I got a joke the other day in an email that gave me a chuckle. I heard the same joke told by a comedian a few days after that and it made me laugh out loud three times harder than when I read the black and white text in that email. Why are jokes funnier when told by a comedian rather than read in an email?
The concept of voice has gotten lost in recent years with the advent of so many internet and smart-phone based applications designed to take us away from actually talking to people. Most of the time people welcome the ease of being able to text another person, or post a comment on their Facebook Wall vs. having to get into the “small talk” associated with connecting via the phone. But what ends up truly getting lost are the nuances that come across via the spoken word vs. the typed word. The meaning of the typed word is open to interpretation, the nuances of how I speak those same words are well defined. I can read a joke and get a chuckle, or I can listen to the nuanced phrasings of that same joke being told by a comedian and be doubled over laughing.
Social networks are designed to help keep us in touch with friends, family, and business colleagues. We “see” their words everyday and interpret them as we see fit. But we don’t get to “hear” their nuances to get the real meaning. At least, not until now.
Two new services from Voice.com allow you to post voice comments to Facebook and Twitter – Voice for Facebook and Voice for Twitter. Registering for either of these allows you to call a phone number, record audio, and have that audio posted to your Facebook Wall or Twitter feed. That way, the next time you’re at a rock concert, instead of posting black and white text by typing into your smartphone, you can call and leave an audio post that allows your friends and followers to feel like they are part of the action, hearing the band play in the background and hearing your excitement.
Both of these services are easy to register for and use. Simply visit one of the sites, input your cell phone number and sync this number with your Facebook or Twitter account. You’ll be given a phone number to call. When you call the phone number, the application recognizes your caller ID and posts your audio comment to your Wall or Feed.
If you want to get even fancier, you can set up a phone number dedicated to the wall of a Facebook page you administer through the Voice for Facebook Wizard (Twitter Wizard coming very soon!). This allows people to call your dedicated number and leave audio posts on your page’s wall. If you check out Voice.com you’ll see examples of ways these tools can be used. By voice enabling social media, you will really hear the excitement (or distaste) for a particular topic, vs. someone trying to get their point across with six exclamation points. For iPhone users, both of these services are also available as beta apps in the Apple App Store.
We’d love to hear your ideas about how to use voice to improve your social media experience. And let us know which new Facebook pages you voice-enable. Comment with your thoughts!
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