Monday, November 14, 2011

How to use Google Voice for a Sound-Off

Let's bring back the Sound Off, but this time using Google Voice!

It's an idea shamelessly re-purposed from fellow Idealab member Karen Workman of the Oakland Press in Michigan, and as she's shown, it can have many more uses.

Here's my initial plan: We'll ask a question every day, like the online poll. If you feel the answers are inadequate, you can expand your comments by calling this number:

We would then post your comments, with audio, online.

You can also answer in other ways, of course. Whatever makes it easy.

Here's a very rough way to show you how to do it:
First, you need a Google Voice account. Here's how to set one up (thanks, again, Karen, for the link).

Don't forget to add a phone widget for your site as well. Click on 'Call Widget,' give your widget a name and presto:

You can use download the file and use Audacity to edit and SoundCloud to post the file (both are free services). Or you can post the file directly from the embed code provided by Google (along with transcript!). Click on voicemails, at left, and click on more on the individual voicemails you want, and click on 'embed' to get your code.

Here's an example:

Note that, apparently, Google can't make a transcript of voicemails from heavily accented individuals.

UPDATE: Wow! I hadn't finish posting this and we already have to answers to the question:

And here's a nonanswer from a snarky editor in Trenton that I'm not going to name even though I know is Joey Kulkin of the Trentonian in New Jersey.