🏆 Milestone #51 ·

Episode 1 is live!

It took a bit of planning, and a couple of late nights planning things out - and today we've got the first-ever Makerlog Todcast going live on Twitter. Huzzah!

When this idea first germinated and took shape, I had to make a decision on how much time I could spend on it. Which worked out to about an hour or so a day - not much time at all, so I knew I had to be super structured on the workflow.

The Makerlog Todcast production workflow

After some research on Reddit, and armed with a general idea of what a typical podcast production process looked like (for shows involving guests), I broke it up into bite-sized chunks:

Day 1 Research, research, research. Learn as much as I can about the guest, the product(s) they're making and other fascinating bits of info about them or their work. Twitter's a great resource, checking out their tasks on Makerlog and just browsing about their websites to learn.

Day 2 Based on research done on Day 1, build a list of questions that you'd want to ask the guest. By this point, the material compiled should have generated a ton of questions that I was keen to know about and to learn from the guest.

Tip: I tried to stay away from "cliche" questions, and tried to make them as open-ended as possible. This avoids boxing the guests in, and will be flexible enough to generate other side conversations as well. This is important, since Makerlog Todcast is happening on Twitter - and we wnat to try and create as many conversations around the guests' answers as possible.

Day 3 A bit more of gruntwork: today's about compiling all the assets needed in the Todcast invitation video. Stuff like the guest's profile pic, product logos etc. Today's also the day we assemble slates that will be used in the video - mainly the opening title screen.

For the Makerlog Todcast, I challenged myself to do it all on my mobile phone! Weapon of choice: Canva!

Day 4 The most nerve-wracking day: recording the invite video! This is where the output from days 1-3 come together. A basic script is assembled, using a simple structure:

  1. Introduction - about the Todcast, why, how to participate etc.
  2. About the guest - a quick introduction about the guest, some background info
  3. The invite, and instructions to the guest

Assembling the video was done on mobile, using the GoPro Splice app. It's an awesome piece of software.

Day 5 Episode launch day! Correction: Day 5 is the most nerve-wracking, because you don't really know if the chosen guest will actually participate! It's like a shot in the dark... but since this is done by the community for the community, I'm pretty sure guests are more than happy to participate.

The invite video is posted at 2100 GMT+0800 (0800 EST), since I'm based in Kuala Lumpur :)

Days 6-7 Buffer days, so we can spread out the question-and-answer session over a couple of days and not burden the guest too much. Everyone's busy making and shipping, so best to make this as unobtrusive as possible!

Lessons learnt

What went well

  • structuring the workflow on a Trello board was a good decision. Each guest has their own card, with each day's task created in checklist form.
  • video editing: props to the Splice app, the latest release lets you easily create overlays which is a godsend
  • support from Prashant Choubey in letting me reuse his Todcast format; the Makerlog Todcast is inspired by Choubey's own series, "Todcast with Choubey Sahab" - also on Twitter

What could have been better

  • backup guests! On episode 1, I wasn't at all prepared for what to do if Gabriel didn't accept. Looking back, I think I should have made a backup video with a second (or even third) guest, so I'd still be able to invite someone for that week!
  • time management: part of the reason I wasn't prepared for a backup guest, was I spent too much time on only one guest. Need to better manage my time, and work on 2-3 guests for each day of the production workflow

What's next?

Well, with Episode 1 done, it's time to start thinking about a couple of things:

  • how can we encourage the Makerlog community to engage with the Todcast?
  • what can we do with each episode, once it's done?
  • how can we feed back valuable insights and information to the community, in an easily digestible format?

As always: onwards and upwards! Faiz

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