Monthly Archives: December 2015

End-of-year housekeeping questionnaire

handshakeHello there! I’m doing some end-of-year housekeeping, I’d love to know what people think of the on-going Libro blog. I’ve got 1,000,000 hits and counting this year, so I know people are reading, but it’s always good to check that I’m providing what you need!

Please share your answers in a comment below if you have a moment …

What are your favourite posts on the Libro blog (social media tips, Word tips, business info, editing tips, small business chats?)

Do you read the Saturday Small Business Chats? Would you read them more regularly if they were published on a different day? Do you find them interesting and useful? Do you like the update element of them? What would make you comment on them more?

Do you take part in the Small Business Chats? Do you find taking part useful or a chore? Do you read other people’s? What would make you comment on them more?

Thank you and Happy New Year to those of you on the same calendar as me!


Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Blogging


Season’s Greetings from Liz at Libro

Reykjavik in the snow

Reykjavik in the snow

Season’s Greetings, however and whatever you celebrate, as we slip past the turn of the year and, in the Northern Hemisphere, the days get longer again.

I wish all the readers of this blog and Libro customers older and newer a happy, peaceful and healthy 2016.

2015 has been a good year, and I’m looking forward to achieving some personal and business goals in 2016. Thank you to everyone who’s helped get me to this position of freedom to be able to work hard, give back, maintain connections, read a fair bit and keep fit.

The Small Business chats and other blog posts will be taking a short break, but will be back with a vengeance in the New Year. I will be taking time off 24-26 December inclusive, and working part time between Christmas and the New Year.

With best wishes from Liz and the household.



Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Celebration



Transcription tips: How do I transcribe a tape with multiple voices?

keyboard earphonesAlthough transcribing interviews by journalists or students that only involve two voices is the most common work I do, transcribers often have to work with tapes with more than two voices on them. How do you tell the voices apart so that you can differentiate them on your transcript? This article shares some tips I use to tell different voices on a tape apart.

What’s the problem with transcribing multiple voices?

I was transcribing an interview with two fashion designers today; my client had said it was OK not to differentiate them and the women themselves said that their voices were often confused. How did I tell the voices apart so I could produce a transcript that had the correct words attributed to the correct people?

Although it’s sometimes very easy to tell the people who are talking on a tape apart, for example if they’re a man and a woman, or one has a very strong accent, sometimes it can be difficult. Because it will help my client to know who said what, it’s important for me to try as hard as I can to differentiate the voices and make the transcript as useful as possible.

Before the interview: who are the interviewees?

If you know it’s going to be an interview with more than one participant, you can ask your client to help you from the very beginning.

Either they could ask their interviewees to introduce themselves by name at the beginning of the tape. Even if they are all, for example, young male voices, you can pick up a lot of information from this that will allow you to differentiate between them …

Or they could ask people to introduce themselves every time they make a point (this works in a more slow round table discussion at a conference, for example)

Taking the first option once led to a very sweet tape where the musicians in a band introduced themselves by name to me, mentioning my name, at the start: “Hello Liz, my name’s … and I hope you can understand me”. Aww!

After the interview but before you start typing: checking who is who on the tape

If you didn’t get the option to ask your client to get the interviewees to introduce themselves, it is OK to ask them who is who – for example, who speaks first, who has a voice that is distinctive in some way. They might also mention that, for example, the lead singer talks most and the person who only talks about one track is the drummer.

If you’re working on a discussion at a conference, you might be able to get some information from the conference website. For example, there might be a video up already that time stamps each person’s speech with a note of their name. Play the video, check the speech against your tape, and there you go.

When you’re transcribing: how do you differentiate between the different voices?

If you have no clues about who is who or who says what, there are still ways in which you can differentiate between voices on a tape. It can take time to get used to doing this, but it is useful.

  1. Check the video. This one sounds obvious, but if you have a video to transcribe, do look at it carefully. There may well be captions stating who is speaking, at least for the first time, and you can recognise who is who by their appearance. If there’s the option of a video for a conference or marketing meeting / focus group, do take it, even if it takes longer to download.
  2. Check where people are in space. In the tape I’ve been working on most recently, the speakers were sitting either side of the tape recorder. So, even though their voices were similar, one came from the left and one from the right. Result!
  3. Check the sound level/volume. If one person is sitting further away from the recorder, they will sound fainter.
  4. Check for even slight accents. There may be a non-native-speaker or regional accent on the tape: listen for different vowel sounds or intonation.
  5. Check the ums, ers and filler noises. These really vary across speakers and can make a difference. Person 1 might say “like” constantly, while Person 2 “ums” and “ers”.
  6. Check for clues in the environmental context. Does Jane order food but Sally just have a coffee? The one talking through her dinner is likely to be Jane.
  7. Check for clues in what they say. I often switch off from the content when I’m transcribing, just letting the words come into my ear and out of my fingers. But people will refer to each other by name, and this gives you a good clue to who is who, or reinforces your first thoughts (If the person you think is Pete refers to “Pete”, unless you have several interviewees with the same name, he’s unlikely to actually be Pete!).

I have two other handy hints to add, which I use all the time …

  • Draw a plan or write notes! When I work out who is who, I will write a little diagram out or make notes – “Bella … Jean” for the left/right ones, “Jim: high-pitched. Bob: rumbly and quieter” etc.
  • If you can’t put a name by each participant, at least try to break the text up into paragraphs spoken by different people. You might be able to go back and add the names if Julie says, “As Veronica said earlier, it’s difficult opening a tin of Spam”, for example.

It can be challenging when you find you need to transcribe a tape with more than one or two voices on it. As you have seen, there are things you can do to make this easier before the interview even starts, once you receive it and during the transcription process.

If you’ve found this article useful, please click to share! If you are a transcriber and have any tips to share on this topic, please do comment below!

If you want to learn more about Transcription as a career, buy my book: A Quick Guide to Transcription as a Career – buy from Amazon UK or visit the book’s web page for worldwide links and news.

Related posts in the series:

Why do transcribers charge by the audio minute and not per word?

How do you start a career in transcription?

Why you need a human to do your transcription

Being a professional transcriber – software to use to help

Ten top tips for transcribers


Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Business, Jobs, New skills, Transcription, Word


Tags: ,

How do I stop seeing my friend’s posts in a Facebook group or page appearing in my newsfeed?

This is a companion piece to the article I published last week on how you can stop your posts in a public Facebook group appearing in your friends’ newsfeeds (hint: you can’t). That post explained the different kinds of Facebook group and how much you post in each kind is visible to the outside world.

This article looks at the situation from the other side: how do you hide the posts that your friend makes in a Facebook group or on a Facebook page that you’re really not interested in.

What’s the problem?

Say your friend has just joined a quilting group and all he does is post, post, post in this group about quilts he’s made, ones he wants to make, techniques, meetups etc. And while you love your friend dearly, you really do not want to see all this stuff about quilting, because you’re all about judo and archery. Is there a way to hide this stuff, and the posts he puts on a fan page for a famous quilter? Yes, there is.

How do I hide my friends’s posts on a particular Facebook page or in a group?

When you catch one of the posts in a group you don’t want to see (and this isn’t always easy, as Facebook likes to show you random stuff every now and then, rather than all of everything all the time), you will see a little down-arrow in the top right corner of the post.

Click on the down arrow and you’ll be given some options. Note: this example is for a page, and I don’t really want to stop seeing these posts, it’s just for illustrative purposes …

Hide in your feed

You can see here that you can hide just this one post, unfollow your actual friend (but stay friends), or hide posts from that particular page. This message is the same whether you’ve Liked the page yourself or not, but you won’t get the option for a Group you’re a member of.

Click on “Hide all from … [group name / page name] and you won’t see posts from that source again.

Note that there’s no way for your friend to stop their posts in a public Facebook group appearing on your newsfeed (see the link at the top of this article for why), so if you don’t want to see them, this is the way to stop seeing them.


I hope you’ve found this useful – do feel free to share it on social media or email using the buttons below.

Other useful posts on this blog

How to stop your posts in a public Facebook group appearing in your friends’ newsfeeds

Facebook for business

How to delete posts and block users from your Facebook page

How to add a moderator or admin to your Facebook page

How do I stop videos auto-playing in Facebook and Twitter?

How do I stop seeing new comments on a Facebook post?

How do I hide a Facebook post?

How do I remove a member from a Facebook group?

How do I delete a Facebook group?

1 Comment

Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Facebook



How do I stop my posts in a Facebook group from appearing on my friends’ newsfeeds?

1 menuThis issue came up for me today and I thought it was worth sharing, as I had to go searching around for the answer.

What’s the problem?

You’re a member of a Facebook group discussing, for example, interior decoration. The group is a public or open Facebook group, so even if you have to ask to join and be approved before you can post, the posts are public.

So, you merrily start conversations about sofas and wallpaper, post pictures, create Events and join Events, and respond to other people’s posts.

Nothing appears on your own timeline out in main Facebook.

But your friends who aren’t in the group will see a selection of your posts in that Facebook group, whether or not they’re interested in interior decoration.

Why can my friends see my Facebook group posts?

If the group is a Public or Open group, that means that anyone can see the group, the members of the group and the posts they post.

It’s all down to the group, not to your individual settings. There is no way you can stop this happening (and there are some very cross posts and comments about this all over the Internet).

What are the kinds of Facebook groups?

A Public / Open group – everyone can see who is a member and what they post. You might have to be approved to post in the group or you might not, but everything will still be seen.

This kind of group is intended to be welcoming and visible and isn’t suitable if it’s for discussing private matters.

Closed group – everyone can see the group name and find the group, but no one who isn’t in the group can see the members and posts. You will need to ask to join this group and need to be approved before you can post.

If you have friends in a private group, you will see their posts in your timelines / newsfeed, and vice versa, but no one else will.

This kind of group is good if you want to be found, but don’t want your discussions all over the whole of Facebook.

A Secret group – no one can see the group name or the members or posts. It’s not searchable, even to find the name of the group. Members have to invite people to join the group.

This kind of group is useful for a support group or private discussion about an event where you know who you want to invite to join the group.

How do I tell what kind of group a Facebook group is?

When you look at the group home page, there will be a note underneath which states what kind of group it is. Here are some examples:

A Public group:

4When you hover over Public Group:

1 menu

A Closed Group:


When you hover over Closed Group:


A Secret Group:

5When you hover over Secret Group:


How do I stop my friends seeing all my posts in this Facebook group?

Short answer: if it’s an open group, you can’t.

Your friends can hide the posts from that group using the down-arrow in the corner of one of the posts, but you’d have to instruct all of your friends to do this and I’m sure this is not really feasible.

There is no setting in your profile that can stop your friends seeing the posts.

The only way to make sure that no one except friends who are also in the group can see your group posts is to change the group setting to Closed. Obviously, a moderator will need to do this, if you’re not the moderator.

I hope you’ve found this useful – do feel free to share it on social media or email using the buttons below.

Other useful posts on this blog

Facebook for business

How to delete posts and block users from your Facebook page

How to add a moderator or admin to your Facebook page

How do I stop videos auto-playing in Facebook and Twitter?

How do I stop seeing new comments on a Facebook post?

How do I hide a Facebook post?

How do I remove a member from a Facebook group?

How do I delete a Facebook group?


Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Facebook