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Year 2 In Review – Part 3!

Friday, December 30th, 2011 | Author: Adam

This post is the third and final of the Year In Review series. (Hint – watch for underlined phrases). Click here to read the FIRST POSTSECOND POST, and here to learn about how to enter the New Year’s Challenge! For those of you who wish to participate in the challenge, the deadline to submit your guess is January 7, 2012, at midnight Pacific Time! Good luck!

uly has passed, and Potter number 8 has hit the big screen. My personal opinion upon seeing this movie is that it was literally one of the most epic, visually-stunning and mind-blowing films I have ever seen. Maybe my Potter-geek plays a large part in this, but it was truly a fantastic motion picture, especially in 3D. The family and I went to see it first in 2D, and around a week later I made it to the cinema with a couple of friends to see the film in 3D. And boy, I am sure happy I did. What an experience! And as the faces of older Ron, Harry and Hermione smiled at me from the screen, Hedwig’s Theme blaring grandly as the movie faded to black before the credits, I can tell you that my wave of nostalgia was almost overwhelming. The ending of this movie, to me, signaled the end of my childhood and, after 2011, the beginning of adulthood. I vividly remembered standing in the long line-up with my mother, father and sister, waiting eagerly to watch Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. I’ve grown up with the series, and Harry Potter is a symbol of my childhood.

he Potter Pensieve DH2 Review Shows were the next on our list. There was no question whether or not to record them; it had to be done. Our discussion of the film was so incredibly long that it needed to be split into two parts. Hey, why not! It’s the final movie, we decided to go all out. And unsurprisingly, the Deathly Hallows review shows garnered some of the most downloads we’ve ever had in episodes. People really love movie talk…ready for DVD commentaries in the new year anyone?

nd in all the excitement of recording our review shows, we discussed our vacant podcast hosting position (now with Hollie in Hong Kong) and we decided to plan a recorded surprise for Sarah. We invited her to the show and gave her the news that we’d picked her to take Hollie’s spot on the podcast. Like I said previously, she worked extremely well with us, and I’m happy to say we have even more of a blast when she’s on! To download Part 1 and Part 2 of our Deathly Hallows review shows, click HERE and HERE! Remember to right-click and “save link as”!

hen I look back on September 2011 I will always remember how suddenly the whole atmosphere of the Potter-fandom seemed to change. The bustle of the summer seemed to decelerate rapidly. It was as if everyone had grown up, and not just myself. Come September, I left home (finally!) and settled into my small dorm at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. School-life was completely hectic for the first couple weeks. It seemed as if the reading would not end and therefore I lost touch with many of my fellow fandom-geeks and really the whole fandom in general. Of course, I made time to record the podcast and struggled to find time to edit, but it all worked out for me in the end. After a couple of episodes I found myself adjusting to the balancing act of school-work, social life, sleep, food, and podcast / website publishing. So, maybe I’m wrong by saying that the fandom came to halt come September. Maybe it kept going strong and I was the one to move out of touch with the Potter-happenings. But now, Christmas vacation has presented me with a quick but peaceful opportunity to “catch up”, and I’m noticing that things are really not what they were like before. Cherish those awesome times in your life, folks!

inally, as the last few months of 2011 whizzed by, we said hello to a couple new guest hosts! The first was Mauricio, an eager and engaged Potter-fan who had a great deal of excellent things to discuss. It was really great to podcast with Mauricio as he, being a listener of the show, jumped in with both feet and brought some more awesomeness to the recording. I should say now that we’re really hoping to hear more from Mauricio come 2012!

imberly Cooper, head editor of this website, graced us with her presence only a couple episodes ago! I, feeling incredibly guilty in not having her on sooner, promised Kim that we would find an episode to get her on before the year was out. I just wanted to apologize for cutting it so short Kim! Life is unpredictable. School and some spur-of-the-moment podcast episodes plagued us most of this year. But we managed to get her on and finally say a real “hello” and a “thank you” for everything she’s contributed.

am extraordinarily happy with the way this year turned out. It was predictable, yet excitingly unpredictable. Everything seemed to go according to plan; the puzzle pieces of this year seemed to fit perfectly together. We reached our goal of 20 episodes this year, with a fairly steady pace of about 2 episodes per month. We had some excellent guest hosts on the show. We were given public radio recognition, over 20,000 downloads, and just over $100 to the donation jar. This year has been a great success, and while the fandom is visibly slowing down, my hope is that the Potter Pensieve Podcast will stay speedy as ever!

hat will happen in 2012, you say? 2012 will hopefully be our biggest and most successful year yet,as we have some great things planned! As we advance through book 5 and into the beginning stages of “the end”, we expect that more people will become interested in this later discussion and will start downloading and listening to the podcast. Also, if this happens, we’re hoping our download numbers will top 20,000 by a substantial amount. 2012 will bring new Potter Pensieve T-shirts to the listeners, the blogger applications will be opened up once more, and DVD commentaries for all of the Potter films will be released as well! The new year will bring yet another set of interesting and engaging podcast episodes, and I have no doubt in my mind that we will face a number of new challenges and opportunities, of which I eagerly look forward to. PPP’s third year will go strong and will promise to give all you dedicated listeners your bi-monthly dose of extra Potter-fix! While the fandom slowly fades, I think it’s safe to say: We’re not going anywhere!

ere’s to a fantastic 2012! Thanks for listening and giving this podcast your dedicated support; it really means a lot to us!

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Year 2 In Review – Part 1!

Monday, December 19th, 2011 | Author: Adam

Foreward: We really hope you enjoy reading through all of the events of this year for the Potter Pensieve Podcast. (Hint – watch for underlined words.) And we hope you take part in the challenge as well! For instructions and information on the New Year’s Challenge, click HERE! Good luck!

2011 has practically come and gone and I am jolted to the reality that it has been 2 whole years since The Potter Pensieve Podcast was first started. This year has been just as, if not more, eventful than the last. We’ve had over 20,000 downloads this year, topping those of last year with over 6,000! The year has been a whirlwind of craziness: creativity, originality, new bloggers, recognition, laughs and even sadness. This year certainly developed upon last year and has made our podcasting experience all the better.

With January, 2011, came a whole new feeling. I know it would sound cheesy to call it “wisdom”, so I will just say that it was more “experience”. To say that we’d kept a podcast up and running for an entire year was quite an accomplishment, especially when rummaging through the Harry Potter podcast section on iTunes and noticing that a good 90% of all podcasts had only made to their 5th episode before they quit. Having the show up for a year gave us a sense of confidence that we could keep it up and running for yet another year..and we did!

January began with episode 14, on which Sarah Myers, our Wizarding World blogger (now a Pensieve regular) made her first guest-host appearance on the show! Before recording, Sarah gave us the spiel about how she was incredibly nervous and to just “take it easy” on her. Needless to say, we were shocked when she began recording with us as if she’d been doing it from the very beginning! She got along with all of us: Thio, Emily, Hollie and I, extremely  well and joked with us as if she’d known us forever! When the recording was finished, the general consensus was – “Bring her back!” On episode 14, we also drew the winners of the first New Year’s Challenge and were delighted when we pulled listener (and Thio’s good friend) Kirsten Baumann from the hat. We hope she had a good experience podcasting with us!

With February came a great deal of “technical difficulties”. For starters, the 4 of us came upon the revelation that we should all record our own separate audio tracks. Why we hadn’t done this before? Who knows… The problem with Skyping altogether and recording it as a single audio file is that there are many cuts in the audio, and it is rather difficult to delete coughing, sniffing, and sneezing without deleting the portion of speaking that a person is saying during it. Recording our own audio tracks promised us clarity, and gave the freedom of deleting unwanted sounds from whoever, without interfering with the topics being discussed. So! We gave it a shot, feeling everything would be great, but soon we found that certain podcasters (THIO! *Cough*) had his speakers too loud and picked up all of our sound at a lag. Soon we were presented with yet another editing nightmare. But after a few episodes we finally fixed the issue and found that this new way of recording was perfect.

As we moved in to March the online Harry Potter fandom was evidently becoming more excited more the release of the final Harry Potter film. Blog posts from many different websites began cropping up, presenting “never before seen” images and information from the sets of the film. Comments and speculation surged through the net and it was becoming more clear to us that we needed to add to ourtrusty website “staff”. We opened the blogging applications once more, and eagerly welcomed Katherine, Rhea, Marcel and Christine to the Potter Pensieve team! At once, in all the excitement, blog posts continuously plagued the site with topics pertaining to the new film, and a plethora of other HP related things. It was incredibly awesome to see the site with so much activity, and in the back of my head I questioned whether the website would garner this much attention after the final film had been released…

In March we also successfully completed our look at Prisoner of Azkaban, and in episode 16 we Thio, Emily, Hollie and I started the “big books”. Goblet of Fire was simply fantastic to go through, and as we moved into the spring and summer we were blown away by all of the amazing events that would soon occur…until next post!

LOOK FOR CLUE #2 IN THE NEXT “YEAR IN REVIEW” BLOG POST!

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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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