BlogTalkRadio, the site that allows online broadcasters to generate shows using phone calls, has introduced a new feature they call “Ask the host”. The feature allows fans listening to live shows to interact with the show’s host in real-time using VoIP and their computer’s microphone.
After finding a participating live show on BlogTalkRadio’s servers, listeners can “dial-in” with an embedded Flash widget. While the feature may not sound particularly exciting at first (radio shows have let callers participate for ages), BlogTalkRadio says that it will open the door to international participation. In the past, users needed to call a New York phone number, which could lead to costly phone calls for anyone located outside the United States. Done right, this could lead to some very compelling discussion – imagine a talk show on international politics with input from around the world.
BlogTalkRadio tries to make online broadcasting as simple as setting up a conference phone call. Since it launched in 2006, the site has added a number of notable members to its service, including The Petagon and Sun Microsystems (which run branded private ‘Stations’ on the site). Another player in this space is TalkShoe.