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 $10 Sound Booth

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Do you – like many podcasters – record in less-than-ideal situations? I know I record the voiceovers for Boston Behind the Scenes in my plaster-walled apartment right near a running refrigerator!

At first, I was getting an echo-y sound, but then inspiration struck:

What does a sound booth have? No refrigerators, that’s for sure, but it also has padded walls. Now, I wasn’t going to go spend hundreds of dollars on sound-deadening foam, but I did have a big squishy thing that was worth a shot: a body pillow. I wrap it around the back of my head with the two ends sticking forward. I lean over the microphone, close the ends in as far as I can without getting in the way of what I’m doing, and record. The results are quite amazing!

All of this for as little as $10.


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