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Year In Review: The Beckoning of a New Year

Friday, December 31st, 2010 | Author: Adam

Late September came to us in a flash. The website was now complete and had been launched onto the internet, with much praise from fans! As you can tell, it has a clean look, dark, eerie yet inviting. I have to say, I was ecstatic when I first saw our very own logo in pop-out metal fashion!

After a couple of late nights (very late for Thio, fairly late for me), the website was finished. Unfortunately, due to what I’d like to call my “innocence”, Thio had to rebuild the bulk of the website 3 times. (At the beginning of episode 12, you can listen to Thio grudgingly talk about this incident).

Now that the website was out, we had to find bloggers to maintain and uphold it. Surely, with our time schedules, the four of us couldn’t run it ourselves. Heather and I decided to hold a kind of application process. Thankfully, quite a few listeners applied for the job and we had a full staff in no time! Among these staff members are Maria, Josh, Hollie, Emily, Sara, Heather, Thio, Kim and myself. The website was up and running! It was very refreshing.

Around the time that the website was released, I received a Facebook message from Heather. In it, she told me that her work and obligations had become too much for her to run a podcast, website and look after listener emails at the same time. I think its safe to say that I was rather devastated. Her withdrawal from the project placed a great sense of loss on me. I’d lost my partner in crime, my co-host that helped to make this project possible. I think at one point I began to doubt the continuation of the podcast. But with everyone’s eagerness to carry on with it, my pushing past this little bump in the road, and Thio’s words of encouragement: “Well you can’t just quit! You have to keep going! You’ve built a fanbase now! Find some new people and carry on! Jeez!”, the podcast was about to be taken to a different “level”.

“New Podcasters”. That was the name of this project. I had negotiated with Heather to find some time to record one last time, explain her reasons and then leave, in exchange for some new hosts to take her place. And there needed to be more than one host. This was to give more of a feel of “chat amongst friends”, and so that the show could still go if someone couldn’t make it.

And so I stuck up an official message on the blog, and just as I’d thought, all of the bloggers would want to go for it. Sifting through some messages of interest, I picked out the people who I thought would be most suited to the job: Hollie Ivany, an English teacher from Nova Scotia, and Emily Dillon, a bustling and exciteable graduate from Australia. I’d also saved a spot for Thio, who had put so much of his time into the project. A perfect combination of personalities, ages, and cultural backgrounds, if I do say so myself!

Before recording our first episode altogether, I took some time to meet up with Hollie and Emily personally, via Skype. I’ve actually recorded the first conversation I had with Hollie. I thought it would be a good idea to record us, and then send her the file afterwards, so that she could listen to herself and get a feel for what she would sound like on the show. I found the conversation went by extremely well! So smooth, and easily executed! TO LISTEN TO A BIT OF MY INTRODUCTORY CONVERSATION WITH HOLLIE, CLICK THE HAND HOLDING THE RECORDER —->!!

A couple months ago, all of us released episode 12. Albeit, slightly longer than I would’ve liked, it was a great “break-the-ice” kind of episode. Since this episode, there have been 3 new recordings, with our next recording to take place in mid-january of next year.

And this brings us to today. It has been one year since the the thought of a podcast was first concieved. One year that I would not take back for the world. Personally, so much has happened to myself, as a result of the events of this podcast. I’ve met so many new, great people, built friendships that I would have never made had it not been for this podcast. I’ve also helped to build a fan-base (now at 5000 subscribers), gained so much experience with radio and the internet world, been offered a live-show, and even a free trip to Brazil and back! I’ve also had a chance to connect with fans and with people who value my, and the other hosts’ opinions. It’s been an awesome year! One that I am still a little overwhelmed with. But this is really just the beginning.

With 2011 on the rise, I’m preparing myself for an even wilder ride than the last. Who knows what kind of journey the future holds for myself, those who I am affiliated with and the podcast? All I know is that I am ready to take on whatever the new year brings…Let’s get to it already!

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Year In Review: The Evolution of an Idea

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 | Author: Adam

The next few months, from April to July, went by swiftly. For myself, they may have went by just a little too fast. Podcasting has been, and will only be, a hobby, so amongst completing school and upholding a job at a local restaurant, the podcasting factored in as only a minute amount of time. But they were still being released, and within a fairly strict time-line that Heather and I had set for ourselves. We watched as our numbers climbed higher and higher. Around the middle of May, we both had a bit of a “squeeing” session, and a kind of private celebration as our 1000th subscriber was ticked off the list. 1000 listeners. A far cry from the 30 we had originally intended, and hey, it definitely worked for me!

It wasn’t until early July that I seriously considered taking this fandom a little further. One evening I logged onto the podcast email account, and found a message from a friendly young lady named Kim Ropars (now “Cooper”. Congrats Kim!) She was writing in to tell us that she was a big fan, and to ask us if we had ever considered having  reporters for the website. People to blog about recent news and every day life in the Potter fandom, with blogs pertaining to what Heather and I would talk about on each episode. In most ways, Kim was the creator of this website that you are reading from right now. She was the “blue-printer”, I guess you could say. She was the one to plant the seed in my head that this should all happen, and I am very glad that she did!

After getting approval from Heather about this idea, I began to put it into motion. “New Website”. This project even had its own name. It was a goal that I was bound to, in a way. Whenever we mentioned “new website”, I felt this squirmy, excited feeling in my stomach. As said in last post, I had thought about this before, but this idea had quickly diminished as Heather and I watched the fan base grow. Now, the idea was back, and more prominent than ever!

I logged onto Skype sometime the first week of August. I had a little something to talk to Thio about. I am going to try to remember this conversation as best I can:

“So, Thio! I have to talk to you about something,” I stated through my microphone, with the same tentitiveness I had used on Heather a few months previous.

“Ah…uh oh…what is this about…” by the tone of his voice you could definitely tell that he felt he may be in some kind of trouble.

“Well, I have a proposition to make. I don’t know if you’ll agree to do this, because I know that you’re busy with work and such, but I’m really hoping you’ll do this for us.”

“Ok,” replies Thio, with slight relief in his voice. “And what would this be?”

“Well, do you remember a few months back, on MyLeaky, when I asked if you would create a website for us?”

“Uh huh. Yup!”

“Yeah, well, I was talking with Heather and-”

“You’d like me to build a new website for you guys now, right?”

“Yeah…I was hoping that you would. But it wouldn’t be for free! We’d definitely pay you, if you’re willing to do it!” I felt somewhat guilty and I had a strong feeling that he would just let this topic slide.

“Oh I will definitely do it for you! I’ll put it in my portfolio or something…and don’t worry about payment, you can pay me in Butterbeers at LeakyCon next year!”

And so, I talked to Thio about meeting Kim in email messages, and what her ideas for the website would be. We met on Skype about a week later to discuss the layout for the website, and we planned for its launch (the beginning of September). The whole process was quite exciting. Finally, the professional site that I’d wanted to have ever since the podcast began! When I think back on it, this process should have been much more difficult than it had been. Maybe I was lucky.

Meanwhile, Heather was beginning to find it extremely difficult to make it online for recording sessions, as well as maintaining listener emails and such. She had started the school-year, and being the scholarly person that she is, she was drowned with work and extra-curricular activities once again. I can’t say that I wasn’t at least a little frustrated with some of this, along with the 3-hour time difference that we faced. I tried to not pay attention to this too much and focus on the exciting things. The website was almost finished!

Until next time!

Adam

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Year In Review: The Beginnings of an Online Community

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 | Author: Adam

So, now we get into the part of this year where some major, sometimes overwhelming things begin to happen. Our first episode was out, and within a few days, we’d gained 20 followers in the MyLeaky group. For the time, this was an amazing feat:

“Can you believe it? 20 people that actually listen to us!” At the beginning we had intended for only a few people to listen to us. Maybe, 30 tops. We were perfectly content with this. A lot of MyLeaky conversation sprung back and forth in the group. It was mostly positive feedback, with a few suggestions here and there. It was a really great feeling to read all of the feedback that people had to give, and to respond to it. A couple MyLeaky users even began to treat Heather and I like somewhat celebs, with lines like: “Ok, I know you must be very busy…” and “Just wait until my friends hear I’ve talked to you guys!” and “I check your website practically everyday!”

During this time, I decided to change up the logo a little. Thus adding more of a clean, and refined look to the logo. I wonder if you can tell the difference…

Our first 3 episodes went out in a course of 3 months. Quite a stretch of time, I must say! It was evident that Heather’s schedule was fairly busy. Science Olympiad, play rehearsals, band practice, and homework galore kept her busy. There were quite a few episodes of:

“Hey! What would you say to recording on (select date)?”

“I can’t,” she’d reply. “I have Science Olympiad to go to.”…Ah well!

I guess you could say we kept “plugging along”. Although it was difficult to get anything out online, we still had fun when we were recording. Creating a podcast seemed to take us out of reality for a while. We could just drop what we were doing, and focus all of our attention on podcasting, and discussing topics that we liked. And the outcome was terrific! People listening to us. As many times as they’d please!

During early April, I came into contact  with a employee from Podomatic, the website that hosts our podcast. I approached them and asked if it were ok to do some advertising in exchange for some form of payment. They agreed that it was a good idea for me to do this, and soon after, I began to work on a 30 second advertisement to be put at the beginning of the show. What an experience this was! Trying to be Mr. Perfect for that day, I spent a half hour recording this 30 second ad. Finally, in a flurry of frusteration, I settled on what I had. While listening back to myself recoring this, I can’t help burst out laughing! I’ve kept this for the record, so if you’d like to listen to a bit of my “lack of talent” for recording ads, CLICK THE CASSETTE TAPE THAT IS OFF TO THE SIDE!

MyLeaky was, and still is, an excellent way to get to know people in the fandom. It’s what really brought an original fan base together for us, and through MyLeaky I’ve definitely made a handful of really good friends! One friend, who I was introduced to in March of this year, probably had no idea that he’d get to be a host of the podcast itself. At the beginning of this year, you all knew him as the goofy MyLeaky guy, with the clown nose and earbuds! But now that he’s been in direct contact with the podcast for quite a few months now, you all know him as “Thio, Web-Designer Extraordinaire!”

Thio sent us a MyLeaky message on March 3rd, explaining how he’d listened to the first 3 episodes and he’d really liked them, but he really missed the concept of having more than 2 hosts:

“I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to podcasts with lots of people, but I think it would give the podcast more of a feel of “chat between friends”. Am I making any sense? lol.”

Yes, clown-man, I think to myself. You make sense! It looks as if I had found that one listener in every fanbase that had the loads of corrections. We emailed through MyLeaky, discussing life and the podcast, and I soon found out that what I had first perceived to be corrections, were actually great ideas! A fan that was very easy to get along with and had excellent knowledge of Harry Potter canon!

“I am heading for university soon!” I said to Thio.

“I just finished college actually. I’m a graduated graphic designer. Yaaaay! =9″ was what Thio replied with.

My honest initial reaction was, “Seriously? Graphic designer!?” Up until then, a thought that had always lingered through my mind was “Wow, I really wish I’d had a professionally designed website for the podcast. But how the heck do I get one of those? Where to I go to look for that? Who do I talk to?” And right there on my computer screen, was a graphic designer. I might as well not pass up this opportunity! With all the talking this guy does of the podcast, I’m fairly certain that if I were to ask him to build a website for us, he would not decline. And what luck I had:

“I would be very glad to design a new page for you guys. Pro bono. =)” Over the next few months, Thio and I became friends.

Around the beginning of April, with 4 episodes released, Heather and I watched our numbers begin to climb higher and higher. Now at 400 subscribers, with 800 downloads, excitement had really begun to build. Little did I know, the second half of this year was about to veer offtrack significantly…

Until next post!

Adam

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Year In Review: The Foundations of a Podcast

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 | Author: Adam

The end of 2010 is almost here, and I am jolted to the reality that the podcast has lasted for an entire year! This year has been filled with so many great memories, so many uphills and downhills, so many twists and turns. I, and the podcast, have evolved tremendously over the past 12 months. This is something that I would have never dreamed would happen when I was still in the early podcasting days. So many changes have happened that I feel it is only appropriate to reflect back on it, and write the first of a series of blog posts about my adventure through the first year of this podcast. And what a perfect time this is! Exactly one year ago, at around this time of day, The Potter Pensieve Podcast was first thought of:

“Hey Heather! Can I ask you a question?” I say tentatively as I sit in font of my television. I’d been talking with Heather through the Skype application on my iPod. We were watching Half Blood Prince, and making humorous, less than productive comments on the film.

“Sure. What?,” she states.

“Well…you might think this is a bad idea…so before I say anything, I won’t be upset if you’re against this suggestion.”

“Uhh, ok. I’m prepared, trust me!”

“Well, I’ve tried to do a couple podcasts in high school. And I find I really like it. What would you say to starting our own podcast? On Harry Potter?”

“Yeah. That sounds fun.”

“Really? You think it’s a good idea?”

“Yeah. I do! We could start recording on January 1st. Make it a New Years project!”

“Awesome! That sounds great!”

I have been trying to think of a symbol, or object, that would indicate the growth, time, events, and people surrounding the podcast. And the only thing that comes to mind is the iTunes logo. In the past 12 months, it has undergone 4 distinct changes. That’s 4 distinct parts of time that I will use to go over the year in review! (over the next few days. With Part 1 being today).

I’ll start off the review by saying that in no way do I like this logo any longer! ^^.

Anyways, during the time we had this logo, the podcast was still in the early stages. Evidently. Soon after Heather and I had discussed our plans to create a show, we began to discuss what the title would be. It didn’t take long to think up the word “Pensieve”. As in, “remembering” the series once more. After that, I created this logo, started an account with Podomatic, submitted the podcast account to iTunes, added Pensieve to all of the major podcast hosts on the net, created a MyLeaky group (in which no body joined, because there wasn’t any actual episode at the time), and built a very temporary and unstable website! One of which, I will show you a photo right now:

Finally we sat down the afternoon of January 1st, 2010, and we began to record. We hadn’t really processed what kind of project we were getting ourselves into. First of all, I’d like to say, that we had absolutely no idea what we were doing! We had over-prepared in all of our nervousness. We were stuttering like crazy. There were many tense pauses.  The count for my saying “Uhmm” and “Like” was 56 times altogether! And it just didn’t feel natural to us yet. We weren’t used to the procedure of talking to each other as well as talking to however many listeners there were going to be. It is quite strange to talk to somebody that won’t be hearing you for the next couple days. Long story short: after 6 hours of editing out all the “uhmms” and “likes”, pauses, and irrelevant conversation, episode 1 went from 2 hours, to 1 hour 3 minutes! If you’d like to hear a little bit of our original, unedited episode 1, feel free to click the black box below!


Over the next few days, as I continue writing about this year, I will be releasing various bits of “Pensieve Goodies” that I find will be of interest to all of you! Only on this website, (not on iTunes or anywhere else) will you be able to find a variety of different audio-clips, bits of conversation, pictures, and other downloads that have never met with the internet. Ever. I’ll call this A Personal Vault that I have, stored here on my computer ^^.

Until next post, then!

Adam

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The Potter Pensieve #13 – PoA Chapters 13-15

Monday, December 20th, 2010 | Author: Adam

We’re here with the next few chapters in the infamous Harry Potter series! This show, we focus our discussion on chapters 13-15 of Prisoner of Azkaban! Listen in to some humor and interesting discussion about: the rising romantic tension between Ron and Hermione, Buckbeak on the Knight Bus?, Hagrid’s words of wisdom, some Quidditch psychology, and loads more!

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, and join our Myleaky group!

iTunes Download Here

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Podcast Update!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 | Author: Adam

Hey everyone! Just a quick update to let you all know that Potter Pensieve #13 will be recorded on Wednesday, December 15th! This week, we’ll be going back to our chapter format with chapter 13-15 in Prisoner of Azkaban! The episode will be released within a few days afterward! Check back on this site soon!

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The World’s Biggest Potter Fan?

Friday, December 03rd, 2010 | Author: Adam

While browsing through some youtube videos a couple weeks ago, I came across this! One word to sum this video up would be “Wow!”

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