Read No Agenda

Notice of Resurrection

In 2014, Fanscribed was redesigned to be more robust and easier to use, and the new service is about to be launched. After launch, this page will point to the new home of No Agenda Show transcripts. It will link to existing transcripts, and offer tools to allow producers to help create transcripts of new episodes.

Sign up to beta test the new Fanscribed if you would like a sneak peek of the new service!

Notice of Suspension

Read No Agenda was suspended in 2012, due to a personal event in the founder's life, which led to the project going unmaintained because of the underlying Fanscribed system being experimental and requiring frequent manual intervention.

From the founding producer: "I regret that this project couldn't be sustained, but I am amazed at how over 140 volunteers, including a hard core of awesome transcriptionists, helped transcribe as many episodes as we did, for free! Thank you for all your work. I had fun being part of your team!"

What follows is information copied from the now-retired Read No Agenda mediawiki site. It was overrun by spammers after the project was put on hiatus in 2012.

Full text transcripts of the No Agenda Show

The fact of the matter is: No Agenda is the Best Podcast in the Universe!

However, its reach is not as great as it could be. There are many people who could benefit from the content of No Agenda, but due to its long-form audio podcast format, do not currently benefit.

This is a situation that Read No Agenda aims to change, by providing a brand new platform for crowdsourcing transcriptions of the No Agenda Show audio.

Transcribing is love

We need your help transcribing episodes that are not yet 100% transcribed and reviewed. Pick an episode from the list of all No Agenda Show transcripts, then click the Edit button on the top left of the transcript.

By helping with transcription, you will add your name to the list of over niner-niner producers who have already contributed!

Please visit and contribute to Read No Agenda:Community portal. In particular, please read the Style guidelines before jumping in.

Remember: It takes only a few minutes to contribute a 30-second transcription, and even one transcription helps!


It's easy to help transcribe a No Agenda episode. All you need is a web browser with Flash and JavaScript enabled. See the following demonstration:

YouTube: Read No Agenda demonstration & howto, 2012 January 23

anyone dissing this guy has no idea what they're tkinlag about. he has a ridiculous level of school. try to actually learn turn patterns and you'll know what i mean.

Mailing Lists, Tweeter, etc.

To get announcements of new episodes and/or to discuss Read No Agenda:

Powered by

Read No Agenda is powered by skip logic, crowdsourcing, and Fanscribed, a service designed to help podcast listeners work together to quickly and accurately transcribe their favorite podcasts.

Fanscribed was specifically created to help improve the reach of No Agenda and other important podcasts. Development is managed by ElevenCraft Inc., a software development consultancy owned by @gldnspud, a long-time No Agenda listener.

List of all No Agenda Show transcripts

From Read No Agenda
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(Note: There is a known issue where the percentages in this table do not get updated for several hours. Please visit an individual transcript to get the most accurate stats.)

Episode Air date Transcript Progress
414 2012-06-03 39% transcribed, 36% reviewed
413 2012-05-31 6% transcribed, 5% reviewed
412 2012-05-27 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
411 2012-05-24 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
410 2012-05-20 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
409 2012-05-17 23% transcribed, 23% reviewed
408 2012-05-13 3% transcribed, 0% reviewed
407 2012-05-10 1% transcribed, 0% reviewed
406 2012-05-06 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
405 2012-05-03 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
404 2012-04-29 6% transcribed, 0% reviewed
403 2012-04-26 29% transcribed, 5% reviewed
402 2012-04-22 6% transcribed, 0% reviewed
401 2012-04-19 9% transcribed, 0% reviewed
400 2012-04-15 33% transcribed, 4% reviewed
399 2012-04-12 9% transcribed, 0% reviewed
398 2012-04-08 12% transcribed, 0% reviewed
397 2012-04-05 6% transcribed, 3% reviewed
396 2012-04-01 5% transcribed, 0% reviewed
395 2012-03-29 1% transcribed, 0% reviewed
394 2012-03-25 6% transcribed, 4% reviewed
393 2012-03-22 38% transcribed, 0% reviewed
392 2012-03-18 4% transcribed, 0% reviewed
391 2012-03-15 2% transcribed, 0% reviewed
390 2012-03-11 4% transcribed, 0% reviewed
389 2012-03-08 0% transcribed, 0% reviewed
388 2012-03-04 2% transcribed, 0% reviewed
387 2012-03-01 4% transcribed, 0% reviewed
386 2012-02-26 10% transcribed, 1% reviewed
385 2012-02-23 76% transcribed, 25% reviewed
384 2012-02-19 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
383 2012-02-16 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
382 2012-02-12 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
381 2012-02-09 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
380 2012-02-05 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
379 2012-02-02 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
378 2012-01-29 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
377 2012-01-26 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
376 2012-01-22 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed
375 2012-01-19 45% transcribed, 37% reviewed
374 2012-01-15 100% transcribed, 75% reviewed
200.5 2010-05-17 100% transcribed, 100% reviewed



Slavesourcing is a form of crowdsourcing that utilizes the group size, mental intelligence, and motivation of No Agenda producers — or "slaves" as they are sometimes referred to on the podcast — to perform the menial work needed to accomplish a larger task -- in this case, producing a high-quality transcript of a twice-weekly, 2.5-hour podcast that contains casual conversation, and liberal use of clips and jingles.


Compared to professional transcription services

  • No third-party receives financial gain as a result of creating a transcript.
  • Producers are intimately familiar with the voices and jargon of No Agenda, and are likely able to produce a higher-quality transcript.

Compared to non-crowdsourced transcription

  • The small size of each task encourages casual interaction, allowing producers to contribute without disrupting their daily lives. Even spending a few minutes to transcribe 10 seconds of audio helps propel a transcript toward completion.
  • More producers contributing to a transcript results in more producers receiving implicit karma for helping the show.

Style guidelines

Read No Agenda is still new, so style guidelines are still pretty light. If there are any you think are stupid, talk about it on the discussion page (click the "Discussion" tab above).


Transcribe as much of the spoken dialogue as you can. However, you don't have to transcribe every "um," "uh," and so on. Getting the meaning across is the most important thing.

On the other hand, be careful to get the words right. Let's say you're reviewing a transcript; you hear someone clearly saying "There's lots of inconsistency here," but the words you see are "There are a lot of inconsistencies here." You may correct that difference if you're certain it's different than what was transcribed.

Proper nouns

If you know the correct spelling of a personal name or place name, use it. If you don't, try to look it up. If you can't find it, transcribe it as best you can, but put a "[phonetic]" note (with the brackets) after the name.

Inaudible/unintelligible words

If you listen to something several times and you just can't make out what's being said, put an "[inaudible]" note (with the brackets) in place of the word(s) you can't understand.

Nonverbal sounds

If someone laughs, whistles, etc., you can use a note like "[laughs]" or "[whistles]" etc. You don't have to transcribe every single noise, though, if it doesn't affect the meaning; for example, a squeaky chair doesn't have to be noted, but if someone calls attention to it, it may be worth a note.

For sound effects, use the "SFX" dialogue indicator (the "x" speaker abbreviation).

Numbers and Dates

When someone speaks a number, first include the written form (using phonetic spelling if necessary, e.g. "niner"), followed by the numeric or date form in parentheses, without commas.

When someone refers to a date, include the ISO-formatted date (YYYY-MM-DD) in parentheses.

When someone refers to an amount of money, include the currency abbreviation in parentheses after the amount, if it's known. If you are not sure of the abbreviation, check this list of world currencies and their abbreviations.


It's Thursday, February second, two thousand and twelve (2012-02-02).
Time for your Gitmo Nation media assassination, episode three seven niner (379).
They paid me like, twenty grand (20000 USD) to do that pilot, which was nice.


If a clip has only one speaker, use the "c" abbreviation.

If a clip has more than one speaker, but the names are not known, use "c1", "c2", etc. to distinguish between speakers.

If a clip has more than one speaker, and the name is known, use "c" followed by the speaker's initials, and update the speaker abbreviations list.

Note: It may take some post-editing to discern between speakers if there is a long exchange that takes place across several 30-second snippets.


Promoting and encouraging transcription

Adam challenged us to keep up our transcription work and not "peter out", as he says. To do so, we should find creative ways of encouraging more and more people to transcribe, and make it fun and rewarding for them.

These are just some ideas that we could use to promote transcription.

Activity updates on the tweeters

Every time the completion percentage of a transcript passes a 5% mark, automatically tweet out something like this to @readnoagenda:

#NoAgenda episode 377 transcript now 65% complete!

Leaderboards, metrics, charts

For motivating hardcore competitive transcribers and numbers geeks alike. 'nuff said.  :-)

You can find the current stats and leader boards at the Read No Agenda stats page.

"Paid" transcripts

Producer offers to "pay" for a transcript by offering to donate a >= $50.00 amount to the show in the name of a completed transcript. E.g. a producer could donate $53.77 upon completion of the transcript for No Agenda episode 377, with a note to promote the transcript on the show either in the second donations segment, or the PR initiatives segment.

"Matching" funds

Encourage people to transcribe for their first time, by offering to donate a base price, plus one dollar per contributor, upon completion of a transcript. E.g. a producer could donate a $33.33 base, plus an additional $1.11 for each participant who helps transcribe a show; in this scenario if 33 people helped bring a transcript to completion, the producer would donate $69.96, with a note promoting the transcript.

Virtual transcription parties

Organize some times to meet on IRC, and have a 30-45 minute "sprint" to accurately transcribe as much as possible for a show during that time, spouting one-liners into chat after each snippet. Celebrate afterwards.


Encourage users to share deep-links into transcripts in blog posts, comments on newspaper sites, etc. Show that transcriptions work to increase traffic to No Agenda by way of search engines and social network sharing:

No Agenda Trivia

No Agenda Minutiae

While transcribing No Agenda sometimes you will come across an interesting fact, tidbit, or even a mistake that you want to share.

Red Book Predictions

If you come across a Red Book prediction while transcribing, we can add them here. We may not be able to completely rebuild the Red Book of Predictions but we can try!

  • No Agenda Show #385: John C Dvorak Predicts Qnexa is going to be the biggest diet drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. It is a combination of Topiramate and Phentermine. Both of these are used off label in combination to create Qnexa.



Right now User:Gldnspud is the primary sysadmin of the entire site.

Want to be on the sysadmin team?

First off, depending on the role you want to help with, you'll need to have someone else trustworthy to vouch for you, and ideally be able to point to some work you've done already.

Some of the roles that others can learn to take some responsibility for:

  • Pre-release prep for upcoming shows
    • Wiki
    • Web hosting
  • Initializing new transcripts when new episodes appear
  • Co-admin of the Tweeters, Facebook, and Google+ pages.
    • Announcements
    • Interaction with and encouragement of the community

Email or contact @readnoagenda on the Tweeters to "apply".

Prerelease checklist

  1. Add domain
  2. Point domain to "readnoagenda_comingsoon"

Release checklist

  1. Initialize repo for the site
  2. Point domain to "fanscribed"
  3. Refresh and confirm site
  4. Update Main Page
  5. Update List of all No Agenda Show transcripts
  6. Update planet/config/*/config.ini
  7. Announce availability
    1. @readnoagenda on the Tweeters
    2. Read No Agenda "Facebook page"
    3. Read No Agenda "Google+ page"
    4. Announcements mailing list
    5. Discussion mailing list

Completion checklist

When transcription is at 100%:

  1. Announce completion
    1. @readnoagenda on the Tweeters
    2. Read No Agenda "Facebook page"
    3. Read No Agenda "Google+ page"

When transcription and review are at 100%:

  1. Update Main Page to remove dynamic progress and add static "100% transcribed, 100% reviewed".
  2. Update List of all No Agenda Show transcripts with same.


Current location: Southwest Missourah, Gitmo Nation

I'm the humble founder, and primary sysadmin, of Read No Agenda.

I am a professional software developer and technology consultant. ElevenCraft Inc. is my company.

Discovering No Agenda

I first discovered No Agenda in late August 2010, via Leo Laporte's TWiT episode 263, where Adam Curry was a guest. His spritely personality, and use of the "Hot Pockets" jingle, caught my attention, and happy childhood memories of seeing him on MTV came streaming into my consciousness. Hearing that John C. Dvorak was the cohost brought back even more happy memories -- I'd been a fan of Dvorak's column in PC Magazine since I was about 11 years old.

Adam and Leo kept dropping mention of the No Agenda show, so I gave a listen to No Agenda episode 230.

Since then, I'm not sure I've missed a single episode of No Agenda.

Birth of Fanscribed

During No Agenda episode 312, the George W. Obama meme of "the Great American Dream is Just Getting By" was introduced into the show. What a great clip!

However, it was hard to find a transcript or even a mention of this, even within the No Agenda episode 312 shownotes website.

Eventually, I found it and added to the shownotes a transcript of George W. Obama's "American Dream" speech.

In 2011 October, I realized that there were several advantages to having transcripts of podcasts, and I searched far and wide for any transcripts of No Agenda, but other than finding a volunteer transcript or two of an earlier show (made by someone who no longer listened to the show), found nothing.

However, I didn't want to spend all my waking hours creating my own transcription. While a great service to provide, it's hard work to do it all by yourself! I have a family to feed and a life to enjoy. Additionally, No Agenda isn't the only podcast I thought a transcript would be useful for -- the Psychedelic Salon podcast is another of my favorites.

A thought struck me: what if volunteer fans of a podcast banded together, split up the work into chunks, and swarmed upon the audio of a podcast on their own time to create a complete transcript?

Implementation details filled my head. How to split up the MP3? How to make sure people got to review each other's work for accuracy? How to keep people interested in the process?

On 2011 October 14, I figured out a name for the project, and registered The name is a portmanteau of "fan" and "transcribed", and has a dual meaning: fans of a podcast help transcribe it, by splitting up the work involved and fanning it out amongst several people.

However, the initial timing and details of building it didn't work out back on 2011 October. I shelved the project for a few months.

Birth of Read No Agenda

In late 2011, Adam Curry, taking "value-for-value" to heart, acted as a hired gun for all the listeners of the show, and began reading the text of bills such as SOPA and NDAA 2012, finding all of the things that the mainstream media would not ever tell you about, and pointing out various "smokescreen" scenarios that could very well be in place.

In 2012 January, a nagging feeling struck me: this analysis really needs to reach more than regular No Agenda listeners. Regular listeners don't mind the show starting off with analysis of the media portrayal of beauty pageants. However, a new listener, upon seeing that the podcast lasts over two hours, might not realize that the jewels of the show await if only one is patient!

I brushed off the Fanscribed project, and inspiration struck me with simpler implementation details.

I time-boxed the project: I would spend no more than two calendar days getting a working prototype built. While listening to No Agenda episode 375, I quietly began work.

By the end of the two days, I had a working prototype! I shared a link to the prototype, and a rough description of what it was, to Adam and John.

However, I didn't yet have a name. I knew that a clever name would be important, so I whipped out whois, and began brainstorming. Eventually, I settled on, registered it, and pointed it toward the Fanscribed software I had just built.

I sent Adam and John another email, with the "official" link, and a better description of why I thought the project was worth the effort.

Adam announced the project about 37 minutes in, and I'm proud to say that through the hard work of 14 early-adopters, that link to the announcement is thanks to the Read No Agenda project.

And the rest is history, as they say. History that you get to help write!