William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

A Return To Podcasts—Live! Starting Tomorrow. Here Are The Details.

This stream will NOT go live until tomorrow. This is only an example.

The readers at WMBriggs.com are incredibly generous. I receive many emails daily alerting me to stories and articles which are of interest to all of us. There is no way I can get to them all. Indeed, I have a years-long pileup of hundreds (maybe more?).

Some matters are delicate or difficult and require writing to explain, but many can be handled with a few spoken words, which, to me, come easier than written ones. Writing is brutal. It eats time faster than the rate at which government consumes money.

So, at least for the purposes of experimentation, I’m returning to the podcast format. Let’s try once a week at first, perhaps increasing this later. When?

Wednesdays at 10 AM Eastern time, running 30 minutes.

Why then and why that long? Why not? If you have other ideas, put them in the comments and I’ll consider them. The length is not guaranteed, of course, since I might even put myself to sleep before the half hour is up. Why live and not recorded? Because trying to make perfect recordings was keeping me from doing anything.

These broadcasts will work like regular posts, except for the timing. Podcast posts will go out at 9:59 AM Eastern with the link to the podcast at the top, as in this post. The podcasts themselves won’t start until 10 AM (or thereabouts, factoring in my fumble-fingeredness).

There will be “show notes” with links and so forth. I might edit the posts after I’m finished if something comes up during the stream. This will only really affect those who receive posts by email, as they won’t get the updates unless they come to the site. But those who get posts by email will be able to listen to the live stream, as will everybody.

After the live stream ends, and after the stream is processed, it becomes permanent but with a different URL than the live stream. So that permanent URL will also be updated on the website, maybe 20 to 30 minutes after the stream ends. Once I have it, I’ll swap it with the live URL on the site. Those who receive emails won’t know of this unless they check with the site.

This all sounds much worse than it is. In reality, those coming to the site (or YouTube) on time will be able to listen live, others can listed to the archived version (or any archived version) by going to YouTube or my site. No big deal.

Note that at the bottom of the page, under the Categories drop down menu, there is already a “podcast” tag, which can be used to find old broadcasts.

I’ve decided to use live YouTube streaming. Everybody not behind a firewall can access YouTube, and it’s on all the “devices.” Plus, the live streams automatically archives once finished, so people don’t have to be listening during the broadcast. Nobody needs to have an Apple account (say, for iTunes), or any account of any kind, even YouTube. I want to make this as much like a real radio broadcast as I can Just click and listen.

I’ll be using the Open Broadcaster Streaming platform on a Linux machine. I’ve practiced with this. It is a memory hog and is slightly crash prone, so if I drop off midstream, this will be why. Plus, all the controls are on screen, meaning when I amp up one mic (internal monitor), I have to next ramp down the other (external). So there will be amateurish delays until I get the swing of it.

One thing that slowed me down was the lack of a traveling microphone, since I’m on the road too much. I finally have one, the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone (say that thrice fast), which has excellent reviews. It’s dynamic, so it doesn’t need a mixer.

It will be your ears, dear readers, that will be the final judges. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that my audience is not shy. If there are irregularities, we’ll all know soon.

12 Comments

  1. Writing is brutal. It eats time faster than the rate at which government consumes money.

    Which makes perfect sense, since most government programs require tons of writing

  2. It’s interesting how many people would rather speak than write. I am continually frustrated by videos and speeches where there is no transcript or closed-captioning. I’m one of those relics that would rather read the material, including the dialogue on TV shows. However, I have vowed to attempt to move into the 21st century, so this will be good practice. (Your enemies won’t be inserting typos, but I have to ask if your enemies will do as they do with newscasters and insert bizarre pronunciation of words. My husband heard “emeritus” pronounced as “m r i tus, with a long i. 🙂 )

    May we assume that podcasts are like everything else on a computer—after hours of preparation and practice, one can actually save time if the actions are needed over and over on a regular basis? Your description of readying for this reminds me of creating templates and layouts for booklets that would have gone so such faster with scissors and glue!

    John B(): Think how many pions would lose their jobs if the government spoke instead of writing. Catastrophic!!

  3. m r i tus – long i

    That’s how I’ve always pronounced it
    when I was a kid, I pronounced ocean “O-KEEN”

  4. Nate Winchester

    March 29, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Yay! I trust soon you’ll be commenting on the state of AI and the predicted arrival of the singularity? lol

    Good luck! Looking forward to it. Some pontificate alone really well, some need additional people around to bound off of.

  5. John B(): Okay, I can see that the dictionary is not the usual source of one’s knowledge of pronunciation. I guess that should have been apparent by the widespread use of the word “worsh”. 🙂

  6. Fabulous! I can’t wait.
    On the video about tropical storms, there was nowhere to comment to disagree, of course. It isn’t a soporific. In 07 or 8 on Heartland s or maybe NIPCC site when they had only a distant soundtrack and fuzzier than ever graphs. It was still very informative and illustrates principles which apply elsewhere.

  7. “Think how many pions would…”

    Sheri, I think you meant peons. These pions are sub-atomic particles consisting of a quark and an antiquark. Of course, neither are to be confused with these paeans which are songs expressing triumph or thanksgiving.

    The beauty of homonyms is that in their spoken form no one knows if you made a mistake. 😉

  8. Steve E: Yes, I meant peons! I guess it’s spelling when writing and pronunciaton when speaking. We’re vulnerable everywhere.

    (Actually, I hadn’t thought about pions and physics in a while—I have something to check out this afternoon! Thank you!)

  9. Society is moving away from the spoken word — consider how many major firms are doing away with voice mail entirely.

    “Hard writing makes easy reading” goes the saying. Yes, it can be “brutal” but that’s what it takes to clearly articulate significant concepts.

    Is it really easier to speak extemporaneously? Yes, but generally that communication is much less coherent. Doubt that? Listen to any extemporaneous speaker, then read the transcript (such as of a political speech). Chances are you’ll consider a speech’s presentation of much higher quality & coherence based on the audio…then be shocked at what was actually stated when reviewing the objective transcript.

    Here’s a classic example of how the presentation style overwhelms the real message (self-contradictory gibberish): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpnEiOOfu1Q

  10. I am looking forward to the podcasts, and maybe becoming a premium member when you figure out what freebies to give me.

    BTW, the mic looks good. I am glad you did the research because I might get one. It would be good if I can think of something to say for a podcast.

  11. Prof.: “Did I make myself plain”
    Low voice: “No, Providcnce did that.”

  12. Oy, I had a painful bout of emeritus last week. Those inflamed MRs (or even the MR-oids) are a b****!

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