I really loved the chance to create this podcast. It's something that I've thought about doing, and I know several people who do podcasts on a regular basis. It offered me a way to be creative and also to get some questions answered about book marketing that I was really interested in finding out about.
Because I have a background in radio reporting, I knew that I wanted to do an interview format. Months ago -- before school even started -- I contacted Rachel Thompson, the subject of my podcast -- and asked her if she would be my first guest. As a writer, I get introduced on social media to other writers, which is how I know Rachel.
Until I talked to her a couple of days ago on Skype, I'd only ever interacted with her on social media. But I enjoy our friendship on social media, because she's very genuine, has a great sense of humor, and she has a lot to say about how writers can market themselves. Because I decided to become an indie author, as opposed to trying to look for a literary agent, I have to do my fair share of marketing. It was something that I knew going into the process of publishing my first novel.
However, I wasn't deterred by that. During my research on the publishing markets, I discovered that most authors have to do their own marketing nowadays. I figured that if I had to do my own marketing, I might as well have complete control of my books. With that in mind, I started a publishing company and moved forward.
When I started school this past fall, my thought then was, "How can I use what I have to do in each class to somehow forward my company/ career?" This podcast provided me with a perfect entry into that from a marketing standpoint. Although a lot of what Rachel said, I already knew, there were a few things that I didn't. This information will provide another piece of the puzzle.
As far as the podcast itself is concerned, I worked around Rachel's Skype interview. To do the interview, I plugged in a headset into my computer's video and audio ports. To get Rachel's sound, I added an audio splitter cord to the mic port.
That allowed me to record not only the sound from my microphone, but also from the speakers where her sound was coming from. It is a system I've used a lot as a writer over the years when I've had to conduct phone interviews and needed to be able to capture the information and replay it later.
Rachel's interview was initially longer -- about 20 minutes. Some of it, I cut out completely for the sake of time. I recorded part of the intro with her actually on Skype, waiting for me to start the show. The other part of the intro and the outro, I recorded separately after I had spoken with her.
Although I said early on in the podcast that I had her waiting on the line in all actuality, I didn't -- not the whole time anyway. Doing this allowed me to fill in some of the gaps. For example, it was during the full interview when I mentioned to her my realization about people posting on my Facebook wall. Since she refers to that in the clip that I kept, I knew I needed to reintroduce that in my segment to have it make sense. I could have cut it out of her portion, but the information that followed on her audio wouldn't have made sense if I had done it that way.
I used a free music loop that I found on one of the sites that Diane had suggested. My original preference was something a little slower, but I realized after listening to my audio that my voice sounded more upbeat than would fit that music. It only took me a couple of tries later to find the piece that I did use. I liked it, because of its tempo and because it had smoother transitions into and out of it. I know how to do that, a fade in and fade out, but since it was already on the loop, it just made it easier to deal with.
I then compiled the audio. To learn how to do the multi-track recording, I found this video on YouTube, which I found very helpful.
After that, I put all the tracks in; there were about eight in all. I actually recorded the audio in chunks since I made mistakes several times. If one of the portions of an audio recording sounded good, I kept it and discarded the rest. I then later spliced it back together in Audacity. I also added the music during this time.
I listened a couple of times and am pretty pleased with the result. her audio is a little more faint than mine, something that used to happen to me even when I worked at a radio station and had to do a phone interview. You just learn that it's part of it. That said, I still think she's pretty clear and sounds natural. I did clean up her audio somewhat, again for the sake of time. I wish I could have included so much more of her interview, because she had so much to say. One thing that I heard, but you all won't get to hear is her talking about how she built up a following for her blog. For those of you who are thinking about doing the "Blogging in the Classroom" course, I know you would have found it to be valuable information.
In any event, I'm glad to share my first podcast with you all and look forward to hearing yours!
This assignment fits the following AECT Standards:
2.1 Creating – Candidates apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes. (p. 1) •
2.2 Using – Candidates implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 141) •
2.4 Managing – Candidates manage appropriate technological processes and resources to provide supportive learning communities, create flexible and diverse learning environments, and develop and demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 175-193) •
3.1 Creating – Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices. (pp. 8, 243-245, 246) •
3.2 Using – Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning (pp. 122, 169) based on principles, theories, and effective practices. (pp. 8-9, 168-169, 246) •
3.6 Diversity of Learners – Candidates foster a learning community that empowers learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities. (p. 10)