Dictablogging

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.