One of the dilemmas that flash briefing creators have encountered is the question of how often they should publish a new briefing. There’s a difference of opinions, but one argument is that it needs to be done daily, or as close to daily as possible, to prevent one’s listeners from constantly having to tell Alexa, “next.” While this is understandable from a listener-standpoint, the notion that creators must abide by a daily publishing standard is one of the biggest potential detractors to getting people to start their own flash briefing. That’s a really daunting expectation to meet.
A potential solution to the flash briefing cadence conundrum would be for Amazon to create a, “play new updates only,” option. This would not only make the listening experience more enjoyable for the listener, but it would also change the nature of production as there’s no longer a perceived need to create more content than necessary. As a result, and in addition to the emergence of easy to use production tools, I believe that much more granular levels of personalization would become enabled. After all, a flash briefing is intended to be each specific user’s personal news feed.
Think of a flash briefing in levels of personalization, with the top level being comprised of the least personal, most mass-appeal sources of info, down to the bottom with hyper-niche, uber-personalized info. At the top, you might have the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Fox News, CNN, NPR, and all the other nationally syndicated news sources. A level below, you might start to get into industry-specific sources or sources that pertain to some of your hobbies and interests; things that apply to a smaller, more niche audience. At the bottom, you might have content produced that is specific to you a few others.
Let’s say that my flash briefing starts at the top of the pyramid and works its way down. The top is likely to be filled with info that’s updated daily – it’s the news after all. I then get updates on what’s happening in the voice, hearables and audiology industries, as well as what’s going on with my sports teams or other information pertinent to my interests outside of work. Some of the sources contained in level two might be updating their content daily, while others update sporadically. It doesn’t really matter to me – they’re in my flash briefing because I like the info provided, regardless of how often it’s updated.
At the bottom is where I start to get updates happening in my personal life. If a family lives all around the country, maybe they each have a little flash briefing where they post occasional updates for the rest of the family to hear. If I’m an orthopedic doctor working in a medical setting, maybe I want to know who’s on call today (thanks Sirish Kondabolu for this suggestion). If someone’s kids are playing on a youth soccer team, maybe they want updates on what’s ahead for the week with practice or game times and locations. The possibilities here are limitless, as well all have certain information that’s important for us to stay on top of.
Flash briefings represent one of the most exciting new ways to consume content, as they combine the on-demand nature of voice assistants with an RSS-feed of audio-content that can be passively consumed while you navigate your busy life. Without a, “play new updates only,” feature however, the feed is exposed to becoming way too redundant, and therefore detracts all types and levels of creators from creating content. Here’s to hoping for this type of option, or something similar, to really open this new medium up.
-Thanks for Reading-
To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here
To add to you flash briefing, click here
To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here
and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”