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Wikiloopers Focused Community Podcast

posted on #1
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Hi everyone!
So I know I'm new here and I hope I'm not overstepping my newbie status here, but I have a lot of time on my hands I would like to fill some of it getting to know more about wikiloopers as artists and people. I find this place fascinating and the music and artists and community of respect here exceptional.
I apologize in advance if this idea has already been done or tried before and I am not aware of it. So I'm thinking of starting a Wikiloopers (name can be changed) podcast to feature some music and interviews from people in the wikiloops community. No one will get famous or even paid so need for competition on the site and this will not be an official wikiloops podcast at all so Richard and the moderators should only be invited to be guests for interviews as artists and maybe a little about the site, in my opinion. I don't want to make this turn into any sort of competition and the audience will likely mostly be other wikiloopers so we are not "selling" anything to anyone. It's just an idea for a way to contribute to the community in a long-form conversation with some songs featured from artists interviewed. There will be no need to feel left out or anything cause if it's done right the podcast can be available for other members to host and add to so it's not like anyone one person, certainly not me or anyone else is "in charge of". I don't mind kicking it off but thought it could be passed around just like we do on the tracks.
For example, I find a cheap hosting platform outside of this site so it's not officially endorsed and find an artist brave enough to go on first as a guest and we connect over zoom or whatever using good mics recording into a DAW, we talk about their musical journey, what they like about wikiloopers, whatever comes up. This is not an advertisement idea for wikiloops although it may bring in some new members if they discover it but it could be a way to hear more about the artists we often listen to on Wiki and learn more about their experiences in life and music.
I would say to minimize the competition factor, I would want the guest to choose their own favorite collaboration to play that they are a part of and maybe 3 others they like from others they don't play on so the attention can go any direction they choose. I don't think the host should choose any songs to minimize their own influence or maybe just one as the honor of being host.
Also maybe keep it around an hour-long unless the conversation just seems to be interesting past that and focused on music in general. All kinds of questions could be submitted to this thread for the host to ask the guest.
Lastly, in order to choose who hosts it and who is the first guest, I think we can just leave it up to luck on who sees this post and likes the idea and is brave enough to say "I'll be a guest". Then we go in order or replies or just whoever wants to interview whoever can just go for it. We could maybe have a couple of guests/artists per episode if needed. I can host first I guess, but I'm happy to just help behind the scenes if anyone else would like to volunteer to kick it off as host. No need for it to be weekly if that doesn't feel right, but weekly would be fantastic so we can feature more artists and hosts.

This should be easy to make, fun to do and listen to, and overall controlled by the community as another way to "jam". It does not need to be "professional" and will Not make anyone any money. A new episode can be added to the site any time anyone wants to add one and as long as all the music is original and on wikiloops than it will serve it's purpose and not disrupt the delicate balance already on Wiki between being an artist who adds tracks/remixes vs being a fan who wants to know more about their favorite artists.
Anyone think this is a good idea and can we get a "I second this idea!" or even better " I'll be brave/crazy and host it first" and another person to say "I'll be the brave first guest!"
Much love to you all!!
Edited by sami on October 12 2020 00:35
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #2
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Here's a great translation tool if you want to translate this text or anything to most major languages. https://www.deepl.com/translator
Edited by sami on October 12 2020 00:34
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #3
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I think it's a cracking idea, Sami and echoes some ideas I've had over the years to give back to the Wikiloops community. If you need someone to test drive it, give me a shout. Yes, that's me putting my hand up...
If you make a mistake, do it again and make it look like you meant to do it!
posted on #4
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Thank you mpointon! So glad to see that and glad you like the idea too. Let's wait a bit and see if anyone strongly objects or if there is some concern/advice we can learn from and if someone else would be comfortable hosting the first one instead of me. I've never done anything like that before, to be honest.
I also want to be clear this is NOT a talent competition in any way and people that picked up an instrument yesterday or are fans only would also make terrific guests!!
All are welcome seems to be the wiki ethos and that would carry over to this too.
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #5
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I think it's a great idea to feature specific musicians. However, we must remember that it's a world wide group and English is not everyone's first language. That means that it may be necessary to have hosts who are mainly asking questions to speakers of the same language. Unless subtitled it will only have relevance to the same language group. Doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. Music is definitely our universal language, so if primarily a showcase of that person's music it may not matter. Also if the dialogue is short it's less work to subtitle.

It will be interesting to see how much of a following this generates as it puts focus from the music back to the musicians themselves. What makes our fellow musicians tick?

I'd be happy to help but have a major time difference compared to most others.

Happy and curious!
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posted on #6
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Really good point about the language issue. Yeah I can see how that could be a barrier to entry both for guests and for the hosts not to mention the listeners. It is fair to say that English, even beginner English, can be said to be the global language so I guess that would be a starting point but I wonder how that can be less of an issue using subtitles or maybe even someone just writing replies as a text so the podcast is more written and only the music part and the least amount of subtitling is needed. Like a written blog to go with each audio podcast with questions and answers written transcribed from the podcast. The audio of the conversation would be available in the language recorded with links to the songs chosen to be featured. So that way we can have speakers of any language available to host and be guests.
Hmmm.

Also glad to see you like the idea too Wade!
Edited by sami on October 12 2020 00:48
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #7
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great idea sami! would love to learn more about fellow 'loopers in a podcast format :)
posted on #8
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sami wrote:
Really good point about the language issue. Yeah I can see how that could be a barrier to entry both for guests and for the hosts not to mention the listeners. It is fair to say that English, even beginner English, can be said to be the global language so I guess that would be a starting point but I wonder how that can be less of an issue using subtitles or maybe even someone just writing replies as a text so the podcast is more written and only the music part and the least amount of subtitling is needed. Like a written blog to go with each audio podcast with questions and answers written transcribed from the podcast. The audio of the conversation would be available in the language recorded with links to the songs chosen to be featured. So that way we can have speakers of any language available to host and be guests.
Hmmm.

Also glad to see you like the idea too Wade!


I agree there's a language barrier. But, for example, YouTube has pretty good automated subtitle/translation capabilities which would probably be the easiest solution to the problem. It's far from perfect but generally one can understand what it is saying.

And as Wade said, conducting any chats, where possible, in the interviewee's native language would make it more inclusive so it goes both ways - we would read the translated subtitles in English.
Edited by mpointon on October 12 2020 10:10
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posted on #9
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Good idea sami :) Count me in as a guest if you wish :)

Edit:
(I had some questions but I edited them out as that became clearer after Dick's post)
Edited by wjl on October 12 2020 17:40
posted on #10
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Hey everybody,

First, (to answer samis initial post) let me quickly answer some of his thoughts:
Of course something vaguely similar to your idea has been at some point considered and discussed before, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't consider having such a podcast-like format.
I absolutely appreciate the initiative, and your awareness that we have to steer clear of creating feelings of competition by seemingly choosing our favorite artists only for such a format reassures me you have a good understanding of what could go wrong here.
To make it clear that the podcast is user-created and not some sort of wikiloops publication is a good starting point and leaves you with a lot more freedom to see how things evolve - and we still have all kinds of options to make that podcast visible on wikiloops.

So, I'd support the idea, and yes, I'd be available as a guest, too.

After reading the already added posts and the thoughts added, I'd like to offer my 2 cents worth of advice.
I do have some experience in starting things like this, and I'd hate to see you get stuck in one of the pitfalls I'll point at next.
I'll try to suggest a creative solution to avoid the pitfalls wherever possible, I'm really not out to kill your motivation on this.
So, here's my list of pitfalls:
- Effort is huge
Creating a one hour podcast that includes an interview is approx eight hours of work, and then you still don't have that catchy cover-image for this weeks episode (important when its shared on social media!) and all the side thingies attached to publishing anything on the internet these days...
It will take a few episodes until you reach a note-able audience that will make you feel the effort is worth it, and you will take several episodes to get used to the workflow, get used to finding people to interview and getting them set up to record the interview.
If you really plan to switch the host of the show as well as the guests, then each show will start with an inexperienced host and a surprise guest - hard to tell if that will be a somewhat consistent podcast format.
I wouldn't switch hosts, that's adding too much complication to an already quite time intensive project.
Do it yourself and establish the format by role-modelling. Keep your format to yourself, and you/we can still encourage other users to become hosts of their own format of a podcast around wikiloops, possibly in another language, that'd be my advice.

- Transcriptions
Valid to mention the language barriers on wikiloops, absolutely.
But: Way too much effort if its done manually, and requiring some extra tech skills when done automated (the result needs review!) - that in a "switching hosts" scenario? no way friends, sorry.
People comment and exchange in english on wikiloops, postpone the transcription issue to podcast number 12, if you get that far and if there is listener interest, add the transcription feature later (sorry if that's bold, just don't over-complicate the task at first).
I agree that a lot of users will probably not be available for being interviewed live in english, that is true.
But: To find a host and a guest for a let's say dutch-spoken podcast would be even harder, and to establish an audience that accepts that the language spoken in the podcast is changing from episode to episode... it is not likely to work folks.
On the other hand: If both the host and the guest are non-native english speakers, and if the host clearly features some accent, then that would be no flaw in my book.
If it is part of the format that people have to help each other by asking "is that how you say that in english?", then that might as well be a nice feature, feel very human and underline people are willing to cross language barriers (we actually have such radio shows in germany, where one can tell the host is not a native german speaker, that does have some charm and people like it).
That approach would definitely reach a larger audience, too, and you could still make sure to edit any "totally lost in translation" moments from the interviews.

As you can tell, I'd suggest a pragmatic approach which is open for enhancements at some later time.
Don't get stuck waiting for users to suggest whom to interview or what to ask - if there are no suggestions, move on and interview whom you like and ask what you feel is interesting, then learn from user feedback to the created episode.
People will comment "I wish you had asked about XY!" below your podcast, just don't get stuck depending on participation before anything is ever getting done.
You don't want to get in the position where we name 15 users you should interview (and of course I'd secretly expect you will feature my suggestion right the next episode!), and you find out 10 aren't even answering your requests, three don't want to be interviewed in english and the two remaining ones can't get their skype to work right now... what do you do then? Pitfall alarm there :)

I'd be happy to supply a list of potentially interesting questions to ask if that is something you'd be interested in,
and I hope you can handle my feedback - I'd love to see it happen.

We should talk about hosting the podcast, too, if you like.
Taking it to some external provider is just as fine with me, but if you are in need of free hosting for the format, I'd be up to set you up with that.
posted on #11
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Cool idea Sami, I see that Dick has given you some good pointers - I am curious to see what comes out of it. One thing I was thinking (and that's just me thinking aloud): Is one hour not a bit long? Do people actually listening to one hour of podcast? I always thought in these days everything is fast and people losing attention quickly. In any case, I have no experience with podcats, so I am happy to learn.

So I am too putting my hand up if you need me :)
Edited by TeeGee on October 12 2020 17:31
posted on #12
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Thanks you very much Dick for that excellent breakdown of exactly what this project would require. The time commitment for the "host" is a lot and I was hoping that by switching the host often it would lower the cost of time to any one person having to remain as the host and put in so much time. With 400 or so active wikiloopers that could be guests and 8 hours per podcast of "work" that's way too much for me to commit to. I might be willing to get things started off and just do as much as I feel motivated to do and if I decide to stop for any reason maybe someone could pick up where I leave off. I also don't know if I would be a good host or not. That's a lot to consider. Maybe if there was a written format for this where we make a form of questions and people just write their own answers including links to tracks they recommend and that form result could be shown in the forum like a "Get to know your fellow Wikiloopers" section so that way anyone can answer the form and hit submit without a host at all and that would also solve the language barrier problem. Not quite as "entertaining" as a well-made podcast, but at least it would be open to everyone, require much much less time, and still give everyone a chance to learn more about each other. Would that be something Wikiloops could host and code into the site? No audio, just text and links to songs.
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #13
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sami wrote:
... a "Get to know your fellow Wikiloopers" section so that way anyone can answer the form and hit submit without a host at all and that would also solve the language barrier problem. Not quite as "entertaining" as a well-made podcast, but at least it would be open to everyone, require much much less time, and still give everyone a chance to learn more about each other. Would that be something Wikiloops could host and code into the site? No audio, just text and links to songs.


I think the normal user profile page has that already Sami - you can introduce yourself there, and also place some favourite jams... :)
posted on #14
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Fair enough, well it was worth considering, but without sharing hosting duties/work with others, I would not be able to dedicate 8 hours per podcast so I think I'll have to let go of this idea and just check out the about me sections and leave it at that. Thanks for the feedback.
Sami aka Serrasa
posted on #15
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Hey,
sorry if my pointing towards some pitfalls seems to have scared you away, guess the mentioning of "8 hours work per episode" kind of looks scary. I'd say it is a more or less realistic time window to negotiate, interview, cut & edit, re-listen, mix & upload one hour of audio. If you think how much time can go into recording a four minute remix, that estimate seems not too far off IMO. It doesn't really have to feel like work tho, and if you don't put the pressure of "I have to release one episode per week" onto yourself but reduce to "I'll try to do one episode per quarter of the year", the mission may feel a little more possible.
I was just wanting to stop adding additional features such as transcriptions before you realized the time consumption of one podcast.
One might as well split the work between the host (who would contact the guest, record the interview and pick the songs) and the engineer (who would assemble & cut all audio material), but I still feel this would need a fixed anchor-person as a host, and a fixed engineer who does the post-production... there certainly are ways to do something like this collaboratively, it definitly takes some dedication to get if off the hook tho, which is -in all honesty- why we do not have such a format so far. Don't give up too quickly, who knows what others may have to offer in the course of this discussion.
So far, you have an idea that is supported,
you have an offer for technical help as far as webserver-hosting is concerned,
you have some potential volunteers as guests... that's not a bad start at all IMO. Courage! ;)
Edited by Dick on October 12 2020 22:41
posted on #16
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Yeah I agree it's still a good idea and I''m thinking about it. I just had my mind set on passing it around like we do the tracks so that you would hear not just more from a new guest but basically the host and guest would kind of interview each other so the host wouldn't have the burden of all the work and also not the burden of being the decision maker on who gets chosen to be the guest. That part in particular makes me nervous personally especially since I'm very new here and have never hosted a podcast before so I might not be entertaining enough to take on the role of the head of the of the podcast. I might try it though and if it feels right and people like it, maybe I could keep it going for a while.
I strongly encourage someone else to also consider taking the idea, especially if you have any experience hosting and/or you have been around long enough to know the community and who to call on, etc. I also would be happy to help with the mixing, etc.
Sami aka Serrasa
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