Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1068600792

From: "Annie, The WritingTeacher" <>
Subject: [DNA] How to transcribe DNA-driven Genealogy/Oral History Audio
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 17:33:12 -0800

:D How to Transcribe DNA-Driven Genealogy/Oral Histories: Alternative Career
for Historians, Genealogists, Anthropologists, and Freelance Writers

Looking for a career in transcribing oral history tapes? Some work
is done for oral history libraries, and some transcribers are blind and use
voice software such as Jaws to listen to computers instead of viewing
monitor screens. Other writers work as personal historians and are members
of national personal history and oral history societies.

Writers start by opening a tape transcription center for oral
histories and personal histories, including life stories, veterans stories,
and corporate success case histories. You can focus on personal history,
medical, legal, corporate, oral history, life story, or ethnic histories.
You work as an academic or professional transcription of oral history tapes.
Work can be with audio or video tapes or multimedia. You can enter this with
any diverse background ranging from freelance writer to public history buff,
to genealogist.

What to charge? Standard rates run from $25 to $40 per
transcription hour. Pick an average say $26 to $38 per transcription hour
depending on your skills and the area you live in. Charge special rates for
large projects. A large project is one consisting of more than 20 hours of
recorded material. Usually, a 1-hour one-on-one interview of good quality
audio will take approximately 3 to 4 hours of transcription time. So a
1-hour interview will typically cost about $100.

Writers need to offer fast turnaround. So writers are encouraged
to band together into a freelance writers or personal historians
cooperative and offer these services as groups of transcribers, oral
historians, or freelance writers. Its an excellent alternative for
genealogists, family historians, personal historians, and corporate case
history managers.

Don't charge extra for rush projects. You'll work with
recordings of oral histories, seminars, lectures, panel discussions, and
conference transcriptions of oral newsletters. A group of writers or history
buffs may get together and transcribe more than 3000 hours of interviews a

Work at home, online, or in your client's office or home. Lets
say I dont drive and dont like to commute. I can transcribe online with my
computer. To save my eyesight, I can use a screen reader that tells me in
audio each letter. The oral history material is less dry than medical or
legal transcription because youre using plain language. If you understand
another language, you can offer services using those other languages as
well. Work at home and transcribe by email wav, MP3 and Real Media (RM
files). Provide your customer with paper, disk and emailed transcripts.
Convert video to audiocassettes. Connect your computer with an audio and
video cable such as a 1394 Fire Wire cable or i-link, or a serial bus to a
camcorder. Or capture video from your VCR. Convert VHS tapes to CDs or DVDs.
Learn how to transfer audio and video from various camcorder tapes or audio
tapes to the hard disk on your computer and then record to a CD or DVD.

Provide your client a transcript in any format your clients
want, including HTML. I use Front Page and Office Professional software
(Microsoft). Get yourself a Web site and email address. Thats what being an
oral history transcriber is all abouttransfer of technology and transfer of
words from hearing to text using audio and/or video sources.

If you're a historian or writer, genealogist or academic person
who doesn't like transcribing yourself, you can always hire transcribers to
do the keyboarding--listening to the audio and typing out the text in
various formats. Your role would focus on making the calls to drum up
business--getting personal histories, academic and corporate histories, or
even volunteering to videotape people in various situations from veterans to
niche groups, ethnic groups, survivors of wars groups, immigrant groups, or
other specialties, such as people in targeted occupations.

Or you could rent your transcribing skills at $25-$35 an hour to transcribe
oral histories for genealogists or for museums and academic libraries,
charging your current rate for special projects. If you like oral history,
here's one way to make apply your skills to practical use for public history
or special history such as preserving a language and culture or documenting
events and life stories.

Want to Be Published Quickly and Launch Your Oral History
Writing Career in the Media?

If you want to go beyond transcribing to getting published quickly in the
media, here's how start at the publication level and work up into a book
using professional writing techniques. Write about how the print media
controls the digital media or similar subjects of interest to the media.
Interview infomercial producers, advertisers, virtual trade show planners,
and editorial content professionals about how many ways the print media
influences or controls the digital media.

Then write a news article or feature on "The Power Shift" from editors to
large-budget advertisers and their influence on the content of magazines and
other content online. How does this compare with the print media? Does your
research point in any direction or offer clues to a trend?

Next, interview members of the American Society of Magazine
Editors. Look over their guidelines that separate editorial features from
looking like ads. Can you write about sensitive advertisers and the effects
they have on editorial content online?

Follow this by writing about the demands advertisers make on editors. Where
does the freelance or staff writer fit in? Write about the big picture and
trends in the shift of power in the marketing arena and in the media. Is
power shifting from editor to advertiser? What do the people you interview
think? What do you think?

What do the facts reveal to you as a freelance investigative reporter? Link
your notes to online issues of content and direct response. How do ads
influence what content is published in print and on the Internet? What can
the writer online do to better serve the cybermalls and online trade show
traffic or the content of infomercials on the Web, also known as the

Anne H.

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