The Guardian Is Turning Podcasts Into An Interactive Medium
With a new podcast called Strange Bird, the media company is trying to improve upon an already popular form of entertainment
There are some amazing podcasts out there, and now The Guardian wants to make the experience of listening to podcasts even better. The Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab Team decided to address some of the small issues podcast listeners may face by creating their own podcast player. Understanding that the experience limits listeners from attaining all the knowledge and information they want, this podcast player gives mobile users push alerts during different parts of the podcast that direct them to relevant links and graphics.
The first podcast that will be launched with the player is Strange Bird, a show that centers on numbers and statistics to explore topics as varied as miscarriage and religion. As a user listens on, they can opt to receive text messages, photographs and other visuals that help them further explore the information that the host introduces.
The experience was designed to ensure that audio is the center of the storytelling, while the other interactive media acts as a helpful supplement. Podcasts are already a popular, albeit straightforward, form of media consumption. The Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab Team wants to improve upon the format and provide more interactivity, as has also been occurring with certain TV shows. Without being too disruptive, the player quickly connects listeners to interesting information. Of course, podcast listeners can also decide to opt out of the notifications as well.
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Katie Salen Tekinbas is a game designer, animator and educator. She is a professor in the DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media. Previously, she has taught at Parsons' New School for Design, the University of Texas at Austin, New York University and the Rhode Island School of Design.
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