Knight Lab couldn’t have been more excited to learn that The Washington Post used our newly launched project, SoundCite, to tell the story of the Wendy Davis ‘tweetstorm’ following her filibuster in Texas.
There's just something about launching a project and seeing it used to help tell stories. It's like sending a child off into the world and watching her succeed.
SoundCite co-creator and Knight Lab student fellow, Tyler Fisher, said it best:
— Tyler Fisher (@euphonos) June 26, 2013
To which the article’s author, Caitlin Dewey, replied:
@euphonos Seriously, such a cool tool. Using it for everything.
— Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey) June 26, 2013
Music to our ears.
SoundCite received more Twitter love and some great descriptions of what this tool can add to the reading experience:
Inline audio! Hear the Wendy Davis story as you read it. http://t.co/W6c7sGqibS
— Wilson Andrews (@wilsonandrews) June 26, 2013
Wendy Davis ‘tweetstorm’ was planned in advance -- a cool social reax redux w soundcloud audio over text! http://t.co/VWqhGfizjZ
— coryhaik (@coryhaik) June 26, 2013
The Post's story wasn't the first time we've seen SoundCite by a publication. It was first adopted in late May by Chicago's own WBEZ for a story on Chance the Rapper. That use highlighted SoundCite's ability to enrich music-related articles by providing inline playback of clips from Chance the Rapper's songs while reading the lyrics.
The Post's story, on the other hand, shows how journalists can give voice and personality to the quotes within their stories and use ambient sound to transport the reader onto the scene. In the case of Wendy Davis' filibuster this became a powerful way to convey the emotions involved over her 13-hour stand, and gave readers a stronger connection to the story and the cause.
While music reviews were the original inspiration for SoundCite, we had been hoping publishers would use it like the Post did here in telling the Wendy Davis' tweetstorm story. Other use-cases we imagine would be for storytellers to use it as as an effective way to give readers access to clips of 911 calls, speeches, or even ambient sound. The only requirement is that the audio be hosted on SoundCloud. Unfortunately, because of SoundCloud's embed technology, it doesn't yet work on iPhones and other iOS-enabled devices. We've done our best to smooth out that experience by allowing the text to appear and the reader will not even be aware of the missing clip.