Hi there. KoPoint launched in early-2012, and we’ve been creating shows on a regular basis for almost two months solid.
We record shows five days per week, and I spend every day of week editing and writing. I work closely with small teams of content creators to produce fun, topical, episodic discussions.
While I love being a work-a-holic and am fortunate to spend my time building KoPoint, there will come a time when I am unable to produce every episode. To that end I recently created a step-by-step document aimed at assisting each producer with show creation. After sharing this with my team, I figured that our friends and colleagues might be curious about the process and that the document might make for a great ‘inside baseball’ post.
I’m having a blast working with KoPoint show hosts on each step of the production cycle:
- Production Cycle
The full KoPoint show and podcast schedule can be found here. Show’s are usually recorded in the evenings with two hosts and up to four guests seated around the big table in the KoPoint studio. The typical recording period lasts for several hours through the evening. After the raw show is in the can, hosts and guests gather at a local pub (and sometimes on the roof) to banter about the episode. Mornings are usually spent editing the previous evening’s raw file, writing show notes, and distributing the episode.
- Prep For Show
In the days prior to each episode, show hosts and guests share links and thoughts about potential topics.
- Cut Show
Five nights per week hosts and guests gather around the big table in the KoPoint studio and on Skype to record. While some elements are added in post-production, we try to record episodes as live as possible.
- Save Show
The moment show recording stops, the engineer saves each episode as a .mp3 file at 128 bit rate and a 44.1 sample rate with a human_readable_url.mp3 URL. These files are saved to our local HD and a redundant HD.
- Upload Raw Show
After shows are saved to multiple hard drives shows are uploaded to our Google Drive and our Dropbox.
- Edit Raw Show
The night of or morning after recording, a KoPoint producer edits each episode. We add production elements, tune the vocals, snip swear words, and make minor vocal adjustments. This production process takes from 1-3 hours per episode, depending on how many edits and production elements (‘pod prods’) are needed (the intros, outros, sweepers, etc).
- Write Show Notes
Each episode requires show notes. These notes help contextualize the episode, provide outbound links to in-show references, and assist in SEO, SEM, and other forms of discovery.
- Get/Add Image
An image is needed for both the post and for display in media players. Because we want our listeners to put faces with names, often candid images are grabbed by a host or guest in studio during the show recording. These images are frequently used as the episode cover art.
- Edit ID3 Tags
KoPoint uses the MP3 Tag Editor Mac application to add the episode Title, Author, and Album to the raw .mp3 file. ID3 tags help organize raw .mp3 files and display ‘proper’ information in media players like iTunes and on the iPod/iPhone.
- Upload Show to Server and SoundCloud
KoPoint serves our episodes from two different locations. We do this to create a redundant backup online, as well as to serve multiple audiences. The pure podcast is served on the website and in traditional RSS readers by including a link to the .mp3 file on each individual post. SoundCloud powers the embeddable player and the iTunes feed.
- Create Post with Image
Show notes are posted for review as drafts to our server. On both our website and SoundCloud each draft gets a dash-separated-url, Categories (‘Sets’ in SoundCloud), Tags, a featured image, and a blurb.
- Grab Short URL for Blurb
After publishing, prior to distribution a short-URL is generated for each post. This short-url is used across the social web and in episode blurbs.
- Distribute Post
The final step in the process is to post the show across the social web, with emphasis on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.
So: that’s the process. I’m sure there’s tons of room for refinement. I’m also bursting at the seams to start making bigger and better pod prods, launching a new show or two this summer, integrating video, and developing blog and written longform content.
Tons to do, indeed!
Thanks for listening,