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Monday, July 11, 2016

FF80F Podcast (Pilot): Development Camp Recap and Answers to Reader Questions

Summer sports have muscled their way into the spotlight in Calgary -- the Stampeders and the CFL, the Blue Jays and MLB and of course, non-stop rodeo results this week as the Stampede kicks into full swing.

As a result, my recurring Monday morning Flames segment on Sportsnet960 Radio is now on hiatus.

However, my sense and you confirmed as much last night when I asked the question on social media, is that your appetite for hockey talk has not gone on hiatus, despite us being in the throes of summer.


Given your thirst for year-round hockey talk, thought I'd attempt an experiment this week and try producing my own version of Monday morning Flames talk.

I am hesitant to officially call it a podcast as I honestly haven't put that much thought into the plethora of logistics yet -- format, content, length, proper technology (Mic? Never needed one of those before), co-host (I have had talks with a couple people including a Sportsnet960 personality), where and how to host it, etc. -- but because I did want to do a final wrap on development camp anyway, I figured why wait. Let's just dive into the deep end solo and cobble together something and see if there's an appetite for more. After all, that is exactly how the blog got started in April 2013.

To borrow a hockey analogy, I feel like I'm on a professional try-out (PTO) with this format. Fully prepared to be cut, but hoping to impress enough to get a contract offer, even if it's a two-way.


Unveiling the Pilot of the FF80F Podcast

First, a couple disclaimers. For one, this is all new terrain for me. How I actually pulled it off using only the technology already at my fingertips is a minor miracle. And I think it turned out not bad all things considered.

Secondly, for regular Monday listeners, this is twice the length -- call this a work-in-progress. Will aim for a little less rambling next time. A co-host will help.

I've broken the podcast into four segments:
  1. Introduction 
  2. Dev Camp Recap, Part 1 - Overview of camp and a closer look at the defence
  3. Dev Camp Recap, Part 2 - Closer look at the goaltenders and forwards
  4. Reader Questions - Answering a few questions submitted by readers

Listen (or download) the podcast now


Feedback

As noted, this came together very quickly, think less than 12 hours from when the idea was hatched last night and most of that time was spent sleeping.

If you do have comments on how it turned out, ways to improve, format suggestions, I would love to hear from you. You can leave a message below or send me a note via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Enjoy and as always, thanks for reading -- and listening.



By the way, have you liked Flames From 80 Feet on Facebook yet? Go there and do so now. It's just another way to be alerted to new Calgary Flames articles that I've written.

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Recent Flames Reading:


18 comments:

  1. great job. only suggestion is have longer time frame for accepting questions lol

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    1. Longer? LONGER?? What do you want, two hours instead the next time I appeal at midnight for questions? #ToughCrowd

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  2. Hi Darren, it'd be great if you were able to post it on the iTunes podcasts. It would be easier to download for offline play on my phone.

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    1. I get that and totally agree. I had a hard enough time figuring out how to post it (initially failed at trying to post it on Google Docs) never mind considering the user experience! This is very much a duct-tape version of a podcast, low budget, low everything. But I do think it's easier to shape it after you do one and realize what you'd do differently the next time. (It's like hiring a second-time NHL coach.) In hindsight, I can see how a co-host would be a great upgrade and I get it, I do like the ability to react myself to someone else so that's a big one. I'd tighten up the segments too. Too much rambling. Doesn't feel like it in the moment because you're trying to keep it conversational but then it's like 45 minutes and I'm like how did that happen! Overall, some good and helpful takeaways so far and your suggestion is among them and will certainly need to be considered should this be something I choose to pursue more permanently. I have no idea of how to get a podcast onto iTunes though. No clue whatsoever. How I was able to do what I did with getting this pilot recorded and up (with some JCM intertwined) is actually staggering. So I have a lot of learning to do and not a lot of free time either so wish me luck! Thanks for the suggestion.

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    2. Hey Darren,

      Just another suggestion - if you do have the appetite, you can get a pretty audio for podcasts with the Blue Snowball for ~$85 (not the ice version).

      (Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Microphone-White/dp/B000EOPQ7E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1468298659&sr=8-3&keywords=blue+snowball)

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    3. Awesome. Really appreciate the tip. Seems like a reasonable price and a worthy investment. Thank you.

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    4. Last thing - looks like the step-up is on sale right now on Amazon. It's called the Blue Yeti, and is found here:
      https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0170NWLWY/ref=gbps_img_m-5_c3b6_a33761f2?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_p=482d9e02-4fa5-484b-a155-d8026edfc3b6&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=14403644011&pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_r=5Y9W8B8ZT41Z9E8AFWW1

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    5. Decisions, decisions. Thanks for the recommendations. Will review the choices more closely this weekend and figure something out. Onwards and upwards!

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  3. Hey Darren,

    Really good first attempt. I always enjoy your takes, and count me a a guy that is fine with you rambling a bit. These days everybody seems to want small sound bytes, and I am perfectly happy with getting more in depth analysis.

    Keep them coming, and I will keep listening...

    Thanks

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    1. Thanks for the perspective. Because it's a lot of stuff I've touched on in previous articles and chatted about with other colleagues, I tend to think everyone else was in those conversations too and it's a bit boring when I lose my way. But your perspective is the more important one and if it didn't drag, that's the most important part. Thanks for sharing your take. Cheers.

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  4. Hi Darren,

    This is great. The hockey world goes on break July and August, along with all the hockey talk. This is the point in the year where us fans are most desperate for some Flames talk in our lives. Keep 'em coming!

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    1. Seemed afterwards that maybe it was too much. Too much minutia. But if it didn't drag for you, that's the most important thing and that's also a good thing. Thanks for the note.

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  5. Really liked the podcast. I liked the format and the ~one hour was great. I prefer more talk over short sound bites myself. Its what made Marek vs Wyshinski podcsast so good. They didn't worry about the length per se. If I had one recommendation it would be the audio quality. It was just a little muddy. Made it a little difficult to hear you.

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    1. Agree with your recommendation. As I mentioned, this was a complete trial using only existing items at my fingertips (e.g I don't own a mic, have never needed one before) that I pulled together in the snap of a finger -- and literally overnight, after the idea was hatched. Shall I proceed, will do more investigation into this stuff as it's not my forte. Found an online site that allowed me to join clips together. I totally McGyver'ed it, it's the best description. There have been a few mic recommendations so I plan to purchase one of them. Seems like a worthwhile investment moving forward regardless. Thanks for the note.

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  6. Very enjoyable to get some hockey talk in July, I'm currently living abroad so I missed development camp this year, good to get some more in depth insight on it. Also, I didn't mind the audio quality, it sounded similar to your phone interviews on the Fan 960.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback. For a modest investment -- just made minutes ago, I should be able to upgrade the sound quality for a better experience the next time. Besides, need to be able to lean on the quality of the audio for when the quality of the content dries up! Cheers.

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  7. Great podcast. Loved the format and don't worry about the rambling, the longer the better.

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