Monday, April 9, 2007

Watching information spread

This is interesting. The other day Chris Gilmer wrote up a post about a new Google Service called Goog 411. Basically, you can call 1-800-466-4411 (1-800-GOOG-411), and you can get free information from a computerized voice.

I'd been using 1-800-Free-411 the same way for a little while. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that phone companies are charging $1.50 per call for 411 service, so I was more than happy to sit through the 20 second commercial included in Free 411 calls. But Google is absolutely free, with no advertising (yet).

Well, I had to try it out for myself. And since I happened to have an audio recorder and a cellphone with a speakerphone mode, I recorded my call and added some audio to Chris's writeup.

powered by ODEO

At first, I uploaded the audio to Odeo, but Chris and I had trouble getting it to load on the web page. So the link on Download Squad to the Odeo-hosted file was only up for a few minutes until I loaded the same file to eSnips. If you go to the original article now, you'll see a little eSnips box that you can click to play the audio.

And so far 165 people have clicked that button. But 1245 people have listened to the Odeo file.

As far as I can figure, here's what happened. During the brief time that Download Squad had the Odeo link up, most of our readers feedreaders picked up the post. So they saw a link to the Odeo clip. And since I eventually got Odeo to play the audio, they didn't have any problems with it.

And then a number of other blogs embedded the Odeo player in their own posts. So now, over 1400 people have listened to me ask a computer for information about the New York Public library.

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