Since 2011, Tell Us Something has produced a weekly podcast.
Every storyteller who has ever told a story on the Tell Us Something stage has had his or her story published unless they explicitly requested that it not be published.
You have been able to subscribe to the podcast using your favorite podcatcher and stream it on the website since the beginning. Initially, Tell Us Something Advisory Board member Matt LaPalm produced the podcast using Garage Band. We experimented paying someone to produce it, and that cost $35 for a 15-minute episode. After a year and almost $2,00, I decided it was time I plunked down the cash for the Adobe Creative Suite and learn how to edit the podcast myself.
What does “producing” the podcast entail? I must write the script for what I say to introduce the stories, give shout-outs to sponsors and sometimes tweak the bios that storytellers provide so that they sound natural when I read them. Then I must record that script. Then I must cut that recording together with music and the story itself. And the story that you hear on the podcast is slightly different than the one you hear at a live event.
The version you hear on the podcast has some of the “Um”s and “Ahh”s and other filler words removed. Not all of them, I want to be true to the “voice” of the storyteller’s manner of speaking. Too many “Um”s and “Ah”s and “like”s make the story difficult to listen to. At the live events, those quirks are more easily forgiven because we as listeners can see the storyteller and may not even notice those verbal tics. I also remove any “mouth clicks” that are present. Mouth clicks are unavoidable “tsk” and popping or clicking sounds that occur naturally when one opens one’s mouth to speak. They are sometimes very evident and can be distracting when listening to a recording, so I remove all of them.
Each 10-15 minute podcast requires over an hour of producing from me, from beginning to end, and I enjoy the process.
A drawback of featuring one story at a time on the podcast is that the storytellers must wait a very long time to hear their story broadcast and be able to share it with friends and family. As an example, if I had kept the original format of one story per podcast, the final storyteller from the March 20 Tell Us Something event in Missoula would not have been able to listen to her story until May 29, over two months since the live event occurred. And there was a live event in Helena on April 12. The last storyteller from that event would not have been able to hear his story until July 31, and the June 13 event would have occurred by then, backing up release dates even further.
Remembering that there are Tell Us Something live events scheduled in Missoula, Helena and soon Butte this fall, the stories would really start getting backed up.
In order to push stories out more quickly as Tell Us Something expands, the switch to the 45-ish minute format was necessary.
There may be weeks where there is no podcast published. Those weeks might be filled with some stories from the archive in the new longer format, or they may simply be rest weeks.
Please let me know what you think of the new format in the comments, or send me an email.
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