This produced some interesting responses from 50 people or so. Most could answer the question. But there were definitely a few who were “readers” and wanted nothing to do with a video on how to boil eggs. Themes come through. Home and car repair and cooking are some examples. I was charmed by the way people often laughed as they responded.
What’s so funny about using salt to clean a cast iron skillet? You also hear pride in some voices. Saving money on a dryer repair or fixing a bicycle is a real accomplishment. I just love that! There’s also something revealing – I think – about someone who learns how to make pretzels just for the challenge of it. At a WordCamp conference where many of the recordings were made, a few people asked, “Why this question?” It’s an attempt to spark a conversation, as is the case with every question I ask for the QuOTeD podcast. In this case, I think it works. How else would I have known that this person I met at a tech conference has a passion for making giant bubbles? And let’s face it. Wouldn’t you rather talk about that than the weather?
- Ingram Oyugi mixed this episode. If you would like to polish up your podcast, cut an album or do any other type of audio project, Igram can help you. You can reach him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @ingramoyugi.
- Brian Harmon
- WordCamp Minneapolis 2017 – The majority of the respondents were WordCamp attendees, speakers, organizers and other volunteers.
How this episode was produced
Can we turn a podcast episode around overnight? That was the challenge.
We collected tape at WordCamp – Minneapolis on a Friday morning into the afternoon with the goal of having a finished episode by the following Saturday afternoon. We got a head start by also collecting tape at a related speakers event Thursday evening.
Initially, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time to gather enough tape to fill out a 58-minute episode. But that wasn’t so much of a problem. We briefly had three people on the job when Ingram, the audio engineer for this episode, jumped in to help. Most of the time there were two of us, Brian and me. While more help collecting tape certainly would have been good, the extra hands would have been best applied elsewhere. If I were to do this again, I’d put them on preparing clips for assembling. As for putting the pieces together, that’s relatively easy. Although, I still would have liked to have had more time to do this. I had ideas that I couldn’t execute because of the time limitations.
Nevertheless, we did it. The episode was ready for my Saturday afternoon presentation at WordCamp. As a result, I was completely sleep deprived, but we pulled it off. The plan was to publish the “YouTube” episode as part of my talk. People would have seen us recording interviews the day before. Some would actually be in the episode. To complete the circle Click! Click! Voila! We’ve just published our podcast! Cool, right?
This is the part where I am going to spare you the details of one technical glitch after another. Let’s just say that I was in a University classroom with state-of-the-art multimedia and between five of us, no one could make the sound work. Oh, and my talk was about podcasting.
The episode did fall a little short of the 58-minute mark, which would make it compatible with a KFAI Radio spot. More regrettable was that I ran out of time before I was able to include everyone who answered the question. For this reason, I’m thinking about making a less rushed version two of the show. I mean, I couldn’t believe how often “making slime” came up. Got to add that!
On November 23, 2017 – Thanksgiving Day – the episode that was originally posted was replaced with a new one. It is the 58-minute version that will be used for an airing on KFAI radio on November 26.
Problems notwithstanding, I still count this experiment as a success. It can be useful to accomplish something with barely enough time. Now I wouldn’t want this to be a normal mode of doing things. But if you are flooded with resources, you won’t actually learn what it takes to do something because you have more than enough. But if you cut it close, you’ll get a better sense of what it really takes. And then you can make adjustments from there.
I am certain that this could not have been done without Brian’s help or without Ingram’s help and technical expertise. It was a joy to hand the files over to Ingram who leveled the audio (so that you can listen to the show without “riding the volume”) and fixed other issues to make things sound better. In the past, I have done this myself as an amateur. In this case, I know for certain there wouldn’t have been the time to do it.
I’d like to try this again.