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    Mike Blumenthal

    I have been playing with and refining the creation and publication of Last Week in Local & Deep Dive for the past year. While some of the tools I use might not be the best they represent a flow that almost anyone can replicate and utilize to create content for their clients or business.

    Obviously any business might not need all of the steps nor all of the distribution.

    For example a local business might only need 12 videos with transcripts a year about their services and not need the podcast. Or they might not need the tools for curation etc. In that case you could probably record, in interview format, in an hour and then break out the best 12-24 topical segments that answered specific questions.

    Likewise with the tools that I am using it could be done remotely.

    Regardless this is what Mary and I using.

    1- Apple Notes to gather and track stories throughout the week and as a teleprompter. This works across my phone, my two desktops and iPad. So no matter where I am reading something I can capture the link and comment
    – a slick alternative that is cross platform- Pocket. It integrates better with Tidings but works less well in some other aspects
    – curation isn’t for everyone but if you are already reading a lot in your industry every week or every month it makes a lot of sense.

    2- Skype for the video meeting. Probably not the best but everyone has it.
    – There has to be a better tool than this. I suppose I could be using Hangouts Online but originally I wanted the videos to be private and I find it a somewhat cumbersome tool
    – Obviously if you are recording a local business you might be able to just walk in and record an owner with better equipment offline

    3- Call Recorder to record the audio & video and to create an mp4. One time $39 app that formats the audio and video from Skype into MP4
    – Because Skype doesn’t use standard file formats for audio or video this is a necessary post processing tool

    4- iMovie to add the titles and adjust the audio and to export to video and audio formats
    – It comes with royalty free audio and simple editing tools so that most anyone can figure it out. Not quickly but once figured it can be quite fast for production

    5- Wistia to host the video
    – You could also use YouTube and if you did you would have free hosting and the makings of a YouTube Channel. But you have ads and a total lack of support.

    6- Buzzsprout to host the audio and publish the podcast to Apple & Google Play
    – I am sure that there are others but this made the podcast creation very simple. For something like Last Week in Local, that has a very short shelf life the “keep for 90 days” free plan was fine. For Deep Dive which is more ever green content the $12.95 a month service was more than enough.

    7- WordPress where I copy & paste articles from Notes, embeds from Wistia & Buzzsprout to create the weekly post
    – The many upgrades across the industry now support copy and past from Notes and many other environments.

    8- I copy & paste the links to Tidings to create the email newsletter
    – I could do this directly to Mailchimp as well but I like Tidings’ layout and ability to automatically see an RSS feed which could be an alternative automation step. IE You could curate with Pocket and then have Tidings read that feed and the newsletter would be 97% done

    9- Mailchimp to send it.
    – For many businesses this would be free. Tidings automatically works with it.

    10- For Deepdive we post to Speechpad for a transcript
    – Because we hope that the deep dives will be indexed and stick around for a while we get it transcribed. If you are not under a time deadline it can be very reasonably priced.

    11- We copy and past, edit the Speechpad transcript and then use the wordpress embeds from Wistia & Buzzsprout.
    – The transcripts require some editing to be useful copy. If you are going to do this regularly it requires some training and learning to speak with fewer dependent clauses. This is a bad habit that I have and makes it hard to achieve clarity in the written word.

    We end up creating each week
    -two (v)blog posts a week.. one with curated links and the other with a transcript
    -one email blast of the curated links
    -two podcasts every week.

    Recording takes about 30 minutes, post processing & creation takes about 90 minutes a week.

    Areas that could use improvement are in the recording quality from Skype and the mic

    I am still looking for the perfect wireless lavaliere mic to improve the audio quality. I tend to not be able to do well with a stand mic as I drift away from it. Any suggestions?

    I am convinced that the flow and technologies offer up a great content play for local businesses and local agencies, in person or remotely

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