Last week Dmitry Kornyukhov announced the launch of our new project — the first live talk-show about the translation profession called Blabbing Translators. Today I’m going to share with you some “behind the scenes” of the preparation process and my thoughts about the whole thing.
But first a little story. When I stopped hiding under the rock and started to get more of myself out into the world back in June 2015, one of my constant sources of inspiration and ideas was listening to podcasts. I got a ton of useful information from Marketing Tips for Translators by Tess Whitty and 100 Percent Translations by Paul Urwin.
I also love some podcasters who are not translators. I regularly listen to Invisible Office Hours by Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook, This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt and Working Out Podcast by Ashley Baxter and Paddy O’Donelly (they don’t release new episodes, but you can listen to some of the 46 episodes published on their website) just to name a few.
I think podcasts are great for sharing what you know and connecting with people while providing value to your community and increasing visibility. At some point I even briefly thought about starting my own podcast, but I was scared away by the technical side of this whole thing. I also wanted to pitch my idea to Dmitry and ask him to be my co-host, but by that time he already had The Open Mic and I figured that one huge side project coupled with a translation business should probably be enough for anyone.
Imagine my delight when Dmitry shared his idea for Blabbing Translators with me in the middle of December! And the best part? He was ready to take care of all the technical stuff, so I just couldn’t say no!
So, what it’s been like for me to work on this new project for the past two months? Well, it’s been a lot of fun!
I’m responsible for inviting the guests and it’s been the most rewarding job you can imagine. I’ve got so much support from everyone I sent invitations to! Over the past few weeks I’ve contacted a dozen of people and almost everyone agreed (and others promised to think about it ;)). Here’s how this process works at the moment:
First I send an email with some information about Blabbing Translators and the link to the website. I also suggest a couple of things we could talk about, but we believe it’s always better if the guest chooses the topic. When people speak about things that genuinely interest them they do it in an engaging way and it’s a win-win both for the speaker and the listeners.
By the way, if you’d like to join in the fun and talk to us, you can either press the big red button saying “I would love to blab with you!” on the Blabbing Translators website or just send me an email.
After the guest accepts the invitation, we determine the date of the talk. At the moment we’re scheduling the shows for the second half of April (I know! It’s crazy!).
We also conduct a test call a couple of weeks before the date of the chat so that you could get familiar with the platform and we could make sure that the internet connection is good enough to stream the video.
Important tip: take a couple of minutes to register at Blab.im. You can do it using your Twitter account.
I ask our guests to come up with a short outline of what they are going to talk about. It helps us to get more clear about the topic and provides a flexible framework for the chat. It shouldn’t be long or too detailed, though.
We also use this outline to come up with a list of questions, which I send to the guests, so that they know what’s coming.
We need your photo for the video cover and your short bio for the post with the show notes that we’ll publish on the Blabbing Translators website.
And that’s it! See, it’s all very easy.
I’m so excited about this project, that it might seem that this is all within my comfort zone. It’s not.
I do feel scared, but sometimes you just get an idea or a proposal, that feels absolutely right for you. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before. Even if it seems that your personality type might get in the way (I’m one of those self-proclaimed introverts). You just have a feeling that you’ve got to make a leap of faith and do it. That was exactly the feeling that I got when I read Dmitry’s email almost two months ago.
For me Blabbing Translators is more than an opportunity to get to know a lot of amazing people while learning something useful in the process. It’s even more than a chance to build a warm and friendly community of professional translators. What can be better than this you might wonder?
I believe that this project can help us spread the word about translators, put ourselves in front of other professionals, become visible.
Many of us have been taught that a good translator is an invisible translator. And indeed, the best result of our work is a text that reads as if it’s been written in the target language. The same applies to interpreters: they should not be the center of attention, they should just quietly do their job. But there’s a catch.
We’ve become so good at this invisibility thing, that it affects our profession. We hear a lot about marketers, web-designers, web-developers, SMM experts, writers. We don’t hear enough about translators. We don’t hear enough translators telling their inspiring and authentic stories.
And this is what Blabbing Translators has all the chances to become — a place, where translators can tell the stories about what they do and share their struggles and experiences in real time and in front of a wider audience.
If you want to join us on this wonderful journey, head to Blabbing Translators website and subscribe to our mailing list, so that you won’t miss our future blabs.