One of the things that I have missed most about being online is having to read practically everything and not getting to listen anymore. But now, you can add sound and an avatar, to not only add audio, but animation to a webpage, wiki, blog or anything else that will accept html code.
So when I was deciding on which web 2.0 application to use, I definitely wanted to find something the included an audio component. While I decided on Voki I also looked at VoiceThread, Blabberize and BuzzVoice. While each had there good points, Voki was the easiest to use and set up.
I did have a hard time using Voki with Firefox, but once I switched to safari, it worked much better. For my example on this blog, I recorded my audio with audacity and exported it as an mp3 file, I found this easier than using the recorder on the server. I also like how audacity gives me a visual display on my sound. The upload was much faster than trying to record via the Voki website. This could have been related to my provider or their server, but no matter what, I had several options and that was nice. I could also type in text and have it converted to speech, and that also works, but it is sometimes to mechanical and doesn't add intonation and emphasis. I would probably use this again in the future, it would be a nice way to introduce yourself on a website, and if you purchase a more advanced option, you can even convert a picture of yourself into an avatar, that I find really cool. I think this would be a nice option for faculty in Blackboard, although there are few pages were you can embed code.