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October 05, 2008

Step-By-Step TalkShoe Instructions

Posted in: Announcements, What's New

We’ve seen many new hosts show up on TalkShoe recently. As company founder, let me be the first to welcome you! Below are simple step-by-step instructions for a variety of basic actions on TalkShoe. First, here are some of the strengths of TalkShoe:

1) TalkShoe is built on the best conferencing technology on the planet, same as used by NASA and 80 telcos worldwide for their best business teleconferencing customers. On TalkShoe, you can have 300 simultaneous callers while being in complete control just like a radio talk show host.

2) TalkShoe allows Voice-over-IP (VoIP) callers from its own integrated ShoePhone application (download and install TalkShoe Live Pro) or any SIP-standard alternative including Gizmo, SJPhone, and X-Lite. Skype is not SIP-compliant but you can use SkypeOut to call TalkShoe at 724-444-7444. You can find more details here: TalkShoe & VoIP.

3) In addition to VoIP softphones, TalkShoe allows callers from “landline” telephones and cell phones. That enables a whole world of participation.

4) For participants who don’t want to call in, they can listen and text chat live without downloading or installing any software. They don’t even have to be members of TalkShoe. These folks will show up as “Guests” in your TalkShoe Live display.

5) TalkShoe calls can be recorded and distributed as podcasts (listed in iTunes) automatically each time you do a new call episode. This will increase your audience by 20X on average.

6) All TalkShoe features are free. If you’re not using VoIP, please check with your phone company to see if they charge you to call 724-444-7444. Many people have flat-rate calling plans (Vonage, etc.) or free cell phone minutes.

Keep in mind that like a radio talk show, TalkShoe is built on the philosophy of dictatorial host control. You can enable or block any text chatter and mute or unmute any caller; you may do so individually or all together (e.g., mute all).

Here are step-by-step instructions for a variety of tasks. Start at www.talkshoe.com, then:


1) Click the white “Sign Up” button in the upper left header area.
2) Fill in the six mandatory fields, hovering over the “?” next to each field for more detailed instructions.
3) Complete by clicking the green “Create User” button. Click the Continue button when the system indicates “User created successfully”. Downloading the TalkShoe Live Pro client is optional at this point (see topic below).

Sign In:

1) Click the white “Sign In” link in the upper left.
2) Enter User Name and Password and click “Remember Me” if you are working from your own computer.
3) Complete by clicking the white “Sign In” button.

Recovering Your Username and/or Password:

1) On the Sign In page (as above), click the link that says “forgot username or password” and enter the email address you specified at sign up.
2) Complete by clicking the green “Send Password” button.

Creating and Scheduling Your First Call:

Keep in mind that TalkShoe uses the term “Episode” to describe an individual call, and “Call Series” to refer to all episodes that are part of the same group or theme. Think about a TV “series” (Gilligan’s Island) and individual “episodes” (Gilligan finds another way to screw up their rescue). To create a call episode, you must first start from an existing or new call series as follows:

Creating a New Call Series:

1) Click the green “Create” button in the upper left header area. The first time through, you’ll see a short overview of the process on the first screen. Click “Get Started” to continue.
2) Enter a title for your Call Series or use the default title selected for you. This can easily be changed later.
3) Set the desired options or accept the defaults. Notice the orange link for “Advanced Options”. Again, these can easily be changed later.
4) If you’re ready to do a call immediately, click “Start Now”, otherwise select “Schedule” and fill in the episode options.

Regarding Start Time and Episode Duration, these are just to set audience expectations. You may actually start any time during the scheduled window or up to 15 minutes early; once started, you may run as long as desired up to 5-hours of recording or 24-hours of talking. You’re in total control.

Accessing Any of Your Call Series (and accessing recording archives, scheduling episodes, etc.):

1) Click the white button labeled “myTalkShoe” in the upper left area.
2) Click the title of the desired Call Series. You’ll be able to access a wide variety of call-specific activities from this “Call Series page”.

Scheduling an Episode:

1) When “Signed In” to TalkShoe (notice your user name in the upper right), you will see a white button labeled “myTalkShoe” in the upper left area. Whenever in doubt, click it. Notice the nine tab topics down the left side (lots of good stuff here). By default, you’ll see a list of “My Calls” (meaning your various “Call Series”).
2) Click the title of the desired Call Series.
3) Across the top, you’ll now see four tabs. Click the second one to “Schedule Episode”.
4) Complete the fields and click “Next”. Click “Complete” unless you want to “invite guests to your call” using TalkShoe’s email engine.

Setting “On Demand Operation” (Unscheduled Episodes):

1) Go to your Call Series page (as described above).
2) Across the top, click the first of four tabs titled “Update” and check the setting to “Create Episodes on Demand”.
3) Click “Update Call” to save changes. After that, any time you call in, an episode will be created for you instantly. All functions and controls will operate just as if you’d scheduled the episode via the website. One minor note: You won’t see the TalkShoe Live “Start My Call” button on your Call Series page until you refresh it (after calling in).

Starting Your Call:

1) If you are using TalkShoe Live to manage your call, go to your Call Series page (as above).
2) Click the green upper “Start My Call” button. To use the more feature-rich downloaded client, click the green lower (and smaller) “TalkShoe Live Pro” button. Note: These buttons will appear 15-minutes before your episode’s scheduled start time. Using TalkShoe Live to manage your call is entirely optional. Phone-only operation is also allowed.
3) Use a telephone (preferred for hosts) or voice-over-IP client (SJPhone, Gizmo5, X-Lite, etc.) to call into your show (note that all dial-in info including your PIN is presented on the TalkShoe Live client). The “recording” and other control buttons will become active (AKA “color up”) only after you call in. Hosts, please note: after entering your Call ID, you must enter your PIN in order for TalkShoe to recognize you as host and activate your host controls.

Running Your Call Using TalkShoe Live:

The are a wide variety of functions to allow you to manage and control your call. Please view the videos available here: TalkShoe Live client how-to videos.

Running Your Call Using Just Your Phone:

The are several telephone keypad (touchtone) functions to allow you to manage and control your call entirely from your phone. Please see this post for details: Telephone Keypad Commands.

Telling Callers How to Reach Your “Shoe”:

1) Call 724-444-7444
2) Enter Call ID [your 5-digit call ID here] followed by the # sign
3) Enter their TalkShoe PIN or press 1# to join as a guest (do not share your PIN; it can be used by just one person at a time)

As mentioned in Item 2 at the beginning of this post, TalkShoe supports SIP-compliant Voice-over-IP (VoIP) callers. The calling address for Gizmo is 123@; the calling address for SJphone and most other VoIP clients is As far as we know, all “pure VoIP” calls are totally free from anywhere on the planet to TalkShoe. Skype is not SIP-compliant but you can use SkypeOut to call 724-444-7444 (note: Skype charges for this).

Setting Automatic Recording (or Manual Recording or No Recording):

1) Go to your Call Series page (as above).
2) Across the top, click the first of four tabs titled “Update” and click the desired recording option.
3) Click “Update Call” to save changes. If you have selected manual recording, be sure to click the “Start” recording button in TalkShoe Live or press *2*1 on your telephone keypad when you’re ready to go.

Changing a Call Series from Private to Public (or Vice Versa) and many other options:

1) Go to your Call Series page (as above).
2) Across the top, click the first of four tabs titled “Update” and make the desired change.
3) Click “Update Call” to save changes.

Changing an Episode Date, Start Time, Title, or Description:

[You must do so before it goes live; in other words, at least 15 minutes in advance]

1) Go to your Call Series page (as above).
2) To the right of the Scheduled Episode, click the “Update” button
3) After making the desired change(s), click the green “Update Episode” button to save changes

Please comment with suggestions for additional step-by-step instructions and we’ll expand this document. Thank you, and have fun talking.

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