Sangha Jobs Dharma Talks

Uploading talks to the website makes them available to the wider sangha and also populates the podcast feed making them available to the wider world. To make these talks work via podcast and with iTunes' requirements, the following jobs are necessary:

The workflow is as follows

  • 1. Talks must first be uploaded to the site by the jikido who recorded them
  • 2a. The talk needs to be audio edited - adding an intro, adjusting the volume and fading out at the end
  • 2b. The talk needs to be transcribed, and the transcription should get a casual proof from someone
  • 3. Using the transcription, a title, description, and short description can be created for the talk.
  • 4. Finally the talk should have a quick glance, with any talk attachments - koans, background images - being added and the talk being published.

Each week you should check the drafts queue, at https://www.ordinarymind.com/talks/drafts. There, each of the draft talks are tagged with what needs to happen next.

1. Uploading Audio Files

The first step is the jikido must upload the talk file to the website. If you have an iOS device, the easiest way to do this is to save the file in voice memos to your iCloud drive. You can then visit the site on your phone and under the "My Account" menu, click upload audio. When you click the file upload button, you can click "files" to find the audio on your phone, and then enter the information about the talk. If you don't have an iOS device, or if this isn't possible, just download the talk to your desktop computer and upload to the website from there.

After uploading the audio file, you only need to fill in the following fields: Title (write out the date the talk was given), and Date (select the date the talk was given from the datepicker). Leave everything else blank and click submit.

2a. Audio Editing

All of the unpublished, uploaded talks can be accessed under the "My Account" dropdown on the website by clicking the "Draft Talks" option. This will take you to a page of unpublished talks tagged with what each talk needs. For the talks with the "Needs Audio Editing" tag - click the title and on the talk page scroll down and click "download talk." You can then begin the audtio editing process. This is detailed in a screencast here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uHgTc4tRFc.

2b. Transcribing

As soon as the audio is up, talks will be tagged with "Needs Transcription." This step is necessary before the title and description can be prepared, so always check the draft talks page to see if any talks are waiting in the queue before transcribing older talks.

3. Titling and Description

In order to publish the audio on iTunes, all talks require the following four items: a title, a short description (1 sentence), and a long description (3 - 7 sentences). In order to not editorialize what Barry is trying to get across, pull whole sentences from his talk to assemble these items.

For the "description", first read and get the gist of the talk. Then select a couple sentences that set up the problem, expand on it, and then offer his perspective. You're not trying to get the person to listen or click, so no need to leave off Barry's conclusions or perspectives.

Ideally the title itself also comes from a line in his talk. Try to select something that challenges the way people think of practice or meditation from the text you have available - eg “You can’t do it right or wrong.” No need to be clever though.

The "short description" is the line of text that’s visible on an itunes podcast page episode list. Only the first handful of words are visible, so these should only be a sentence, and this can come from the long description.

4. Finalizing

Lastly, someone should do a quick "sanity check" - make sure the text is present, the audio is OK, and then give the talk an image and publish it to iTunes.