What’s the hold up? (Transcript status update)

Hey there!

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a part of the portion of our audience who relies upon transcripts to enjoy our show.

And I want to start this by saying, that I am really sorry we’re letting you down at the moment. Accessibility for all our community is really, genuinely important to us and due to constraints outside of our control, our ability to achieve the level of accessibility we’re after simply isn’t possible. So I wanted to draft a post to explain what’s going on and do my best to give a best-guess timeline moving forward.

First off, back when we first commissioned the transcripts for our first season, we were given a rough estimate of time and the impression that the expected due date was a *generous* estimate (i.e. expecting that the work would be done a lot sooner).But based on the actual estimate we were given, we expected that the first season would be completely transcribed by the beginning of our second season and so, this is what we reported would be the case!

Don’t count chickens, best laid plans etc. etc.

We have no issues with the person who was hired to do these transcriptions and bear no grudge against them. Unfortunately, their life circumstances changed dramatically and in addition to this not too long after the contract was signed and, due to the harsh audio quality of our earlier episodes, progress was a lot slower than they anticipated.

In the meantime, we hired a second transcriber to start work on our Sidequest episodes and Season two! As you can see, their work has been fantastic and though it’s hard to tell from a user endpoint, they’re also extremely fast so we set forth with the goals of releasing transcripts for season two within a week of audio release. We firmly believe that if it can be avoided, there shouldn’t be a delay between audio and transcript release, though if there must be, then it should, ideally, be as short as reasonably possible, that the transcripts be accurate, clear and readable for all.

So all in all, we were very happy with the results.

Once it became clear that our initial transcription contractor was not going to be able to meet the timeline we had set, we renegotiated the terms and so there are now only a few more episodes they are responsible for. Unfortunately the episodes in question have some particular audio issues and might take some extra time. In the meantime,  The transcriber for season two has been transferred to work on season one as they have agreed to do the same work for the same fee etc.

So, in theory, we should be net positive, faster transcripts and no financial shift! And in theory, that IS the case. But then, of course, life has a way of having its own ideas about how things go.

So, first things first: Season one transcripts. Are very much under way. Almost all of Season one has its first draft completed. Before I can release these though, I need to sit and review every word, fine tuning layouts, ensuring cross talk is clarified and that what might be considered unnecessary background noise is included when its intentional or adding appropriate {tone guides}.

I am extremely passionate about our transcripts not simply being word-for-word transcripts of what we’re saying but that they also catch the tone and pacing of what’s being said. How we say the things we say is just as, if not, often MORE important than what is being said. If your only access to our show is via transcripts, I want them to read in a way that is entertaining! I want them to be enjoyable to read and sometimes, that requires a little bit of finesse. Not changing what’s being said; the words are as true to the audio as they can be but changing the way they’re presented. Punctuation, tone guides. Noise descriptions. I firmly believe these things make a difference to your experience.

So; although the transcriptions are mostly complete, I still need to review and fine tune. I am dedicating as much of my spare time as humanly possible to this end goal at present so I can put these out at a decent rate but the truth is, I don’t have a lot of that to go around!

I am expecting to get a lot more done in early August, by which time I’m hoping we will have all the transcripts for review and I’ll be able to motor through them.

But this brings me to my second, and perhaps most poignant point.

As you may have noticed, Season two transcripts have stopped. Initially, this was because our 2nd transcriber shifted to working on the second half of season one. Now, that is less the case. To date, i’ve spent over $1500 of personal funds on hiring people for this work and I did have some more set aside. Enough to fund up to about 2 months more, potentially but due to some personal family issues which have required funds and a disaster involving my phone (which I am dependant on for my job) these have all but dried up.

To compensate, i’ve started a Patreon and opened up our Kofi pages in the hopes that folks like yourselves in our audience will help us to continue funding transcription efforts. I’m pleased to say we are receiving some support! But it’s not yet at a level where I could feasibly afford even one episode at present. I’m currently doing my best to generate content through the week to ensure people have reasons to keep supporting us.

So, in short; Transcripts have stopped because my personal funds have dried up. I’m setting aside a little each month and adding it it to what we currently receive from Patreon/Kofi and will either pay for individual episodes to be transcribed as and when I can afford it or simply resort to the same process as last time around and wait until I can afford to have the batch transcribed for the season.

Season one transcripts, I hope, will be complete and released by mid-august (at the very least, 1-7, Episode 1A [Catch up episode] and 10-20)

If you’d like to help us out, please consider spreading the word about our show, letting folks know what we’re doing here is one of the biggest support networks we have. If you’re able, please consider dropping us a pledge on Patreon each month to get things back up and running (we have a whole bunch of rewards!) or “buy us a Ko-fi”. It all goes straight into funding the services you’re here for;

You can find us on Patreon here; https://patreon.com/DarkDragonsInn

Or donate to our Ko-fi

The Doomsinger Written by: