I'd like to introduce you to the bottom of the barrel

by Suw on August 10, 2004

Scrape… Scrape… Scrape…
(Note: If you can't see the audioblog player in FireFox, try it in IE.)

Anonymous August 11, 2004 at 9:58 am

I was thinking that perhaps Audioblogging might be useful for the visually impaired – but then wondered about what happens if someone uses one of those reader devices, that renders text into sound. How accessible is your average blog in that way? If there's no measures put in place to get things to ignore all the side bars and whatnot before reading the entries, I'd have thought it would be a bit confusing. If not – if a written blog is read easily – what happens with an audioblog? Is it infact making the post less accessible? I've always been interested in blind people's use of the Internet. I'm wondering how it works – how do people select links etc. Because it's clearly going to be a different experience than that of a seeing person.

Anonymous August 11, 2004 at 10:27 am

Audioblogs would be useful if systems were in place for automatically blogging from a phone – simply call a number and record until you're done. It's probably quite easy to rig – probably have a single number everyone calls, and then a few DMTF tones to identify and authenticate the user.
Possible uses for this setup : blogging extensive passages on the move, stream-of-consciousness blogging, producing a manageable dictated note system, blogging at parties, bootlegging gigs(!)…
Aha, audioblogger.com already does this. Of course, it's no good to me here in the UK – does anyone in the UK do this yet?

Anonymous August 11, 2004 at 5:52 pm

Most blind people I know use screen readers. For sighted people, they sound like a total nause; they read every word, character and symbol in whatever text area the cursor is currently sitting.
But I've seen someone debug some code in Notepad using a screen reader quicker than her sighted counterparts – amazing stuff.
In all, I think audioblogging is probably less accessible than text blogging. It hits a huge number of criteria in Jakob Nielsen's “Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design”
The dead giveaway is that even Suw herself had to add a little disclaimer: “if you can't see this in firefox, try it in IE! As TBL says: “Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.”
I can see it in firefox on this iBook, but on my linux boxes, it shows up but stays silent.
Overall I have to ask what the point of audioblogging is (apart from being able to hear Suw's lovely voice). IMHO It just seems to be another technology that exists not because of a need, but because it can.


Anonymous August 12, 2004 at 2:30 am

We do this, and the international number situation is being worked on. The only drawback is the quality of phone recording, but the upside is the upcoming availability of mp3s for phone posts.

Anonymous August 13, 2004 at 11:50 am

Well… I'm not sure.. I'm not so worried about the blind thing, but I think audioblogging draws away the fun for the reader.. I feel more interested reading text, yet, go ahead and audioblog if you like. Sometimes, it's a bit hard for americans to understand heavy english accents, too 🙂

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