Shutting Down BLRB
BLRB is shutting down. All accounts, content, and pages will be deleted in the coming days.
We really appreciate your trying out BLRB! This was an experiment that we launched in the Fall of 2020 to see if people wanted to publish ad-hoc transcribed voice to the web. As far as we know, nobody else had built a service like this before. We helped push the state of the art in mobile web audio recording and worked with the teams at Apple and Google to get their operating systems and browsers fully supporting our use case. We’re deeply appreciative of the feedback we got from all of you. It helped us refine our beliefs and hypotheses around voice.
BLRB, sadly, did not take off; after some early excitement with a viral share or two usage went to nil and stayed that way for most of 2021. Nobody outside of the team recorded a single BLRB in Q4. Equally telling, we as the product team didn’t find ourselves using it very much or excited to use it. So we thought about why.
Here’s what we found: speech is very intimate and raw — if we’re listening to a stranger’s monologue we expect something polished like a podcast. We’re shy to share the unscripted and bumbling versions of ourselves with the world. Most people don’t self-identify as podcasters!
But where people did use BLRB was to share that raw and unfiltered version of themselves with a friend or even as a voice journal; to help process their thoughts or to share authentically with others. In my own usage of the product, the majority of my BLRBs were actually private messages to others, even though technically the BLRBs were public.
So it was based on these insights and what we’ve learned from building the service (and Medcorder) that we’ve decided to work on an app called Talkie (TryTalkie.com) for authentic voice sharing to help you better connect with the people you love — you can send transcribed asynchronous voice messages to them, which are faster than a text message but more convenient than a phone call. We’re already using it to better connect with friends and family.
We’d love for you to add your email to TryTalkie.com and we’ll let you know as soon as a public build is available (iOS in Feb/March and Android a bit later in the year).
Thank you again for your thoughts and inputs and from our family to yours we wish you a very happy 2022.
David & The BLRB Team
PS: We recorded a video demo of the BLRB service for posterity using Loom: https://www.loom.com/share/a4ce1748d3d341c0aed524bc3c9270e4