At SXSW this year I had the opportunity to talk to Brian Lindenbaum who, with has brother Scott, has launched some very exciting audio technology that has enormous potential for brands, non-profits and individual alike. Here’s how he explained Broadcastr.
SM: Broadcastr allows you to geo tag sound anywhere you are which has enormous implications for brands and non-profits that are interested in social change. Tell us a little bit about Broadcastr. What does it do?
BL: Broadcastr is a free social media app, available on the web and on the iPhone and, in two weeks, will be available on the Android as well. It allows you, as you said, geotag audio anywhere in the world. So I can record a story on any of those platforms and pin it to a virtual map. That story will live there forever.
On the web side I can move the map to any place and zoom in and see all the stories from that location. On the mobile side, the really exciting thing is something we call geo play. What that allows you to do is walk down the street with your phone in your pocket, earbuds in, and as you walk over stories they automatically play into your headphones. You can imagine it as a curated tour of the world where you choose who’s telling you the content and you choose what the content is.
SM: One of the most exciting uses, because it’s so cost-effective, is how it will help non-profits bring their community to life if they host an event or if they’re trying out some sort of initiative. Can you tell us how you think it might be able to help non-profits.
BL: Yeah, it’s exciting. Like you said, it’s free, and that’s great for non-profits specifically. Let’s say a non-profit holds an event and all these people come out and support it and it’s great, but the problem is that the event goes away after it’s over. What Broadcastr allows you to do is record stories and pin them to that location so they can live there forever. That way people in the community can engage with your non-profit even when you’re gone. It sends out your message and continues to connect with the people that are supporting you.
So you can imagine that not only can you post your message, but also get the community involved and ask “How have we helped you? What’s your story? What is the best thing that has happened from what we provide?” When you get the community engaged and get them telling their stories and how they were effective it becomes very personal and is something everyone can connect with.
SM: I imagine there’s also equally powerful usage in terms of keeping community engagement alive after an event or after a fund run or employee volunteer occasion. Tell me about that.
BL: The stories will always live there. It’s creating an archive forever. Unlike Twitter, which is great for short messages, twenty minutes after that tweet goes out, it’s gone whereas for Broadcastr, it’s a three-minute clip and it lives there forever. So five years from now I can walk around here [SXSW] and hear this interview pinned right here and I can reengage and reconnect with whatever is going on in that spot. It continues to spread the word outside of just someone’s event. These can be pinned anywhere in the world and anybody can discover them. I’m based in New York, but I can discover stories in Austin or LA or Africa. Anywhere really, by just moving the map there and filtering with keywords like ‘non-profits’.
SM: Effectively, you’re turning the real-world into a soundstage and that can be put to positive social change in so many different ways. If someone wants to look up Broadcastr, where do they go?
BL: Check us out ant broadcastr.com or check us out in the Apple app store. Download the app and play around with it. And remember, in a couple weeks we’ll be on Android.