After we finished recording our pilot episode, A, S and I debriefed both on the day on Skype, and the next day on WhatsApp. We came up with some suggestions to keep in mind for next time.
1) We need to write and/or be aware of transitions when moving from one segment to the next.
2) We need to decide who is going to end the episode and how. Our ending was extremely awkward.
3) We don’t need detailed segment outlines since we always have a lot more to add than we planned for (Despite this, I’m a 100% confident that I’m still going to over-prepare for future epsiodes)
4) It worked brilliantly to meet before recording the episode in order to talk about the themes and ideas we’re interested in, what segments we’d like to have, and then assigning segment leads so that everyone knew which segment they would be in charge of. I’m definitely going to suggest replicating this with guest episodes too.
5) We need to be better about noting down the names of the people we’re citing from the texts we’re discussing. S also suggested weaving quotes throughout the next episodes.
We didn’t end up using the second text A suggested or talking about all the themes we had discussed. This makes my completist heart super uncomfortable. However, we did talk about things we hadn’t planned on, so I can’t complain and/or plan too much. We may end up including the unused text in a future episode. We’re still trying to figure out what works best in terms of the format and the number of texts we discuss and how we discuss them. I’m going to add all the text resources we discuss in the transcript to encourage feedback and multiple interpretations from listeners.
I’m uncomfortable with being in sole control of the editing process since it will be up to me to decide what’s necessary and what’s not. Especially since this designated importance may change when I’m analysing the episodes where something I’d edited out may end up being important after all. I’m deliberately choosing to keep the content of our conversations as unedited as possible. I don’t want to edit the awkwardness out since as a researcher, I’m also interested in the learning process – how we begin and how we evolve as podcasters. At the same time, I’m aware that I want to make the podcast engaging and inclusive so as to invite diverse voices and perspectives to respond to our conversations. Making it an unpleasant listening experience may be counterproductive and even border on a vanity project. Which is why I’m comfortable editing out the fillers, hesitations, and mistakes. I’m not going to conduct a linguistic analyses of the episodes, which is why the content matters more. However, I’m also going to retain the unedited versions of both the audio file and the text transcript just in case.
As a picture book editor, A believes there’s merit in good editing, and suggests I edit out conversations which are superfluous and not entertaining. I agree about the importance of editing when the podcast (or book or video) is a proper media production where good editing creates a better impact. However, since the podcast is my PhD project, I’m less interested in it as a media product since it simply acts as a vehicle for our conversations and ideas. If I continue doing this podcast outside the PhD (which I would very much like to), I’ll make editing a bigger priority.