Welcoming Newbies = Improving retention?

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
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Post by icequeen » June 27th, 2015, 5:35 pm

I think there is a certain amount of mentoring that goes on here anyway. I know that I have mentored many people who have asked questions, and they are still recording. I have mentored a few people that disappeared right after. And there are many more people who disappear after that one section because, as has been said above, recording is just not for them. I even had one person who uploaded her section and flat out told me that this was it and there would be no more. I had to do her edits for her because she was gone. And that is fine, we are not forcing people to record. There are many of us addicts here to keep us all busy for a long time.

I also think that we must avoid making people feel guilty. People disappear for many reasons, not just because they have found out that recording audiobooks is not as easy as it sounds. Maybe real life has made it impossible for them to be here? I can think of one reader right now who had to disappear for medical reasons. I hope he does come back, but no pressure if he doesn't. That is just the way life goes sometimes.

philchenevert wrote:I am in it for the money. Perhaps we should play up that angle? :roll:
Then there's Phil and his gumbo! I think there are a certain number of people who are here just to see what Phil has in his signature next! :lol:

"Qui res mundi vellet scire linguam Latinam cognoscat."

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Post by commonsparrow3 » June 27th, 2015, 5:49 pm

icequeen wrote:I think there is a certain amount of mentoring that goes on here anyway. I know that I have mentored many people who have asked questions ...
Yeah, you sure have -- and I'm one of them, still asking you newbie questions after two years (last week's mislabeled file goof-up!) -- and taking this opportunity to say thank you, Ann, for all the off-the-cuff mentoring you have given me -- and are still giving me!
icequeen wrote:Then there's Phil and his gumbo! I think there are a certain number of people who are here just to see what Phil has in his signature next! :lol:
Yup -- you've hit the truth -- that's why I keep coming back!
I like Phil's latest signature line very much --
philchenevert wrote:Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
That one just about sums up the LV experience for me!

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Post by icequeen » June 27th, 2015, 9:06 pm

:oops: You are very welcome, Maria!

"Qui res mundi vellet scire linguam Latinam cognoscat."

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Post by RuthieG » June 27th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Informal mentoring... yes, it goes on all the time, and I had never even thought of it as such. I look with great pleasure at readers whom I helped some years back who have gone from strength to strength and are now, to my ears, some of the most enjoyable people to listen to.

I didn't receive any mentoring myself. Indeed, it was so early that a one-minute test wasn't even suggested to me (I wish it had been - my audio quality was awful) but looking back at my posts, I just plodded on slowly and asked what I needed to know that I couldn't find out myself - and always received courteous and helpful answers. I enjoyed recording and editing, and wanted to put in the effort to do it as well as I could. I very soon realised that it was going to be a very time-consuming hobby, but that wasn't a problem for me. It will be to many people.

Phil wrote:I am in it for the money. Perhaps we should play up that angle?
In all seriousness I think Phil may have hit on something there. Many's the time time one sees articles on the web about making money from audiobook narration and voiceover work, and such articles even recommend coming here for "training" :roll: . It sounds easy money, until you try it (and even when you do get regular commercial gigs, it is highly unlikely to pay anything like a living wage). I've certainly seen many who arrive here as "aspiring voice artistes" who don't go ahead with it.

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Post by Carolin » June 27th, 2015, 11:27 pm

i also think there is plenty of mentoring going on already. heaven knows we try our best. the bulk of mentoring is done by bcs and dpls in group project, as this is when the real trouble begins, and i think we are doing a pretty good job with helping, answering questions, walking newbies through problems, and explaining general librivox-stuff.

actually, i have been an admin for over three years, and yesterday i still asked a "dumb" question. you never stop learning.

while i would like to retain more newbies, i think that the drop-off is caused by many, extremely diverse reasons outside of our control. as an example, i got two of my friends to sign on for librivox. neither of them ever posted, though they keep telling me how much they would like to record. one of them, however, had a baby recently, and the other's job got so busy that she hardly finds time to talk to her friends, so talking to a microphone is out of the question. you get addicted to librivox, but we, who are already on it, do not realize that it is actually not easy at all to sit down for two hours to produce a recording.

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Post by david wales » August 6th, 2015, 6:44 am

Recording for librivox is one of the most satisfying things I do. When I retired, I cast around for something useful to do and pleasant as well. I've forgotten how I got onto librivox, but it has been wonderful. I was amazed at the mentoring I've received, how knowledgeable, how patient, how kind. I'm also interested to see how my understanding of former times and former literatures has grown as I've recorded fiction and nonfiction. What an education! I'm really proud to be a librivoxer and talk it up every chance I get. And besides, it keeps me out of the bars and off the streets, as my unsainted father used to say. :D
Peace, David

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Post by smike » August 6th, 2015, 11:23 am

RuthieG wrote:And, having slept on it, I do believe that one major factor that puts new readers off is yards of technical detail.

We have specific settings that are necessary, and yes, we sometimes need to explain noise-cleaning and things like bit rate, stereo/mono and even DC offset occasionally. But in my experience, if it needs to be done, it must be in plain non-technical language with a simple step-by-step guide so that you don't scare people off. Things that are second nature to us are like Martian to people who have never used Audacity before.


See example of this here.

So much to do, so little time...

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Post by tovarisch » August 6th, 2015, 12:18 pm

There are those who want to work towards the goal (however distant), and they agree to put up with minor inconveniences (and sometimes major ones). And then there are those who think so much of themselves, value only their own contribution, and when a minor discrepancy is pointed out to them, go on a rant, blame somebody else, and slam the door... Which ones are we trying to retain here? :hmm:
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

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Post by silverquill » August 22nd, 2015, 2:18 am

Retention of volunteers in any context is always a concern. While there are things that we can do, participation really comes down to a matter of internal motivation. When we find something worthwhile, fulfilling -- fun, we will find ways to overcome the obstacles. People try LibriVox for a variety of reasons and leave or stay for a wide variety of reasons. What makes the difference?

It is true, nonetheless, that the removal of obstacles helps a lot. And, encouragement also goes a long way. So, thinking back a couple of years, I try to remember what helped and what hindered.

Someone has mentioned the technical hurdle, and I think that truly is a huge issue. It does take some persistence, but there are so many resources at LibriVox, that this hurdle is more easily dealt with. One of my biggest hurdles was just finding a place to record. I think I finally recorded my first poem out in the car at night. Then I got use of a room at our church.

The other thing that I really didn't understand was editing. I read that poem over and over until I got it perfect, not realizing the power of editing. Then I found out that editing recordings takes longer than the initial reading! :shock:

But, I got involved in projects that I truly enjoyed -- some Poe and a play that was dear to my heart. I do think that is key.

Mentoring? Well, yes, absolutely! Funny thing about mentoring -- structuring and formalizing it can kill it. Somehow it needs to be intentional but natural. As has been stated, I do think this is primarily the role of a BC, and mine were so helpful, patient and encouraging! Thank you TriciaG :clap: And there have been so many others along the way, and still are, who keep me going. I've just started BCing a few projects, and I've tried to pick some that I thought would appeal to newcomers, which they have, and I've tried to encourage and help. I think a PL can also be a big part of the mentoring process. I try to give positive feed back and encouragement, and invite them to record some more! I'm always happy when they do. (Of course, the MCs are mentoring me in the BC area! I keep finding new ways to mess up, but they keep me straight.)

Some people will just nibble; some will sit down for a banquet. Some will pop in and pop out, some will join the family. Glad to be welcomed to the table!

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