If you listen to many podcasts, you’ll hear a lot of people asking you to call and leave a message on their comment line. The weird thing is, every one of these people seems to have a phone in Seattle.

Of course, Seattle isn’t the hub of the podcasting world, it is just the home of k7.net. k7 will give you a free phone number, voicemail service, and fax inbox. According to their site, k7:

… channels your free voicemail and fax messages directly to your e-mail. K7 Unified Messaging provides you with a free phone number. This number enables you to have your voicemail messages and faxes delivered directly to your computer. You also have the option to view and listen to your messages right here on the K7 Web site.

Oh and, in case you were wondering, k7 is a service of International Telcom Ltd. that seems to exist to promote the larger company — that’s why it’s free.

Here’s a sample message:

icon for podpress  k7 Sample: Download

The Release Form

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As podcasters, we (hopefully) know all about the copyright issues surrounding distributing “copyrighted works”
over the internet. Or at least we think we do:

Did you know that someone you interview for your show owns the copyright on their responses to your questions? That means that you should have permission to use their words. To do this, you need some kind of release. In a lot of cases, this would mean a legal document they would have to read and sign — but for most people, that’s too much (it will scare them away).

So, a way around this is a verbal release. In other words, if you record the person saying it is alright to use their responses, you have a form of release. According to the Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide:

As an interviewer, you should make sure the interviewee agrees to the interview, your adaptation of their responses (assuming you intend to adapt them) and to the inclusion of their responses in your podcast and the circulation of your podcast on the terms you choose. In many interview scenarios, you may have an implied license to use the materials, but it safest to get your interviewee’s written consent or (at minimum) record the interviewee’s verbal consent before you use the interview in your podcasts.

I found this in the guide and adapted it to create a little card that I hand to the person and ask them to read:

My Release


Quick Recording Primer

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• Avoid noisy spaces for interviews — unless you really want the ambient sound.
• Plug headphones into the recorder to monitor while recording.
• Hold the microphone 4-12 inches from the subject’s mouth.
• Position microphone to the side of the subject’s mouth to avoid popping.

If you don’t have anything prepared to ask, talk to you subject a little beforehand. Find out what they would like to talk about. If all else fails, you can always ask:

“What did you think this was going to be like before you started, and then what was it really like?”

You’re guaranteed to get a story!

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© 2010 Adam Weiss: Podcast Consultant