Interview: SpinVox co-founder Daniel Doulton on Spin-my-Blog

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daniel-doulton.jpgWe reported earlier today on Spin-my-Blog, a new service that lets users add entries to their blogs simply by calling their assigned telephone number and speaking the text they want added.

Daniel Doulton, co-founder and VP Marketing, Strategy and Development at SpinVox, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about how the service works and what those testing it think of the service.

Spin-my-Blog is a great concept. Can you give a quick ‘walkthrough’ of how a user posts to their blog using it?

Simple – just call the Blog site’s Spin-my-Blog number, speak your message and SpinVox automatically converts it and posts it for you.

How accurate is the speech recognition technology? Can it learn a user’s voice over time?

Our current users (over 130,000) rate it as 97% accurate. It constantly learns, so it’s always improving and guaranteeing a reliable and fun experience.

How well does the software cope with calls from noisy environments? Does it have any limitations?

It copes very well with mobile users calling from all sorts of places as it was designed with this exact requirement in mind. When the system can’t convert a message over 86% of our users agree that even they couldn’t tell what it was, so we’re sure we’re providing a reliable service that can be trusted to handle your messages wherever you are.

What languages is the service available in?

Today we support English, French and Spanish with others in development for roll-out this year, German being the first.

Does the service provide any feedback to the user after they’ve left a message to be blogged?

Yes – if your message wasn’t successfully converted, we’ll text you straight back to let you know so you can choose to blog again.

Are there any security measures in place to ensure that only those authorised to post to a particular blog can do so?

Yes – we take this seriously. Each account has a PIN associated with it. Just like your bank card, it’s your PIN and you only share it with those you trust. As a blog site owner, you can choose who you want to be able to post to your site. With Spin-my-Blog, you have the same controls – let anyone you want to post use the PIN. Of course, as the owner you can always change this PIN for added security.

What blogging platforms does the service support? Any plans for expanding to other blog or CMS platforms?

Spin-my-Blog works with the leading blog providers including Vox, Blogger, Live Journal and we’ll be rolling out support for other popular blog and CMS platforms on an ongoing basis.

Is there any way to integrate photos or video from a mobile device, together with speech, into a single blog post using Spin-My-Blog?

With Spin-my-Blog, any user can post their photos or video to their blog site, then simply call their Spin-my-Blog phone number and speak an entry.

Might you look at adding that in the future?

In the future, we’ll look to making this an even tighter experience.

How has the beta testing been going?

Great – we’ve had fantastic feedback on how simple, but liberating this service and how fun it is to see what you’ve said on the internet. There’s real buzz out there and what we’re really excited about is that in just a month of initial testing, it’s spread to communities all over the planet – as far as Japan, Australia and the biggest being the West Coast in the USA where we’ve had rave reviews of our service. It’s a fantastic reaction and feedback is showing that Spin-my-Blog has the hallmarks of being used in ways we couldn’t imagine – and that’s because the powerful online communities are running with it.

Do you have any plans to expand Spin-my-Blog’s capabilities in the future?

Yes – we’ll be using the invaluable feedback our users and blogsphere will no doubt provide to help shape the future of this community product. Although we’ve our own plans, blogsphere’s here to guide us to real benefits that people care about.

Thanks Daniel.

This sounds like a useful and innovative service that could push the possibilities of blogging just as mobile, photo and video blogging is already doing. It will be interesting to hear what users make of the service, and what develops in the future. Although it’s currently UK only, Daniel mentioned that trials have been happening worldwide, so I fully expect it to roll out globally over time.

SpinVox

Andy Merrett

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