Bring Your Blog To Life – Bruce Sharpe

Liveblogging from Northern Voice afternoon session on Friday. This session is aimed at beginners but there will be tips for people who are professionals at this.

Aims of the presentation:
Get started at audio and video
Get better at it

Bruce is actually a rocket scientist -formerly from MacDonald Dettwiller. Now with Singular Software.

Podcasting – a blog + audio and video – like having your own radio or TV show boradcast over the Internet. Also things you would put up on YouTube

Why do it? – Because the audience wants it. Every minute there’s 10 hours of video uploaded to YouTube. People will be more interested in your blog. Its a new medium of expression for you. (Mhairi – For me I podcast because it drives traffic but mainly because I was bitten by the bug and love doing it and it helps me to learn). This presentations will cover: 5 W’s: Why, what content; where; how and recommendations etc.

Lots of steps in producing audio and video – can be very daunting. Bruce will tell us one way to do each thing.

Video Examples:

  • Now Public
  • Underground News
  • Unboxing on YouTube
  • Live events – Bruce

There is no end to the interesting things you can do.

Audio Format Examples:

  • News
  • Commentary
  • Interviews
  • Education
  • Conference Presentations
  • Sports
  • Whatever You Want.

TOOLS -You need an audio recorder of some kind.

  • Video – you can use the audio recorder on your camcorder.
  • Audio – record it on the phone using your PC’s recording device
  • Or: Olympus Voice Recorder, Zoom H4

Microphones – You need one. Don’t use the built in one as the quality is really bad on a laptop. So you should buy one:

  • Clip On Microphone thast plugs into camera
  • Recording to computer – buy USB mic that plugs into your ports – i.e. BlueMic Snowball or Better USB $125


  • Cell phone cameras aren’t good for this.
  • Still camera’s are surprisingly good.
  • Brand Name Camcorder – Sony, Canon and Panasonic are all good as are Mic input, flash memory or HDD.
  • HD – Go for it!

Question – Flip is it good?

Not great for video podcasting – 2 versions of the Flip very compact, easy to use, selling like crazy (affordable). If the nature of your podcast is serendpitously finding stuff about life. But the quality isn’t that great – a still camera has better quality. Flip is okay depending on what you are doing – if not great quality is okay with you then go for it.

Tripod – Oh yeah – get one! Usually about $60 -$100 for a reasonable one – much more for a great one.

Check out review sites: and

Lights -are the number one way to make your video look better. Don’t do halogen. Instead Bruce recommends:

  • Natural/practical light
  • Got to a camera store and ask
  • Flouresecent, daylight balanced, diffused 9cost more but worth it!)

Green Screen – not really for beginners but so much fun. Check out and you tube tutorials. You can be in your basement recording and make it look like you are in NY.

Time to Record – plug in your mic and start up your editing software.

Prepare – If you are interviewing – prepare your questions in advance and prep the person being interviewed so that they can prepare (give them context).

You can use phone or Skype

Using Skype – free – good to use. Better quality than the phone. To record on Skype, use:

  • Pamela
  • Audiohijack
  • Others were mentioned but connection was lost and memory is shot :o).

If you have to record over the phone buy a recording device (but these tend to be dear)

Screencast Software

  • Camtasia Studio
  • Mac SnapZProX
  • Screenflow


You should listen/watch and edit before you post. There is a lot of debate about this. Bruce likes it when people edit right – take the stupid stuff out. Take the ums and aahhs out. At the very least you should:

  • Trim the ends -the deep breath before your start and so on.
  • Cut the dead air – strange pauses
  • Adjust levels (please, please, please)
  • Add intro, outro and music.
  • Add music, reduce noise, add sound effects

Levels – adjust the levels and take pity on peoples eardrums. Use Levelator to this easily.

Audio Editors:

  • Audacity
  • Garageband
  • GoldWave
  • Audition
  • Soundtrack Pro

Video Editors

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • iMovie
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • Final Cut Express
  • Sony Vegas


Music thats safe to use:

  • 17 Places to Find PodSafe Music blog post on blog talk radio by Deb Ng
  • Magic
  • Garageband
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • 99 Designs
  • Audio needs to be in MP3 format. Download LAME from Audacity

Where to Host:

BlipTV – free, high quality better than YouTube, Ads are optional.

Show notes: Highly recommended, link resources.

Bruce provided a tonne of info and so far provided the most valuable presentation of the day. Thanks Bruce!

One Comment

  1. Thanks Bruce and Mhairi for such a juicy post. Very valuable. MixCraft 4 is also an amazing software for recording audio. I have been using it for our Podcast Series “RiSE” for about a year now and I love it. It’s easy and powerful.


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