Transcript Workflow

This is the workflow for generating and editing transcripts for The Portal Podcast and other Content by Eric Weinstein. It introduces the tools we use, our style guide, and our process.

The Portal Transcripts (Transcript Completion Project)
Topic The Portal Podcast
Leader pyrope#5830
Start Date 31 January 2020
Methodology Transcript Workflow
Style Guide Wiki Page
Portal Media Spreadsheet Sheet
Google Drive Drive
Website The Portal Blog
Discord Link
The Portal Group Discord Link
All Projects

Before you startEdit

There are a few things you should have ready before starting. Also check that there isn't already a completed transcript for what you would like to contribute to, using our spreadsheet, the transcript wiki category, or the blog.

Make accountsEdit

In order to give you access to our transcripts, you'll need accounts with the services we use.

  • Have a Discord account. Discord is an online chat service where we coordinate our work.
  • Have an account. We generate our transcripts in Otter, where they can be edited to match speakers to text.
  • Have a Google account. We use Google Drive and Google Docs to store and coordinate our work.

Contact us on DiscordEdit

Contact Aardvark or Brooke on our transcript-focused Discord server or our main Discord server. Say what you'd like to work on and we'll give you access to our Drive folder and the AI-generated transcript in Otter.

Basic Editing RulesEdit

A labelled example of paragraph formatting.

We have developed a style guide to keep our transcripts consistent. Here are the basics:

  • We use American English.
  • We use a clean verbatim style. This means filler words (um, uh, etc.), false starts, and repeated words or phrases, when they do not add meaning or nuance, are removed.
  • Paragraphs are not indented.
  • An empty paragraph is left between paragraphs.
  • Timestamps (preferably taken from the content's YouTube version) are at the start of a paragraph, italicized, of the form HH:MM:SS, and separated by a line break (Shift + Enter) from the rest of the paragraph.
  • Speaker tags are bold, punctuated with a colon, and use the speaker's full name (first + last).
  • Only the first of consecutive paragraphs by a speaker should have a speaker tag.
  • Add notes in brackets for things that happen in video but don't translate to audio.
  • Add headings to identify the discussion topic.

Be sure to review our style guide for everything in detail with examples.

Editing ProcessEdit

Some people prefer doing the majority of their editing and corrections in Otter, while others prefer Google Docs. Both are necessary, but you are free to use them as best suits your preferences. The general process follows these steps:

  1. Edit in Otter, focusing on matching text to the correct speaker and correcting obvious errors as convenient.
  2. Export to Google Docs when finished.
  3. Edit in Google Docs while listening to the source material, correcting major errors and adding paragraph breaks and new timestamps where necessary.
  4. Edit in Google Docs again, fine tuning grammar and punctuation.

Editing TipsEdit

  • Leave comments where you're uncertain on what is being said.
  • Search online for terms or phrases that you don't know. Google, Wikipedia, and arXiv should cover almost all cases.
  • Search for song lyrics or exact quotes in order to mirror how they were originally written.

For guidance on typesetting mathematics, see our style guide.

Tips for OtterEdit

Options to use when exporting from Otter.

Tips for Google DocsEdit

The smart quotes option in Preferences.
The automatic substitution option in Preferences.
  • Disable smart quotes in Preferences (see image on right).
  • Disable substitutions in Preferences (see image on right).
  • Use heading level 3 as your highest heading level.

When finishedEdit

Tell Aardvark or Brooke. We'll look it over and post it on the blog.

Putting it on the wikiEdit

Example of using
tags to insert linebreaks after timestamps.

Copy/Paste it from Google Docs onto the wiki. Note that:

  • Timestamps must be followed by a <br> tag to insert the linebreak.
  • Speaker names will need to be bolded. Perform a find/replace operation with each speaker name, replacing the speaker name with the name surrounded by three tick marks. So Eric Weinstein: is replaced '''Eric Weinstein:'''.
  • Add the necessary markup around section headings. Keep in mind that heading levels may differ between the Google Doc and the wiki, all that needs to be preserved is the relative ordering.

Add the transcript blurb template and credit yourself.

For more help on using the wiki, see Wikipedia's guide on Wiki markup and our Wiki Usage FAQ.

Example TranscriptsEdit

Here are some completed transcripts to refer to as examples.

Transcript Google Doc Wiki Page Blog Post
The Portal Podcast Episode 2 Link Link Link
The Portal Podcast Episode 8 Link Link Link
Eric on the Glenn Beck Podcast Link Link Link
Geometric Unity on Into the Impossible Link Link Link

If I want to stop part-way throughEdit

Tell us! This is a volunteer project, so we have no expectations or requirements for completion.