Buzzcast

Dynamic Descriptions + Making an NPR Podcast in Just 3 Days

March 12, 2021 Episode 47
Buzzcast
Dynamic Descriptions + Making an NPR Podcast in Just 3 Days
Chapters
0:00
Don't act surprised
0:40
Quick Hitters
9:55
New Buzzsprout Features
27:21
Subscribe or Follow?
33:40
Making an NPR Podcast
Buzzcast
Dynamic Descriptions + Making an NPR Podcast in Just 3 Days
Mar 12, 2021 Episode 47

In this episode, Alban shares his top tips for running an event on Clubhouse, we discuss the newest Buzzsprout features, dive into Apple's decision to abandon "subscribers," and Travis explains what went into creating the last episode of Buzzcast in only 3 days.

If you haven't listened to the last episode of Buzzcast, be sure to check out "The Day Podcasts Stopped."

New features from Buzzsprout

  • Daily Downloads
  • Episode Number Helper
  • Images in Chapter Markers
  • Dynamic Descriptions


Links from today's episode


Special thanks to those how helped us promote our "How to Start a Podcast in 2021" video


Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Alban shares his top tips for running an event on Clubhouse, we discuss the newest Buzzsprout features, dive into Apple's decision to abandon "subscribers," and Travis explains what went into creating the last episode of Buzzcast in only 3 days.

If you haven't listened to the last episode of Buzzcast, be sure to check out "The Day Podcasts Stopped."

New features from Buzzsprout

  • Daily Downloads
  • Episode Number Helper
  • Images in Chapter Markers
  • Dynamic Descriptions


Links from today's episode


Special thanks to those how helped us promote our "How to Start a Podcast in 2021" video


Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Kevin:

All right, so should we dig into some new stuff in Buzzsprout?

Travis:

Always, always you got some goodies for us. Already. It's good as a host to feign ignorance even though we all spent an hour working through the outline together.

Alban:

I can't do it.

Kevin:

I didn't even ask you. Did you know about anything new in Buzzsprout? I said, Do you want to talk about some of the new stuff and Buzzsprout and Alban tried cracking up like this is an honor outlines not the next thing we have to go to.

Alban:

Not only is the outline, but we talked through which of the sub things are on the outline to make sure we are all on the same page, because like you're talking about, I don't know, what else am I gonna say? Yeah, let's definitely talk about it. We Yeah, we prepared for it.

Travis:

So in the episode that we released four weeks ago, here on Buzzcast, we told you guys about our new video that we put out on how to start a podcast in 2021. And we said that if you helped us promote it by sharing it with your audience, you would get a shout out. And naturally, last episode was not a normal Buzzcast episode. So we kicked it forward to this episode. So we want to give a special shout out to Carol Marques, Greg Collins, Tom Rafferty, Eric nordoff, Darwish, Abdul Rahman and Richie brand for shouting out how to start a podcast and sharing it with your audience. If you want to go and check out their podcast and some love getting some support, we'll leave links in the description of this episode. Alban, were you able to get that Buzzsprout Club formed?

Alban:

Yeah, you actually knew that the answer to this already. But yeah, we finally got to Buzzsprout club on clubhouse. So we actually have done three weeks of these, like q&a sessions, and the primary reason was to get a club, everything, apparently, all the club creation was manual. So they're like, yeah, we're not gonna approve you unless you've done like three of them with the same name. So we did three of them with the same name, the day where we were eligible to apply for a club. I mean, I don't have any reason to be mad about this. But the day that that happened, they allowed you to do it for automatically. And so like, I wrote this little update for the whole company with like, got the club after a lot of hard work. And the candidate today was like, so you know, like, everyone could do that now. And I'm like, Yes, but I still wanted, like the credit for setting all these things up and doing them. But yeah, we have a club, but maybe if we just waited, we could had a club. Anyway, it's

Kevin:

just one of those things. You know, like, if you would have waited, it, they wouldn't have rolled it out on that day, you would have been waiting six weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks. But since you did the work, of course, it rolls out on that day. Right? It's like when you bring the umbrella it never rains, but the day you leave it at home, it pours.

Alban:

I actually don't own an umbrella in Florida. So that metaphor is lost me.

Travis:

I don't know why I have a rain jacket.

Alban:

Okay, here's my theory of umbrellas. This is a definitely a tangent. But

Kevin:

do you have all these theories on things?

Alban:

This is how my brain works. Alright, here's a theory. I see cats, like freak out when they're around any water. And I remember once being like, man, obviously doesn't hurt them. I wonder why they're so against it. And then like the same day, I saw people tearing down a parking lot to like, knock it in the rain. And I'm like, what this is kind of just where the cats were not the dogs were like, so freaked out that we got a little bit wet. It's not a big deal. And I was like, I should just be a little more comfortable, like getting rained on it's not a big deal. Since then have an own an umbrella. That's your theory.

Kevin:

So you just show up to events randomly, just completely drenched.

Alban:

It's happened like two times. And I'm not carrying this big umbrella. And then you've got this thing you have to be responsible for people complain like I lost my umbrella. It's like, I don't care. Just don't have an umbrella. Problem solved.

Travis:

So that's a roundabout way of saying what what were we talking about clubhouse.

Alban:

Okay, so the whole clubhouse thing, we started it, we got the three we got the club is called Buzzsprout. And you can go and follow and become a member of the club. And I will probably do more events. I think we'll do the Podcasting Q&A one. But then maybe we can now that we are not locked in on that exact name anymore. Because that was a requirement of the old clubhouse way, we can now open it up. So we could have like a podcast marketing where you invite a few people to talk about marketing and talk to a few people about monetization. We could have one just like podcasting for basic, basic beginners. You know, truly like what is podcasting? Why do you know how does it work stuff?

Kevin:

Yeah. And I noticed that there, they changed their terms of service. So now we can record these things, right, as long as we're clear that we're recording and tell everyone who you invite to speak that they're being recorded. You can record them so maybe as we do these events, we might need to start recording them and throw them out on another podcast feed because I mean clubhouse the big drawback right? Besides audio quality being kind of flaky is that if you're not available at the time of the event, you missed the event. And so maybe that's something we can start looking into as well.

Alban:

Yeah, we there's been a lot of podcasts and blog posts written about this, you know, column house and podcasting, how they work together, I still feel like they're very different things. And I imagine that if I was not in the room, when somebody most of the clubhouse sessions I've been a part of or happening, I wouldn't be super interested to listen to them on a podcast, like the level of quality that I'm looking for out of a podcast episode is so much higher that I feel like if I'm not there, in the moment, where maybe I'm even speaking, kind of giving feedback or raising my hand or other people are following up, I don't think I would be as invested in it.

Travis:

That makes sense. So regardless, here, regardless, if you have an iPhone, and you're on clubhouse, which I was trying to figure out, if I was using that word correctly, if you're having I made

Alban:

sure that you were not by saying

Travis:

you're on clubhouse, join the Buzzsprout Club, the exclusive Buzzsprout club where we only let in people that asked to join salvin, what has been your experience running several clubhouse rooms running several events? What are the pros? What are the cons? And you know, how do you see us using it in the future to connect with and help our podcasters.

Alban:

So from a listener participant perspective, like somebody who's actually just coming into a room, recommendation is drop into rooms, and find one that actually resonates with you. If you're there for five minutes. And it's not really that great, you can just leave and go join another room until you find something that's valuable to you. There's so many conversations happening in there all the time. It's kind of like a total FOMO machine where you just feel like there's always something happening. So maybe like carve out a little bit of time in the day where you might go check if there's something good or actually come in when there's something scheduled Do you want to hear, I really like being in rooms where you have a chance to speak, I've been in some of these really large rooms where it may be celebrities talking. But then it's kind of like a not as high of quality audio podcast that you can't fast forward. And so it's kind of doing the same job as a podcast, which I don't find as valuable. So like try to I like the smaller rooms quite a bit more. So you can raise your hand actually participate, ask questions. And there's just a lot more happening. As far as our room in particular, I mean, we're just we're trying to be kind of form formal in it that we bring people up on stage, we go right down the order people raise your hands, they've got a question, they ask their question, we answer it mostly, there's two or three of us who are kind of subject matter experts answering it, we thank them, we move on to the next person. I think the formality is kind of important because nobody's you know, frustrated or hurt when they understand the rules. But if you don't have rules, then it kind of just any random person can kind of take over the stage for a long period of time. So you have to be kind of on the outset, say, here's how we're going to do the room. Maybe it's a q&a session, or maybe it's two people talking the entire time, whatever it is, I think kind of setting the room and then resetting it every 15 minutes just to tell everybody, here's what we're doing. Here's how the rooms going. And if you want to participate here are the ways I think that's pretty important. But like Kevin said earlier, you can get your own club now. So not only did I get the club for Buzzsprout actually signed us up for Buzzcast have its own room, its own club. I don't know if we'll ever use that. But I did think if you have a podcast out there, and you may want to have post episode discussions, discussions with you, I think that you know, it's probably a good idea. If you have an invite to clubhouse, go in, and just create a club for your own podcast. And then if people start joining it, you could have little discussions, I think that'd be a really cool thing to do. And it might be a way to monetize your podcast once clubhouse actually launches all these monetization features might be a nice way to give your listeners Hey, for $2 a session, you can join, we chat about the episode, I tell you a little bit of the backstory, things that hit the cutting room floor. And you get a little bit more I could totally see that being a viable way, especially for a larger podcast to monetize.

Travis:

I mean, it could definitely pay for our Honest Tea addiction. For sure. All the half and half and greens here we can drink nothing. Those are great insights. Alvin, thank you for thank you for sharing those. So if you guys are on clubhouse, make sure you join the Buzzsprout Club. And we'd love to see you in our next q&a session or our next chat that we have over there.

Kevin:

All right, so should we dig into some new stuff in Buzzsprout always,

Travis:

always you Got some goodies for us already? Well, I love how you know it's good. It's good as a host to feign ignorance even though we all spent an hour working through the outline together.

Alban:

I can't do it. I didn't even ask you. Did

Kevin:

you know about anything new in Buzzsprout? I said, Do you want to talk about some of the new stuff and Buzzsprout and Alban tried cracking up like this is an honor outlines not the next thing we have to go to.

Alban:

Not only is the outline, but we talked through which of the sub things are on the outline to make sure we are all on the same page. Because like you're talking about, I don't know, what else am I gonna say? Yeah, let's definitely talk about it. We

Travis:

Yeah, we were trying to be good proxies. For our listeners, Alban, they haven't seen the outline. So let's, let's drop some goodies No, enough, enough, enough, enough.

Kevin:

There's good stuff, and we're going to talk about it. First, let's talk about stats, stats, stats, stats, everyone loves stats, and now there's something new to click on in your stats section. So that big graph, when you click on stats, the big graph that shows up and I think it defaults to the last 30 days, and you can switch between 730 90 and all time. Now, when you put your mouse over that graph, move back and forth, you can click to kind of dig into the detail of what the numbers are behind the little bumps on the graph. And so we're calling these things I don't know, like a detailed view, like what happened, and it will it changes based on the level of detail on that graph that you're looking at. So if you're like on seven, the seven day view, and you click, then you're just looking at a day. And I think that's the same thing for the 30 day view. But as soon as you switch to like a 90 day view, now you're looking at weeks at a time. So if I click into a bump on the from the 90 day view, I see a date range, which is typically a week and you can see all the downloads that happened for that week, every episode that was downloaded during that week, and how many times they were downloaded. And you get the same thing, if you went to all time, I think depends on how old your podcast is, like how big the date range will be. But it's typically going to be around a month at a time. So like for Buzzcast, I'm now looking at December 2020, I can see all the episodes that were downloaded in December 2020. And how many times they were downloaded each. So I think it's great. It's fantastic new view of your stats and a quick way to drill into detail that was available before but you had to click into a lot of screens and probably write numbers down. Now you can get all that in one view just by clicking on that chart.

Travis:

Well. And I think the big value add for, you know, podcasters are trying to get a sense of how their episodes are performing in general, is you can very easily see how well your back catalogue is performing. Right? Because when you're releasing new episodes, and you're saying, Okay, this episode got 300 downloads the day it came out, but that same day, in total, I got like 450 downloads. So where did that 150 come from? What was the episode splits? Was it one episode that did really well was it all my episodes got like three or four plays. And so by digging into this more detailed view, you can see a better breakdown of how your back catalogue is performing. And be able to like piece those things apart.

Alban:

We often talk about creating evergreen content. And the whole reason you do that is your kind of buying all these lottery tickets for something becomes very important later on. And people get interested in an old topic, or maybe some of these two years old gets shared on a forum and a lot of people listen. Well, the old way of deciphering what was actually making your podcast grow. If you saw that bump on a particular day would have been clicking through a bunch of different episodes hoping to find the one that was growing. Now you can just literally see the chart has gone up, you click on the chart, and it says here are the episodes that made up that bump. And you can quickly decipher which episodes are working. And seeing it just from a marketing perspective. Well, that's going to be great when I do some work, and try to share a specific episode and I see a bump. In the past I might have gone Oh, I think I know where that bump came from. But now I know for sure I click it and I go Yep, it is the five episodes that I went through. And I ran this Facebook ads for the five episodes that I shared on a forum or in my group, I see it got a lot more downloads, I can continue doing that in confidence I actually create, we can leave this in the show notes, did a loom video showing the daily downloads feature and how I would use it. And you can see even when I'm doing it, I'm finding like oh, that's when I shared that in an email. So need to make sure I keep doing it because it did result in an extra few 100 downloads.

Kevin:

And this becomes really important if you start using pre roll post roll dynamic content, because you have the ability with that tool to add it to all the episodes as well. So if you added a pre roll to an episode, and then applied it to your entire back catalogue, you might want to integrate it for a week. You might want to know in that week, how many times was that downloaded. And so now you can do that and you can go to like a 90 day view you can click into the week where you applied the dynamic content. You can see all the episodes that were downloaded during that Week, knowing that they all have that dynamic content pre roll. And so you can get a good count for how many people actually heard that pre roll. So useful stuff. And it's kind of building upon what we're doing and dynamic content. So hopefully I'll find that helpful. We've had a lot of fun building that and rolling that out. The next thing that we should talk about is episode number helpers. This is what we call the project. A lot of you use seasons and episode numbers in your podcasts. And one thing that can be difficult is remembering what are we on? We're on like Buzzcast 47. And I only know that because of the top of our outline right now, if I was going to publish this episode on Friday, I probably wouldn't remember that we're on episode 47, I'd have to click into the previous episode, look at the episode number, then come back to the new one, and then type in 47. So instead of all that back and forth, this is a tiny little update that just helps people out. So now, where you put in season at episode number, instead of the example text underneath just saying example 123. Now it will say your previous episode was number 46. And so you know, the new one is 47. So that was real little, but hopefully very helpful for people that do Season Episode numbers, no more back and forth. Buzzsprout will now tell you, where you left off.

Alban:

And I know the use case for a lot of people was they get to that part go, what was my last episode number, then they would like click save, then they would go back check the last episode that they would want to come back to the episode they just edited. They'd make that update. And you know, you're saving a couple steps along the way. Now you can just look down and go Okay, cool. 47 nice, put it in, you get excited you're hitting, we're about to hit 50 episodes actually hearing that kind of gets me a little bit excited.

Kevin:

It's been a long time, big milestone, if you're like us the way that we think you'd probably be like, Why haven't you done that all along? And there's, there's a lot of reasons why we haven't. And we have thought about it and tried to come up with different ways to do it before we finally one of our programmers, Brian hunt came up with this genius idea of like, let's just make it a suggestion. The idea of actually, in which is really, like all the best ideas sound simple once they come out, right. But all the approaches before were like if we pre populate it for them, and then we get it wrong, or they're uploading, you know, episodes in batches and it gets out of order, then it's just more of a mess to unwind. And so that's why it took us so long to kind of figure out the right answer. And then Brian had this epiphany. And he was like, we should just make it a better example. And we're all like, Oh, my gosh, how come? We didn't think of that two years ago?

Alban:

Well, I know the first time we thought about it was just take what was the last one was and add one, right? But the downside of that is, you know, you're on season one, episode eight, and you know, you're actually gonna start season two, but it's kind of pre populated season one, episode nine, which you never intended to make, but you just click save, because it's already filled out. You kind of assume that it's right. Yeah. Or like you said, your batch uploading all of season two. And it now every time whichever one you happen to click on first or uploads first says, I'm season two, Episode One. You're like, Oh, no, you're not.

Kevin:

Yeah, we've all experienced that before, right? Like software that tries to be helpful. It's auto. It's not helpful. It's correct. It's, it's a little Clippy paperclip popping up saying Do you want to do this? No, I don't want to do that. But anyway, we feel like we finally cracked it. So at tip to Brian, and hopefully that's helpful to y'all. The next thing I want to talk about, I'm gonna roll through them quick, because because we've got a bunch of new stuff. Now you can do chapter images. So Buzzsprout has for a long time, we've had a chapter marker tool. And when you upload an episode, you can go in and create chapters, all the Buzzcast episodes have chapters. So if you're listening to this right now, hopefully your app supports that you could scroll down and jump to a different section. Like if you're tired of me talking about new features, you could skip over this right now. Well, now we can also put images in there. And maybe Travis will have time to do that for today's episode. And then if your app supports images, then those images display once you get to that point in the audio. So if we wanted like our outline today says number one, we're going to start with quick hitters. So Travis can come up with a graphic for that. And then the next section is Buzzsprout new features, he could throw different images up for that. And I don't want to get too far ahead. But we've got two other sections coming later in the podcast. And he could put specific images for that. Now, this is new. It's built on the podcast namespace spec, and so not a ton of apps support it yet. Like here's an example, overcast is a podcast app for iOS that supports chapter images. But there's two different ways to do chapter images. One of them involves embedding the images within the audio file itself, and the other is using a different way. It's actually called JSON to blink to images at certain time points. And that's the new spec. That's the podcast namespace, podcast namespace spec that we built off of, for this chapter implementation. So just because you do this, and then you have an app that does support chapter images, and might not support the spec that we built to, which is the newer one. So hopefully over the next you know, few months, year, whatever all these apps will be catching up and you'll see more and more images working With podcasts, but there might be some lag time. Again, we want to kind of be ahead of the curve and have you guys have the tools available to you that are cutting edge. We don't want to build on old text that we built on the new tech. But just understand that not all the apps are caught up on that stuff yet,

Travis:

it will also work if you embed the Buzzsprout player on your website, where if you use the Buzzsprout website, the podcast website you get with your show, those chapter images will also populate in the embedded player as well.

Kevin:

All right, and now the last one is a big one. And I have to put a disclaimer on this one, because we're recording, it's actually Tuesday, normally record on Wednesday, and the show drops on Friday. And this feature isn't actually out yet, but it is scheduled to be out we are QA testing everything right now. And so it's possible that you're listening to this and you want to go test tested, try it out right now. And it's not available because we found a bug that we weren't expecting. But we feel pretty good, good enough that we're going to talk about it anyway. And if we do find a bug, it'll be early next week. But the feature is dynamic descriptions is what we're calling it. So dynamic descriptions, gives you the ability to associate text with your dynamic content. So when we rolled out dynamic content, about around a month ago, you could upload an audio file, and then you could put that just on your new episodes, you could apply it to your old episodes, and it was pre roll and post roll. Now what we're allowing you to do is also associate content with that audio file. So for example, if you're using your pre roll to announce an event that you're going to be attending, I'm going to be podcast movement in Nashville at the end of July. I hope to see you all there. If you're interested, follow the link in my show notes, right. But you couldn't put a link in your show notes without editing, you know, your 46 previous episodes to drop that link. And even though the audio content was there. And so now what we've rolled out is a new tool called dynamic description. So every time we upload an audio file, through the dynamic content tool, a button will appear that says Do you want to add some dynamic content, a text box will pop up, same type of text box that you have, when you're editing your show notes, you can type in whatever you want, you can add links. If you have affiliates or sponsorships set up, there's a drop down where you can drop in that content automatically, you hit save, and that content is now automatically added to all of the episodes that have dynamic content. And there's this other great feature that comes along with this, which is what we're calling an episode selector. So this is this is really big too. And that is when we've rolled out dynamic content, we gave you a button to dynamically add all that content to all your previous episodes. Now we have an episode selector. So now when you hit apply to previous episodes, you'll be brought to a screen that shows you all your previous episodes. And you can check the box next to the ones that you want to apply to. So you don't have to do your entire back catalogue anymore. If you have a trailer, if you have bonus episodes, if for one reason or another, you just don't want it on this one episode, you can uncheck it and then hit apply to the rest. Then there's a nice little counter that tells you how many it's getting applied to and everything else. But huge, huge update to dynamic content coming hopefully Friday, by the time you're listening to this. But again, worst case early next week.

Travis:

Yeah, most certainly before the next Buzzcast episode,

Kevin:

right, which is why I want to talk about it. I've been really excited to talk about it.

Alban:

I mean, this is a pretty big deal. Because now not only can you upload something and say I'm going to be at this conference. And I'm really excited that and I'd love for you to come and if you follow my link, you get a discount. Not only can you add that to episodes, you can actually select which episodes that's added to. And so you could pick for some reason you only wanted to put it in 30 of your 40 episodes, you could just go through and click those episodes. And additionally, you could actually type in some text and say, here's the link for you to follow so that you get the discounted rate. And you do that one time. And it actually gets appended to your descriptions for every episode. Because we quickly realized, like we thought of this feature. And yet we started to hearing from people that were like, Oh, it's great. But I still have to go and edit every one of my descriptions to add the Lincoln and then I have to go back in to remove it. Now you don't have to do that you do it one time you add it. Once the deal is over for that conference, you're going to you just go and you remove it and it removes not only the audio portion, but it also removes the description portion. It works really, really smoothly since I've used it Kevin so you guys did a great job building it. And I'm excited to see everyone uses it because it's one of those features that once it's built, it feels easy because you did all the work to figure out how to make it easy. But I think we saw a bit of the figuring it out working through the issues for the last few weeks and I know you guys put a ton of time and thought into how to build this the right way.

Kevin:

Yeah, and then part of that process, we ended up changing the workflow of how dynamic content works. It's subtle, but the UI has changed a little bit to better communicate how things work now. And so if you have been using dynamic content, previously, when this update rolls out, you'll see that the UI looks a little bit different. And we hope that does a good job of communicating the functionality is a little bit different. The main difference is this. Now, you'll have the ability to when you have, when you hit the episode selector, you're going to select your 20 3040 episodes that you want this dynamic content applied to, and then any changes that you make to the dynamic content settings, whether they be an update to a description, or you change out an audio file, or you add a post role where you didn't have one before, that is gonna then immediately impact and start updating on episodes that you've selected. And so before you used to make all your changes, then you'd hit a button that said, apply to all these episodes. Now, it's more like you tell us the episodes that you want to kind of be dynamic content eligible. And then once we know that, as you're making changes, those files are starting to get updated in the background automatically.

Travis:

So you don't have to deselect the trailer every time you change something in your dynamic content. Exactly,

Kevin:

exactly. And it's a workflow that makes more senses, we're adding more functionality into dynamic content. But it is a bit of a change from where we started. And so it's not good or bad. It's just an evolution of the process. And it's, it's more powerful, but it's something to be aware of, if you have been using dynamic content, when you see the new UI that appears on, you know, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, just be aware that things are gonna start happening, maybe a little bit different than they did in the past. So read everything that's on the screen, and make sure you understand what's happening.

Travis:

Well, that's a pretty sweet feature, Kevin. So how much does it cost to access this incredible new dynamic description feature? Because I mean, it's on, it's out. I mean, it sounds amazing. Like, surely surely this is an upgrade, right? Surely,

Alban:

yeah. Just two easy payments

Kevin:

of $0. Yeah, it's it, we're continuing to build on to dynamic content, and include it with with all your every paid plan that we have on Buzzsprout. And even the free plan, I think gets it as well. So yeah, no additional charge for the new features. We're just trying to give the best tools we can to podcasters at the best price we can. And for this one, it's included with your plan.

Alban:

James Cridland, the founder and made writer for pod news, tweeted out some stuff there you had a story to let everyone know about that was going to change the way we talked about podcasting forever. And he is right. Apple podcast is going to stop using the phrase subscribe, and they're gonna start talking about following podcasts. So instead of clicking the button to subscribe, you would click a button to follow the actual way that this will work doesn't seem to change at all. There's a couple of reasons why they're doing it. But they're following didn't change. That was not intentional. They're gonna follow the way Spotify, audible Stitcher, amazon music, you know, all of them already talked about following podcasts. And now Apple podcasts will do it. And once Apple podcasts does it, the industry is gonna flip. And I imagine almost everybody will start using that phrase, when they want you to subscribe to their podcast, they will say follow the podcast.

Kevin:

I don't know. I mean, YouTube still uses the word subscribe. And so I when I read that article this morning, I found myself asking the question, is this really just a nomenclature change? Or is Apple setting themselves up? You know, there have been rumors about them creating exclusive content for Apple podcasts, possibly charging for that or making it a part of the bundle? If that is direction that they're going to they want to get the terminology straightened out. I don't know. I don't know my thoughts on it's just that's that's a possible deal, too, is that they're changing the nomenclature so that like for indie podcasts, you just follow them, and they're gonna have certain podcasts that you still might be able to subscribe to. But when you subscribe, you're gonna pay a price or you have to have, you know, some apple bundle to be able to subscribe to certain shows that are paying Yeah.

Alban:

Tom Webster from Edison research shared some days had 47% of people who don't currently listen to podcasts, think that subscribing will cost you money. And then when you actually you think about that, and then you look at the apps that already use the phrase follow Spotify. There's obviously a subscription for for music, Audible, a subscription to get audiobooks, Stitcher, there was stitcher premium. So you could download you could pay Apple Music, like all of those have some sort of actual subscription that costs you money functionality. And so they all made the switch to make sure there was no confusion that you are going to subscribe to Buzzcast and to be charged 199 a month going forward. And so it made perfect sense there and I do like kind of having this consistency across the board. But yeah, Kevin, your point is well taken because with YouTube, they still use subscribe. But it's that's actually a very, very different thing from what podcasts do. When you subscribe to a podcast, it gets downloaded to your phone, and you see it, it's definitely going to be there kind of in your face. YouTube, this is now Travis will give us a better number, at least five years ago, when they changed it from you didn't even get a notification. If one of the channels you subscribe to put out new content. It's kind of like, yeah, I'm kind of following them in the same way that I follow somebody on Twitter, I know I miss a lot of their tweets. And the same way now with YouTube channels. Like you subscribe, we miss a lot of their videos. And so it always feels like it's something else. It's happening. It's like, you aren't being charged. So I understand why building like subscribe, but it's not truly just a follow like I think of on other social media apps. Because those kind of imply casual relationship where I'm not checking in every episode or not even being notified. I may miss a handful and it's no big deal.

Travis:

It's you know, the thing that happens when different companies are like, what term are we gonna use internally. And if there's a happens to be a crossover with what other people are doing, that's fine. So I mean, I think the interesting thing will be the impact that it has on growing podcasting as a whole. Because when I think of subscription, I think about Netflix, right? People talk about having a Netflix subscription in the conversation where they're asking for somebody else's password so they can go watch Queen's gambit for free, because there's an understanding that when you subscribe to Netflix cost money. And so if simply changing the word from, you know, hey, subscribe to my podcast, to, hey, if you open this podcast app and click follow, you'll get new episodes as they come out. If that language shift is gonna help podcasting growth, and I think it's good, I think it's, it's just going to take time to get used to it. It's just going to take time to adjust the way that we talk about things. rerecord our intros, re record our calls to action at the end,

Alban:

re record your dynamic content is what you're saying, right?

Travis:

Maybe but I mean, like, it used to be, you know, rate and review the podcast and iTunes, so we can be in the Top 200 chart. And then we found out that a that ratings and reviews don't actually impact the top 200. And then it turned into Apple podcasts. And so it's just going to be something that we're just gonna get used to. It's like, Okay, well, now we're just gonna say follow the podcast and your favorite app to get new episodes as they come out. And I'll just be a shift. It'll just be a change we have to make but the underlying structure of how podcasts works, and how you connect with podcast to make sure you get new episodes, that has not fundamentally changed. But the way that we talk about it, certainly well,

Alban:

and I think that Kevin's point is why this is happening now. Like there's been this shift, where everybody else is starting to say, follow, not subscribe. Why is Apple doing it now? Well, there's been rumblings for a few months, that there will be some sort of paid tier podcasts inside of Apple podcasts, it will probably be layered on top of all the free content that everybody's putting out there on their own. But now, if maybe there's a celebrity podcast, or maybe there's some sort of monetization options turned on, whatever the case may be, there may actually be a subscribe for 199. You know, there may be some way that the subscribe language now is actually used for payments. Well, I feel like I've had a lot to say. So maybe Can I ask some questions?

Travis:

Sure, you can ask some questions.

Alban:

The episode from two weeks ago was very different. Just to recap for anybody Buzzsprout was taken down by a DDoS attack over the weekend and into Monday. And instead of doing the normal Buzzcast, Travis basically did his best impersonation of like a serial episode. And interviewed like eight people, and stitched together this story of what it was like for us in on our side when somebody was basically attacking Buzzsprout and your podcasts. So I would like if you're down for it, to ask you some questions on what that process looks like for you, Travis, what is it? How was it going from this kind of silly roundtable podcast we do to doing a much more in depth editing process?

Travis:

Well, so I think one thing that is also important to know is that the entire episode came together in three days, which is not very long. So not

Alban:

only was it good, but you want a little kudos for good and fast.

Travis:

Well, so so that three days, I probably spent it was probably 35 hours. 35 hours total making that episode. So I mean, it's it's, it can be difficult. If you like hear a podcast in a style that you're not used to hearing or you haven't produced yourself to wonder like, How much time does it take? That's how long it took to make that 30 minute episode. So when you hear a show, like an NPR produce show, or wondery, pretty short game was pretty show, you know, like they got 12 people in the credits. That's a little bit overkill? Well, that's why because it just, it takes a lot of time to do all these different pieces. I mean, I think the biggest shift from an editing perspective, was what we did at first Tuesday morning, when I got back from vacation, cuz ironically, I was not involved in the actual crisis mode. You know, the three of us jumped on and said, okay, we want to talk about this on Buzzcast. What's the story? Like, what is the story that we're telling? And what are the important plot beats along that story? And so it was a lot of me asking questions about what were some of the notable things that happened? When did they happen, who was involved, and just getting a sense of like, the story arc, because whenever you're doing a story that or doing an episode that is more story based, you have to make sure that it follows the rules of storytelling of what people are expecting.

Alban:

What are the rules of storytelling?

Travis:

Well, I mean, the biggest one is that if you ever introduce something as an open what they call an open story loop, essentially teasing something that's going to be resolved in the future, that you tie it off, where if you don't, it's very intentional, because you're doing something in the future, like 24 of the TV series is a classic example of, we're just going to leave you this huge cliffhanger at the end, so that you absolutely Tune in next week. We didn't want to do that. But in classical storytelling, if you open a story loop and say, Hey, this is something interesting, you commit to resolving it within that story. So that's where you'd walk out of a movie theater, and you feel really great. Like, man, that was a really great movie, we saw this progression, we saw this character mature or change or transform. And at the ends, all the loose ends had been tied, and they're singing Kumbaya as they walk off into the sunset.

Alban:

So you wanted to be a little more 24. Last, the TV show last, which was kind of like, famous for having all these open loops. And it was so exciting to think that it was all gonna get tied together in the end, and then they were kind of like, Oh, yeah, we have no idea how any of this makes sense.

Travis:

Yeah, I mean, going into it, I knew kind of the basic plot points of like, okay, there's a period at the beginning, where we figure out Buzzsprout is down. What did that look like? At first? Once I learned that there was actually two separate attacks? What was it like in the meantime? And then what did the end resolution look like? But then throughout that, I was also trying to figure out what are the pieces of this, that needs to be expanded that need to be expanded upon, right? So like, I had seen the acronym DDoS. On the internet before, but because I'm not a programmer, I didn't know what it stood for, or what it meant. And so I also knew that there's a really good chance that most of the people listening to this episode don't know what this is, what it actually is, what a distributed denial services. So I knew that in the episode, there need to be a section talking about what it is, and then also giving some context of how common is it? You know, what, what can you do to prepare for it? Why are they common, and just really educating the listener, so they have a better sense of what's going on, as they're listening to the story. So that's why we reached out to jack over at darknet diaries to contribute. And that was phenomenal. He's able to do that in such short notice. And so that was the different approach. So with Buzzcast, we have a loose outline of the topics we want to cover. And that's about it. But for this, there was a lot more planning involved to know, when I interviewed people, what questions to ask to make sure I would get the audio clips I needed to put the story together.

Alban:

Okay, so step one, you got the overall story arc, you identified who you need to interview what questions you are going to include. But the way it goes, it's not like separate interviews in a row. You're interweaving a lot of interviews, how many interviews did you do? And then how, how did you kind of find the pieces that you want to take us in each section?

Travis:

So I think all together, there were nine people on that episode. So myself and then eight others, which is a lot. So I have to give a lot of credit to Eric Newsom. Because his book make noise. He outlines how they do this story based podcast editing at NPR. And luckily, I had actually read that book over the weekend on vacation. Yeah, like totally legit, was not expecting to have to use any of it. But I was just like, Oh, this is a good book to read. I'll reread it. So what I did was I knew who was involved in which pieces of the story. And so I had a list of four or five questions. I was asking each person and I would ask like, Okay, give me step by step. What happened? But I would also ask, Well, how did it feel when that was happening? Or what? What were you thinking? What was going on in your head? Because that's the part that's more interesting, right? If you just say, this happened, and this happened, and this happened, that's not very compelling. But as soon as you introduce the human element of this is what it was like to experience this as it was happening, that becomes a lot more fascinating, right? Because even if you're describing a step by step DDoS, a counter attack, if you're not a programmer, like I don't care. But if you explain what it's like to have this existential dread of we're in between attacks, and it can come back at any moment. And we're just like waiting and like gearing up and getting ready and trying to be prepared, knowing what's at stake with our podcasters. And just doing everything that we can to be ready, it's like, you can feel that even if you've never been in that position. So that's how I was asking those questions. And then as far as what pieces to put where I printed like 60 pages of transcripts, whoa, so I ran every single transcript through otter, for every single recording, it was something like five hours of raw interviews. And I just read through them, because it's a lot easier to read transcripts than to listen to through to the audio. So I would read through the transcripts for all the interviews that I did. And I would highlight the sections I thought were relevant. And I had also divided the episode into chapters. So if you actually look at the episode, you'll see there's chapter markers. And so I was also identifying which chapter of the episode that particular clip was relevant for. And then I just took scissors and literally cut out those segments and put them in piles. So I had all of the clips for chapter one in a pile all the clips for chapter two in a pile, like laid out on a table. And then I just started rearranging them. And I said, Okay, well, what if I put this clip before this clip? Or what if I add this person story instead of this person's story, and I just started rearranging them on paper. And I would read through the transcripts in the order that I'd laid them out and say, Does this make sense? Does this flow Am I repeating something doesn't need to be repeated? am I adding details that are not actually adding to the story, but are just distracting from the story. And so that's how I actually assembled the rough cut, because then I was able to pull in the audio recordings. And no, because the transcripts gives you a timestamp, if you were in an otter, the timestamps of where the phrases sterlin stops that I wanted for the final episode. And so I was able to easily pull clips out of the audio files, and then put them since I was recording it and editing it and Hindenburg and like a right sidebar of like these bins, these little folders you can drop it into. And then I was able to just pull it into the main episode feed. So that's how I was able to manage five hours of interviews and Nick come together in a coherent way.

Alban:

Alright, so now you've got you ran the transcripts, through otter, you've printed it all out, you've kind of cut it up, thrown them into different piles, so that you can organize them. And then I assume, then you actually go through and you put those clips into a coherent story, like you put it into the audio. And that was when I know you, that was the first time I saw it again. So I did my interview with you. And then the next day and a half later, you're like, here's the rough cut. And it was just basically all those pieces of paper you threw into piles put in an order made back into audio, and then he passed it to us. There's still a lot of work after even that I know one of my flaws with seeing any type of creative work is appreciating how much the actual final Polish adds to things. And in the beginning, you don't want to have these very clean transitions from one clip to the next. You're not fading anything, you're not editing really for content. You're just getting it into the order. And so you passed that rough draft to me, I think to Kevin, and I remember hearing going Oh, there's a lot of little things. Little that I realized you basically were getting the whole like skeleton into place before you added the finishing touches.

Travis:

Right? Well, because you know, when we're editing it at multiple levels, right, so at that point, that rough, that cut of the episode was something like 50 minutes, 48 or 50 minutes. And so the idea was here are all of the possible recorded audio pieces that will make it into the episode. And we're gonna cut from there. So because this was something we were reviewing as a team, I wanted you guys to be able to listen to everything we could possibly include that would fit the story that we were telling to then be able to say, okay, we're not going to put this piece in. We're going to cut this detail out. This is irrelevant. This isn't something where we want to share for security reasons, whatever the case was. But then also you don't want to spend a lot of time polishing something that ends up getting on the cutting room floor anyways. Right? So I think at that point, I might have had music the intro, but like no other music Stick bed involved. I hadn't done anything to the pacing, there were still lots of filler words, lots of lots of audio mishaps and like, levels all over the place. But yeah, the idea was, here is now we're going to start refining and polishing to turn into what will be the final episode?

Alban:

Well, the difference for me what between you had that kind of outline, and or the rough draft, and my main thing that I gave you was, the sounds good, levels are kind of nutty. And your pieces felt pretty slow. Did you end up pre recording those because like, the whole thing was a bit slower. And then the Polish version you came back with the next day was like, night and day different, at least to me.

Travis:

So there's a couple of different ways you can approach it. I'll talk about how I approached it. Because we only had three days to do it. I didn't script anything. So normally, with a story based podcast, like what we're doing, you would actually write scripts for the narrator. And you say, Okay, these are the final audio clips that are going in. So then what is the narrator need to say, to connect these different clips, to make it a cohesive story. And so instead, what I was doing, is, I would listen to the clip that would precede what I was gonna say, knowing where I was going next, and where I fit into the story. And I would just start recording. And I would actually, instead of recording entire thoughts, I record like a couple words at a time, or a sentence or a thoughts. And so when I gave that to you, it was essentially like the cobbled together. Words I was saying, but I had not done any editing to the pacing of it, of removing silences, cutting out filler words, cleaning it up, to artificially make it sound like it was a script, even though it's just freeform and there was lots of gaps in between.

Alban:

It would be interesting to play people like what how different that sounds. I don't know if we have space in this episode, we probably can't. But you were talking something like this. On February 18, Buzzsprout, was attacked with a DDoS attack. Here's what it was like for us a Buzzsprout. And then like, Priscilla kind of comes in very, like her audio is pretty loud. And then the next is like back to you very quiet. And then back to me moderately loud. And like very fast talking and then back to you slow. And all that like there's a lot of improvement. Man, when you start leveling things. I think that's probably why we're all big fans of magic mastering or just doing leveling on your own. Because that stuff makes a huge difference. Alright, last question. Audio bets. Talk to me a little bit about audio bats, because you did a lot of them. And they very much changed the tone of the episode.

Travis:

Yeah, so you can do a lot with an audio bet. And so an audio but if you're not familiar with it is essentially anything. It's not like verbal words. So that's music, at sound effects, those kind of things. And so the goal of an audio bet is to set the mood, right. So if you're telling a story, and you're trying to communicate a point, or you're trying to give it a certain feel, you want the music you use to reflect that it's very similar to the advice we give for people when they're choosing Intro music, right. It's like well choose Intro music that fits the vibe of your show. If you have a homeschool podcast, don't choose a Metallica cover band.

Alban:

It's a very rad homeschool.

Travis:

You have very, very read homeschool. And so we knew that because this episode was talking about a cyber attack, that we wanted to have that kind of like electronic feel to it. But also, we were framing it as like this mystery that we were unpacking through the episode. At the very beginning. Buzzsprout is down and we don't know why. And then over the episode, you're discovering more about what's really going on. And so you get to the end when it resolves. And so we wanted it to kind of come through as like that kind of Mystery Show. And so the idea was, you know, how do we mix like a cyberpunk meets Stranger Things vibe. And so that was the vibe when I was going through sound stripe, which was the royalty free music licensing site that we used for that episode and is listening for like three or four hours to all these different music tracks. And I would listen through them and I would ask, okay, what is the mood of this communicates? What is the tone this communicates? What is the pacing? Where would this fit in the episode, and I would just take notes like okay, this track could be good for an intro this track could be good for like, you know, I feel good section, this track would be good for like building up to something, you know, important. And I would just go through that and I'm sampling all these audio tracks. And so then I would download 15 or 20 music tracks that I knew were possible candidates to make it into the episode. And then I would just try them like I would just load them up. play the clip with the audio underneath and ask myself how does this feel? Does this communicate the emotion that I'm trying to convey? In this particular part of the story, or not, and just rinse and repeat. So there were like four or five different intros to that episode, before we settled on the one that had that very like eerie, dissonant kind of feel to it. And even like towards the end, where you and Priscilla, were talking about the response from our community of podcasters, that music was hard to figure out because that was more like, inspirational. Like we wanted it to communicate the sense of like, we're building to this really high points, that even though all this crazy stuff just happened, like our podcasters are still with us. It's like, how do you communicate that in music, and not have it come across as like super cheesy, or make it sound like stock music. So that was the approach to picking the songs. But as far as where they went, we only used music when the story shifted. And so it was also using it as an audio cue to let the listener know, something different is about to happen. And the reason that's helpful is because it creates for momentum in your episode, that it helps your listener understand that you're making progress in the story. The other reason it's helpful is because then it doesn't become overplayed. Like you'll hear podcasts where the entire episode has music under it, and it completely loses the effect. Right, it just becomes background noise that you filter out. So we wanted the music to play a character in the episode to help shape the emotion of the story beats. And so we were very selective in where we used it and how we used it, and how we did the fades and the crossfades and the crescendos and decrescendos to really fit the pacing that we were putting into the episode. Because we were also I was also like chopping words, chopping spaces, making things faster, slower, artificially in the Edit. So that way, the episode itself has a momentum, regardless of the cadence that the person was using when I was talking to them. Because when you interview multiple people, they all talk at different speeds. So how do you make it feel like it's a part of a cohesive episode? It's by going word by word phrase by phrase and making it sound like it's being spoken at the same speed.

Alban:

Well, thanks for giving us kind of the insight to how that worked out. Travis, do you think you're going to be doing more of these episodes in the future? Or is this like a one off for you that now back back to YouTube back to roundtable episodes?

Travis:

Well, I mean, it seems like people liked it. So that episode has only been out for a week and a half. And it's already like our number five episode of all time on Buzzcast. So it'll it'll be number one pretty quickly. I think some of that is because what we talked about, but then I think also, it was it was a format. That was a nice surprise. So I could totally see us doing similar things like that in the future. And that'd be a lot of fun. A lot of fun to work on if we have an opportunity to make that happen. Well, great. Well,

Alban:

thanks to everybody who listened to the episode, everyone who participated and obviously to Travis for doing all the work and editing it all together. If you haven't listened to it, we will leave a link in the show notes. Until next time, keep podcasting

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