What is Anchor
When I was first introduced to Anchor.fm, I was really excited. It sounded like a really frictionless way to get ideas out into the wild and then get verbal "comments" back from listeners. If you're not using it, Anchor saves WAV files for playback by others, linking them together into kind of a back and forth conversation. They describe the experience as
Anchor is a free iPhone app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations that were never before possible. When not recording, listen to authentic humor, knowledge, inspiration, and debate from Anchor’s global collective of personality.
Here is the reality
You record up to 2 minutes of audio. You then tag it for others to discover. Let's say you hear 2 minutes of audio from someone on the platform. You can respond. They can respond, and so on and so on. What really happens is you hear a lot of bla-bla-bla from a lot of other people. Unlike YouTube or a blog post, where you can skim the comments, you need to listen to some seriously boring stuff! You think reading comments from some people is bad, imagine listening to these people commenting. If you've ever been to a conference and during the Q/A session you realize they gave the wrong guy or gal the microphone, this is it. You want to yell at them to take it away or to just shut up but nothing is going to work. Even worse, the doors are locked and you just need to wait them out.
I was watching a snap (Snapchat) from Dan Norris. He's a guy out of Australia who I follow on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. He's just a genuine guy who I enjoy listening to. Well, today on Snapchat he basically described a similar painpoint with Anchor. I don't remember specifically what he said, but I remember having an ah-ha moment of similar issues.
In a world where I'm telling people to stop multitasking and to focus on one thing at a time, that's something I do not want out of Anchor. I want to multitask. I want to browse. I want to not listen to other people who are commenting.
Also, I don't like being tagged by someone who is merely trying to pull me into a conversation. That's like having a telemarketer call my mobile. Imagine how pissed off you feel when that happens. Well, that's how it feels in Anchor.
Time will tell
I understand that Anchor is a young product. Being my time is precious to me, I don't want to listen to that guy or gal who grabbed the mic. I want to filter all of that out. I want to do something like go to Dan's website and click on an Anchor link. I want to hear what Dan wants to say and then "fast forward" past some of the comments. Do that and I think Anchor can be a viable platform. Don't do that, and it's a noisy noisy place I will let sink.
Have you used Anchor? If so, what are your thoughts about the platform?