Do you come prepared? Interestingly enough, many professional bloggers are not prepared for professional work. One single simple gadget can help in a myriad of ways, but unfortunately, people seem to under-estimate its use. When you have that killer idea, interview opportunity, or chance to become a live reporter, you must be prepared.
Digital Voice Recorder
Right now, you should invest in a digital voice recorder. It does exactly what its name implies — it records voice and sound. You might have seen old school voice recorders with cassette tapes, but today this type of technology is becoming quite impressive and reliable. Some might think this is a waste of money, but I strongly disagree. It is a tool that could potentially be one of the greatest investments to a professional blogging career.
You might think it is easier to remember or write down information, but even if you have superhuman memory or pen and paper, there are certain things you can’t do in a reasonable and timely manner. A digital voice recorder can.
A digital voice recorder is the ultimate gadget to have when an interview needs to be done. You might, for example, bump into someone of important interest while being out and about. Let’s say you are at a blogger’s convention and have a few moments to talk to Darren Rowse of ProBlogger — wouldn’t it be a wasted opportunity if you couldn’t record an interview with him? Your readers might appreciate something like that. Depending on the type of blogs you write for, that missed opportunity could be very painful.
You and I know that we have both forgotten some great ideas in the past. There have been several times previously when I was laying in bed thinking about article ideas and would have forgotten them the next day. Realistically, how many of us are going to go through the effort to turn on a light, grab a pen, and jot down those ideas? Not many of us would. A digital voice recorder by your side could result in this never happening again. The first night I was hired for Performancing, I had recorded over 70 article ideas. This article was one of them.
Another great use would be to report a developing or live event. You know those people that take their video cameras with them everywhere to find great news? You could think of a digital voice recorder as the same thing. Who knows when something like just being able to record and report a live event could turn out to be one of the greatest moments in your life.
- Dictating blogs/articles
I have an old school cassette based digital voice recorder/player. I also have the ability to record unlimited audio on my cell phone. I have used these features many times when I simply have an amazing idea. There are plenty digital audio recorders available. Some are more fancier than others, but pick up one that is good for you.
Now, sure, you could take a pen and notebook everywhere you go, but this is the 21st century. It is a fast and impatient world. Things are forgotten and opportunities are missed on a daily basis. Don’t let it happen to you. Those that are prepared and take their job seriously are those that succeed. Remember that.
I’ve had one of these voice recorders for a number of years, and am considering upgrading, as
there seems to be a large leap in the performance of digital dictation software quite recently. A colleague of mine has a Windows Mobile PDA which can automatically turn speech into text, which he simply emails over to his office PC. Very impressive stuff. He told me there’s also a Blackberry version just been released, which would mean one less gadget to have to carry in my pocket. So I’m just considering all these shiny new options.
If you are having problems with the transcription, perhaps you should research the different vocabularies you can enable in your Dragon software (if you have the right version).
I use Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 Professional on my PC laptop. I am using it to write this blog even! Paired with my mobile voice recorder (Olympus DS-4000), I have found the system to be EXTREMELY helpful!
I have found a great new book on Dragon Naturally Speaking called “MASTERING Dragon Naturally Speaking” that has helped me learn lots more about the Dragon software and all that it is capable of. Now, I am basically controlling every action of my computer using voice command macros created by Dragon. Go here if you want to look at it: http://www.learn-dragon-naturallyspeaking.com
Has anyone created cool or unique macros that others might be interested in?
I adore my digital voice recorder/mp3 player. I use it to record my rants and ideas for blog use or assorted nonsense. I’m in my head a lot, and after all that processing, I pull out my mp3 player and hit ‘record’.
Beats writing on my hand or begging for people’s gum wrapper to write on.
Looks like a nice gadget, especially because it doesn’t remind on Apple products. Though I prefer writing down for quick memos and let the software convert the mess, but as for the recordings, Microsoft Speech API 5 understands my broken english pretty well… I mentioned it on one of my first post about small Acer TabletPC…
A Performancing colleague uses Dragon Naturally on everything, but the software seriously sucks on certain words (based on the transcription results that I’ve seen). So you have to couple Dragon with manual editing before publishing.
Hi all! Just found this blog today, and I’m loving it. Loads of good stuff here.
These sorts of gadgets have changed the way I do my Internet writing.
Here’s how I like to use my voice recorder: I dictate articles, blog posts, and even novel ideas into the voice recorder. I do it on the road, in doctors’ offices, or at home when my fingers get tired of typing. I bought a headset with noise reduction to block out all of that background noise. I then connect my Digital Voice Recorder into my PC’s Input jack. I use E-speaking lite to do voice recognition. I’ve got the thing so well trained that I can fix the few errors in about 4 minutes on a 700-word article.
I do my podcasts this way, too.
Very cool stuff!
I wholeheartedly agree – for blogging, note taking, etc. A blog entry on this topic …
… and a related topic – using Dragon Naturally Speaking to transcribe your digital recordings …
Actually, I keep forgetting that my Palm Treo has recording abilities. Duh.
For the recording of meetings, you may want to consider the Acappella Conference Audio Recorder which records in CD quality sound and, during transcription, tells the typist who is speaking.
You may also want to visit this blog on selecting a digital dictation solution.
Hmmm, you know what I was thinking — I was thinking maybe there is a service out there where you could text message it, and it would store your messages. I think that would be excellent for quick reminders where you can’t use the record audio feature (or if your phone doesn’t have that ability).
For me, pressing a button or two and then having access to the text message feature is much easier than having to search through the menu system on my phone to enter in a note with the correct date and title. It just takes too long — especially while driving.
You could do it with Twitter, but if the ideas are personal or valuable, it might not be worth it. Unless there is a way to easily make Twitters private, but I doubt it. I will just have to find something.
Yeah, and transcribe as soon as possible, lest you forget what you REALLY said.
Audio to text would be great. The only tips is to enunciate the hell out of your words to get it to work.
The Olympus recorders seem very nice. All other companies tend to go the professional route and go upwards to hundreds of dollars. So, Olympus might be your best bet.
I’m not 100% sure, but I believe some of the iPods can actually record voice as well. It might have been some of the very older models though.
Nice idea, I’ll check it out
Any good tips about transcribing audio memos to text?
I still have IBM Via Voice license here and was thinking many times to use it in combination with a digital recorder.
What are the best digital audio recorders today with a fast transfer speed to the computer? W-Lan would be perfect
my iriver mp3 player records – of course, I don’t carry it around with me – I carry my ipod
I have long seriously considered going ultrageek by integrating wearable computing and miniature cameras (headband, baseball cap or sunglasses). If i could actually find affordable wearable computing, I might just do it.
Or we could go web 2.0 with it – use Utterz or “>Jott to record stuff tothe web (make it private to keep it to yourself).
I think we should have a micro processor optionally implanted in our brain that has wireless connectivity — Anything we see that is worthy of being recorded should be instantly uploaded to a database that can be reviewed later on.
Of course, we are still quite a few years away from that, but cheers to overly optimistic sci-fi type thinking!
When I am at home, I simply use the recorder for when I am thinking at night. I get very little sleep because I’m always thinking of potential articles. In other words, I can’t get to sleep unless I’m ready to pass out.
Cool post. I go through cycles. I used to record every idea, back when I used to drive to work. (Gasp!) But since I’m sitting in a chair all day at home now, i don’t find I need a recorder. Except that now that I have a car again after 5+ years without, I’m starting to find that when I’m out and about (or is that oot and aboot), I wish I had one. Funny.
Heck yeah. Any idea that I think can be of value to readers, I write it down or record it without hesitation.
There are digital voice recorders around $50 and beyond. Make sure you get a good size for what you have planned.
There are also cheaper cassette recorders. Those might just be fine. Whatever works for you!
Yeah, I mention the fact that I use my cell phone for voice recording. Unfortunately, it won’t be of any use if it was a long event, but I have a ton of voice memos on my cell.
Great thing to have for those quick ideas.
Did you say that you sit in bed and record your ideas for blog posts. Man that’s some hard core overtime there! Talk about taking something with you everywhere!
Ok on a serious note this really is a great tip. I’m sure you can probably pick one of these up for fairly cheap at Best Buy? Maybe $50? I’m a tech toy guy… why would I not want another toy to play with!? Looks like I’m going to Best Buy in the morning.
Not a bad idea, but why drag around a 2nd gadget when a cell-phone can do much of the heavy lifting? You can record voice memos, record videos (for display or as reminders, or you can text ideas to your e-mail, or you can use Jott.com to send yourself voice memos that are converted to text e-mails.
The only drawback, compared to a voice recorder, is that you probably wouldn’t want to conduct a LONG interview using your cell phone.