Audio blogging, or posting snippets of audio on one's blog, has been around for quite a few years now, even before the recent popularity in podcasts. Services such as Hipcast.com and Gabcast.com are two examples of sites that offer ways for you to post audio to your site, either through a Web browser or with a phone. Posting audio to one's blog via a cell phone makes a lot of sense for some people, since their cell phone is always with them, and a voice blog entry is more personal than just text. However, the aforementioned services are largely Web-based, with no tie to any specific phone carrier. Voice Genesis, however, has made deals with phone carriers such as Verizon Wireless to offer a similar service to customers. It's called Vmoblogger, a mobile audio blogging service. In order to access Vmoblogger, you'll have to purchase Vemail, a $4.99 application that lets you send voice e-mails. Vemail is currently available on 34 carriers, though out of the four nationwide carriers, it's available only to Verizon customers. Voice Genesis is working on deals with T-Mobile, Cingular, and Sprint.
Activating the Vmoblogger service is relatively straightforward. If you have a compatible phone, you can just download Vemail from the phone's browser. At this point, you'll have to log in to the Voice Genesis site, configure your e-mail settings, and activate the Vmoblogger service. Then you can decide to upload a picture of yourself, or if you want, you can have a talking avatar (or Avatron) with your blog entry (so that the avatar looks like it's voicing your words). After you select which blogging software you use, you can select Speak E-mail on the Vemail application on your phone and record your voice message. After that, be sure to send the voice message to a specified e-mail address configured especially for blogging.
If you want your audio entry to automatically show up on your blog, you're stuck with Blogger and Squarespace. They're the only two blogging services to use iFrame, a technology Voice Genesis uses to insert the Vmoblogger code to your site. There were no instructions as to where to insert the iFrame code, and when we finally did figure it out, it looked rather hideous and threw off our blog's look completely. If you want Vmoblogger to work with any other blogging software, you'll have to post the audio to your site manually. This, in our opinion, defeats the purpose of mobile blogging entirely.
As far as the overall experience goes, we were also dissatisfied with the general look and feel of the software. The user interface was rather bland, and the graphics seemed old-fashioned. Also, while we appreciate the idea of using a built-in cell phone application for mobile blogging, other audio blogging services simply offer a phone number that you can call. This is much easier for most consumers to grasp.
In conclusion, we were generally not pleased with Vmoblogger and would not recommend it for those who are interested in posting audio entries to their blogs.