Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Archive for November 2012

More Gear

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Setting up to do call in interviews from other locations is not a simple prospect.  Telos and JK Audio both make telephone interface boxes that turn the call into an audio signal that audio software like Audacity or Adobe Audition or Garageband can see.  Those boxes can cost hundreds.  Radio Shack has a cheapie $20 box that does the same thing.  But for that, you also need a mixer that lets you put the telephone on one channel and a separate microphone on another.  Without it and the mic, you’re interviewing through the telephone and can’t control levels.  Also, I now understand the importance of a telephone with a hold button.  Hold buttons keep the call connected but without the phone being off the hook.  Once you press hold, the mixer and the software and the box pick up the call and it’s nice and clean and balanced.  So, the gear is no joke.  That is, if you’re serious about being and sounding professional.

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Written by Interviewer

November 29, 2012 at 01:33

Posted in Scratchpad

Tweaking the Site

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Spent the whole day working on the site.  Originally, I had created a page with a video player, a chatroom and an archive.  I even thought about adding RSS.  But when I looked at it again, I thought “that’s too much crap.”  So what was the most important thing?  The past interviews and nothing else.  So everything else went.  And I designed the page in such a way so that a visitor could choose between listening to the 30-second promo about the interview or the interview itself.  It’s cleaner and I think it’ll make for a simpler and better experience for the user.  Also went to the “Learn More” page where the FAQs and the Privacy Policy and Terms are, and cleaned up all the grammatical mistakes I could find.  And I figured out how to upload the new site with http://FTP.  Finally, I changed the scheduling program to give me more time between interviews, and “POOF” I was done.  Well, not exactly poof, but I’m done and pretty pleased.  The URL is http://www.convers.us.

Written by Interviewer

November 26, 2012 at 12:38

Posted in Scratchpad

Taking a Break

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Blogging isn’t easy to do if it’s not your only outlet.  I focus a lot on my Soundcloud account.  That’s where I put all of the interviews I do, and I spend a lot of time finding them, editing them, posting them and promoting them.  For every interview, I scour the Internet and create contact lists dozens of addresses long to send the interview to in hopes that 1) They’ll listen to it, 2) They’ll forward it to someone who will listen to it and 3) A listener will decide, “I’d like them to interview me.”

So between that, and my Twitter account, which is my primary way to reach out to interested folks, and updating Buffer to make sure I have a presence on Twitter when I’m sleeping, I almost have no time to blog.  But I do feel good blogging right now.

Both of my computers are dying.  They’re both more than 6 years old and one of them is going on 9 years.  Workhorses!  One is an HP Compaq Desktop and the other is an Acer Laptop.  I’ve banged that laptop around for years and it just troops onward.  But they both are starting to freeze, and that might mean the HDs are starting to go.  I’ve defragmented both, CHKDSK for both, deleted a bunch of unnecessary programs for both and they are hanging in.  But I need a backup for both.

And I think I may try Linux for at least one of them since Windows still has this propensity to crash because somebody sneezes in Fiji.  Anyway, I’m able to go out and interview folks now with a table set up.  And I hope to soon be able to connect with interviewees via Skype.  Finally, the website is looking good now that I’ve created a sixth page that will be the archive, show video snippets of interviews and be a chat room for people to talk about interviewing, interviews and being an interviewee.  It’s one of those ubiquitous things that people never talk about, I think.  I think most people think they don’t have anything important to say, or they think nobody will want to hear it.  But people have amazing, extraordinary lives; all of us, and somebody somewhere needs to hear about it because they can learn from it.  It could even save their life to hear how somebody else saved their own.  Maybe they got out of a job that had turned poisonous and was killing them and they had to leave it.  Maybe they realized they’d made a mistake regarding their marriage or their kids and they tell how they struggled to fix it.  Maybe they need forgiveness or need to give forgiveness, and how they did it.  Maybe they were struggling with a quality of life issue, or a life-threatening issue or an end of life issue.

I want to understand stuff, but sometimes, no matter how many times I hear it, it just doesn’t click.  And then I’ll hear somebody say something in a slightly different way.  Maybe it’s their voice, or the emphasis they put on the words or maybe they strike as authentic.  But suddenly, POW, I get it.  I understand that thing, finally because somebody said it different somehow.  Or maybe they said it the same way somebody else did but I’m different.  I don’t know.  But our stories are like that.  There are no unimportant stories.  I want to hear them.  And then, I want to tell them.  http://www.convers.us.

Written by Interviewer

November 20, 2012 at 04:02