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Chhavi Sachdev runs Sonologue and is India's second most experienced podcaster, having started putting out podcasts on her own and for clients like the Blue Frog in 2008... long before Serial, leading her mother to tell other people "I don't know what she does. Something to do with radio on the Web."
Over the last 10 years, she has developed and launched several podcasts that are successfully running, as well as produced the LSDcast - India's definitive podcast about love, sex, and dating, and Tall Tales Takeaway -- bite size true stories, told live.
She also conducts workshops on DIY podcasting, audio editing, and consults for organizations that need a little handholding in the audio format.
To pay the bills, Chhavi is a freelance multimedia journalist and producer covering science, health, development, sustainability, and women's issues extensively. She has co-hosted episodes for BBC's World Hacks and CrowdScience and she's a frequent presenter on PRI's The World, BBC's Health Check and several Deutsche Welle programs.
She listens to podcasts while exercising, doing chores, and also when she's felled by migraines.
I recently learned that a major news outlet is trying to make their reporting on India's upcoming election interactively accessible via a conversation with Siri or Alexa or Google Home. Downloading a full podcast episode may well become a thing of the past when it comes to "hearing" news, but how does it work? And what are the challenges?
In this episode, host Khoi talks to voice interaction designers Katie Briggs, who works on voice design at NPR (their podcast Wait! Wait! Don't tell me! now has interactive episodes for smart speakers!) and Will Hall, chief creative officer at RAIN, an agency focused on voice.
Voice UX design is a pretty new area and people are still learning how to really anticipate what people will say or do given a conversational mode of accessing information. Guest Will Hall says so far people are very limited in what they ask of smart voice assistants (weather, music, arcane facts, generally) and changing this is the job of a Voice UX designer. Compounding this is the fact that, as Hall notes, every user is "a focus group of one" because nobody thinks or talks the same way.
It's a really interesting, very quick episode, that will make you think about how ease of use matters and is going to change, for sure.On a side note, I thought it was interesting that, as Hall points out, millennials approach even voice assistants with an apology (as if disturbing them), while Briggs noted that younger people acknowledge them as if they were sentient beings, for instance by saying "hi" to them when entering a room.