Digital Toolbox

VoiceThread: conversations in the cloud

Project URL

Site screenshot
Cost and Development Philosophy

Tiered pricing: basic account is free; for more features and storage they offer a pro account for $59.95/year.

Local Installation or Hosted Solution



“A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.


Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies.” (source)

Use on SpokenWeb Project

So far we haven’t used VoiceThread on the SpokenWeb project.


VoiceThread has a number of features that we are interested in exploring. The ability to comment on (or annotate) a given document, image or video with a wide variety of format options is particularly interesting. For example, users can comment via text, audio, or video comments and also mark-up (i.e. draw on) a document, image or video using their “doodling” option. User participation and commenting is central to Web 2.0 philosophy and until now it has been limited to text-based commenting. VoiceThread has innovatively expanded the way that users can comment.


VoiceThreads can also be embedded on other sites, so we could, for example, create a VoiceThread about a particular poem or poet and then embed it on the SpokenWeb site, where other users could comment on it (although this requires creating a VoiceThread account).



VoiceThread is an innovative idea that has been implemented properly on a well designed site. In short, they make it very easy to post media (an image, document, or audio/video) online and have a conversation around it. Poetry and spoken word archives could benefit from it directly by using the site to generate VoiceThreads that they could then embed on their own sites; they could also benefit indirectly by incorporating features of VoiceThread into their own site design.




We aren’t aware of any poetry archives that use VoiceThread although there are a number of poetry-themed VoiceThreads inside their site.

Future Directions

VoiceThread seems to have a strong user base, especially within the K-12 educational community. They announce new features and developments on their blog. For example, they’ve just recently announced a mobile app.