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The Paracast Transcription Poll



Would you be interested in purchasing text transcriptions of episodes of The Paracast?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • No

    Votes: 7 58.3%
  • I'd rather buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks!

    Votes: 1 8.3%

  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
#1
I don't hate the idea of a transcript service but I don't think it should necessarily be built in the base price of a paracast+ membership. They should be offered on an individual basus to anyone. It sounds a little too much for $50 yr. imho.

I signed up the service but to reiterate what I've long mentioned going back to when this subject first came up. There are just some subjects that don't interest me and I don't listen to every episode, but at $5/month or $50 year it is a good trade off.
I ran across a cost free, commercial free show with free transcripts someplace ( I don't recall exactly where now ) not long ago. So it's not like it can't be done. Transcripts are really handy to have for those who like to discuss shows on the forum and provide examples ( or any written project for that matter ). Not to mention that transcripts would provide built in promotion for the Paracast + via the content and time code references which would be unique to the commercial free package. A series of select quotes spread around the Internet by users with a link to the Paracast + package can only be advantageous. The tricky part is getting someone to do all the work on a volunteer basis. Maybe offer perks like free membership and other goodies when they're available.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#2
Feel free to recommend a service who can make transcripts affordably. It would require a large number of subscribers to compensate. Meantime, are you going to suggest we give free iPad shuffles next? Just wondering. :D
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
#3
Feel free to recommend a service who can make transcripts affordably. It would require a large number of subscribers to compensate. Meantime, are you going to suggest we give free iPad shuffles next? Just wondering. :D
I updated the last post with a bit more to consider. Maybe hunt around and put an ad up on Kijiji or something like that. "Volunteer transcriber wanted for premium paranormal radio show - Free Membership and perks." Who knows? Transcribing is time consuming for me. I know that from the quotes I've worked on in past reviews. But for the pros it's probably no big deal. I imagine they just sail through them in a single pass as they listen. So you might get lucky and find a listener out there who would love to do it. The more you can offer the more likely you'll sell memberships. That would be a major drawing card for a lot of us out there in the ufology/paranormal communities, not to mention those people who are deaf.

On the iPad shuffles: Heck why not? Work a deal with Apple, preload 'em with an archive of shows and sell 'em. And that brings up another option: Ordering them on CD. In fact, tell ya what: Give me free access and the appropriate copyright authorizations and I'll start selling them via CD along with transcripts that can be downloaded into people's e-books. Maybe I'll even cut you in :D .
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#4
The opening is here. Anyone who wants to tackle transcriptions, let us know. You'll get a free membership and if this setup delivers a large upturn in member signups, we can consider other benefits.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
#5
It may be a subject worthy of a poll in the future and if the interest is there,implement it. but regardless I think it should be fee based for everyone with maybe a bit of a discount for paracast + members. My guess is that people who would be interested in this service will not be downloading transcripts of every episode so if there's a reasonable fee on a singular basis it shouldn't be too restrictive financially. In other words if for example Gene implemented the service and bundled it in the P+ service but felt it was fair to charge another $20 over the year I'd probably reconsider my membership at that fee. While I am happy to pay $50 a year for a service that I don't use to its full extent. I'm less inclined to pay $20 for an additional service that I wouldn't use to its full extent, but would pay an occasional $1.50 or so for a episode that especially intrigued me. I don't know if those figures are realistic and don't know the true extent of my "loyalty" as far as dollar figures but it was just an example of my feeling.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
#6
The opening is here. Anyone who wants to tackle transcriptions, let us know. You'll get a free membership and if this setup delivers a large upturn in member signups, we can consider other benefits.
I'll check around a little bit later, as I'm starting work now. a quick Google search brought up such fees as .85 minute flat to $12 an hour. I'm wondering if they offer trial service so you could see what 1:38 (?) minutes broadcast gets you. This is coming from a two finger typer.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#7
We don't have the infrastructure to carve out an exception except, perhaps, for another member upgrade that includes the fee for transcripts. Selling them ala carte involves yet another distribution structure. I'm trying to keep it simple. But I don't want people to pay for things they don't want, so we have to consider where to go.

I note one service that charges $1 per minute, which means $118 for the hour and 58 minute ad-free episode, plus varying fees for After The Paracast, since duration is open-ended.

Here's one service that appears to be reliable and has a decent rating:

Rev - Audio Transcription and Document Translation

For it to work, we'd have to earn extra fees from enough subscriptions to cover the cost of four (or five) episodes per month, which is $472 or $590, plus After The Paracast. Let's assume it's $800, meaning 160 extra monthly subscribers representing people who'd otherwise not sign up. That's a pretty high level to achieve. Otherwise, it would involve persuading twice that many to sign up to a higher tier service that offered transcripts for maybe $2.50 extra per month or $25.00 extra per year. And that's just the break even point, barely.

I'm sure most of you are bored by now, but I have to look at these details in making decisions with Chris about what we want to add to the premium service.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#8
I'll check around a little bit later, as I'm starting work now. a quick Google search brought up such fees as .85 minute flat to $12 an hour. I'm wondering if they offer trial service so you could see what 1:38 (?) minutes broadcast gets you. This is coming from a two finger typer.
As I said in the previous message, the ad-free episode an hour and 58 minutes, compared to two hours, 39 minutes with ads. Remember, too, that if you are getting a $12 an hour rate, it most be outsourced, and you have to wonder how accurate it'll be.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
#9
I don't know if this is any simpler, desirable or would be getting more out of hand but the concept of a hosted transcription service came to me..i Didn't even know if there was such thing...i saw a couple of examples of such a service and they both had disclaimers about accuracy rates one mentioned about 85% another went as far as saying 100% isn't necessary. While i personally have a reasonable expectation on many things i don't think this is desirable from a public relations pov. It appears (I can't look into it now) that you would be dictating directly during your interviews, but maybe I'm reading it wrong.

VoVision Voice to Text System it may be that all parties need to be using VOIP ?
About Us | Liberated Learning
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#10
The only way this works for us is to have someone manually listen to the show and type the text. They'd probably have to go back and be certain genre-specific terms for the paranormal fields would be recognized and spelled correctly, but I suppose that would come with experience.

Honestly, I don't see this happening except to offer it on a custom basis for anyone who is interested. Selling a subscription isn't a cake walk. Adding transcriptions for extra cost would be a hard nut to crack. But I'll consider it. And that's why I'm forking this over to a new thread with a new poll.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
#11
I probably would have asked, "Would you be more likely to buy a Paracast + membership if it included show transcripts"? Also, simply focusing on the selling point completely overlooks it's usefulness as a spin-off promotional tool. If the terms of use were such that whenever the transcripts were quoted, the author had to provide a credit someplace ( and if online, a link to the Paracast website ), it could increase your traffic and consequently your ad and sales revenue.

BTW: Here's what the Skeptical Universe people are doing:
http://www.sgutranscripts.org/wiki/Main_Page

Perhaps you could try adding something like the above to the Paracast + side, and then anyone who wants to volunteer can simply add their own contribution on their own time. Just throwing ideas out there for you to consider. Any drawing cards that are cost effective might help attract members :).
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#12
I couldn't consider providing show transcripts as part of the standard package without a pretty large jump in memberships. Right now, I just want to see if anyone is interested in paying for this service. Then I can work with Chris to see what we might be able to do.
 

Sue

Paranormal Maven
#13
Dudes. I am a professional freelance transcriptionist for primarily qualitative and specialized scientific and academic research projects, so I know whereof I speak. The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) had/has a podcast with a devoted band of volunteer transcriptionists. I used to listen to the podcast, but I never bothered to check out the quality of the transcriptions. Personally, I think it would be a great contribution to the non-existent podcast literature if The Paracast was available in accurately transcribed, text-searchable form.

Paranormal topics, like any others, are going to have unfamiliar terminology and names. Your transcriptionist doesn't have to be a subject matter expert, but they do need to be able to divine meaning from context and know their way around a search engine. This is skilled work and you get what you pay for. Even after you pay, it's your responsibility to check the transcript; that's basic quality assurance. The Paracast has pretty good audio quality compared to a lot of stuff I deal with, which is on the plus side. However transcription and quality assurance would be a significant effort and I'm not sure how best to set it up so that people are reimbursed for their efforts, let alone monetize the actual transcripts.

I do think that transcripts would be valuable and encourage everyone to keep thinking about this. I doubt that a commercial solution would be profitable or break even, but that's just a guess. That means getting volunteers with skillz on board and putting distributed quality assurance procedures in place. Which is not very paranormal at all . . .
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#14
Thanks for your suggestions and advice. If the transcripts are being sold, we have to cover the costs of preparation. If you make them searchable to the entire community, however, outside of the Paracast+ paywall, that would have a more valuable effect beyond commercial gain, which would mean making them open source.. And I can lean towards that, but we'd need to either set up a fund to pay for those transcripts in that case, or depend strictly on unpaid volunteers.

I'm still open for ideas.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
#16
We would have to move to Libsyn. But it's not clear where transcriptions come in. Regardless, a wholesale move to one of these services will entail a monthly bill, and lots of work to integrate the new setup. Worse, they will expect to share revenue for the premium service.

As it stands now, and it's not a perfect setup, we have full control. As we go along, changes will be made to make it easier for you to discover and download new premium content.

If there's enough demand for show transcripts, we'll find a way to do it.

But things will take time to explore and figure out ways to add the new features.
 

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