The Knitgrrl Show: input wanted

by Shannon on November 4, 2007

I’ve been getting a lot of really negative feedback on the podcast recently, so much so that I’ve considered calling it a day.

First and foremost among the concerns is sound quality. The application I use to produce the podcast is designed to enable callers, which is why I liked it. No one else was doing that, and I thought it would help further the dialogue between the guests and the knitting public. Immediately after the podcast ends, it automatically uploads to iTunes, giving me no chance to edit or take anything out. What you hear is what you get.

Now, I’ve tried running some postproduction on the actual MP3 files to improve the sound balance, but seriously — without being in a proper studio, I don’t think it will ever be perfect. And with the exception of the Kim Werker episode, my guests and I aren’t in the same city, let alone the same room, which makes quality control that much more difficult. If you want to check out the edited files, go to the show page and click their “listen to MP3″ links. They’re better, perhaps, but again — not perfect. I’d welcome ideas/help if you have any to share.

I only have so many hours in a day, and it’s pointless to allocate resources to projects — no matter how fun I find them to be — if you don’t care for them. This is, after all, my job. With that in mind, I’m working on an end-of-year survey that hopefully will help me target my time better in 2008, and I hope you’ll take it when it’s posted.

As for Amy’s question in the previous post’s comments: I’m NaKniSweMo’ing with Cascade 220. Only a few rows so far but they’re 360 sts each!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

mk November 4, 2007 at 5:18 pm

I’ve been enjoying the podcasts, but the sound quality is limiting for me. I usually listen during my commute, and even with my noise-canceling earbuds, I can barely hear The Knitgrrl Show. Bums me out – you have great guests and I love the interviews! If you wanted to scale back the number of podcasts you did, or switch to running the interviews as print, I’d understand.

Amy November 4, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Hi Shannon–I think you’re interview theme is innovative and the call-in ability really makes it unique, but it poses some definite challenges. People can’t necessarily be there to call in, there’s the whole phone quality, etc. What if you didn’t make it a live call-in show, but instead used something like Odeo to let people call in their questions in advance… then you could interview the guest, edit everything together and have a program that’s admittedly less spontaneous, but easier on the ears? Just a thought… Honey you do so much wonderful stuff that if you thought your talents are better served elsewhere, I’m sure we’d all understand if the podcast had to go, but I would miss it!

*hugs*

Amy

Carie November 4, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Hi Shannon

I’m sorry you’ve been getting negative reactions for all your hard work because I for one really enjoy listening to the podcast. Yes the sound quality isn’t perfect but it doesn’t affect the pleasure I get in listening to it and it’s clear that it’s a radio show being popped onto the internet – the sound quality is similar to the Webs podcast which I think is also a local radio show. If it’s more hassle than it’s worth then we’ll understand if you want to call it a day but I think lots of people do enjoy it – they’re just (like me) a little lapse in letting you know! :)
Carie

Shannon November 4, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the comments so far — I’m trying not to have a pity party over here, because that’s not the point — I really do welcome feedback, though when it’s about something I have no control over, it’s super frustrating. Maybe taking it off live broadcast is the way to go about it, but I have gotten some email/IM tips on other things to try first, and will be testing them asap.

Keep the application/service/equipment tips coming, I will try out as many as are feasible!

As for print, MK, maybe it’s time to transcribe the existing ones? I hadn’t thought to do that, but certainly could. Thanks for the idea.

Michelle November 4, 2007 at 8:30 pm

HI Shannon, I’ve been enjoying the podacast! I like the interview style. the sound is sometimes a bit of a problem but not enough to make me stop listening! I too can be lax at posting when I enjoy.

Andrea November 4, 2007 at 11:15 pm

I have really enjoyed your podcasts. Your enthusiasm and joy is contagious. I enjoy your choice of guests and how you ask questions that are different from the other knit themed pod-casts. For example your interview with Amy Singer was relaxed and fun, you asked questions that I hadn’t heard in other interviews. Don’t be so hard on your self and let what others say “roll off your back”

monogirl November 4, 2007 at 11:25 pm

I have just recently discovered your podcast and I enjoy them very much. Personally, I haven’t had too many issues with the sound quality since I mainly listen with headphones. Being a new listener I’ve had the opportunity to listen to two or three casts in one go and I noticed you don’t seem have that many callers. Your interviews are really well done and while the idea of a call in show is a good one maybe it would be more feasible to ax the live aspect. If it becomes too much to manage yourself you could try putting the word out for a volunteer editor. I hear that other podcasts do that. Good luck to you!

Kate November 5, 2007 at 8:31 pm

I don’t personally have much of a problem with the audio. Like Carie said, I think most people understand why. I don’t know how much I enjoy the call in feature – especially since I’m an international listener, and there’s absolutely no way I could call in anyway. Maybe you could announce who you will be interviewing next time on each show, and have an odeo button or voicemail line where people can leave audio questions or comments for the guest? I think that would work almost as well, and would open it up for a lot of people.

I feel bad now, for leaving criticism the other day. I hope you didn’t think I was rude, or anything – I try not to leave negative comments because the nature of the internet is that if you don;t like it, you can go away. I only commented because the podcast is something I enjoy a lot, and I would like to see it get even better. But think of the number of people who love the podcast but don’t think to comment! How many downloads do you get? I bet it’s a lot. And I bet most of those people have never even visited you site.

I am on total agreeance with the other commenters here. If you don’t feel like it’s something you want to keep doing, we’d understand. But we’d miss it, and it would be sad for everyone, I think.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t let it get you down too much. If it ends up being too much work and effort and heartache, then maybe it’s not what you should be doing. But I’d sure be sad to see it go.

Shannon November 6, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Shannon,

I just discovered your podcast the other day while searching iTunes for Vickie Howell’s podcast. I spent a good part of last night listening to you interview some of my favorite knitting personalities.
While there was a difference in the volume of you and your guest on the phone, it wasn’t difficult to hear either of you and it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment in the least.
I think it’s a great idea to have a call in portion on the show. It’s original and even though it doesn’t always go as planned (the callers from the 609 area code during the Vickie podcast…LOL) it’s still always fun.
Don’t let the naysayers get you down. There will always be people who find something to complain about no matter what you do. As long as you are still having fun with it, I say keep it up.

Just my opinion from one Shannon to another.

Susan November 6, 2007 at 9:27 pm

I like the interview format. I find you a very fun and informative interviewer-and I love the guests you have. But the sound quality is an issue for me. I listen, I cringe a bit….and apprecitate that you don’t have oodles more time to put in this. A happy medium-would be worth a try for me.

Marcy November 7, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Just discovered your podcast today. I have enjoyed it immensely. I think the call thing is neat and didn’t realize that could be done. I’ve listened to the (in)famous Vicki Howell episode. I think you have a great interview style. Thought it all flowed together smoothly and no “hitches”

kristi November 9, 2007 at 10:21 pm

hey shannon.,

i too love the interview format and the fact that listeners get to play a role. but i do think having listener questions lined up ahead of time would make the flow better and the process less of a headache. even if you read the “Joan in Vermont writes to ask, ‘Do you knit American or Continental?” from earlier emails or whatever rather than a taped version of them asking. It gives you more material potentially and a way manage the structure a bit, while still interjecting listener questions. Less spontaneity, yes, but less waiting awkwardly for the phone to ring or the risk of weird-os calling. If you want to keep it “real” you could open up an IM window or something so readers could type in real time questions.

Just some ideas. It is fun to listen to!

Cassie November 16, 2007 at 10:54 pm

While the sound quality may not be the best, I enjoy listening to the show the way it is. It feels more real to me. Maybe I’m just weird but it makes it feel like I’m ahead of the rest of the trends and listing to something that only a select few really cool people know about. But if you’re in the mood to experiment, I say go for it.

Carol M November 19, 2007 at 8:15 am

I just discovered your podcast yesterday, listened to 3 episodes, and I really enjoyed them! I like the format and content and will continue to listen for as long as you keep going, which I hope will be for a long, long time.

bellamoden November 23, 2007 at 12:19 am

I will never be listening to your podcasts (or any others) but not because of lack of interest – if you transcribe them, I would so enjoy reading them! Truly.

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