Some times text just doesn’t cut it. Some times video is too much. Today the popular Podcasting site BlogTalk Radio resolved this issue with its new micropodcasting platform, Cinch, and the release of their new Cinch iPhone app.
Cinch aims to give you a micro solution when a full podcast is just too much. The iPhone app gives you a status bar to describe what you’re saying, along with the ability to add an image to the audio recording. Hit record, you can use the phone’s private microphone or turn it into a speakerphone and catch everything around you. Enter your status update, attach an image, and it goes up to Cinch in just a click of a button. You can also set it to automatically post to Facebook and Twitter, and even send images to a custom photo album on Facebook.
Here’s the cool thing about it: All this is just a wrapper around open technologies. Every “Cinch” you post gets added to an rss feed at feed://www.cinchcast.com/yourusername/Cinch.rss so you can do cool things like syndicate those into a blog or import them into FriendFeed (that goes into Twitter), etc. If you need to send audio to Cinch, you don’t even need the iPhone app. Just add 1-646-200-0000 to your phone directory, attach the name “Cinch”, and call that number any time you want to post a new Cinch.
Cinch even has an API! If you’re a developer just go to http://www.cinchcast.com/api.aspx and you can find all the documentation on how to get set up. Remember the Building Blocks I was telling you about earlier? Cinch enables you as a developer, entrepreneur, or business to use what Cinch and BlogTalk Radio are good at, audio and podcasting, and integrate it into your own website.
So FriendFeed, for instance, could automatically integrate Cinch imports into its list of supported aggregation sites. Cinch’s API covers the whole breadth of what it currently offers – via the API developers can create new Cinches, share Cinches, modify user accounts, edit and post Cinch text (you can just post Text and not audio if you opt to), edit and create comments, etc. The list is pretty long so I encourage each of you to get familiar with what you can do.
Also, here’s the cool thing about the API – they provide search at the start. From the beginning, via the API, any app can search for new Cinches, creating unique ways to search for new audio on the network. I think this will be powerful. I’d love to see what people do with it! (Imagine a Wave bot enabling audio in Waves, for instance)
Of course, an iPhone app and service like this wouldn’t be complete without a site to complete it all. At CinchCast.com you can also register (as you can straight from the iPhone app or just calling the number above). You can login and register using just your Facebook or Twitter accounts if you like, search the global Cinch directory, view what others are saying comment on Cinches, and follow others. You can follow me at http://cinchcast.com/Jesse-Stay.
With BlogWorld Expo this week and the Real-Time Web Summit, it will be interesting to see the buzz that comes out of this. Could this be the South-by-Southwest for BlogTalk Radio and Cinch that happened to Twitter a couple years ago? Starting tonight and tomorrow I’m going to go around doing quick 1 or 2 minute interviews with people I find around the conference. I’ll post them on my Cinch feed, which also populates FriendFeed and Twitter. Listen for them for some great commentary and opinions on the state of the Blogosphere.
Here’s my first one with Louis Gray, where I ask him about his favorite sessions of the day, and ask him, “Is blogging dead?”:[audio:http://www.cinchcast.com:80/Jesse-Stay/2118.mp3%5D
You can follow me on Cinch at http://cinchcast.com/Jesse-Stay – go check it out now!
Disclosure: Cinch and BlogTalk Radio are a client of mine and I am helping them with their API integration and internal API design. They are not paying me to do these interviews or to promote them.