Podcast Production

  1. Extract audio from CallRecorder file. In Movie tools Folder – select “Convert to AIFF”
  2. Import AIFF into Garage band
  3. Check master echo and reverb – should be between 0-10% (any more sounds like an echo chamber)
  4. Use Intro and outro music – Audiojungle – Summer Folk.wav
  5. Play music for 3-5 second then fade out volume
  6. Record intro. Splice in intro AFTER music fade-out
  7. Import AIFF file. Splice in after intro.
  8. Splice in finished outro (music + british lady)
  9. Save AIFF to disk: select Share -> export. Uncheck “compress” – save as AIFF
  10. Upload to auphonic.com
  11. When finished processing check final auphonic file for quality.
  12. Upload finished and checked file to Blubrry
  13. Write up show notes on blog – link to additional resources
  14. Create graphic – for blog post = 528X320 px
  15. For Facebook 1200X630 px
  16. Make sure to link to correct mp3 file within post before posting!

Podcast Planning


Hey guys,

I keep losing things in the FB chat stream so I wanted to create a more permanent document that we could comment on to hopefully coordinate and ensure we’re all thinking about things the same way? Feel free to comment or share ideas on anything I’ve forgotten, something you disagree with, etc.

Pre-launch To-Do

  1. Firm commitments from a critical mass. If our goal is to have 3-4 speakers do ~2 podcasts a month, do we have the numbers to make this happen? Can we commit to this for the next 12 months as an experiment? Not everybody needs to be available for each podcast but ideally you’re making at least 1 a month. Less available people (eg. Kate, Rebecca Trump) can also fill in on occasion. It’s totally OK to bail next fall because it isn’t fun, you’ve gotten an exciting opportunity to pursue, or the listeners aren’t having it. Nobody wants to keep podcasting if the audience is essentially “your Mom” (who BTW thinks your doing a bangup job).
  2. Sort out sound quality. All speakers need to be comfortably audible with minimal (within reason) background noise. This will require purchasing $60 microphones for at least 3-4 people. Which harkens back to point #1 – can we commit for ~1 year? Because $250 is not a small investment.
  3. Create supporting audio/visual files including: Podcast cover art, “drops” to lead in and out of the podcast (music with voiceover). Create pages for podcast on blog and set up hosting provider for streaming audi (integrated on website). Podcast needs a name and tagline.
  4. Create an “about the podcast” page complete with bios and pictures (yay!). I feel we need a term because I’m not describing you guys as “moderators” – what term to use instead? baby wranglers?
  5. Evaluate supporting services and costs – 3rd party hosted streaming and/or the ability to take “calls” from listeners (Mary recommended Speakpipe)
  6. Flush out a calendar of topics. Ideally we have a clear description of the topic and a topic owner who has a few responsibilities to help us all get our thoughts organized. More on that later.

Podcast Logistics

  1. Topic Owner writes 1 paragraph brief on topic as well as 3-7 questions that will be answered in the podcast. If available, share links on topics for further reading. This helps other participants get their thoughts organized AND will be used on the website to provide listeners decide if they should listen to that particular recording. We also need to be mindful of SEO. Meaning whatever the podcast is about (ex. toddlers and bedtime battles) – those terms need to be used in the subject and ideally 2+ times in the text. We write for people but you also need to make sure Google knows what you’re talking about. So while we can rotate through topic owners, there is a bit of homework involved. I’m happy to take the first few if that helps. But I can’t be the ONLY topic owner forever.
  2. Make sure we have min=3 people on the schedule for the podcast. Perhaps this is another responsibility of the topic owner?
  3. If necessary, coordinate with 3rd party experts we invite. I think people will be quite keen to join in if invited nicely. Don’t be shy about targeting big dogs and famous people. Everybody wants to be more visible so this could be a win-win (we promote them, they promote us).
  4. Run podcast (ideally 20-40 minutes top)
  5. Edit podcast. While there is lots of free software to do this (some people use Garage Band but the more popular option seems to be Audacity which is a free download). I know nothing about sound editing and am worried about the learning curve. I imagine the editing is minimal (cut anything boring or off topic, add sound drops). There’s been mentions of some help from the masculine side of families. Do we have a firm plan here?
  6. Upload the file – iTunes, website, possibly iTunes? (probably my job – shouldn’t be hard with dropbox and such)
  7. Share on social media (this is me I guess)

Responsibilities and Obligations ?!?

  1. As mentioned, the big responsibilities is being willing to give this a try for 12 months and doing your best to participate in 1-2 podcasts a month.
  2. Being willing to take on being a topic owner 3-6X a year. This means doing a bit of prep research as well as writing up content to be posted online. Possibly includes coordinating schedule and/or reaching out to other parenting peeps.
  3. Even if you aren’t the topic owner, you’ll need to spend 30-60 minutes prior to podcast to prep thoughts, make some notes, or think of any stores or anecdotes you might want to share. Maybe a shortlist of questions you want to ask somebody else.
  4. Audio editing.
  5. What else?!?

Upside: Fame and Fortune

  1. There will be no fame and fortune. Let’s be honest. I DO think that we can reach more people this way (potentially) especially as SAHMs seem to really enjoy podcasts. So I consider this a fun project that we hopefully feel good about.
  2. It’s possibly good resume fodder for some of you. Learn some new skills, play with technology, etc.
  3. We will likely make no money. But ParentCast does have a sponsor who pays $200/podcast and they are an affiliate of Audible.com (you only make money if people sign up so assume little or no revenue there). I will also be a sponsor when the book comes out but I’ll be a bad sponsor in that I’m not paying for it.
  4. IF we make any money (seriously, don’t count on making any money – there really will be no money) I’m happy to split it evenly once my costs (hardware, graphic design, software, streaming services) have been covered. Or maybe we come up with some sort of weighted average based on participation? Honestly it’s likely not even worth worrying about because we’re not making any money. For reals yo.


I feel like FB chat is a poor medium for coordination. Am open to alternatives? Do we want to continue using a Google Doc for topics, scheduling, etc? Is 2X a month a reasonable target? I feel like 4X a month would be better so maybe we see how much time and effort is involved once we get rolling and possibly adjust upward? What is our audio editing plan? When do you think we’re ready to launch? If our first podcast is terrible nobody will continue on so I feel there is a minimum threshold of quality we need to hit before we go live. We’re still working on sound quality but then what? Do we have a target “launch” date?

So…what do you guys think?


Did you know Alana is turning 40 next week? Well she is but if she asked the only appropriate answer is, “I can’t believe you’re a day over thirty!”

It’s a Surprise!

Eric has asked for my help in coordinating a surprise party for next Friday after they return from Washington DC. The key word here is surprise!


  1. When – Friday Feb. 27th, roughly at 5:00 PM. This means we’re there and set up in their house for when they get back AT 5:00.
  2. What – Surprise party! I’ll provide decorations, wine, beer, ice, cups, plates, forks, knives and a birthday cake. It would be great if everybody could bring a dish to share. Doesn’t have to be fancy!
  3. download (5)I wouldn’t call this a “theme party” per se but I’m going to do my best to decorate with a vaguely French theme due to Alana’s love of France. I will have a backdrop so we can take pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower. I will also have optional stick-on mustaches. In my experience the French are no more likely to have a mustache than anybody else but for some reason the idea of pretending to be French while wearing a fake mustache makes me laugh so I’m going with it!
  4. If you haven’t been to their house before it’s at 1235 Main St, Fairfax VT. To get to the church (where hopefully we’ll find ample parking) take the first right PAST their house and then make an immediate right into the church parking lot. You’ll want to walk to their house via the road as the meadow has 1.5+ feet of snow.

I’m still waiting to hear back from Eric but I believe (?) we’ll be parking at the church behind their house and then sneaking in the front door (there is too much snow to sludge through the meadow).

Also – no presents! Seriously – your presence and a dish to share is more than sufficient! Cards and hugs are welcome!

If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email at alexis@troublesometots.com. Or leave a comment below so other party guests can see too!


Elevator Pitch for My Blog

Welcome BBBloggers!

My BBB homework is all targeting Troublesome Tots where I blog about kids and sleep. Because this most excellent summer project is unrelated to my blog topic I’ll be posting over here.

Day 1 project is to build a better blog pitch. Which should be easy because my current pitch, “I blog about kids and sleep” is so tiresome I want to take a nap having just written the words.

Figuring out how to get your kids to sleep better is my secret superpower (I was hoping for the ability to shoot laser beams out of my eyes but c’est la vie). Covering everything from sleep regressions to sleeping through the night, I share practical information on how to avoid falling into a deep pit of chronic sleep deprivation (and how to climb out). Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you find yourself in cryitoutsville, and I write about that too. 

I would LOVE feedback on my pitch. I know it needs work, I’m really open to advice. Thanks in advance!