Today I thought I’d feature three Text2Go users to illustrate that there’s no ‘typical’ Text2Go user.
1. The first is TJ Etherton, an enthusiastic coin collector, who has created iKollect.com, a free, online inventory management system that’s tailored specifically for cataloguing collectables, such as coins, model trains, etc. TJ has a great blog where he discusses productivity experiments (Jott, Text2Go) and his plan to monetize iKollect.com so he can achieve the goal of quitting his day job by the end of the year. I really hope TJ reaches his goal, as it’s also my primary goal, although I haven’t been brave enough to set a deadline on this yet. It’s not that I hate my day job, it’s more that I’ve got so many ideas for Text2Go that I’d love to be able to work on it full time. The lifestyle is also very appealing – working from home, being completely responsible for success or failure and the ability to structure your day around your family.
Now I don’t claim to know anything about coin collecting or inventory management but one obvious approach to monetizing iKollect.com is to offer a premium service that would have some associated charges. The trick is to offer enough value that existing and new members would be willing to pay for it. One possible service would be integration with eBay. This service would allow collectors to quickly list items from their collection on eBay. As items are bought and sold, they could be automatically added/removed from iKollect. Another useful service would be to automatically watch eBay listings for items that are similar to those in a collectors’ existing inventory that they may wish to purchase. I’d imagine this could work something like Amazon’s book recommendations.
Good luck TJ! I’ll be following your progress with interest.
2. Brad Isaacs. Brad has a very popular goal-setting and productivity blog called Persistence Unlimited. Just the name is an inspiration to me. As I constantly juggle an overwhelming number of tasks each day, ‘persistence unlimited’ is a useful mantra to keep me heading towards my goals. Brad is also a software developer and author of the ‘Achieve-IT’ goal setting software.
3. Jenna Sweeney. Jenna is the President of CramerSweeny Instructional Design. She has a very interesting blog on Corporate Training and e-Learning. Forget dull Powerpoint presentations. Modern corporate training is now being delivered through virtual online worlds, such as Second-Life. I’ll certainly have to look up Jenna, when Tumbywood Software becomes a large corporation and I need some interesting ways of delivering training to my minions highly valued staff 🙂
I have recently started a campaign to find out a bit about my Text2Go users and how they are making use of Text2Go. This third story is from Matthew, who was brave enough to be one of my very first beta testers. Matthew has provided a wealth of excellent feedback and support since then, so it’s with great pleasure that I publish his story here.
Text2Go has become part of my daily life. I use it on my morning commute to listen to blogs and articles that I otherwise would have spent time reading later in the day. I found Text2Go while searching the web for just such a program though at the time I didn’t even know if one existed. My wife and I work in cities about 75 miles apart and had decided to move to her town since she typically puts in more hours then me. I’m a graphic designer for a large international technology company which allows me to work from home a couple days at week so the move was kind of a no brainier. However, this meant that I would now be spending just under two and a half hours in my car on days I do have to commute. I knew there must be a way to make better use of my time and started to brainstorm different ideas for things I could accomplish on my drive. One thought I had was that I could convert some of the reading I do every day to spoken audio files on my iPod and that’s when I found Text2Go. It was still in its beta stage so I tried it out and found that the program was easy to use and the voices were realistic and easy to listen to.
Now my routine involves converting daily scripture readings and reflections to my iPod in the morning while I get ready for work and then listening to them on my drive in. For my drive home I’ll often convert blog articles and comments on my favorite sports team, the Minnesota Twins, or other articles I find that look interesting but are too long for a quick read. The end result is that I actually look forward to my drive and am able to spend more time away from my computer when at home. My commute doesn’t seem that long anymore and quite frankly I think I’d miss it if I changed jobs to one closer to home.
Even on the days I’m at home I’ll use Text2Go to have the computer read web pages to me while I’m busy doing other things. I also use it to proof important emails which really helps avoiding leaving words out of sentences or typing a word twice. All in all I find that Text2Go is one of the most used and useful programs on my computer and I’m very glad that I found it. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.
Thank you very much Matthew for taking the time to share your story. If you would like to share your experience, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
I have recently started a campaign to find out a bit about my Text2Go users and how they are making use of Text2Go. This second story is from Rob Graham.
I’m a corporate trainer in the areas of online marketing and advertising. As such, I’m often travelling or presenting. The nature of my field is that it is constantly in flux. In order for me to be able to make sure that my training offers the most relevant and up-to-date material means keeping up with all the news and changes in the field. The reality, however, is that I just don’t have the time to comb through the dozens of online newsletters I get daily in search of the useful tidbits.
Last week I was preparing for a 5 hour drive between cities. I had with me a folder of articles that I has printed and taken along with me with the hope that I would be able to find time to read through them. This hadn’t happened.
I said to myself, “ I wish I could just have somebody record these onto tape or CD so I could listen while I was traveling”. I then started looking around the web and found Text2Go and it seemed like the perfect solution. I downloaded the trial version, converted a couple of dozen articles straight from the web and within a few minutes I had over 5 hours of MP3s sitting in iTunes.
During my long drive I listened to the articles, and was able to get this useful information from the page and into my head using travel time that often is non-productive. I found the pronunciation of the avatar to be remarkably accurate and easy to listen to. The technology has come a long way in the past few years.
Now I have the ability to load my laptop or MP3 player up with the information I need to review and can do it at my leisure using time that would normally be less productive (wandering through airports, in the car, subways, etc). As far as an investment goes, Text2Go has already paid for itself.
VP of Creative & Technical Training
The Laredo Group
Thank you very much Rob for taking the time to share your story. If you would like to share your experience, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
I have recently started a campaign to find out a bit about my Text2Go users and how they are making use of Text2Go. One of the aims is to allow me to better shape future versions of Text2Go. However, as this first story proves, it’s a very refreshing change to hear about someone else’s experiences.
I put the following questions to Simon a few days after he purchased Text2Go. He immediately responded with the following story.
Mark: Could you provide some background information on who you are and what you do?
Simon: My name is Simon and I am an analyst programmer currently working for a tool hire company in the UK.
Mark: What sort of uses do you put Text2Go to?
1. For my use, I have ebooks converted to my iPod. Client specifications, etc converted to listen to on route to different jobs and as my family send emails to me in the form of essays of no less than 4 pages, listen to them while doing other things.
2. My wife is partially blind so I convert ebooks for her to listen to while I am working. I have also wired the house up to my home network so as certain sensors are triggered, vocal announcements are made to assist her. I once a week go online and download the local paper and make the stories into audio files for her to listen to. We have pets who come and go and took her some time to get use to so as they near her, the pet sensor is located within her radius and they are announced.
Mark: What sort of information do you typically convert to speech?
3. Client Specifications
4. Short audio soundbites
5. News stories
6. Audio Calendar events for wife
Mark: When do you listen to the information you’ve converted?
1. My wife listens all day long…
2. Me, while driving, commuting, cooking and general housework.
Mark: Are there any other comments you may have?
1. Would love similar controls for outlook like you built into internet explorer.
2. The software has aided in making my wife’s life a lot better… she now can keep up with current affairs and enjoy books again and now she wants me to convert more books that she and her friends who are also blind can listen to when they meet up every week at our house.
Thank you so much for sharing your story Simon. I had never thought that Text2Go would be useful for the visually impaired as I believed you would need to be able to see the screen in order to perform the text to speech conversion in the first place. Doing the conversion for your wife (and her friends) is a great solution. It’s really nice to hear how much effort you’ve put in to make your home a safe and comfortable environment for your wife. I bet she really appreciates it.
Finally, adding a toolbar to Outlook is a great idea. I’m nearing completion of the next version of Text2Go and am starting to gather ideas for the following release, so I’ll certainly add your vote for an Outlook toolbar.
For more stories from Text2Go users, check back in the next couple of days. If you would like to share your experience, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.