Old school podcasting audience feedback tricks

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On a recent episode of the always excellent Marketing Companion with Tom Webster and Mark Schaefer, they both ruminated about building interactivity into podcasts. The few remaining veteran podcasters from the old days have a few tricks up our sleeves that can help.

Slackershot: recording the Financial Aid Podcast

If you’re hankering for that “almost live” feeling, there is no better way to get recordings from your studio audience via Google Voice. Google Voice will send you transcripts AND audio files that people leave as voicemails from a standard phone. Audience members need no special equipment and no special skills other than leaving a coherent voicemail. Just set up a free Google Voice mailbox, publicize the number on your show’s web page and in-show, and wait for the audience feedback to trickle in.

The second way to get that “almost live” feeling that’s not quite as good is with text to speech software. Say you’ve got comments from a blog post about the show that you think would make a great audio comment, but you don’t want to go the route of reading them aloud, NPR style. With a system audio recorder (Audio Hijack for the Mac, not sure what for Windows machines) and the iSpeech extension for Chrome, you can highlight a comment on the blog, record the audio, and then insert it into your show. Here, for example, is what the extension can generate out of Tom Webster’s recent blog post on the episode:

Once you’ve got the comments in audio format, simply plop them in the show. As a bonus, you can (with full disclosure, of course) edit and trim the comments first before recording them, allowing for the ideas to shine through while still remaining compact and listenable (a problem sometimes with rambling voicemails).

Either way, both of these “tricks of the trade” are useful for bringing more audience into your audio podcast or other audio content.

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5 responses to “Old school podcasting audience feedback tricks”

  1. Tim Brechlin Avatar
    Tim Brechlin

    The closest Windows equivalent to Audio Hijack would be Audacity.

  2. Awesome. Thanks for the help to us rookies!

  3. I just signed up for Google Voice. At the risk of sounding really dense (or SHOWING I am really dense) how do you save a voice mail as an audio file suitable for using in the show?

    1. Hey Mark, they actually email you the audio file!

  4. Love that idea of using that Chrome extension! How cool is that? I’m gonna have to give it a go 🙂 I have Audio Hijack Pro already, so this should be easy peasy! Rogue Amoeba also has a much easier and lighter program that does the same thing. It’s called Piezo. The price is right as well 🙂 http://www.rogueamoeba.com/piezo/ (sorry, it’s only for the mac)

    My latest love for getting audience feedback has been SpeakPipe. I resisted for a long time because I can’t stand the little plug-in that I see on a bunch of WP sites, but I didn’t realize that you also got a landing page AND they have an iphone app.

    You get an email as soon as someone leaves a message, you can easily download a pretty decent sounding audio file AND you can respond!

    Super cool. I’ve actually been using it more for my consulting, which I find is great for quick questions 🙂 You can see what I did here http://speakpipe.com/elsie

    I’ve also bumped into another service that I hand’t heard off before called vocaroo, which also sends you an audio file. I haven’t used it as of yet, but looks incredibly simple for people to use http://vocaroo.com

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