While a picture is often worth a thousand words, being able to marry your words to your pictures or video and letting anyone you want add their words effortlessly makes VoiceThread a unique and powerful tool.
With VoiceThread, you start with a image – it might be your company’s new org chart, your dad’s picture when he was in the war, your webcam, an video you made or a video on the web. Then you annotate it with either text or more interestingly, your voice, from your Mac or PC. Then you decide to share your VoiceThread explicitly with your chosen online family and friends, or let the whole world come in and add their comments.
VoiceThread has one of the absolute easiest Web 2.0 interfaces I’ve seen yet – it’s effortless. It took me about two minutes and a half dozen clicks to create this simple VoiceThread.
There’s a lot of power under the hood: annotate by telephone, pull images from Flickr or Facebook, moderate comments, draw on still images or video while you’re talking, embedding VoiceThreads anywhere on the net and more. While the free account limits you to 3 VoiceThreads and about 30 minutes of video, at $29.95 VoiceThread gives you unlimited threads, video and storage for this easy and powerful tool.
Here’s a few examples I can see using VoiceThread for:
- K-12. Given how easy VoiceThread’s interface is, I can easily see how this tool could be used in a physical classroom or online course. Just upload the video or images you want to talk about, let it rip and let your students loose on it. That’s probably why VoiceThread is giving away paid accounts to K-12 teachers.
- Web work. Let’s say your reviewing your web designer’s latest and greatest, but you’re on opposite sides of the planet. Just go from image to image, drawing where you need to arrows, angry red circles or markup while you explain what you want done.
- Business Presentations. Instead of just posting your PowerPoint stack, import it into VoiceThread, talk your web colleagues through it and let them add their own opinions.
- Family Memories. I can really see this as being a great tool for archiving the memories and voices of your parents either remotely (VoiceThread sends them the email link) or at the next family event. Just load up that old scanned in photo, sit them down, and let VoiceThread capture away.
All in all, this is a very slick and useful tool.