This is a quick-and-dirty list of the work I did on Birmingham Shines from Sunday, April 26, 2015 through Saturday May 2, 2015.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Improving, but still feeling under-the-weather today. These are the main tasks I noted in my journal. I probably did a few other things, but this are the main action items.
Reviewed and answered message from audio engineer about audio tags for episode 001.
Just before bedtime, I downloaded the edited episodes shared with me via Dropbox by my audio engineer.
Listened to the preview episode and realized I needed a shorter type of stinger music bit to help with transitions.
Spent about 30 minutes on neosounds listening to additional music tag options that might work with what I’d already purchased. I needed something in the 5-7 second range and my other music tags were slightly longer. Didn’t want to ask the audio engineer to create a shorter version, since that wasn’t in my proposal for the project.
Found one a music stinger I like that is consistent with others and made notes about how to revise the preview episode using that stinger.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Again, I didn’t get much done today. Mondays are one of my busiest days at work.
Main activity: Listened to the preview and Wade Kwon episodes that I had downloaded Sunday night.
I made a list of edits and tag/stinger insertions for Alex Johns, my audio engineer, to take care of.
After Alex made the edits and shared again via Dropbox, I listened to the episodes again.
I was pleased with the second iteration of the preview episode so I sent message to Alex that it was finsihed and I moved on to focusing on the Wade Kwon interview episode. I felt that I needed further edits to that episode so I continued to review and make notes about it.
On Monday morning, I also reviewed the submission of some inspirational quotes I’d commissioned as a simple research project using someone on elance. Those looked good, so I asked the virtual researcher to mark the project completed and I would release the payment funds from escrow.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
We finalized the Wade Kwon episode with the third iteration. I’m happy with the outcome, since it’s the longer interview episode. I’ll be taking segments in the future and condensing those into shorter packages for the Tuesday snapshot episodes and, later, incorporating into thematic episodes.
I exchanged a couple of emails with Yellowhammer Creative about printing a thank-you card for interview guests and possibility of creating a t-shirt for Birmingham Shines.
Did a bit of research about potential additional guests to interview.
Used ID3 Tag Editor to input all the information about preview episode.
I uploaded the preview episode to SoundCloud and revised a cover image to the 800px x 800px specifications for SoundCloud and added that new image to the SoundCloud track.
Send reminder emails to the two guests scheduled for interviews later in the week, with the appearance release attached as PDF and included a link to the SoundCloud preview episode.
I also shared the SoundCloud version of preview episode on Twitter and Facebook.
Booked a consultation with Jared Easley for Wednesday night, using his Clarity set-up. That meant I also created an account with Clarity.
Wrote a fairly lengthy post about the Shinecast “big idea” and shared with a private Facebook group comprised of some of my fellow Instigators from the Instigator Experience, 2014.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Took the Facebook post shared with the Instigator group, adapted it as a blog post and published to ShereeMartin.com.
Set up the basics for my Patreon account, but didn’t customize anything.
Sent a couple of emails regarding prospective guests.
Took advantage of Hover sale on email accounts and purchased 2 mailbox accounts for Birmingham Shines and Shinecast.
Revised the domain settings to point Shinecast.net to Shinecast.tv.
Still feeling poorly–partly due to lingering cold, lack of proper sleep, mediocre eating habits (ate fast lunch in the campus Caf on Tuesday and Wednesday, pork loin, potatoes and salad both days).
Scheduled a 30-minute consultation with Dave Jackson, School of Podcasting, to walk me through the podcast feed set up on Libsyn and iTunes submission. I had successfully done this previously on my own when I launched the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast but due to my lingering fatigue and brain fog from the past week I decided it would be easier and faster to pay Dave to walk me through it, rather than go back and revisit what I’d done previously.
Wednesday evening I had a 38-40 minute conversation with Jared Easley about my Shinecast network idea. Gave him an overview of my previous podcast experience and we had a wide-ranging conversation about podcasting. I had a few specific questions, but it was more of a philosophical and vision conversation than technology.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
When I woke up, I read and replied to an email that came in around midnight from an interview guest who had scheduling issues with the original time slot scheduled for 5 p.m. today. I offered a later option (his suggestion) provided we change the location to my house, since I had an 8:45 p.m. Skype scheduled with Dave Jackson. I also offered Friday afternoon as another option. Also sent a text message to the guest, since he indicated in his email that he might not see emails until later.
At 10:15 a.m. I called the guest with scheduling challenges and we set the revised interview time for around 7 p.m. at my house.
At 10:30 a.m. I met a local writer for coffee, mainly to pick up copies of her book that we’re giving out to students who receive an award at departmental picnic next week. I also filled her in on the Birmingham Shines podcast and gave a bit of information to her about the Alabama Shines offset and my bigger vision for the Shinecast network.
After work, I came home and created my iTunes podcast cover graphic at 3000px x 3000px, based on the latest iTunes specifications and a review of the cover art for top podcasts. I think I managed to retain a bit of the “maker” look while also providing enough information about the show to grab someone’s attention.
Around 5 p.m., the rescheduled guest sent a text asking to postpone the interview due to his illness. I said “no problem.” It was actually a bit of a relief, because I was exhausted myself and wanted to rest a bit before Dave helped me set up the iTunes feed.
Opened up browser tab to Libsyn in preparation for creating the new show feed with Dave Jackson.
Used ID3 Tag Editor to tag episode 001 before my Skype with Dave. I wanted to have everything ready to expedite the consultation.
Consultation with Dave Jackson: Everything went swimmingly well. We finished in about 40 minutes. I found out that I needed to switch out the cover art I’d used in the ID3 tagging to something much smaller pixel image size. In short: Don’t use the 3000px cover art for iTunes as the actual episode cover art.
I had also failed to upload the iTunes cover art file when we were setting up the show in Libsyn. We were talking and I missed the upload box. Didn’t discover that until the “submit new show to iTunes” step when iTunes was showing a problem even though Feed Validator had indicated the feed was valid. Fortunately, the phrasing of iTunes message prompted me to remember that I had not uploaded the cover art. Went back into Libsyn, added the cover art to iTunes specs, and the show feed/submission was accepted, pending the standard show review by iTunes.
Emails from iTunes confirmed the show had been successfully submitted and was under review.
Dave Jackson is a great guy–very nice and helpful. Definitely glad I spent some money to do something in 30-ish minutes that it would have taken me at least an hour to do on my own.
Uploaded episode 001 to SoundCloud and added SoundCloud-specific cover art that I quickly adapted from some of the April 17 trial versions I’d created to test out the website portfolio settings.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Main order of business for today was meeting the show’s second guest, Tripp Watson, at his office for our interview. That took about 2 hours, counting travel time from my house to downtown, parking, etc.
After the interview, I stopped by a new music venue/coffee bar called Saturn Birmingham and had a coffee soda (amazingly good, to my surprise, since I’ve never liked iced coffee before) and took a few pictures to share on Instagram and Twitter (and later on the blog).
At that point, I was starving, so I headed home to drop off my equipment and go to campus to take care of some work.
After work, I drove to Seasick Records and spoke with Daniel to schedule an on-location interview about Seasick Records and Birmingham’s vinyl scene. We have that scheduled for next Friday.
When I got home from all of that, I had an email from iTunes confirming that the show had been approved and was available for download. The email advised that it would take a few more hours for the show to appear in search results.
Used Photo Mechanic to ingest the photos I’d show for Birmingham Shines over the past two weeks. Edited and resized some of them for the website.
I spent a little bit of time Friday evening putting up a a “project” at Birmingham Shines for the new episode and configuring the Simple Podcast Press player. Hit a snag with Simple Podcast Press (player wasn’t appearing) and sent a message to their support team.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Before leaving for a trip to the farm to work with my honeybees I posted to the I Believe in Birmingham Facebook group announcing that Birmingham Shines podcast is now on iTunes.
During the drive to the farm, I listened to the preview episode and episode 001 featuring Wade Kwon as downloaded from iTunes. I have room to improve in terms of interviewing and storytelling but I’m pleased with the results.
I had originally planned to attend Southern Makers in Montgomery on Saturday. I bought a ticket in early April but due to arrival of honeybee packages and delay of two other packages, I felt like I had to make the honeybees a priority today. I’m glad I did, for reasons explained in the blog post I wrote for my Beekeeping Journal blog.
Audio quality in the first two episodes is great and Alex did a fine job with the editing. In short, the show comes across as professional as an individually-produced podcast can be. It’s not this American Life or Serial, but I don’t have a team of writers and editors. That’s coming.