Creating social audio for fun and profit

One of my favorite parts about being a web producer at WAMU 88.5 is that I get to be our point-person with the folks at NPR Digital Services. They partner with local member stations to help spread the the best practices in the digital space pioneered at the mother station around the country.

We just started participating in a program that they call the Social Audio Project. The short version is that, as radio folks, we have a vested interest in figuring out ways to make audio — long acknowledged as one of the least shareable news formats — shine on social media. So how do you do that? In short: keep it brief, use Soundcloud, use grabby headlines that promise a listening experience, and keep the text punchy and short.

I’ll leave the longer explanation to NPRDS’s Eric Athas.

The best part of it for me so far is the fire it has lit under Lauren Ober — the reporter we tapped to be our audio whiz and voice for the project. My hope is that she can be the evangelist in the newsroom for looking at how people consume audio when it’s not broadcast over the radio. I really think the format we’re trying out here can be something we do all the time, and probably to great success.

Anyway, here’s story numero uno:

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