Here's a widget that allows you to send a message over the Web for free! Now, here's what I'd like you to do if you have a microphone installed on your machine:
1. Click on "Send Me A Message"
2. Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly
3. Tell me:
-Who you are
-Your blog, organization
-What do you think about widgets to build community around your blog?
If this experiment works out, I'd love to include it in the screencast.
About this widget
This widget comes to you via Odeo, a service that lets you record and share audio files—and it’s free. Their widgets create embeddable Flash player or recorder. I thought the message recorder might be most relevant to sparking conversation or building community on your blog.
All your visitors need to do is click, record, and send. The file gets sent to your odeo account where you can hear it. What a great way to "listen" to your blog audience by having them talk to you!
Here's what it sounds like
I first came across " message" or " comment" programs on the sidebar at the FourEyed Monsters, a couple of younger filmmakers, after they commented on one of my videos in YouTube. (Obviously, this one looks like it required a bit of programming skills and it provides the option of using the phone versus pc microphone.)
I noticed the odeo recorder on the site of a UK colleague, Lloyd Davis, who writes the Perfect Path blog and I left a message on it after commenting on one of his posts. I should ask him what he thinks about it?
This was a simple cut and paste! Easy!
Of course, visitors need to have a microphone installed in order play this game. (That could be a show stopper if your audience consists of people who work with nonprofits. I've noticed a lot of folks don't have mics, not even those cheap ones you can pick up at Best Buy.)
Also, another point that Dave from LifeKludger from Austraila mentioned to me in a skype call was that if you audience is primarily reading you via a reader -- that they need to "pop out of their reader" and use the browser to see your site. Many regular readers may not do that, although if new readers and audience members find you via google or word of mouth, they may visit your blog through a browser.
Here you can listen to him say it:
Lloyd Davis from the Perfect Path Blog agrees:
- Best to connect it with some content or as a way for people to give you some feedback
- If you are attracting new audience members to your site via browsers, than may be worth trying.
- Do the people you want to attract and engage -- are they likely to have mics and feel comfortable using them.