So Now I Understand Why Transcription is Expensive

I tried to have my outsourced PA service transcribe the first of our new-style formal board meetings... It’s not looking particularly promising. The best bits are:

> You have no executive directors in the use of the sounding boards for your (illegible) sister in laws.

> So there’s not anything that you should have surprises as much as you shouldn’t come unprepared on your own stuff and make it up. You should worry about anyone else’s surprises and you can have comments you’ll have to make it up.

Actually, that last paragraph sounds exactly like something Duncan might say...

Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. Will is part...   read more

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4 Comments

  1. I tried to help a friend recently transcribe some interviews for her Ph.D., mostly with Asian students. I'm a decent typist and pretty good with accents, but a 1-hour transcript took me about 6 hours, and that still had a dozen [illegible] sections, etc. It's not easy.

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  2. Ha! Genius.

    Just out of interest - is it really necessary to transcribe the entire meeting?

    Being a female in a spectacularly sexist organisation (NB not my current employers) I spent an inordinate amount of time being in charge of the minutes for meetings.

    Rather than creating 'proper' minutes with a transcript of all discussions, I would only note down agreements and actions. Makes for a much more digestable, and actionable record of the meeting; and well, life's just too short, right? :)

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  3. Yeah - I now see how hard it is... I was hoping we could keep a transcript in plain text alongside proper minutes in order to be able to grep old board meetings for "that meeting where, you know - we talked about whether we can have pets in the office" (or whatever) - essentially a searchable archive.

    It wasn't to be. Just minutes of actions etc. it is...

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  4. Good post! This job is not for the fainthearted! I however have been running successfully as a full time transcriptionist since 2005 and now have a team of transcriptionists working for me. People underestimate what is required of a transcriptionist. One doesn't only have to be able to type - you've got to think and place things contextually also, and make sure that you don't type "there" or "they're", when you actually mean "their" ... feel free to give me a shout any time you need other transcription work done!

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