We make “remote” work

Yonder Podcast Guest Information


So… you’re going to be a guest on the Yonder Podcast! Hooray!

Here are a few things to know:

  • Most guest interviews happen over Skype (audio only)
  • Interviews are intended to be recorded beginning-to-end, but we can edit if necessary due to technical issues, children running into the room, mental lapses, earthquakes, or whatever.
  • Please allow 2 hours for the interview. Most interviews will last about 1 hour. However, we schedule a 2-hour block to allow for any technical problems that may arise and to allow the conversation to flow without getting hurried as we approach a time limit.

Download the latest version of Skype from http://skype.com - it's free. Make sure to have a good Internet connection (wired ethernet is generally better than wifi) and test Skype quality prior to your appearance. If you are able (and if the rest of this sentence makes sense to you), you may improve call quality by setting a fixed port for Skype and enabling port forwarding on your router. Make sure that you do not have backups running, and pause/quit file syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Bittorrent. Interviews are audio-only, so you don't need to worry about the camera, lighting, or fixing your hair.

We strongly recommend using a USB headset. If time allows we will be glad to overnight you a USB headset for your use on the podcast. If you wish to buy one on your own, we recommend the Plantronics Audio 628 USB Headset. They run about US$25 on Amazon.com. Do NOT use a Bluetooth headset - they sound terrible.

In any case, you must at least use headphones to avoid echoes that will disrupt the recording. Make sure that you are using the best microphone you have access to and that the outbound microphone volume level is set appropriately both in your computer OS and within Skype. Skype also has its own internal setting for audio input. If unsure what microphone is selected, check the "Sound In" device in Options->"Sound Devices" or call the Skype echo testing service and tap on the microphone to check that the correct microphone is selected.

Try to find a place where things will be relatively quiet for the duration of the interview. It’s best not to be in a room where other people will be talking, phones will be ringing, or you will get interrupted. It’s also good to find a room that’s not too reverberant or echoey. A locker room is about the most reverberant space possible – empty, with hard surface walls, floor, and ceiling all parallel to one another. You’ll want to find a space that LEAST resembles a locker room. Carpeting, book shelves, furniture, non-parallel walls – all of these things will dampen and break up the sound to make for better acoustics.

Don’t stress over environment too much. It’s not nearly as important as having a good microphone. But if you have the option of moving to a better room, the guidelines above will help.

Yonder interviews are very conversational. You shouldn’t need to prepare anything. The idea is to talk about your everyday experience. Before we start recording, we will check in briefly about any topics that you would like to cover and/or any topics that you’d like to avoid.

The Interview:
It’s better to talk more than to talk less. Because we cannot see one another, it’s impossible to visually signal that you have something to say. So just jump in with it! Talking over one another is much better than the awkward silences of politeness.

Social Media:
Please help us to promote your interview through social media, email lists, or any other outlets you may have. Follow @yonder_io on Twitter and like the Yonder page on Facebook. We will let you know when your interview gets posted. Then please share and retweet our posts, and/or post links of your own.

We will need a photo of you to associate with the podcast. It needs to be high-resolution and not-too-close-cropped. The photos that we use for social media are often cropped right to the face, but we need some space to allow for the responsive design of our site and overlaying text. It ends up as a background image and scales with the page, so we need a photo that is high-resolution enough to scale up for a large monitor. More than 1000px in both height and width is preferable. See examples of the photos that other interviewees have used at http://yonder.io

Here are a few photos that have worked relatively well in the past: