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At Volume, we’ve become pros at producing remote-recorded podcasts during all the different stages of lockdown and social distancing that punctuated 2020. Along the way, we have learned two very important things:

  1. It is difficult to get high-quality recordings of guests or participants if you have to record them from home over Zoom or some other online app.
  2. If the guest recording is low-quality, the only thing that can save the show is if the host voice-over is crystal clear, crisp, and high-quality by contrast!

The host or narrator’s recording definitely makes or breaks a podcast. It is the one thing listeners expect to be flawless, and the one thing they pick up on immediately if it is poorly done. …


Over the past month, Volume has been happily expanding. With a slew of exciting new projects building up over the course of the year, we decided that it is time for us to assemble a bigger team and invite exciting new people to join our podcasting company.

Looking for a specific kind of person

To make sure we create an efficient, inspiring, and effective team we made sure to look for people who:

  • Bring a totally new perspective, background, or skillset to the team: To keep creating compelling content, we need to keep things fresh!
  • Can self-manage and work independently: This is especially important for our current remote-work environment. …

This post is from the HOW TO PODCAST newsletter

On the 27th of July we launched the first episode of Kill Switch, a new podcast produced by Volume, Access Now, and the #KeepItOn coalition.

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What makes this podcast different from previous Volume shows is its diverse international cast. The #KeepItOn coalition consists of over 200 organizations from all around the world — fighting against government-mandated internet shutdowns from Sudan to Pakistan.

Each episode of Kill Switch features a roster of guests from this coalition. In the first episode, we talk to Oliver Spencer from Free Expression Myanmar, Berhan Taye from Access Now about her home country Ethiopia, Mishi Choudhary from SAFLC in India, and Hija Kamran from Media Matters for Democracy in Pakistan. …


This post is from the HOW TO PODCAST newsletter

Over the last couple of months, everyone has had to adapt to new ways to live their lives, do their work, and survive different degrees (and ‘levels’) of quarantine and social distancing. At Volume we had to take it a step further than just surviving: we had to innovate!

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We have been more productive than ever, it seems, because we’ve been perfecting the art of remote-recording even before #LockdownSA started. By the end of June, we’ve become experts in different forms and styles of remote-recording; from WhatsApp voice-note interviews to conference-call round-table discussions. …


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Journalist Megan Garber recently wrote an incisive takedown in The Atlantic of board-game conglomerate Hasbro’s latest instalment in the Monopoly multiverse (a new edition to the ranks of Star Wars Monopoly, Monopoly Millennial, 007 Monopoly, Pokemon Monopoly, Ultimate Banking Monopoly, and over 1500 more absurd editions, spinoffs, and branded licensing). The headline of Garber’s article on this brand new edition called Ms. Monopoly got straight to the point:

“The Board Game That Turns Feminism Into a Joke”.

Garber’s article itself quickly gets to the gist as she argues that (and illustrated how) the new Ms. Monopoly board-game is a blatant and often confounding commodification of feminism. Yet there is something more to be said about what Ms. Monopoly tried to accomplish as a game, and why it failed so spectacularly: Ms. …


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internet teapot presents the third issue of the Algorithms of Late-Capitalism zine: Minorities Report — Speculative Subversions

by Adriaan Odendaal & Karla Zavala

This month has been filled with an overwhelming amount of events that illustrate how state surveillance, systemic racism, and machine-learning technology are increasingly (and often, catastrophically) intersecting. Smartphone tracking of #BlackLivesMatter protesters; widespread backlash against Silicon Valley’s technological collaboration with law enforcement; and the proposed bill banning the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement in the US. It is against this backdrop, and countless other preceding events, that internet teapot presents the third issue of the Algorithms of Late Capitalism zine: Minorities Report — Speculative Subversions.

This zine is the result of collaborators from the Design Justice course at the Humboldt University of Berlin who came together over a 2-hour Zoom workshop. Together they contributed with provocative, fascinating, speculative, and critical examinations of the role technology plays in surveilling, monitoring, controlling and subjugating minorities, vulnerable populations, and others. …


When pioneering podcasts such as Serial first launched, it signalled the dawn of an exciting new medium. Since then, podcasts have become a mainstay of popular culture and a booming industry firmly established within the global media landscape. Along with this progression came the establishment of the medium’s own conventions, standard formats, and narrative tropes.

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The problem with the growing success and popularity of podcasting is that the adherence to convention and expectations can cause the medium to become stagnant and formulaic. Cultural theorist Mark Fisher called this “the cult of the minimal variation”. This means that instead of taking risks and innovating, companies start churning out cultural products that closely resemble those that have already proven to be successful. Most of us know exactly what to expect from a series by listening to the first few minutes, or even just looking at the cover art. …


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by Adriaan Odendaal & Karla Zavala

It’s likely that you’ve encountered your fair share of HTTP 404: Not Found errors after opening yet another new tab in your browser. Instead of that article, image, or downloadable you needed in your life, you land on a bare webpage usually containing an on-brand joke that tries to assuage your frustration with the unexpectedly missing information. The 404 page of the Internet Movie Database shouts: “Where’s the webpage, Lebowski? Where’s the webpage?” or a number of other internet protocol parodies of movie quotes.

Due to the prevalence of broken links, URL typos, or deprecated websites, the 404 status has become the most ubiquitous internet error message due to its fundamental network functionality. Nonetheless, there are of course other error messages that internet protocols can generate. Maybe you’ve seen 408: Request Timeout, or 403: Forbidden. …


This blogpost is part of a series about branded podcasts from Volume Amplify.

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Podcasts are no strangers to advertising. We’ve all heard those “Casper Mattress”, “Zip Recruiter”, and “Simply Safe” ad inserts between segments of Planet Money or How I Built This. But branded podcasts are completely different from this. A branded podcast would be closer to your favourite show doing an episode — or even a whole series! — about one of your products, services, or case studies. Simply because they think it would be interesting to their listeners. A branded podcast is much more than just an ad. …


Africa Podfest’s co-founder Paula Rogo
Africa Podfest’s co-founder Paula Rogo

The brand-new website for the Africa Podfest — a podcast festival held in Nairobi, Kenya this March — was launched this week. Just in time for #africanpodcastday! But what exactly is the Africa Podfest, who will be attending, and what will “Africa’s first podcast festival” mean for local creatives driving the podcasting scene across the continent? Africa Podfest’s co-founder Paula Rogo made time for us in between the crazy rush of putting on a first-time festival to ask her some of these questions.

Volume: Where did the idea for the Africa Podfest come from?

Paula Rogo: The idea for the Podfest came from myself and my co-founder Melissa Mbugua. We both come to podcasting in Africa from very different directions. I have a journalism background and started my own media company when I moved back to my native Kenya two years ago. The company is called Kali Media and what we do is we create content for millennial East African women. Part of the content creation started to fall under podcasting because we saw it as a medium that had great potential and that wasn’t of as yet flooding the market. And then also, I just generally think it’s a beautiful medium. …

Adriaan Odendaal

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