A few months ago, Cinchcast.fm shut down its services. For those of you who never heard of it, it was a micro podcasting service offered by BlogTalkRadio allowing people to post recordings directly online, primarily using their cell phones.
I discovered it because I saw someone on Twitter post a link to one of their “cinches”. I checked it out and immediately thought this might just be another service that provides me a method of self-expression. Sometimes I’d go a month without creating a podcast episode since I record discussions between myself and another guest on Skype.
And I’m not in the mood to make vlogs on YouTube all the time.
But sometimes, I am too lazy or lacking in the time to write a blog post about something that comes to mind that would be easier to spit out in a vocal recording. A micro podcasting service like this would come in very handy. It combined podcasting with social media, specifically Twitter, in my humble opinion.
In fact, when you log into your dashboard, it basically looks like a Twitter feed, but with audio recordings attached.
Cinch.fm and its parent BlogTalkRadio
are were lower-end versions of podcasting clients, with a small subset of the features that are found in Cinchcast – BlogTalkRadio has plans from $40 to $250/month, while Cinch.fm was free for just recording podcasts. Both wouldn’t allow you to own and host your own content like Cinchcast does.
Here’s a quick YouTube video from a few years ago that Chris Voss posted giving a very favorable review of the service, expecting it to do well. It will save me the time describing the service:
My Foray Into The Micro Podcasting Service
So, I made my own Cinchcast using the same handle as my personal Twitter account, “FieryCanadian”, and expected to get into micro podcasting in this manner.
I didn’t find any friends of mine, especially from those I looked for using my Twitter contacts, using the service.
I found Bill Cosby on there.
It wasn’t really Bill Cosby, but someone else posting clips of him. And it hadn’t been updated in a year prior to my discovering this service.
I found people like Robert Scoble, who also really liked it and used it a lot. He’d often be at a conference recording a quick interview with someone using his iPhone and posting directly to his Cinchcast. I could see this coming in handy for those who are witness to something don’t happen to have their mobile podcasting rig handy.
It seemed promising, and I began to use it.
— Steve Bremner (@StephenGBremner) August 31, 2011
However, I didn’t record more than 10 episodes over the span of the next year.
The novelty wore off fast. Very fast.
Eventually, I’d think of things to post, but then go another month or two before recording something.
Why this micro podcasting platform ultimately sucked
1) Ghost town
For me, I didn’t sense any sense of community or networking at all when I used it. I couldn’t find anybody else I knew using it. This didn’t affect others’ ability to hear my files if they clicked on the link on Facebook or Twitter, but it did help diminish any desire to use the platform.
2) No improvement
Upon signing in, I didn’t see any updates. Nor did anybody I signed up to follow post anything, which relates to the Ghost town feeling of the whole thing. It just seemed like I had signed on to something that had jumped the shark and might not last, and I wanted to make sure if I was going to use it, it was something that was up and coming and would, in fact, be used by many during the smartphone revolution. Only, the service had been around for years already when I discovered it. And,
3) It was too inconvenient for me to bother
I didn’t have a smartphone yet. When I signed up for Cinchcast.fm, I discovered that since I didn’t have a data plan on my phone, I was only able to post ‘cinches’ through my computer or from my Nokia feature phone if I had a wifi connection. Instead, I’d have to record files directly on my phone and upload them to the site–only, I couldn’t find a way to do that. Files need(ed) to be recorded directly onto the platform. So, I wound up plugging in my podcasting microphone and doing the recordings right then and there.
For me personally, sitting down at my computer and recording and uploading myself talking about something really quick, was not as appealing as I thought it would be. I really wanted to do this if I could do it from my phone.
Maybe others of you gave it a try too and didn’t see the novelty of it. Maybe others of you did and are disappointed that it didn’t take off.