keep everything nice and organised – and then share them with others.
New search options
We’ve improved search in the app, so hopefully you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for!
The app is only in beta at the moment so there may be some tinkering around the edges needed, so we’d love to hear your feedback.
So go download the app, and do let us know what you think!
We’ve a new podcast joining Audioboo this week – Radio Today! Hosted by Trevor Dann, the programme will focus on all of the latest news from the radio industry.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the mic and talking radio. There are always lots of issues to debate in our industry and I hope the podcast will become an essential part of everyone’s week,” Trevor says.
The Radio Today Programme will feature topical discussions and interviews, ranging from one-on-one to round-table topics. Up-to-date radio news and gossip will also feature with RadioToday’s managing editor Roy Martin.
In the first edition, Trevor speaks to BBC Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan and Roy finds out what Celador’s plan is for their new purchase, Total Star Cheltenham.
You can listen to the show on the Radio Today Audioboo Channel.
As you may know, February on Audioboo is FeBOOary! We’re encouraging our users to Boo every day on different topics Freedom Day USA
Starting from Day 8
8: Nirvana Day. How do you find Inner Peace?
9: 1969 saw the first test flight of the Boeing 747. Do you travel further than your parents did?
10: Chinese New Year. What animal are you?
11: Inventors Day, What do you think is the best invention?
12: Darwin Day. Do you believe in evolution?
13: World Radio Day. Have you ever been on the Radio?
14: St Valentines: Do you celebrate or are you a cynic?
15: It’s the creator of the Simpsons Matt Groening, Birthday. What do you think of modern cartoons?
16: It’s John Mac Enroe Birthday famously known for his tantrums on court. Do you know someone who needs anger management?
17:Arab Spring: A lot of news is spread by using social media. Do you think Social Media can change the world?
18: Space Shuttle Enterprise: Would you like to go into space when Richard Brandson starts commercial flights?
19: Author of Bridget Jones Diary Helen Fielding’s birthday, What is your greatest dating disaster?
20: World Day of Social Justice: Are humans rights being eroded?
21: Watergate Scandal: The scandal was broken by the Journalists from the Washington Post. Do you think in this day and age Journalist are given the respect they deserve?
22: Boy scout day. Were you a part of any organisation as child?
23: John Keats, English poet died. What is your favourite poem?
24: Steve Jobs born. Have Apple products changed your life?
25: Comedian Lee Evans was born. Who do you think is a really funny person?
26: Victor Hugo, French writer of Les Miserables. Have you seen the film or show. Do you prefer the book or the film?
27: The British Labour Party is founded. Are you a political person or does it all go over your head?
28: How was your febooary and what are your plans for March?
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…