DIY Preservation Workshop: A Guide
So you want to host a podcast preservation workshop? That's a great idea! Preserving your podcast with a group of people is great, because together you can share/bounce ideas off one another, support each other through snags, and check in with each other's progress after the workshop ends.
This document provides a guide for setting up your own DIY podcast preservation workshop. There are many ways that you can approach a DIY workshop, and by no means is this the be-all, end-all guide. Consider this document like a box of yarn, from which you may create any number of socks! It's up to you!
Unsure of what podcast preservation is? Check out the Preserve This Podcast website, especially the about page, podcast, and zine for more details. In short: podcast preservation makes sure future generations of listeners are able to access your podcast files.
Not a podcaster, but want to join in on the fun? Not a problem! The principles that guide podcast preservation apply to all creators, not just podcast creators. If you're a writer using a word processor, a musician using a digital audio workstation, an illustrator using a design program, or anyone else creating digital stuff, you can use this guide for your own preservation goals.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to leave a comment in the body of this document, or send an email to preservethispodcast [at] protonmail.com.
First things first: create a safe, inclusive space
The beautiful thing about podcasting is that it has attracted a variety of people from all walks of life to share their stories. A DIY workshop will bring people together into a shared space, so it's important that these spaces be places where people feel safe, comfortable, and heard.
Before your workshop, take some time to lay some ground rules. The best way to do this is to write out a code of conduct (CoC), and share that with all facilitators and participants before the workshop. Below is a sample CoC that you are free to copy and repurpose.
Sample Code of Conduct
We ask that anyone who organizes events using Preserve This Podcast content to respect our code of conduct. Preserve This Podcast aims to:
We ask that all community members adhere to the following expectations:
Preserve This Podcast has a zero-tolerance policy for all verbal, physical, and sexual harassment. Anyone who is asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior is expected to do so immediately. p>
Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens or demeans another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious or political beliefs; sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online); deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Participation in discussions and activities should be respectful at all times.
Planning the workshop
Facilitating a workshop takes time, energy, and a little bit of practice. We strongly suggest sharing the role of workshop facilitator with other people, if possible. That way, you can take a break from facilitating and leverage each other's strengths, and assign roles for a smooth workshop (for example, while one person facilitates, another person help with participant check-in, taking questions or making sure people are connected to the right WiFi network).
There are a number of free, comprehensive resources available online that talk about how to be a good facilitator, that are worth checking out*.
- Anti-Oppressive Resource & Training Alliance (AORTA): Anti-Oppressive Facilitation for Democratic Process - Making Meetings Awesome for Everyone
- Howspace: How to Facilitate a Successful Workshop in 18 Simple Steps
- Liberating Structures: Heard, Seen, Respected (HSR)
- Seeds for Change: Facilitating Workshops - A Short Guide
- Teaching Tech Together
Figure out when
Before approaching a potential workshop space, figure out 2-3 dates and time slots that work for you and your co-facilitators. Ideally, a workshop would take no less than 2 hours (to make sure you cover all the bases), and no more than 4 hours (to prevent burnout).
When you�re thinking about dates, consider events and groups in your area. For example, if your area has a big podcasting scene, look to upcoming podcast festivals or conferences where you can take advantage of a lot of podcasters being in the same space at the same time.
Figure out where
Next, figure out where you would like to host an event. When researching host sites, consider spaces that fit as many of these ideal criteria as possible:
- Is physically accessible (has wide and automated doors and ramp where there are stairs to accommodate wheelchairs, an elevator if it is a multi-story building, provides microphones/PA system so everyone can be heard clearly)
- Is virtually accessible (provides a way to stream or record your workshop to make available to people who otherwise cannot physically be present)
- Provides space for a low cost, or for free (so that you, in turn, do not have to charge participants that much, or at all)
- Is centrally located/can be accessed using public transportation
- Has existing technical infrastructure, especially: freely available wifi, power strips/plugs
- Tables and chairs to accommodate each attendee comfortably
- Is family-/child-friendly: provides a private/comfortable space for breast-feeding, or better yet, free or affordable childcare
- Has a solid and published code of conduct
- Has a communicative point-person on-site that can help you with logistics before, during or after the workshop.
Some potential host institution types that may be able to provide one or more of the above amenities include: public libraries, universities/schools, community centers, public media organizations, podcast hubs, and co-working spaces.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of potential hosts that PTP has worked with, or know to be great hosts. Right now this list is very NYC-heavy. If you have worked with any awesome hosts, feel free to add them to the list below (if possible, please include a URL to their website, if they have one):
- Boston, MA
- Denver, CO
- Durham, NC
- Madison, WI
- New York, NY
- BRIC Media
- Brooklyn Public Library Info Commons
- Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)
- Made in NY Media Center
- Washington, DC
Create an event page
Creating an online event page is helpful to gather RSVPs, provide an easy way to communicate with participants before and after your workshop, and give attendees a single place to find information about the when/where of your workshop. There are plenty of free event tools, like gath.io, that do this pretty well.
Promote your eventYou'll need people to come to your event! Here are some suggestions for connecting with podcasters in your area by:
- Contacting local radio stations
- Finding and posting on a local Reddit podcast pages or other online community message board
- Posting on listservs
- Posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other popular social networking sites
- Contacting college radio stations
- Contacting local media, broadcast or journalism studies departments
- Finding DIY tech spaces or collectives
- Looking in the AIR Media Talent Directory
- Looking in the POC In Audio Directory
- Asking folks at the Bello Collective
If you're in a venue that has a projector, you can copy and save the PTP slide deck template either on your Google Drive (if you have/use a Google account) or as a PDF to your desktop. A slide deck can be helpful for people to follow along, and adds some eye-catching visuals and audiograms to your workshop. Feel free to use the whole slide deck, add your own information, or remix/remove slides as needed.
If you're in a venue without the internet, make sure to download the slide deck beforehand, so it can be projected offline.
In lieu of a slide deck, we have also provided a sample agenda, discussion points, and activities below that can be printed out and distributed to attendees either before or during the workshop.
The slidedeck includes playable and transcribed audio excerpts from the Preserve This Podcast podcast, so make sure to give those a test-run before your workshop begins in case you plan on playing them for your audience.
We highly encourage facilitators to print out copies of the Preserve This Podcast zine in advance of the workshop. The zines provide definitions of terms, exercise instructions, and other helpful examples.
It is ideal if every workshop attendee has a copy of the zine for them to take home. If this is not possible, print out a few copies and ask attendees to share. Or, you can go paperless and have attendees access the zine online using a smartphone, laptop, or other viewing device.
The "Preserve This Podcast" Podcast
The Preserve This Podcast 5-episode miniseries is a great way for participants to get acquainted with basic preservation concepts either before or during your workshop. Each episode features a different independent podcaster taking on a preservation exercise as outlined in the zine, and covers file/folder organization, storage/backups, metadata, and RSS.
Three short (30-60 second) clips of the PTP podcast are included in the slide deck; however, facilitators may choose to have participants listen to longer clips, or even entire episodes, during the workshop (see the list of suggested activities below).
Personal Podcast Preservation Plan (PPPP)
A Personal Podcast Preservation Plan, or Quadruple P, or PPPP, is a list of concrete actions that participants determine they can take to preserve their own podcast. There are no rules to the PPPP except that no plan step is too small.
At the end of each workshop, we recommend giving participants 2-5 minutes to brainstorm PPPP action items. Participants can write down their steps on paper, in their phone notepad, in a document, or wherever. After the 2-5 minutes, open the floor for participants to share ideas.
Individual participant PPPPs might include examples like: add transcription to the production process from now on, buy an external hard drive or cloud backup service, ask my podcast provider if they do a 301 redirect, listen to the Preserve This Podcast podcast, and so on.
Structuring the workshop
Introduction: Say hello!
Every workshop should start with an introduction. The facilitator should start by giving a brief background of PTP, how they came to learn about it, and what their goals are for hosting the workshop. The faciltator(s) can share more about themselves too.
Next, ask attendees to give their name, and answer one question. Here are some examples of icebreakers:
- What do you create?
- In terms of what you create, what are you afraid of losing?
- Have you ever experienced file loss (i.e., a hard drive failure?)
- What brought you here today?
- What is one thing you would like to learn today?
Sample workshop agendas
Preserve This Podcast is broken into four core modules represented in both the PTP podcast and zine:
- Organization (episode 2 of the podcast, page 7 of the zine)
- Storage (episode 3 of the podcast, page 10 of the zine)
- Metadata (episode 4 of the podcast, page 13 of the zine)
- RSS (episode 5 of the podcast)
There are several ways to present this content depending on your workshop goals and how much time you have. Here are some sample workshop agendas:
Option #1: Facilitator lead
- Have 1-3 facilitator(s) lead the group through the entire slide deck.
- For each module, do the accompanying exercises together. Spend ~15 minutes per module, with a 5-10 minute break between each.
- At the end, have everyone write out a Personal Podcast Preservation Plan (PPPP) and share their plan with the group.
Option #2: Group share
- Break up into three groups, one per module; or, alternatively, one per activity (see suggested activities below).
- Each group spends 15 minutes per module, and 5 minutes sharing out findings/obstacles/pain points/successes to the larger group.
- After each 15 minutes, each group rotates to the next group.
- Once everyone has spent time in each group, spend time at the end debriefing each other on lessons learned.
Option #3: Spread the workshop across multiple sessions
- Dedicate 1 hour sessions to each module or 1-hour sessions to do an activity (see suggested activities below).
- After the activity is done, participants share takeaways from each exercise and/or activity with the larger group.
- End with each participant formulating a Personal Podcast Preservation Plan. With each session, add more steps to that plan.
Option #4: Listening party
- Dedicate a 1-hour workshop to a single podcast episode
- As a group, listen to the episode together (each episode is ~15-20 minutes) with zine in hand (or on screen).
- Do the accompanying exercise either together as a group, or broken out into smaller groups/individuals.
- Spend the last workshop minutes discussing the episode or the exercise.
The following activities can be added/remixed into the sample workshop agendas, or can be used in of themselves as the theme/focus of an entire workshop.
- Open up and play the Store, Backup or Lose game either by projecting it up on a screen, or having people break out into teams or individually and use a laptop/smartphone.
- Use a laptop or pen/paper to draft a folder template for each participant's show.
- Draw a filenaming convention "hamburger"
- Have each podcaster email their RSS host and ask how long they hold onto your files and whether they do a 301 redirect (or try and find out this information online)
- Create an Internet Archive account, and upload one or more podcast audio files.
- Write out a Podcast Preservation Plan
- Adult coloring! Fill out and color the Metadata Archaeology coloring sheet while playing the Preserve This Podcast Spotify playlist
- Use Google Takeout to download files off of your Google Drive
- Submit your podcast RSS feed to podcastre.com
- Read something from the PTP reading list and have people share thoughts/ideas.
If you can do one of these things, you're on your way to preserving your podcast!