Not all popular blogs are originating from English speaking countries – nor are the readers themselves. So if you have a great English blog (other languages as well!) and you want to increase the reach of the same, what would you do? Simple! Provide translation tools and helper tools to read out the content. I am talking about two such services in this short post.
ConveyThis – Language translation widget
This is an amazing little widget that provides a button (and a language dropdown box) to translate the content of the current page to your language of choice. This internally uses translators like Google Language Tools and Yahoo! Babel Fish to carry out the translation on the fly and display your blog or website in the target language.
You can include this widget anywhere on your page, but it would make sense if it appears right below your post title or some strategic place like that. ConveyThis not only translates pages but also produces a simple report like the one given below and thus you can understand the reach of your contents in other languages.
You can get your free translation service by visiting ConveyThis website.
Odiogo – Voice your text content
Probably some of you have already seen/been using services similar to Odiogo. It is basically a text-to-speech system that allows you to convert your text content to audio and hence you can make your blog posts almost as good as typical podcasts – except that the voice does not belong to you. Even otherwise, it is a great accessibility feature to help various disabled people.
Odiogo has a WordPress plugin which inserts a little listen button underneath all post titles. After signing up with this free service, you will be provided with a Feed ID that will be used to cast your content and feed to their server as streaming audio. These podcast feeds will be publicly available as well (Check out my feed cast) which you can link from your blog or other websites.
Get your free ‘Listen’ button by visiting Odiogo website. They have widgets for all major blog platforms such as blogger, typepad, terapad etc.
Though I tested both these services, I am yet to enable it publicly due to minor issues with my theme. But I am convinced that both these teeny weeny buttons will be of great use to any blog.
Accessibility in general
Accessibility is a topic that can be discussed forever and it can take you to your very design and organization of the theme itself. Proportional fonts and appropriate usage of images, their ‘alt’ tags etc are some of the things that one needs to take care of by design. There have been plugins like chgFontSize in the past that helped visitors to zoom the content but nowadays most browsers have this feature built in. However, it is the onus on the theme designer and the blogger to make sure that these browser features are properly working with the respective themes.
Accessibility has a humanitarian aspect to it as well and it is not just about getting more people to read your stuff!