AudioBoo has been referred to as an audio version of Twitter. I'd say it's got quite a long way to go in that regard, but it's certainly a handy little tool for publishing actual words and sounds with barely any effort at all. Much like Twitter, I first used AudioBoo not long after it launched and thought, 'Nah, can't see it catching on.' It was only after seeing/listening to someone else use the service well that I changed my mind to, 'Hmm, that's got some potential.'
So in this post I'm going to give you a short explanation about what AudioBoo is, get you thinking about how you can use it as a writer and invite you to listen to what I've done with it so far.
What is AudioBoo?
AudioBoo's homepage describes itself as 'the iPhone audio blogging app', which is true, but also a little misleading because you don't need an iPhone to use it. Not any more, anyway.
Not just for iPhone users
The service started out as a way for iPhone users to record short messages through their handset and upload them direct to their AudioBoo page. But it's no longer quite so exclusive.
Late last year, the AudioBoo team added the ability to record direct through your browser or even upload an existing audio file. So basically, anyone can now use AudioBoo. All you need is some sort of microphone and, well, a computer.
Finding your voice
Much like Twitter, you have your own AudioBoo profile where your 'boos' appear in chronological order. The AudioBoo site has an 'all boos' stream as well as pages for 'featured' and 'popular' boos.
When you record and upload your audio file, you can include your location, a feature that fits with the original mobile ethos of AudioBoo. This isn't essential, but could have it's uses for writers, like if you were posting from a literary festival or working as a journalist on location.
Say Boo to your friends!
Of course, as is the fashion these days, you can choose to follow other people using AudioBoo and in turn, you can gain followers of your own.
AudioBoo also makes it easy to integrate the other personas that form your online life. You can adjust the settings so that when you post a boo, it automatically posts messages on Twitter and Facebook to let people know.
Same goes for Tumblr, which could be useful if you followed my previous advice to use the ever-growing microblogging platform as an online scrapbook.
Boo on your blog
Finally, you can also post your latest boos on your blog and style them how you want. I think this is quite a handy feature and something I'm looking to incorporate into the upcoming redesign of Write for Your Life.
In a nutshell
I've given you a lot of bits and pieces to think about there. Essentially, AudioBoo is a mobile and web service that allows you to record short audio clips and publish them direct to your own dedicated AudioBoo page.
It's a fledgling service that's a little rough around the edges, but the creators promise some exciting updates. Even in it's current state, I can think of plenty of ways that we writers can use AudioBoo to progress and accompany our work.
How can writers use AudioBoo?
Now, I've had a quick search of and general peekaboo at the AudioBoo community and to tell you the truth, I can't see many writers using it. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing one or more of the following.
Publish your work
It seems obvious I suppose, but AudioBoo offers a simple, inexpensive way for you to get your writing out there, whether it's poetry, short scripts or non-fiction. All you need to do is record and upload. AudioBoo does the rest.
Supplement your existing blog or website
This is how I think I'm going to use AudioBoo in the long run. I only post here a few times a month, but that doesn't mean I don't have marvellous writerly thoughts on a regular basis (honest!). AudioBoo gives me a way of producing quick, easy to digest advice with little fuss.
Create audio notes for any writing project
I prefer a notepad and pen, but I know a lot of writers who carry a dictaphone and like to voice their thoughts and ideas for later use. AudioBoo is as convenient and searchable place as any to store those sparks of inspiration.
Express your personality
The written word is a wonderful thing and it's certainly possible to convey your personality accurately through your writing, but it isn't easy. With AudioBoo, you can offer your readers a glimpse of the real you. Or whatever bits of you you're happy to reveal. So to speak.
Podcast on the cheap
Plenty of bloggers also podcast and a lot of authors are starting to serialise their work in podcast form. However, it can be an expensive business to get that professional sound and really, it's the content that matters most, isn't it? AudioBoo is great because it let's you connect with your readers/listeners almost instantly.
Listen to me, listen to me!
I recorded my first few boos just before Christmas and found them quite good fun to do. You can listen to them via the audio players in the sidebar here or you can go over to my AudioBoo page and have a scout round there.
My boo titled 'Should writers help other writers? Why the heck not?!' even got featured on the AudioBoo featured list, which I think means it was officially brillopads. Well, I was excited anyway, especially considering I recorded it in the kitchen while I was waiting for the kettle to boil.
Here it is:
I'm going to use AudioBoo more often in the coming months and publish regular titbits, including stuff you might find useful and maybe some updates about my own writing. I think you should give it a try too. Just make sure you come back and let us know how you get on.