Just 2 much! Two tiny widgets to improve the reach and accessibility of your content

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

ConveyThisThis 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.

ConveyThis report
You can get your free translation service by visiting ConveyThis website.

Odiogo – Voice your text content

OdiogoProbably 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 has 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 blogge 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!


  1. moserw :

    Great idea Ajith. Very useful indeed. I have seen it implemented on other blogs, but never thought of doing something like this for my blog. Now that you have mentioned these tools let me see what I can do to implement the same on my blog too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome way to spread the reach of your blog. I had tried a translation plugin in the past, but it never seemed to work correctly. I also use Odiogo on one of my blogs. It not only is a useful tool for your readers but you can also then submit your Odiogo feed to podcast specific directories.

    Stephan Miller’s last blog post…Internet Marketing Top Blogs at Winning the Web

  3. Tammy Warren :

    Hey Ajith,

    Life got busy on me and I am making my way around to catch up! I hope life is going great for you. Wow…you have all sorts of goodies over here.

    I find myself using Babel Fish a great deal. I need to add this to my site. When I find a reader that has left a comment on my blog that doesn’t write in English….I use Babel Fish to translate this for me. It is really a good source. You can also use this to type something in English and have them translate this into another language. My teen uses it a great deal to communicate with friends he has met from around the world.

    As far as blogging…this would open up a entire new world for reading blogs across the blogosphere.

    A great thing to share!

    Tammy Warren’s last blog post…The Troubles with Goals

  4. Jannie :

    My experience wtih those sites that get translated into English is I just have to laugh and laugh at the way the words come up in English. I guess they are computer generalizations of the words and phrases. But I find them funnier than Madlibs.

    Is that your experience or are they new and imporved now?

    Jannie’s last blog post…To flounce or not to flounce

  5. @Rajiv, you are welcome… Adding yet another channel of access would only help your blog and your readers further :)

    @Stephan, so you are one of the first to adopt it :) Any tips on the best podcast directories from where you can get more traffic and visitors?

    @Tammy, definitely it would improve your reach to other parts of the world where the language is different… Isn’t amazing how blogging and web unite people together overcoming language barriers?

    @Jannie, haha… you are right :) Sometimes, you have to put up with the limitations that come along with these technologies. After all, we humans need to understand what’s not really possible with the bots and engines. Regardless of some funny mistakes, overall you get the content almost right, and that’s the key.

  6. Melvin :

    Thats actually expanding the reach of your content. I’ve been thinking of putting it to my sites….

    Melvin’s last blog post…I Thought It’s Hard To Edit Wikipedia!

  7. @Melvin, give it a shot… I particularly liked listening to my podcasts in the US accent πŸ˜† Though, I am reasonably good at written English, I cannot be a great speaker. These kinds of technologies definitely fill the gap, though with a synthetic touch.

  8. These are the small 1%ers that I should really focus my time on, as I do have many visitors that don’t speak English and could best capitalize on these otherwise lost visitors by translating. It’s just something you don’t automatically think of when creating a blog.

    Site Flipping Simon’s last blog post…The Website Flipping Dilemma

  9. @Simon, yup – they are not really something that will fetch you double as much traffic but would definitely increase the reach where it matters.

  10. Expanding reach is a great option, I ll have to check the widget and upload it on my blog

    ZK@Internet Marketing Blog’s last blog post…6 Tips for Improving site conversion during recession

  11. @ZK, it works pretty well… I particularly liked the feedcast page of Odiogo…


  1. […] the prime goals of Internet and blogging. If the language and disabilities are barriers, there are tools and widgets available to make your blog accessible and readable to many people around the world. The Global Translator plugin is one such wonderful plugin that […]

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