Once again, we’re back with Featured Features, the twice-monthly column for BlogTalkRadio hosts that focuses on our most useful, most inquired-about and cutting-edge technologies. This time we’re focusing on a feature that lets you screen callers while live on the air.
The feature: Switchboard Moderation.
Available to: BlogTalkRadio Premium hosts. (Not a premium host yet? Click here to find our more about our premium packages.)
Where to find it: On your Switchboard.
How to use it: Once you start hosting an episode and have callers on the line, a list of those callers will appear in the Switchboard box (as above). To begin screening calls, click the “Screen” button of your co-host/producer’s number, which will place that number in the private screening room. Then do the same with the caller whom you want to screen. (In both cases, the telephone number and “Screen” button will turn yellow.) Once the two callers are in the screening room, they can talk to one another in private, i.e., their conversation will not be heard on the air.
If the co-host/producer determines that this is a caller who should appear live on the air, he can click the “Caller Info” button and write in the caller’s name and/or other pertinent information. Then, whenever the host hovers over the “Caller Info” button with his mouse, he will see that information. To take the co-host/producer and caller out of the screening room, simply click the “Screen” button again.
Note: If you don’t have a co-host/producer to screen your calls—and you put yourself in the screening room with a caller—there will be dead air while you’re in the screening room, as your own voice won’t be heard on the air. So it’s advisable to have music or a taped interview rolling whenever you screen a call solo. For more details, check out the Switchboard Moderation screencast tutorial in our Learning Center.
The benefits: By allowing you to screen them first, Switchboard Moderation helps ensure that only the best callers make it on air. Plus, callers can be properly introduced, which in turn means making them feel more at ease. And in the case of scheduled guests, it lets you confirm who’s on the line without having to ask live on the air.
What hosts say: “We love call-screening because it helps us produce a program that’s as professional as it is informative and entertaining. When my co-hosts and I are on live—which is every single show— we don’t want to risk putting prank callers and such on the air. And we certainly don’t want to get burned twice by repeat offenders. So I’d recommend Switchboard Moderation to any host who regularly takes callers during a live show.”
—Amy McCracken, BlogTalkRadio’s The VRO.
Coming up: Be sure to check back on Tues., Jan. 11 when we’ll cover uploading pre-recorded podcasts right to your Show Page without scheduling an episode.
In the meantime: Click here to read past editions of Featured Features.