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What can we learn from game developers?

Here's my first attempt at a couple of short audio remixes pulled from recordings of my public talks. Both are a partial answer to the question: what do game developers know that we can use on non-games to help create passionate users?

What games do
games.m4a (5.8 mbs, 4 minutes)

Note: this particular talk was focused on technology products (including software and tech documentation), but the same principles apply to any kind of product, service, cause, etc...with a little imagination.

The difference between men and women
Differences.m4a (1.9 mbs, 2 minutes)

I'm still experimenting with the combinatorial explosion of possible audio settings, so these files might be way too big. I do plan on putting up more pieces from my talks, but don't worry--I'm not turning this into an audio-only podcast! I'll resume regular text tomorrow ; )

Posted by Kathy on April 3, 2006 | Permalink


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Tracked on Apr 5, 2006 8:50:40 AM


Freakin awesome! And actually, I like the music splicing the talking; it breaks it up and gives me a moment to think about what you just said. Pplus the beats are groovy -- you couldn't break it up with, say, country. ;)

More, more!

Posted by: Rabbit | Apr 4, 2006 1:03:06 AM

Actually, a regular podcast might be a good idea. I could listen to it in the car or while waiting for results from interminable SQL queries. :-)

Posted by: Matt Moran | Apr 4, 2006 3:46:16 AM

I'd listen to a podcast, too.

Have you tried recording while talking over over beats? Sometimes it can make it all sound more natural if you do your voice-overs while listening to the music at the same time. When talking with a beat in the background, people seem to magically find natural pauses that sync really well.

I know these were mixed from speeches, but maybe something to try next time? Looking forward to it.

(Just to be clear, not suggesting you rap or anything. No, wait, I totally am. Holy Jeez, that would be bananas good times.)

Posted by: saleem | Apr 4, 2006 5:26:52 AM

This is great! My only complaint is that I want more! Ok, I'll admit it, I'm a man and I want to get to the next level. :) I love the pauses with music too. It gives me time to reflect on what you are saying and I feel more engaged in the topic.

Anyway, I'm enjoying your Head First Java book and I'm looking forward to the Design Patterns book. The blog is a huge bonus I didn't expect when I bought the book. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Scott S. | Apr 4, 2006 7:33:04 AM

I don't know why, but I was thinking about your blog on the way to work this morning and it I had the thought "how the hell does she find time to write so much (and write it well and on interesting topics and...) AND do all the other stuff she does?"

Podcasting, huh? Well, I guess you could generate them while you're driving or in the bathroom or as you're falling asleep at night (that is, if you ever sleep). There must be SOME time in your day when you're only doing one-thing-at-a-time where you could work this in.

You're creative. I know you'll figure out a way to make podcasting a regular feature on your site!

Posted by: junior | Apr 4, 2006 8:03:33 AM

junior: For starters there's all the talks Kathy's given over the past few years. I listen to the Etech podcasts that are part of ITConversations. They feature all kinds of talks from the Emerging Technology conference O'Reilly organise. If Kathy's got a bunch of tapes / audio files already recorded from similar events, all they'd need is a 2 minute intro tacking on the front & hey presto! - Instant series of podcasts. Big assumption is that there already exist such audio files, but if that's the case, the work is pretty much done.

Posted by: Matt Moran | Apr 4, 2006 11:45:59 AM

Hey, I didn't say I wouldn't love to hear 'em! Bring it on!

And thanks for the tip on Etech. I'm going to go check those out.


Posted by: junior | Apr 4, 2006 1:26:42 PM

I started podcasting primarily because...
o Honestly my mind and tongue works faster than my hands/fingers (don't get any ideas now)
o I hate it when my mind is oozing with a lot of juicy stuff but by the time I get anywhere close to writing, it's all vaporized!
o I want to take my text to another level, after(or alongside) Audio , I'm also gonna start my Video sessions.

I really don't know any better way to get up , close and personal. On my podcast I can also let others *talk* back as well. That I like a lot better actually.

For instance, I kinda of know what Kathy will say but I'm more curious to read and listen to comments as well.

And besides Multimedia is the next big wave. Text processing will soon disappear.

Posted by: Tarry Singh | Apr 4, 2006 2:01:26 PM

Thumbs up Kathy! Great point there with the levels in games.

I would love to hear more of your talks.

Posted by: Jan Korbel | Apr 5, 2006 7:32:50 AM

Looks like I might be in the minority here, but I find background music (even at a modest volume) very distracting in podcasts. I want to hear what you're saying, and not be distracted by a music loop!

That said, I loved your presentation at SXSW. Great work!

Posted by: Jared Christensen | Apr 5, 2006 8:34:13 AM

I like the idea. I found the music breaks actually disruptive in that they seemed to o long, maybe the breaks were at the wrong point rather than the music length itself. I kept thinking, "when will she finish this segment." Maybe it was the choice of the music.

The other thing that got on me was the heavy compression, music would go from 80db to 5db when you spoke and then back in my face when you paused.

Keep up the experiments.

Posted by: Forrest Chang | Apr 5, 2006 10:20:13 AM

Easy to dance to and I love the lyrics! I wish Dick was still doing "rate a record".

Keep the hits coming!

Keep creating, Mike

Posted by: Michael Wagner | Apr 5, 2006 12:15:27 PM

Let's hear them. One thing I learned from game developers is that- anything in life can be a game! And Kathy, You are brilliant. I loved your podcasts. Esp. 'The difference between men and women'..and we are on the same page about that one. ;)

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Posted by: Mirar | Jan 23, 2007 11:11:45 AM

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