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A restful Labor Day weekend; thoughts on podcasting

Sep 4, 2006 • general

I had a restful labor day weekend. I can't say I thought much about technical writing, but I have been thinking more about podcasting. It's something I want to do, but putting together a show requires quite a bit of effort.

After a long deliberation about the best way to record a meeting, I decided it's best to get a lapel mic attached to a digital recorder, and then ask the speaker to repeat any questions given by the audience. I could create another digital mic for audience members to pass around, but doing so would require me to splice in their questions into the other audio track -- not the most convenient thing to do. It would probably take about 2 hours, if there were 20 questions. I'm not sure that's worth it.

The only other solution would be to get a mixing board, hook two microphones into it, and then plug it into a digital recorder. But then you'd have the speaker on a leash, unless you used a wireless lapel mic. I actually bought a wireless lapel mic and tried it out, but it sounded nasally and fuzzy -- I took all the equipment back.

On another note, I also have a $180 credit at Radio Shack (I took back a birthday present). Strangely, after wandering around in there and another store, I really didn't see anything I needed. I love my iRiver MP3 player, which I got off eBay for $100. Almost no MP3 player these days comes with a microphone jack. I have no idea why. I thought I wanted to buy a PDA, but they are practically extinct at electronics stores.

This weekend I've also been coping with massive data loss. It's not so bad, actually. I had about 7 years of data on that hard drive, and I don't feel like paying $800-$1,000 to extract it. Luckily I had FTP'd our photos -- otherwise that would have been tragic. I tend to live in the current moment, always reading new material and trying new things. I can't say that I would one day reread all of the essays I wrote that were never published, but I would have liked to. One day I will probably screw up the STC Suncoast chapter site and lose all the data -- somehow the internet will have to carry on. In a way it is liberating.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.