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Turning Conference Calls Into Podcasts
Leesa Barnes has a post over on Podonomics about the trials of turning a conference call into a podcast. She touches on not only the editing issues (or lack of editing, if you will), but also the potential lost revenue problem.

The thing that struck me about Leesa's post, and the thing that I want to talk about here, is the editing. Just a few days ago I called up my Gabcast account and put together a little ditty on my thoughts about how hardware vendors are approaching the podcasting industry. While I've talked about Gabcast before, I had never actually used it as intended to record a little show. It worked like a hot darn, but I had to record it about 5 times to get it right.

Being a 'traditional' podcaster (if there is such a thing), I'm used to editng my shows and mixing in bumpers and the like before uploading it. I could have done that with Gabcast by downloading my show, edit and mixing it, and then uploading it to my own host, but I wanted the push-button publishing that Gabcast offers so I had to get it right in one take.

My first few attempts went into the tank because I lost my train of thought and was 'umming' and 'awwing' all over the place. The last couple went south because I hadn't given any thought to branding the thing "Hi, this is Jon Watson and I'm here to bitch about hardware vendors". I still don't have it branded as well as I'd like, but I got tired of re-recording.

So while my podcast wasn't a corporate revenue opportunity, I can certainly back up what Leesa is saying about not being able to edit the show. If you're used to editing like I am, it's hard to wrap your head around the concept that you have exactly one take to pull it all together. And I'm just one person - how the heck would you put a conference call together in just one take with mutiple participants?

8 Comments/Trackbacks

The editing is key. I remember when I first started podcasting and I had no clue that there were editing tools out there. I used Sound Recorder, a free recording tool that's on every Windows machine. I had to delete and re-record my message about 6 dozen times before I got it just right. What a waste of time.

BTW, here's a link to the original article on Yahoo - http://snipurl.com/vblp

Ahhh...live and learn, eh? I actually scripted (word for word) my first few podcasts. I don't know why I couldn't hear how lame it sounded...

Thanks for the link!

I'd recommend that if you have a lot to say then you should make some notes prior to recording your Gabcast. It's up to you, the user, to know your audience and whether or not they are expecting a studio production without the umms and ahhs or whether they'll accept umms and ahhs as being authentic.

I think you two are what I call purists :-). Small business people don't have the time or the inclination to learn Audacity and muck around with editing (or take courses to learn). And I think that most listeners, provided that the person doing the recording is being genuine and the quality is at least as good as a cel phone call, don't really care that much.

In short, being an amateur is more real to some people. An important point that's lost on a lot of people IMHO.



Yup, Gabcast certainly has its place. I'm a big believer in Content being King and there are several levels to that.

Podcasts run the gamut from being professionally recorded and produced shows all the way down to mobilecasting from cars on the way to work. Like those types of shows, and every one in between, services like Gabcast have a place.

Jason, for the hobbyist, yes, editing may not matter.

However, for a corporate audience - my target - editing is key. I don't want my client, a CEO, to sound like a bumbling fool on his podcast (even if he is one :)

I believe in editing podcasts for the benefit of the audience. Why should you subject them to your flubs and um's and ah's. If you want to let people listen to a recorded conference call, that's different. You just have to make it clear that this is a conference call that people are listening to.

I agree with that. It's all about expectations. If the listener is expecting a "proper" podcast and receives a clunky, hard to hear conference call or presentaion then they'll likely be disappointed.

Jason's point is also valid, however, in that content is king and many listeners are more than willing to put up with the vagaries of an unedited podcast if it gives them...well...unedited information.

I guess it's all about managing expectations :)

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