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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!

 
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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.

xx

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Celebration

 

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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

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

 

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Small business chat update – Sarah Goode

Small business chat update – Sarah Goode

Today I have an update I’ve been waiting for a while to post! The lovely Sarah Goode who makes jewellery as Pookledo, has been waiting on purchasing and opening a shop for what feels like (and probably is) several years. FINALLY, it’s all gone through and she’s installed in the lovely Purple Pumpkin Patch in Loughborough. We first met Sarah back in her in August 2013 (although I’ve known her for a few years more than that) and last featured her in September 2014, when this was her plan for the year: “Hopefully we will happily be trading in our own business premises but until then, I’ll be travelling to different venues, making contacts, and meeting lots of lovely people.”
Well, she’s got that shop, but let’s see how she got there and what’s happening next.

This is also the first interview to feature my NEW QUESTION! If you own a small business yourself, please scroll down and answer in the comments to get a bit of a conversation going …

Hello Sarah. So (and I think you are), are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Finally we are. Hooray! We got the keys to our new shop on the evening of Monday 23rd November and decided that we should open on the day they switched the Christmas lights on in Loughborough which was Sunday 29th November which meant a lot of hard work cleaning, painting and then getting all our lovely crafters’ stock in place ready for customers to be able to visit.

I’m still going to various craft fairs and festivals, but I’m going to slow down on the events now and stick to the bigger festivals and events I like to support, as being in a different venue every day really does take its toll. I’m going to stay with my market stall every Friday at Coalville Indoor Market, though, as it’s a lovely place to trade. This year I will be focusing on the shop and selling items for other local crafts people as well as myself.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’ve met so many lovely people on my travels around all the fairs and markets I’ve attended. It’s been a great experience which I have loved.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned that customer service is one huge advantage that small businesses have over larger companies. The flexibility, personal touch and listening to what a customer says gives a small company the edge.

SPECIAL EXTRA QUESTION: What question would you like to ask your fellow small business owners?

If you have a business idea that you think would work, what is stopping you and can you think of a way around it to make your dream a reality?

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Hopefully we will have regular workshop bookings and events in the shop, which is another thing I am aiming to progress with in the year ahead. Supporting local crafts and handmade artisans in getting their work out there for sale on the high street.

I’m so pleased to be able to report on Sarah’s shop being open at last! See below for a couple of tantalising images!

Sarah’s new shop is at 102 Ashby Road, Loughborough, LE11 3AF and the website is at www.purplepumpkinpatch.co.uk, and you can also find her at www.pookledo.com and on Facebook. Her lovely products are also available via Etsy.

Purple Pumpkin Patch craft shop gift shop Loughborough

Shop window looking good!

Purple Pumpkin Patch craft shop gift shop Loughborough

Christmassy goodies in store now

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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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?

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Facebook

 

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Small business chat update – Marvin Edinborough

Small business chat update – Marvin Edinborough

It’s officially Small Business Saturday today around the UK – but of course it’s always Small Business Saturday here in Libro Towers, so it’s business as usual. Today we’re catching up with my old personal trainer, Marvin Edinborough, or Marvelous PT. He started taking part in this series in July 2012 and checked in for an update in August 2013. and most recently October 2014. At that point, he was mainly teaching and keeping the personal training going as he has loyal customers he wanted to keep working with. And his plan for the upcoming year? To be, “Still around, still training clients, still achieving results. Although the Personal Training has taken a background position, I still hope to have a good, loyal client base a year from now.” Now, Marvin has a history of being surprised where the year has in fact taken him, so let’s see if that’s true today …

Hello again, Marvin. So, the big question: are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Once again, not in the slightest. I knew (or at least thought) I’d still be training, but my situation has changed once again! Due to what I will say below I am currently doing around 10hrs training a week with no room for any more (by choice)

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

Firstly I am now a father to a little girl, which has had a little impact on my workload, but I am now training personal trainers to be. I took time off starting in February for a few months due to my daughter being born in March but missed it! (sad, I know) so I started up personal training again at a new local gym in July and in my time off came across Fitness tutoring and since September I have started working for a company delivering Level 2 and 3 fitness qualifications.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

It’s hard to say. I suppose I wish I’d known about the demand for personal trainer tutors as I would have got into it a lot earlier. I have seen some really bad practice amongst personal trainers throughout the years and I now can have some sort of impact on the professionals about to embark on a personal training career.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Work hard, do your research, read, attend seminars and never think you know it all. Always develop and grow!

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

I aim to be working towards my life goal of running my own qualifications company. At the moment it’s just ideas, but over the next few years I’d like there to be some sort of development. I’ll still be personal training of course. No matter how busy I get I will find time to personal train, as it’s something I have enjoyed for 6 years now.

Exciting news there – first of all congratulations to Marvin on becoming a dad and thank you to him for talking about how that’s impacted on his career, and second I think it’s great that he’s training the next generation of personal trainers – as such a good one himself, I know he’ll be passing on his skills and attitude to the people he’s teaching. I think his idea of having his own qualifications company is a great one, and look forward to seeing those plans progress!

You can contact Marvin via Twitter or email. And do let me know if you’d done something exciting for Small Business Saturday!

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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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:

2

When you hover over Closed Group:

3

A Secret Group:

5When you hover over Secret Group:

6

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?

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Facebook

 

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