Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


You might have heard Google’s Blogger recently made Audioblogger free for all. You can set up your audioblog, and in the US call the number 661-716-blog.
Whatever you say then will be recorded and later on published in your blog – a little “Play this audio post” button in the post now starts an MP3.

The Audioblogger FAQ reveals Blogger is thinking about adding this service outside the US. They are also thinking about providing Speech-to-Text capabilities. The problem with most search engines is they don’t really understand audio (Speechbot being an exception, but it restricts itself to certain news shows). Speech-to-Text could post the audio file along with a transcript to be read by humans (sometimes, like at work, listening to an audio post may not be convenient), and the text could also be spidered by search engines.

You can already find quite a few audio-enabled blogs when you search for “this is an audio post - click to play”. You will see (hear, rather) audioblogging usually adds a personal touch – unless people use Text-to-Speech programs and have their words be read by a machine.
As with all new technologies, first people start to play around with it and get excited just by the technology itself, but we might soon find certain audioblogs evolve to become interesting and challenging enough to define a medium of their own.

Google Down

Usually you type in “” to check if it’s a web site, or your internet connection at whole which is having a problem. If doesn’t load, you know it must be your connection – because Google is never down. Not so today, as Akamai (the load balancing service) took down Google, Microsoft, and others with them. InfoWorld has the full story.


After Mangeur de Cigogne here’s the next French Google contest: Oupouaout. Google results will be judged on December 15, 2004. If you speak French you can also check the official rules. [Via French Zorgloob.]

Google China

Google is reported to team up with Chinese search engine Baidu. The Chinese government is known to censor free search and blocks certain content. (Google itself – along with AltaVista – was blocked for a while, while Yahoo once agreed to follow up on Chinese regulations and stick to the government rules.)

More Gmail Invitations


I have three more Gmail invitations to give out. (Note in the future I will might post further Gmail invites directly in the forum, and not on the front page.)


In the meantime several sources say Yahoo Mail now gives 100MB for free to all users (with 10MB attachments), though the homepage still talks of 4MB (which they call “up to twice as much as other free email providers”) and the homepage has been updated to reflect this change. Logging in to my Yahoo mail account I can see it’s incredibly slow compared to Gmail, and of course, only has 1/10th of its storage. If they really are to compete with Google I wonder why they didn’t just upgrade to 2GB for all users (and not just those who pay)..


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