Hi there. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I announced I was looking for someone to be 'my voice' for the podcasts we will put on iTunes. Well, I was just overwhelmed with the number of responses we received, it was very humbling. With so many people volunteering, the question then was, how do we decide who should do it? We thought about holding a competition and having elimination rounds like they do on that TV show American Idol but that didn't seem fair. So what I've decided to do is let EVERYONE who wants to, read the blog and be my voice. Plus, I thought it would be nice if you could tell us all a little about yourself beforehand so we can all get to know each other better.
Before I get on to how this will work, I want to explain why I've decided to find someone else to read the blogs rather than do it myself.
As you are probably already aware, I have a good deal of trouble with reading and writing. I guess my brain's just not wired that way. Don't get me wrong, I love to write and enjoy very much the interaction we share in the comments section of the blog and love to present my ideas to you each week. However, all posts do require a certain amount of polishing before they go on the site and I'm very blessed to have various people who help me with that.
The same goes for reading. I love to tell stories and when I know a piece of text well enough, I can really put it across. However, again it's not so easy for me, even with my own writing. For example, I tried to make the recordings for Naked Liberty but it took me so long, I think I would still be doing them now if I hadn't just gotten to know Liz Mitten Ryan at the time. Liz kindly volunteered to read it for me and did a wonderful job. If you've never listened to it, there's a free chapter available on the right side of the front page underneath my picture. Go take a listen.
What is a podcast?
In case you're wondering what a podcast actually is, I asked Mark to explain it here:
A podcast is a series of audio or video (or pdf) files that are released episodically and can be downloaded (often automatically) to be listened to or watched later. It's a bit like having Tivo or your digital video recorder automatically record your favorite TV series so you can watch it at your leisure. Plus you get to keep the recordings and can therefore listen to them again and again.
The biggest podcast directory or service is of course iTunes. When you are signed up to a podcast, iTunes or whichever service you use will automatically download the latest episode to your computer for you when you next go online. If you have an iPhone or iPod, the files can be automatically transferred across to the devices from you computer when you connect them.
Confusingly, iTunes is the name of the online store and the software that you download to your computer to organise and play your music, videos and audios. If you follow the link above to iTunes, there is lots of easy to follow information there if you want to find out more.
How's this going to work?
So if you want to be 'my voice', here's Mark again to explain what you need to do:
- You need to be able to record yourself and produce an MP3 file.
- If you don't know how to do this and don't have any suitable software, I've put together this short video to walk you through it: http://www.screencast.com/t/MzM3OWMxNmE. Apologies if it gets a bit loud towards the end, I forgot I had adjusted the microphone volume!
- You will also need a microphone or headset. Amazon has a good range: These are OK: but USB headsets are usually better quality, I have these: [CLICK ON THE HEADSETS TO VIEW MORE INFO]
- Choose a blog post to record but don't necessarily go for the most recent ones. Go back through the Archives (April '09 onwards) and pick one you like. If you have Carolyn's Blog Collection, it would be great if you could choose something from there.
- PLEASE NOTE - We would like everyone to choose a different post to record. So when you are set up as above and ready to record, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice detailing the name of the blog post and its date if it is still a live blog post (April '09 onwards) or the page number if it's from the Blog Collection. If we get two people choosing the same post, we will email you back and the second person will have to choose again.
- When you have your finished MP3 file, then email it to us at email@example.com. If it is too large to email, then you can use this service: http://www.yousendit.com/. It's free to use, you just need to create an account.
- Remember, you can do a short introduction at the beginning of your recording. State your name, where you're from, what the nature of your involvement with horses is and why you like Carolyn's work. PLEASE try and keep this to under 30 seconds! Then say the name of the blog and read it nice and slowly.
So, that's it all there is to it! No, we appreciate that some of you might struggle with the technology like I do but that's part of the requirements as well because as we move forward with new blog recordings it's important you are able to cope with the technology on your own. Mark assures me though that the video is very easy to follow and so you do need to be able to get the MP3 file to us without any assistance as unfortunately we don't have the resource at the moment to help you. Sorry about that but I'm sure you can think of a friend, relative or colleague who's good with such technical things.
When the recordings come in, we will put them on a special page for you to listen to as well as broadcast them to iTunes, where they will be available to download. How exciting!
Thank you so much for your time and support and I am really looking forward to listening to your voices. Have a great weekend and happy recording!
PS. I will have news of the next Waterhole Rituals Insider Circle class for you next week