Taking Notes – A New Approach to the Shows

It’s been a while since a new episode of Cyberpunk Librarian dropped into the feed and there are a couple of reasons for that. The first, and easiest to understand, is that the topic of the show that I had almost 100% ready to go became the topic of a talk that I’ll be giving at the 2018 Innovative Users Group conference in Orlando, Florida. (More on that in a bit!) It seems a bit daft to give a talk before the talk so, instead, I’m going to do the presentation at IUG first, and then likely supplement it with an episode of the podcast. So I had to pivot, grab a new topic out of the list, and start working on that. Granted this all kind of happened right around the holidays, so that added another layer of complexity into the mix.

The second reason requires some explanation.

For the last 40 some-odd episodes of Cyberpunk Librarian I’ve followed a pretty set path. Come up with a topic, research it and/or do the work on the topic so I can make it interesting and informative, write a script, gather assets (music, sound effects, links, and stuff), and then record the show. The huge bottleneck in the entire process lies right in the middle, and that’s writing a script.

Cyberpunk Librarian used to be a show produced and released every fortnight. (My thanks to Myke Hurley at RelayFM for turning me on to using the word “fortnight” to describe a show that comes out twice a month. It’s a much cleaner, more descriptive word that “semi-monthly” or “bi-weekly.” Especially since bi-weekly could mean twice a week. English is kind of dumb.) I was able to do that partially because I had more time, but also because of one big difference between then and now: I didn’t write a complete script.

Instead of writing out a script, I wrote out a bunch of notes. Bulleted lists, talking points, and lists were the script for the show. I’d make sure I noted things I didn’t want to forget, and if there was a process, I noted down the steps. But I didn’t script out every… single… word as I do right now. This allowed me to work off the cuff a bit more, and there was less of a lag between shows. While a script has lots of advantages to a show, it also has a few disadvantages, at least from my point.

The biggest one, really, is time. Most of my scripts run from 3,000 to 7,000 words. They’re drafted, edited, re-drafted, edited again, re-written, changed, moved around, edited, and eventually finalized. My notes, on the other hand, can be 1,000 words and yet I can still get all the information in there. Sure, it’s not as 100% clean, but that’s what post-production is for. Heck, even when I’m working from a script there are times I read a line in a way I don’t like. So I just roll back a few seconds and re-record the bit. It’s not like I can’t do that if I’m working from notes.

But what I’m saying is, I should have a show ready by early February.

So what I’m doing right now, aside from writing this update, is figuring out how I want to do this and what works best for me. I’ve got a few apps, ideas, workflows, and things I want to try. But what I’m saying is, I should have a show ready by early February and, if things work out, there will be two shows in February. Because that’s the point: more shows, more often while maintaining the level of quality I want in my work.

IUG 2018 – Orlando

I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be attending and speaking at the Innovative Users Group conference in Orlando! The conference runs April 22 – 27 and is a gathering of libraries and librarians using software and solutions from Innovative Interfaces Inc., sometimes referred to as Triple I. The library I work for uses the Polaris Integrated Library System, a system I’ve been using for around 19 years. Integrated bought Polaris a few years back so the Polaris Users Group conference got merged into the Innovative conference and now there are tracks for all the ILS packages offered by Innovative.

I’ll post more on my talk later, but I hope to see some of you there! I’ll be active on Twitter for sure, so if you’re around, drop me a line! I’d love to meet and say hi!