I was in an IM conversion and wanted to write the sound of a grunt-like noise, but I couldn’t quite figure out how it would be best spelt. This gave me an idea for a user-powered website that would give people ideas on how to write sounds and noises.
Visitors can submit an audio recording of the noise they’re looking to be spelt and other users then provide their suggestions, which are ranked by their ratings. Lastly, tags would enable logical browsing and searching of previously submitted sounds.
It has the potential to become a humorous resource and be of true value to authors and editors (there really is nothing else like it). However, I have some doubt whether it could draw wide appeal, or if it could build a significant community of loyal users who interact regularly.
Here are some wireframe drawings to illustrate how the site could function with a bare bones feature set:
The homepage would outline the concept and guide them to submit a recording of a sound, or browse through the existing directory using tags. Future iterations could allow the building of a tag query; where multiple selections are made to narrow down the search.
After the user submits a recording, they’re asking to tag it with labels that describe the sound. They must also specify their idea on its spelling and a description outlining the context in which it’s used.
Once created, other users who stumble upon the page can listen to the recording, vote on an existing suggestion, or make their own. The list is dynamically sorted so that the highest-rated idea rises to the top of the list, much like UrbanDictionary.
I’ve just taken on an impressive Ukrainian web development studio to work on a few projects. I’ll approach them with a full brief to see how much it’d set me back to build a functional pilot site.
Please leave a comment with your views!
Update: Thanks for all the great comments. I’ve set it up so that posts are automatically pulled into my Facebook profile, bringing in a nice extra chunk of visitors. However, I end up with comments on the blog and some on Facebook. Thankfully, I found a neat little script that pulls in Facebook comments into WordPress, making everything consolidated. Phhew!
Update #2: For the user to be able to make a recording, the site would need a Flash-powered sound recorder using Flash Media Server – costing $995 a pop. I’ll give this idea a miss.