Recording podcasts

A few people have asked how I go about recording my podcast. So I don’t need to keep repeating myself, I thought it worthwhile to write it up here.

Skype

So, the format of my podcast is usual an interview, or really just a chat, between myself and one other person. It’s done using Skype,  just a normal free call using the basic service. It’s not perfect but is usually good enough.

When recording, I wear a pair of Logitech UE 4000 headphones which feature a microphone on them, which cuts down on too much background noise, and using headphones means there’s no echo too.

Call Recorder

To record the conversation I use a Mac app called Call Recorder. This really does exactly what it says – you start the Skype call, then when you’re ready, hit record and it starts to record both ends of the conversation.

The file is saved as a .mov on your desktop, and Call Recorder comes with another app to convert this file to mp3.

If you’re on Windows, then you could try Evaer instead of Call Recorder.

Garageband

I tend not to bother editing the podcast, unless something catastrophic happens during recording like Skype dropping out or similar. I use Garageband for this, which is a free bit of software on the Mac.

If you’re on another platform then the open source Audacity would be a good place to start.

Libsyn

Once the file is ready to go live, I upload it to Libsyn, which hosts the audio file and also creates an RSS feed for the podcast with the appropriate enclosure. Libsyn also submits the podcast to iTunes, helps you add an image to feed and so on, to make things look at least reasonably professional.

It’s pretty cheap – the basic tier is just a few pounds a month, although I pay a bit extra for more storage and some stats.

One thing I have found with uploading the file is that rather than using Libsyn’s browser based uploader, it’s best to save your audio file in Dropbox first and then use Libsyn’s tool to transfer that file into Libsyn. Just seems to work better and have less chance of failing.

WordPress

I then promote the podcast by creating a post on my blog here in WordPress. WordPress has an inbuilt audio player, so all I need to do is paste the URL to the audio file into my post, and WordPress does the rest for me.

I listen through the podcast and add links to the show notes as it plays, to help listeners find out more about what I am talking about with my guest.

Hope that’s useful! Any other podcasting tips?

Engaging colleagues with new online tools

Getting people to actually use new tools in the workplace is pretty hard.

No matter how cool your new social platform is, your colleagues (except for the super keen) won’t suddenly leap into using it.

Instead, you need to think tactically about how you engage workers with new online tools.

Here are ten ideas for making it happen. If you can’t see the embedded document below, then you can download the PDF version.

My thanks to Steve Dale and Anne McCrossan who gave me some great advice when I was putting these together.

It would be great to get your views on these ideas – and whether you have any to add?

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

What I’ve been reading

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Pinboard.

The Twitter guide, updated!

One of the more popular things I have written is the guide to using Twitter in the public sector, published by my good friends at Learning Pool.

It was first produce a couple of years ago and was due an update, which has finally happened!

You can download the new version from the Learning Pool website – all for free, of course.

It would be good to get some feedback on the guide, and to hear what might be good to add to the next revision.

Don’t forget the Kind of Digital one page guides to various social media tools, which might be of use too!

Who retweeted you?

I didn’t know you could do this. Maybe you don’t either, so I’ll share it.

How do you find out which of your tweets have been retweeted, and by who? Turns out, by looking on the Twitter website!

First, go to twitter.com and log in. Then click the little ‘Retweets’ tab just under the updates box. Should look a little like this:

Retweet tab

Click on ‘Your Tweets, retweeted’, as per the arrow.

You’ll see a list of all your tweets that others have retweeted. Cool!

If you then hover over one, and click, a detail pane should pop up, giving info on exactly who retweeted you. Click the image below to make it bigger, if you need to.

Retweet details

So now you know.