By Ahmed Bouzid, Founder and CEO @ Witlingo, Inc.
In a recent essay about what makes voice and audio different from other mediums, I made the general statement that it is nonsensical to talk about “inherent shortcomings” and “inherent strengths” of a medium, but only about strengths and shortcomings of such mediums within the context of their use. For instance, one should not say that texting is inherently weak because one can’t express emotions very well through it (one has to use all sorts of emojis to communicate emotions), or inherently strong because one can use it to communicate with it privately and without disturbing others, but rather that in situations where you need to express emotions, texting comes up short, while in situations where you need to communicate quietly and privately, it is exactly what you want.
The same holds for audio. In situations where you need to express information rich in nuance and emotion, voice and audio are very strong, but in situations where you need to communicate with someone privately and in such a way that you don’t disturb others, voice and audio are often not ideal.
Which brings us to our new initiative that illustrates the point — in this case, the precise point when in fact sometimes less is more.
In pure total signal mass, video is obviously richer than audio: the viewer gets to not only hear but also watch.
And yet, because of this very over-abundance of information, there are certain things that you can do with audio that you can’t do with video.
An example: guessing, just from the voicegrams having audio of a famous person speaking, who that person is, or from the chirp of a bird, what kind of a bird that bird is, or from the sound of a person speaking a foreign language, what that language is, or from a snippet of audio from a movie, what that movie is.
Follow Witlingo on Twitter, where we will start posting on a weekly basis a “Guess The Voicegram℠” Tweet that will ask people to guess something just by listening to the audio in voicegrams. The first one who give us the right answers gets a free Witlingo account, fully loaded and with no strings attached for three months.
Here’s the very first tweet.