Having recently decided to make blogging a regular part of my weekly routine, I’ve been brainstorming all kinds of great things to blog about. Unfortunately, in my busy-bill-paying-parent-life, I have had hardly any time at all for it. I’m always on the go (many of you can probably relate). So I started experimenting with a voice-to-text dictaphone iPhone app called Dragon Dictation. This post is one of my first experimentations with this method of blogging.
Prior to my dictablog experimentation I had already tried out the elected app and was all too familiar with how Mr.-Clean-chrystal-clear you need to speak when recording, and with how many words get lost, altered, fubar’d or dissected with a fork-lift. So I was already prepared for that. I figured if I have to make a few corrections, that’s a small price to pay for not loosing my post ideas.
On the first test I was in my kitchen preparing my sons lunch for the next day. Once I decided to start trying the dictablogging, I found myself virtually rehearsing my post. Realizing I was additionally slowing down in my kitchen activities, I concluded this was unacceptable, as the whole point of dictablogging is to INcrease efficiency. But I went for it and hit record. Surprisingly, the app did a pretty good job of duplicating my words. Then I stopped what I was doing, copied the text, pasted it into my WordPress app as a new post and began editing it. Needless to say I wasn’t multitasking anymore. At least I was blogging.
I tried it again a day or two later, again preparing my sentences. This time I thought, “Well, as long as I’m getting things done while I work out in my head what I’m going to say…” It seemed to help a bit. For what brief amount of time I had, I felt the two sentences I came up with were pretty good progress.
For my third trial I started a new blog post while on the road. This was very successful, and proved to be very productive. In fact, I was stunned when the app got the words I intended to say right, even though I didn’t say them right. The drawback is that I have to fiddle with my phone a little while driving. Fortunately, it only takes one button to start/stop recording. I have to postpone editing until I’m parked, but that isn’t really a problem for me. At least now I can feel productive even if I’m stuck in traffic.
Two weeks later now and I’m mid four posts, all of which I’ve utilized Dragon Dictation for, to some degree. My blogging rate has never been so high. I will surely continue to use this blogging technique.
As a final word and as a review on Dragon Dictation, I should probably add these couple additional notes. It’s interesting to me that the app seems to expect a pretty natural flow of words. Whenever I try to give it my words in a robotic fashion it acts like Mad Libs. (In fact, I’ve thought of using it for a sort of pseudo Mad Libs game.) It also seems to record only in short spurts. My work around for this is simply to work out one sentence at a time and record it. Occasionally it cuts me off, but that’s a small problem to deal with.
I’m looking forward to trying out Siri when I get a new iPhone, and seeing how that compares.