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Accessibility for Blogs? New Audio Feature: Listen to Posts

by Tom Johnson on Jul 2, 2007 •
categories: bloggingtechnical-writing

I added a new audio feature to my blog -- you can now listen to the posts. It's a robotic voice automated from Talkr.com. I thought I'd experiment with it, even though I think no human can listen to a robot-generated voice and find much enjoyment from it.

Listen feature

However, if you're visually impaired, or want to listen to the post while doing other things, or if you're an audio learner, you might like it. There's also a voice feed (look in the sidebar, near the bottom).

Talkr.com also allows you to convert your favorite blogs into audio feeds. So if you don't have time to read all of the posts from your favorite blogs, you can listen to them in your mp3 player. However, until computer-generated audio improves significantly, I doubt this method will gain much popularity.

What do you think -- is this feature a good addition to my blog, providing valuable accessibility? Or is it just a useless bell and whistle that adds clutter?

Update: I noticed that the Listen button appears on pages too (like your contact page), but it doesn't actually work on pages. I learned the author is currently fixing it, so in the meantime I disabled the plugin.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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