Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

Speech Recognition for Bloggers – The Ultimate Guide

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of November 2009 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Speech recognition technology has come a long way in the last few years – in this in depth, informative and inspiring video which Jon Morrow (Associate Editor of Copyblogger and Co-founder of Partnering Profits) shares his first hand insights into speech recognition for bloggers.

Jon does all of his blogging via speech recognition so he seemed like the logical guy to ask to cover the topic – in the video (I’m glad he agreed). In the video Jon makes recommendations of software, hardware (the hardware is key) and even demonstrates how he uses them in his everyday blogging.

The video itself is also a great illustration of using video to communicate.

Speech Recognition for Bloggers — The Ultimate Guide from Jon Morrow on Vimeo.

Recommended in the video by Jon are a number of technologies including:

Bookmark this video today as it’ll be something you want to come back to again.

Jon Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger and Cofounder of Partnering Profits. Get more from Jon on twitter.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. My mum uses Dragon for her essays. I having been thinking about using it for blogging for over 2 years. My problem is that I am not comfortable to talk to computers (or phones for that matter!) but that needs to change.

  2. Jon,

    No doubt this is amazing technology – but what’s more amazing is your story. You are an absolute inspiration – in blogging and LIFE.

    My father was handicapped and went on to achieve great things before dying way too young at 36 – I wrote about him here http://www.themogulmom.com/2009/03/3-life-lessons-i-learned-from-my-parents/.

    It is dark and rainy here in Rhode Island today but your vlog just brightened my day to all the possibilities that lie ahead and made me realize once again what my father taught me through his life – never let real or perceived handicaps stop you from achieving your dreams.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story.


  3. So what is the difference between using a mic + sound pod vs. a USB headset? I had a mic + pod setup years ago, but have used USB mics exclusively for the past 5-6 years since I switched to an iMac from Windows and the quality sounds excellent to me. Is there really an advantage to using a mic and sound pod? I didn’t think those sound pods were even needed anymore with the number of quality USB mics available.

  4. One quest I do have for Jon is:

    How does dragon know whether you mean to press a button (ie. publish) or type the word publish?

  5. really awesome video blog post and tutorial. I will definitely be looking into incorporating speech recognition into my blogging.

  6. One more tool in blogger’s arsenal. Thanks for introduction.

  7. Jon is an inspiration! Technology has helped provide a means for many people to overcome obstacles but will power and determination are still vital to success.

  8. Wow, I thought about this technology the other day and wondered why I hadn’t heard more about it in the recent years. Thanks for sharing, very inspirational and exciting post.

  9. Great video. I’ve been on the fence about Dragon but this video convinced me to take the plunge.

    I’m happy that you didn’t let your disability hold you back from doing what you love. That is the ultimate in living life on your own terms, regardless of what has happened to you.

  10. @Heather: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    @Dan: From what I understand, some of the higher-end USB headsets have built-in sound pods, but I’ve never used any of them. What’s important is to make sure you’re getting as much accuracy as possible. Most of the microphones you would buy in Best Buy or RadioShack are not meant for serious speech recognition users. That’s why you should always go to a resource like knowbrainer to check on the accuracy ratings of a microphone before buying it.

  11. If Dragon and Speech Dictate don’t pick Jon up as a spokesperson then they are missing out on the greatest opportunity to advance their market share.

  12. Don’t forget the built-in speech recognition technology in Windows Vista and 7. It’s worth a try before you buy other speech recognition software.

    I’ve written a series of guides on Using Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista (this should work in Windows 7 also).

  13. Great information that I would never have paid attention to without the great video.

    Seriously, if this had been text, I would have just gone by it because I wouldn’t have thought it information I need. And I usually can’t sit through a video because I get bored.

    This video? Brilliant – it is completely captivating. I admit, I started to watch because I was more interested in Jon’s personal story, having read a lot of his stuff on CopyBlogger, but I stayed because I was totally engaged with sight and sound.

    So there are two lessons here – the benefits and how to use speech recognition tools in blogging and how to produce an effective video.

    Bravo Jon and keep up the good work!

  14. Great technology I know it is very useful, but you see currently I’m struggling to run an adwords campaign, pay for my host and my internet bills. Maybe I’ll buy these as soon as i get as rich as Warren Buffet, then i guess it means never, maybe i’ll buy it when i get as rich as Darren.

  15. We had the privilege of raising a disabled daughter for 34 years. I wish this voice recognition rechnology had come along sooner. We used Dragon Dictate back in those days, and it had a hard time with her voice tremors.
    “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing!” Emo Philips

    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
    Emo Philips

    Keep the great articles flowing!

  16. I got my DragonNaturallySpeaking at TigerDirect.com for $50, with a $20 rebate!! And I have to admit I love it!! I even use it in chat rooms.

  17. Good idea–I used MacSpeechDictate to finish a Constitution for an organization I’m part of.

    I can’t speak on the PC side much, but I HIGHLY recommend MacSpeechDictate–it ACTUALLY works well! You’ll need an IntelCore processor (one of the newer MacBooks or MacBook Pros; my PowerPC Powerbook won’t run it), and the built-in mic actually does a fine job if you can get to a relatively consistently quiet spot.

  18. I’m thinking some of the commenters haven’t actually watched the post, which addresses some of the questions. :)

    This is so killer, Jon, I’m going to add it to my email autoresponder immediately, as I’m always being asked about how to create content if people just hate writing. I’ve recommended DNS before, but the way you’ve dug into it and shown people exactly how it works is so much more helpful.

    I can’t believe a penny pincher like you is considering going to Mac, though. :)

  19. Jon,

    Thank you so much for sharing! You are an amazing guy & very encouraging to many of us.

    I have the same question about a USB-Mic. Mine seems to work very well. Is there some kind of technology in the Pod that gives an advantage?


  20. Thank you so much for posting this, Jon – I’ve had MacSpeech Dictate for a while now because I thought it would help me write more, but I haven’t quite grokked it yet.

    Time for me to implement some of your suggestions, and when they work, I’ll have you to thank all over again. Not just for being an inspiring, informative writer, but for helping me to become more of one, myself.

  21. Hey Jon,
    thanks for a great video! I’m an RSI sufferer, who went to DNS once my disability began. At that point, I was already a Mac user, and did NOT want to switch back to PC. I didn’t want to use MacSpeech dictate though, as it does dictate well, but has serious limitations when it comes to navigating, which is much of what I do. So, I wanted to share my solution with you. I decked out my MacBook with a good sized hard drive and some extra RAM, and Installed VMWare Fusion. It allows me to run a “virtual PC” on my Mac, and install PC programs, like Dragon Naturally Speaking, with no problems. You just need to purchase VMWare Fusion (about $40 i think with an academic license) and a copy of Windows (I use XP). Of course I also make sure I run anti-virus software. It runs like a charm, and I can keep my lovely Mac! Hope this helps! :)

  22. @Sonia: You know me well. Perhaps too well. :-)

  23. Speech Recognition saves and keeps my little brother going because he is visually handicapped. He is brilliant, that goes without saying (PhD, engineering, knows everything about technology) but without Speech Recognition software, he would not have the opportunities to make an impact in the world around him and he knows without a doubt it works, and you are also another proof that it does. Excellent video, and I am very glad you decided to do the video :)!

  24. And I forgot to mention, I just bought Dragon a few days ago and waiting for it to arrive, mainly to save my poor arms from typing so much. I bought the Platronics for the microphone!!!

  25. Candy says: 11/21/2009 at 8:34 am

    Fascinating vlog, Jon. I used Dragon Naturally speaking years ago. My mentor was blind and I was her go-to gal for all things computer. I barely recognized what you showed us as the same program. Thanks!

  26. Hi Jon,

    I just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you that I really enjoyed your video. I’m glad to see that Dragon helps you get your voice out there in the blogosphere. Keep up the good work!

    Peter Mahoney
    Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dragon
    Nuance Communications Inc.

  27. Farnoosh makes a good point, I’ve been seriously thinking about speech recognition to save my wrists, which always seem to be on the verge of major carpal tunnel problems.

  28. I think a Mac will save you in the long run, so they say. I’d like to get one too.

    I like to include at least one photo in every blog post, usually ones I took myself. But if I wanted to use one (with legal permission of course,) from say, Google Images, can I just voice in all the steps to download it to My Pictures, then up to a post? In WordPress can I tell it what size to make it too? This software can pretty-much replicate a keyboard? Be pretty time-saving I bet.

    You are a real hoot, Jon. I enjoyed your funny commentary.

  29. @Shane Hudson: Dragon first looks to see if there are any buttons named “Publish” on the page. If there aren’t, then it types it in for you. Also, you have to say “Publish” all by itself. If you were to say “I will publish my post soon,” for example, it wouldn’t click the button. It would type the text. Overall, the software does an excellent job of doing exactly what you want it to do though.

    @Amal: That’s a great suggestion. Thanks for the contribution!

    @Jannie: Yep, downloading and uploading a picture with speech recognition software is easy. You can do almost anything with it. The only thing that you can’t really do is play video games. Call of Duty with Dragon NaturallySpeaking is… umm… suicide. :-)

    @Peter: Great to hear from you! I’ve been a big fan of your product for a long, long time.

  30. Jeff H. says: 11/21/2009 at 9:58 am

    Hi Jon,

    Great video! I am one of those individuals who has used Dragon in the past, I think about maybe 8 years ago and boy did it suck. After watching your video guide, I think I am going to seriously give it some consideration to use in 2010. Thanks once again for the video and you are indeed an inspiration to us all.

  31. I’ve heard good things about Dragon Naturally Speaking.

  32. Great video, really shows the potential of speech recognition. I tried DNS a while ago, but was frustrated by poor recognition quality. But now I’m thinking I might need a new mic and external sound pod.

    The most interesting feature of speech recognition is how your writing style adopts your natural human voice.

  33. hi Jon,

    You’ve put together a great video and really touched on the most important aspect of using voice recognition software — good quality hardware!

    Unfortunately I busted my neck in 1995 and started using voice recognition the following year. I can 100% confer that the advancements over the past few years nothing short of remarkable.

    I have been using the professional version of NaturallySpeaking for a little while and it has made a fair difference to my workflow. As a quick, simple example, I wrote a custom command for “view source” which opens up the source code of any webpage I’m looking at.

    I recently upgraded to Windows 7 (64-bit) and it is working pretty well. There are a few bugs that I’m sure will be sorted out with a patch release at some stage.

    Anyway mate, keep up the good work. Really enjoyed the video.

    By the way, all of this comment was completely dictated with only one mistake.

  34. Jon,

    One thing that I didn’t say last time is how good this video is as a video presentation. I knew it was good and forgot to say something about it, but after seeing a really bad presentation a few minutes ago, I was reminded that this video is the way to do it.

    I’m currently dictating this comment with MacSpeech Dictate, and I’m not quite sure that it’s as robust as Dragon NaturallySpeaking – but it’s still good enough that leaving this comment using the software is not just an exercise in frustration. That alone is a testament to the power of speech recognition software.

    I just want to come back and weigh in about the quality of the video. Thanks again!

  35. This is pretty amazing! I had no idea how accurate current speech recognition actually is, well some of it anyway. Thanks for sharing Jon, we appreciate it :-)

  36. I’ve never really got on with speech recognition technology.
    Whether it is my accent (I don’t have a very strong one) or it is poor programming I seem to get quite frustrated with voice recognition.Worse still seems to be the “I’m sorry I didn’t catch that” or the “Did you say Coventry?” loops that you seem to be caught in.It seems more sensible to ask a question and if there is not a high confidence level to connect you to an agent.

  37. This is good stuff. Inspiring indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  38. @Brent. I have Windows Vista and 7, and it was quite an experience. Setting it up to recognize my voice and going thought the tutorials was a piece of cake, but it was when I got down to real work that it got frustrating. Now, it didn’t recognize most words I said, couldn’t hear, went to sleep..I had been looking forward to sitting back and having someone/thing else do all the typing for a change, but gave up after repeated attempts. I think I’ll try Dragon now because all the reviews I’ve hear or read about say it’s a great software.

    @ Jon. Thanks for the great tips and your inspirational story.

  39. I have not tried this but do hope to conduct this type of communication soon. Thanks

  40. Jon,

    Wonderful video, and so helpful. Thank you very much.

    One of the things I am still figuring out is how to do get all my thoughts out in a coherent manner. Somehow I have learned to do this on keyboard; there is some re-organizing after my first drafts, but not much. I can type an organized blog.

    But speaking–that’s another thing. Maybe it’s that I’m still intimidated by the technology, somehow feeling that I have to get it right on the first take, I’m not sure. In any case: I find I’m a long way from speaking in a way that results in coherent text.

    You clearly have mastered that skill, along with the technological aspects of it. So–how do you do that? How do you speak in coherent sentences, in a logically flowing manner, in such an effortlessly appearing manner? I’d be most curious to hear how you trained yourself to think in such a manner that you can speak as if you were reading a book.

    Many thanks,
    Charlie Green

  41. That is a fantastic video, I only got half way through it before I became overwhelmed to get stuck into some more work. Cheers Jon!

  42. Well I do not try such type of software before, well thank you for this information.

  43. thats pretty cool jon. Really Great!!

  44. Thanks for such great information. I am going to pass it on. I have a family member who was recently diagnosed with ALS. should be a great help.

  45. Thanks so much for this article/report. I have a huge project of 98 volumes of handwritten material I want to put into text to edit. I gather buying the MAC software would save me hours and hours of work.

  46. Great Video Jon
    I use Dragon daily and love it. It becomes second nature and I have been using it for software programming. As a one finger typer I am slower but I can program as fast as anyone with Dragon and my Logitech headset. I have found the more you use it is gets so accurate you can use cheaper mics and it still understands clearly. I have been testing Bluetooth options that may be accurate enough but haven’t found one I love yet.
    Great post

  47. I’ve used Dragon on and off over the years, but found it takes quite a lot of time to get it programmed to your voice. Yet in cases like this, I’m glad that software is available.

  48. A common condition for fulltime bloggers, RSI, has moved me to working with Dragon NaturallySpeaking for about one-third of my work. Sadly, it’s not efficient for editing books… but for drafting blog posts it is quite amazing. I’ve found the largest challenge is not in training the software to work with my voice, but in training my brain to work with the software! Learning to speak a post is a whole new skill, for sure, and my admiration for Jon Morrow’s accomplishments has increased a hundredfold through using voice recognition software in my own blogging work.

  49. Hi Darren,
    The video is not loaded up in my browser. What is the factors that makes the video doesn’t loaded up? Is my country? Or my IP, or the connection?

  50. Wow its initial investment but can save your time as well. To get it done smoothly I think we will have to invest our time first.

    Let me include this one in my future project list.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…