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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Evaluate supporting services and costs – 3rd party hosted streaming and/or the ability to take “calls” from listeners (Mary recommended Speakpipe)
- 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.
- 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.
- Make sure we have min=3 people on the schedule for the podcast. Perhaps this is another responsibility of the topic owner?
- 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).
- Run podcast (ideally 20-40 minutes top)
- 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?
- Upload the file – iTunes, website, possibly iTunes? (probably my job – shouldn’t be hard with dropbox and such)
- Share on social media (this is me I guess)
Responsibilities and Obligations ?!?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Audio editing.
- What else?!?
Upside: Fame and Fortune
- 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.
- It’s possibly good resume fodder for some of you. Learn some new skills, play with technology, etc.
- 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.
- 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?