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Building Belonging through Podcasting


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In June 2017, Tara Claeys and Liam Dempsey launched Hallway Chats, a podcast for sharing stories and building belonging within the WordPress community. These slides will share what Tara and Liam have learned about community building – with a focus on sharing “how to” insights.

Published in: Education
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Building Belonging through Podcasting

  1. 1. @liamdempsey
  2. 2. BUILDING BELONGING @liamdempsey
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Working to build community locally @liamdempsey
  5. 5. Who wants to start a podcast? @liamdempsey
  6. 6. Tara and Liam in early 2017
  7. 7. @liamdempsey
  8. 8. What’s worked? Making a connection with listeners @liamdempsey
  9. 9. WHAT’S WORKED? Sharing the microphone with people from all over the WordPress community, especially lesser known people Giving a voice to the unheard @liamdempsey
  10. 10. Allowing people to tell their own stories, in their own voice, with their own words, at their own pace. Serving as a story- telling outlet WHAT’S WORKED? @liamdempsey
  11. 11. Making the focus of the show the individual – and not the hosts – emphasizing the intrinsic value of that individual. Shine the spotlight on the guest WHAT’S WORKED? @liamdempsey
  12. 12. Treating work as only one aspect of an individual’s life, allowing room for other foci, concerns, and goals. Focus on life – work is only part of the story WHAT’S WORKED? @liamdempsey
  13. 13. Actively seeking out individuals from different places and of different races, genders, ages, careers, jobs, and more. Diversity makes for better engagement WHAT’S WORKED? @liamdempsey
  14. 14. What mattered? Production choices that connected @liamdempsey
  15. 15. Written transcripts for each episode have enabled a more diverse range of subscribers to engage with our show. Written transcripts for each show WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  16. 16. The manner in which we on-board guests makes the podcasting process smooth and easy-to-understand for our guests Structure of guest communication WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  17. 17. A predictable and set schedule for publishing episodes is hugely important for a sector of our listenership. Regular publication schedule WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  18. 18. Avoiding the challenges of a live show empowers our guests to share as openly and genuinely as they want. Recorded, non-live show format WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  19. 19. Sending handwritten, personal thank-you notes to each individual guest has proven hugely popular with our guests. Handwritten thank-you notes WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  20. 20. Active social media promotion of each episode dramatically effects that episode’s download counts. Social media engagement WHAT MATTERED?
  21. 21. Co-interviewing guests enables us to always be a step ahead of our guest, while dividing overall workloads in two. Having co-hosts with a single guest WHAT MATTERED? @liamdempsey
  22. 22. What didn’t matter? Production choices that were irrelevant @liamdempsey
  23. 23. We’re not sound purists by any means, yet we’ve never received a complaint about our sound quality. The sound quality of recorded calls WHAT DIDN’T MATTER? @liamdempsey
  24. 24. We’ve tried a variety of approaches to apps and equipment. In the end, we realized they are all tools with strengths and weaknesses. The recording apps and equipment WHAT DIDN’T MATTER? @liamdempsey
  25. 25. What challenges? Hurdles to building community @liamdempsey
  26. 26. The very nature of our show makes it difficult to find guests that we have not already met. Finding new and diverse guests WHAT CHALLENGES? @liamdempsey
  27. 27. As our show is a side project, it’s challenging to find the time to pursue promotional efforts as much as we’d like. Growing a wider, global audience WHAT CHALLENGES? @liamdempsey
  28. 28. Finding the time to promote and grow the show as much as we’d like is hard to do when we’re not steering towards profits. Podcasting as a pro bono side-project WHAT CHALLENGES? @liamdempsey
  29. 29. Questions + Comments @liamdempsey