By speech enabling your blog, you offer readers the option of listening to your blog content. This can be incredibly useful for people with bad eyesight or for people doing a lot of multi-tasking that just prefer to listen to the content being read as they are doing other things.
But honestly, I think the best reason to do it, besides the fact that it is free and easy to do, is just that it is way cool. It can help to differentiate your web blog from all the millions of other web blogs out there.
So how do you do it? The easiest way I have found is to use a new product called webReader. webReader offers various subscription services that can be used on commercial web sites, but they also offer a free version for personal websites and blogs. The only downside is that the free service includes an advertisement that is read at the beginning of every post. But the ad is very short and I think the benefits of having the service far outweigh this one minor annoyance.
Getting started is easy. Just go to the following link to sign up for the free version. When signing up, you will need to select a language (they offer American English, Swedish, British English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese) and a voice type (male or female). You will receive a confirmation email before the service is activated but that is very standard these days.
Once activated and logged in, you can go to the Implement webReader link under Profile. Here you will find links that bring you to specific instructions for how to implement webReader on your blog.
The free version offers plug-ins forand -based web sites. They also offer widgets for , and . You can also manually embed scripting code within your personal or .
I decided to give it a try and implement webReader on my site. All I had to do was copy the scripting code provided in the instructions and paste it into an empty textbox in my site sidebar.
Just to give you an example of how easy it is to implement for my website, I just went to the Manage tab and clicked Features. I then dragged a new text Box onto the layout and saved the results.
I then went to the main tab and clicked Edit for the new Text Box I added. I pasted in the code that I copied from the webReader web site and clicked Save.
And that is it. The whole thing was super easy and it took me less than 10 minutes to get it all working properly. When complete, you should see a Listen icon next to each post in your blog.
I would love to hear from others that implement webReader on their personal web sites. Drop us a comment and let us know how it went and what you think of it.