According to a report on USA Today, entertainment blog TMZ (for Thirty Mile Zone) has recently started accepting feedback on its articles in the form of audio recordings.
Audio comments are the latest effort by news outlets to boost website traffic and foster more interaction. The new tool comes as the cost of technology continues to fall and as more companies experiment with audio and video delivery of information.
The audio commenting system was first tested in July of 2006, but using a “very primitive tool,” according to TMZ. They have since refined their audio commenting technology, and have launched it as a regular feature. Readers with a microphone-enabled computer can record up to 30 seconds of feedback at a time.
TMZ editors say that the same problems with text-based commenting are also present in this technology. For example, they still spend time moderating comments for obscenity or other offensive material. The fact that it may be more difficult to apply spam filters to audio content adds to the challenge.
TMZ also plans to add video commenting soon, but there is no definite timetable for this.