Appreciation with Uma and Jessica - Release Notes

First Principles Episode 2. Check out the show:

Laura Gao

28 Dec 2020 • 3 min read

Welcome to Release Notes: where I talk about the decision making behind articles, videos, and other content. Today, these release notes are referencing how I created Episode 2 of the First Principles Podcast.

Planning: 30 mins

Recording: 1h

Editing: 2h

Set up Notion website: 30 mins

Release Notes: 1h 40 mins

Sponsorship: 20 mins

Final: 20 mins

Troubleshooting website: 45 mins [UNPLANNED]

Total time spent: 7h

Planning: 30 mins

Dec 27 8:30-9am

A big change in this episode is that I shifted my focus from my ideas to my guests’ ideas. As Thomas Frank said, your show is 80% about your guests and 20% about you.

Wow. When I had the idea to make this podcast, I mostly thought of it as a 50/50 discussion.

Maybe it can still be close to 50/50 or 60/40 contribution of ideas, but the host will be the one asking most of the questions. Since I’m not talking to experts in the field but rather fellow students about personal growth, I think my ideas have a place in the show. Just make sure that you don’t talk more than your guests; that they get to flush out their ideas too. And of course, you gotta ask good questions.

Questions are the hidden catalysts that make a show great. Questions get overlooked: I tend to listen to the answers and not pay much attention to the interviewer. But a show without good questions is a show without good answers. A show without good questions won’t be a good show.

Last week, I spent most of my planning time thinking of ideas I can say. This week, I spent the 30 minutes on researching techniques for asking good questions, and brainstorming questions I could ask.

Recording: 1 hour

Dec 27 9-10am

Just like last episode, I got each guest to record their audio separately, in order to keep each person’s audio on a separate track.

We basically went straight into recording as soon as we got on the call, without much talking beforehand. I like that.

Editing: 2 hours

Dec 27 5-6:30pm, 7-7:30pm

I do say “like” and “so” and other filler words a lot, but in this episode I didn’t cut much of those out. As soon as I opened Audacity, I went back into my old habits of trying to cut out stutters, so I can't say I didn't cut out any.

I don’t think it’s worth it. Partly due to authenticity for listeners, partly due to done > perfect (not worth it to spend 5 hours on a small task that might not even impact listener experience much – oh wait, what listeners?), but mostly because I want to listen to this in a year and hear the unfiltered way I spoke. That way I’ll know how much I’ve gotten better in speaking.

I bought the intro music. 20 bucks USD + some other rando fees so probably around 30 CAD total. Was it worth it? Who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Only time will tell.

Setting Up Notion Website: 30 mins

Dec 27 8:15-8:45pm

Here it is!

Inspired by how Sigil and Adara did it.

This was surprisingly simple. I expected it to take more time. I followed this tutorial. Fruition is a godsend. I love you.

Why do I do this? No one will probably visit this secluded corner of the Internet except for me. But who cares. Trying new things. The Inforium website looks cool. I want to make the most out of the 20 bucks I spent on this domain. Also, now I know how to set up Notion page websites, another tool to add to my toolbox. It's serendipity.

Release Notes: 1h 40 mins

Dec 28 Morning 7:30-7:50, 9-9:30am, 10:20-11:20am

Yup, that's what you're reading right now.

Why does writing a 3-minute-read take this long? Writing is deceptively simple.

Why do I even write these? I bet no one reads them. No one even listens to the podcast, who would click on the shownotes and then click on this? This doesn't add much value to my audience, so it doesn't make sense to write these from a materialistic standpoint.

But like this podcast says, the little things in life make the most difference. I like making content. Who cares if no one reads this? I'll get to look back in a few months and see how my podcast creation process has changed

Sponsorship: 20 mins

Dec 28 7:55-8:15am

10 mins to record the ad, 10 mins to edit some music.

No, I do not expect to make money from my 20 listens, 10 of which were probably me.

Why did I do this? Because I saw the offer on Anchor and just went for it. Try new things. You don't know what you don't know.

Final: 40 mins

Dec 28 morning sometime before 8 or before 10 who knows

Uploading, writing the description, writing shownotes. Why did this take 40 mins? Because my brain defaults to perfectionism and I literally could've spent 2 more hours perfecting the look of the shownotes.

Troubleshooting: 30-45 mins

Dec 28 9:45-10:15am or 9:30-10 or 9:30-10:15 agh idk man im not keeping track of my time very well

I was checking all my files, about to hit publish on my episode when I realized to my horror that my whole website was down. To be exact, and were down.

Why was it down? Last night I moved my DNS records from NameCheap to CloudFlare, so I could make with a Notion page and Fruition. Which meant I had to move my and records to CloudFlare as well. This change messed something up. More details here for tech nerds.

I wanted to publish this podcast episode at 9am, as I had already finished editing it yesterday. But I didn't want to publish the episode without the release notes being up. So I tried to troubleshoot. I wrote a journal entry of some sorts about this troubleshooting process here.

Yup, fixing this took 45 mins. Fixing this took longer than setting up the site.

Lesson Learned: Every task takes 2x longer than you plan, even after you plan for it to take 2x longer.