BizNet on Podcamp: How to Do a Skype Interview

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I was interviewed at 7 am this morning by Shauna Nicholson of BizNet Internet Solutions. You can watch the interview below to learn more about Podcamp Hawaii. Shauna knows her stuff and this process illustrates a number of great examples (and a few opportunities for improvement) for conducting successful interviews using the social web, and Skype in particular.

All of this has taken place in less than 24 hours. Two geeky females, a few social web applications, and the internet produced several media products, numerous links and thousands of impressions.
Background and Set up

  • I posted on Twitter that I was looking for help getting press coverage on our free, all-volunteer event. (We do not have a PR team or budget.) Shauna, who I met a week ago in Detroit at a meetup of Twitter peeps organized by David Damore, replied soon after and offered to interview me for her site. I accepted!
  • Shauna then DM’d me (sent a private message) asking if I preferred email questions or a Skype (internet telephone) interview. I chose Skype, as I find the live interaction more interesting and because I am a terrible typist.
  • We quickly scheduled the date and time via Twitter private message, and exchanged usernames on Skype.
  • Takeaway: Asking for help is a winning strategy in social media. People love giving back and both Shauna and I earned a chance to help each other while promoting our own personal brands/projects.

The Interview Mechanics

  • It was 1 pm in Detroit and 7 am Saturday morning in Hawaii. I was up and showered but frankly was thinking this would be audio, not video. Shauna was set up for video, so we went with it, as in general I prefer video whenever possible.
  • Skype allows video recording now, so we were able to chart for a few minutes before she hit record and the official interview was captured.
  • Shauna also was able to instant message me a list of questions so I could see the text. Skype allows you to have multiple windows open, so this makes for a rich communication interface.
  • After the interview, I was able to message her all of the correct spellings and links to the people we discussed; made it easier for her to do a good job and for me to get excellent coverage!
  • Continuing use of the social web, Shauna posted a perfectly crafted Twitter message (link has expired). It mentions both @podcamphawaii and me, @roxannedarling, and links to her video post on her website.
  • I then re-tweeted her message to help drive more traffic to Shauna from my network.
  • I also created this post to demonstrate how learning, sharing, and promotion that can be done so seamlessly and powerfully online. I was also able to copy all of the links from the code of Shauna’s post so I too can pass on some link love, fairly easily.

The Interview Questions

  • This is where Shauna really excelled. She had done some research in advance, so her questions were tailored directly to me. Saves a lot of time and makes both of us look smarter!
  • She gave me a chance to talk about the many aspects of Podcamp, which in turn gave me a chance to mention several of our sponsors.
  • She also asked me who all was helping on the project. This is a key part of the social conversation online – networking and sharing the spotlight with others who contribute.
  • She then added links to each of the sponsors, speakers, and team members we discussed. This link love takes more time but really is a service to her readers and to the Podcamp team. One of the things we’ve promised our sponsors is that we will be talking about and linking to them.

Opportunities for Improvement

  • Instead of assuming I could have double-checked with Shauna to see if we were doing audio or video on Skype.
  • I could have taken a few extra moments to set up and get my framing better on the screen. (A little closer to the camera, face higher on screen, close the closet door in background, etc.) Let’s chalk that one up to being not quite awake combined with having relaxed so much into the informality and transparency of the social web.

Now that we’ve had our consciousness raised, please enjoy the video and add your own highlights and suggestions!
UPDATE:! The dates of Podcamp are October 24 & 25; the Social Media Workshop is Oct 23! Thanks to Judi for the correction.

Links Mentioned in the Video Interview:

Podcamp + Wordcamp Hawaii Sponsors:
Hawaii Convention Center
WiFi Vendor: Pacific Direct Connect
Projection Presentation Technology
Road Runner

Podcamp + Wordcamp Hawaii Speakers
Christine Lu @christinelu
Eric Nakagawa
Beth Kanter @kanter

Social Media Club
Social Media Club
Social Media Club Workshop (link has expired)
Social Media Club Hawaii Chapter Launch October 23

Podcamp + Wordcamp Hawaii Team
Shane Robinson @shane
Kyle Nishioka @madmarv
Judi Clark @judico
Todd Cochrane @geeknews