A couple of days ago we wrote the following (see – a community bulletin board?):
“We’re really excited about the reception the ‘Off the Leash’ podcast has received, but we’re only just getting started! There’s a reason we called the site ‘Off the Leash Podcasts’ (‘podcasts’ plural) and that’s because we always saw the site as more than simply a place where Dominic and I can talk about the issues that matter to us. We want it to be a hub – a sort of community bulletin board if you like – where you can talk about the issues that matter to you as well. Yes, of course many campaigners and activists have their own websites – and in some cases their own podcasts – but we also know that many other people don’t. Having a platform of some sort is a huge advantage in getting your voice heard, but NOT having one shouldn’t mean you are silenced. And that’s where we think we can help…”
We also said that we’d post some FAQs because what we wrote was just an introductory post and – to be honest – we hadn’t really got as far as figuring out all the details. Well, we’ve done that now (we hope) so here we go…
“So, I like this idea about the ‘community bulletin ‘board’ aka ‘I get to go off the leash as well’, but I have a few questions…”
We thought you might…
To save you scrolling through the FAQs below, here are a few of the basics:
- The service we’re offering is absolutely free.
- Your submission can be whatever length you want it to be, but we reckon fifteen minutes would be about the maximum (above that length and we’re getting into the realms of a full-length podcast).
- If you have recording kit that’s great, but recording on a phone is fine too. If you make the odd stumble don’t worry, we’ve edited literally hundreds of full-length podcasts and will help ‘tidy up’ your recording’ if we think it will help. Try and record in a quiet place (and out of the wind) if you can as it makes what you say much easier to hear.
- We can handle most audio file formats so don’t worry about converting your file. We’ll be uploading your submission as an mp3 and will do any of the necessary conversions ourselves if we need to.
- If we know each other and you have our mobile numbers WhatsApp is an incredibly easy way to get a recording to us. Otherwise, please send your recording to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use a file transfer service like WeTransfer.
That pretty much covers the basics, so onto the FAQs…
Free? Seriously, there are hosting costs and advertising charges right? How much will using the ‘board’ really cost me?
Nothing. Seriously, nothing whatsoever.
We pay to keep the ‘Off the Leash’ website and podcast up and running anyway, and if there are any extra costs we’re happy to absorb them because ‘getting the message out’ is important to us. And putting a range of voices in one place will bring in different audiences, and the more listeners we all have the better!
Okay, so what can I talk about?
The same things that we do – environmental issues, animal rights, land use, biodiversity loss, petitions, events, fundraisers, that sort of thing. If you’re not sure what we talk about then listen to one of the podcasts (or all of them). If you don’t agree with what we talk about then you’re in the wrong place.
And, yes, we reserve the right not to publish something if it doesn’t fit with the ethics of the site.
Can I promote a commercial event?
If you’re raising money for a charity or organisation that we might support, then probably yes. If you’re just looking for a free place to advertise your business, then probably no. Let’s both assume we know the difference because you’re smart and we’re smart too.
What if I send you something that’s pro-hunting or pro-shooting?
You’d be wasting your time. As the website owners we have the right to hit the delete button and we’re not afraid to use it.
Got it. So how ‘off the leash’ can I go?
We’re all in favour of passion and emotion and believe in forthright opinion (that’s why we started the website and the podcast after all), but we are making material available to the general public so we need to consider that at all times.
We all recognise ‘bad language’ when we hear it. Just remember that anyone can use the internet and if you wouldn’t let your kids hear your recording then you’ve probably gone too far.
We in the pro-wildlife camp are generally lovely people, so this might seem unnecessary to put in writing, but there is of course no ‘wriggle’ room at all when it comes to hateful or discriminatory speech. We will not host hate speech of any sort, and that includes using terms like ‘hunt scum’ or abusive or unsubstantiated attacks on individuals.
We also won’t host any material that condones acts of violence or describes or condones criminal damage (yes, we loathe traps and snares too, but the law’s the law until we can get it changed).
Will you edit what I record?
We reserve the right to edit submitted material but will usually only do so if it’s factually inaccurate or decide to bleep out a word or two.
On the other hand if you’ve made a stumble or a mistake, we’re pretty handy with editing software so might ‘tidy’ up a recording if it helps make the content clearer.
But ‘my content’ is ‘my content’, right?
Absolutely. By submitting a recording you are giving us permission to publish it, but if you change your mind just ask us to take it down and of course we will. If we’ve edited something and you don’t like what we’ve done, ask us to take it down.
Remember, though, even if we remove it from ‘Off the Leash’ once your recording is on the internet it’s going to hang around in some form or another almost indefinitely, and we can’t be held responsible for copied versions turning up somewhere else.
Will you tell me when you publish something I’ve submitted?
Again, absolutely. We’ll contact you before we publish to check you’re happy for us to go ahead. If you’ve changed your mind, no problem.
Can I submit a recording anonymously?
Clearly when you send material to us we’ll usually be able to see who you are, but we fully understand that you may not want to be identifiable publicly: your employer may hold different views for example, or maybe you have concerns about harassment, of physical harm, or damage to your property. If you prefer your name or other means of identification (affiliation with an organisation perhaps) to be withheld from public view we will respect that.
However, please understand that as publishers we need to be certain – and be able to check – that what we’re about to upload is accurate and true. Therefore we can not publish a recording if we have no way at all of getting in touch with you.
Okay, as you kind of mentioned this at the top of the page, just suppose I wanted to start a podcast but don’t have the resources to pay for hosting services, would you host it for me?
Start up a family of ‘Off the Leash’-style podcasts? If there was an interest and someone asked us, yes, we’d love to do that. We’re not in a position at the moment to offer a full recording/editing/hosting service but we’d certainly look into sharing our platform with you (at no charge) if your podcast was a good fit with our ‘brand’ and ethics.
Well, we think that about covers it but please do feel free to make suggestions for additions or corrections etc in the comments form below.