WordPress + Anchor.fm = Podcast?

OK – I am skeptical about this. Apparently you can turn all of your WordPress.com articles into a podcast on Anchor.fm. I like Anchor and I am still worried that Spotify has purchased it and others that could share that same space (looking at you Soundtrap.com).

So I thought I’d give it a try. I mean we have over 700 articles on IT Babble so let’s connect the two and see what happens.

Dear GOD!!!! So I created an Anchor.fm account and there was nothing to connect my blog. I like Anchor because it is so straightforward and simple. So I did some research and found this video. It’s a short video and they give an email link at the 6 second mark. The narrator says a URL. The address she is saying is “anchor.fm/wordpress.com” or so I thought.

Thankfully they added their own subtitles. The actual address is anchor.fm/wordpressdotcom. Yep! Instead of using the actual “.”. They use the word “dot.” It’s as if they don’t want people to find it so they purposefully confuse them.

Now here is another kicker. If you already have an Anchor account you will need to make a new account! Nothing screams confidence like a service that has an oddly confusing URL and doesn’t integrate with an account you already have!

Connecting IT Babble to Anchor.fm

So I created a new account and verified it and then it wanted me to connect my WordPress.com blog to this account. OK.

It takes you to a WordPress.com login site (making sense so far).

After I log in, I get this loading screen.

Sure enough after a few minutes I get a Success page and all of our blog posts are there. I picked two to turn into episodes to see how they would turn out. One was my latest blog post about whiteboard.fi and the other was the funny lawyer who got stuck on a cat filter titled “I’m here live. I’m not a cat”

When I go to create an episode, Anchor wants to use my microphone. OK, I can see where this is going.

It looks like Anchor wants to give you the option of reading your own blog post. You do have the option to let Anchor automatically convert it to audio. This is what I am more interested in.

If you let Anchor read the post, you get two generic voices. One female and one male sounding. I went with Remy.

So I converted those two posts into a “podcast.” Now, the computer reading does sound much better than I expected, but it actually gets a little better.

Anchor.fm will then go to the original blog post and add a link to the podcast episode at the top of the page.

Listening to it

As I said earlier, it is not bad, but there are still some oddities. Some weird pauses, some areas that are jokes that are read seriously but overall it is not bad. Maybe I will try reading one of my posts as a recording, but for a quick way to add accessibility to your podcast this is not bad.

What would really be nice

I wish that Anchor would scrape my blog and automatically publish new blog posts as podcasts and then add the Spotify link at the top. That would be nice. Right now this is not an option nor does it look like it is coming anytime soon if at all.

I also wish that we could embed it right into the blog itself. Anchor does offer an embed URL and and iFrame, but on WordPress.com neither of those work. With Podomatic we get a direct link to the mp3 file so we can embed it, but alas that is not an option here. I guess we will just have to wait.

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