Like the grapevine that needs to be pruned in order to yield a fruitful harvest, we’ve been exploring a few under utilized features that, well, simply put – need to go.

pruning.jpgIt’s been said that 99% of computer owners have a copy of Microsoft Word for word processing, but out of those millions, maybe even billions of people, most people use less than 10% of what Word can actually do. This is known as “software bloat”. And, we want to avoid it like the plague. So what’s our plan? We’re asking you what needs to go.

If you see something on the list that you love, or just find useful, please let us know before it goes to the chopping block. OK, let’s get started.

1. Drop the ‘Studio’. Combine the file uploading with the ‘Profile’. Is anyone creating separate folders to manage your audio, video, text and images? If not, we could drastically simplify things by having files uploaded in the same areas as your profile.

2. Remove the ‘Share Files’ feature that is currently in the studio. Have you have sent a file using this feature? It’s pretty handy, but may need to go. On the other hand, it may just need to be improved.

3. Status – something that we thought would relay communication between those clients that posted the job and you, the talents that are about to audition, or have already auditioned has turned into a point of confusion and frustration.

4. Language field – If you are only speaking one language ( i.e. English ), you shouldn’t need to see English beside each job posting. If you speak multiple languages, you’ll still see the job as it’s been selected in your Profile.

5. Login counter. We all have enough numbers to see, memorize and analyze. The login counter serves little purpose.

6. BBBOnline, Privacy Guarantee, VISA / Mastercard and PayPal icons from the bottom of pages where you are already logged in. Do these symbols help build trust? Do you want them at the bottom of your personal website ( ) ?

7. ‘Notes’ from your personal website. This field is an opportunity for your to add any additional notes, comments or persuasive messages. Is this field necessary or does it just take up space?

8. Site Map – Have you ever used the Site Map? If so, let us know what was useful or what needs to be removed for easier manageability.

9. Rename ‘Webstore’ to ‘PayPal Button’.

10. Too many links to helpful resources? Can we combine some of them to make using our website easier?
Best regards,

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David graduated with honours from the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology. David’s background in audio production continues to inform’s innovation in the areas of mobile recording and digital media products that contribute to Canada’s economic and cultural future. As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. He often writes about these experiences in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine and Forbes.


  1. Hello David,
    I would like to have you keep the “status” column on the jobs. It lets you know if it’s worthwhile to create an audition. Also keeping the icons Privacy, etc. (especially on the bottom of the personal web pages) is a good idea. The site map could be streamlined by taking off all the voice descriptions. I would like to see the resource list stay the same.
    Thanks for asking,

  2. I really, really like the “notes” section…I think it’s important and useful. Please don’t discontinue it!
    And I believe that all large websites ought to have an up-to-date site map.
    All the other proposed changes look good to me, though.

  3. Just looking at what you intend to mainstream. I don’t see any real drawbacks and yes quite a few advantages. The one question I did have how do I know what jobs I have applied for? It would be nice if there was a fail safe or at least a note that told you that you already applied for this one!

  4. Here’s my take..
    1. I like the Studio, but do not object to having files in the same area as the Profile.
    2. I don’t use the share files feature. I’ve never used it, so you can dump it.
    3. Status is very useful. Leave it.
    4. You’ve got the right idea there. Go with it.
    5. Dump the login counter. It serves no purpose.
    6. Icons at the bottom…leave ’em there. Looks good.
    7. Leave the Notes section.
    8. Site Map is fine, but could use some clean-up.
    9. PayPal Button is fine.
    10. Combine some of them to streamline it.

  5. Hi FM,
    Thank you for commenting and for your question about how to tell if you’ve auditioned for a job or not.
    In the new feature additions, each job that you have auditioned for will automatically be moved to your “Answered Jobs” folder. It will be more efficient and failsafe too 🙂
    To read about more features that we will be adding, read the Top Ten list by clicking here:
    P.S. Thanks for all the great feedback so far – looking forward to hearing from more of you!

  6. 1. Combining is great! Less clicking.
    2. Sending files.. no sharing
    3. Love and need status 😉
    4. Of course
    5. Little purpose indeed…its daily!
    6. Your call 🙂
    7. You can add notes elsewhere when you type description perhaps :0
    8. Whatever!?
    9. PayPal yes!
    10. Combos rule…

  7. David and Stephanie,
    I very much agree with the comments above regarding the Studio area. Uploading in the Profile Area makes very good sense. Drop the Studio.
    I’ve never used and don’t think I ever will use the Share Files feature.
    I also agree about dumping the log-in counter.
    While I’ve not used the site map, I agree with the comment above that any substantial site should have one.
    Regarding the links to helps, I strongly prefer simplicity in web design. Sites with too many links, notes, etc. always seem too cluttered to me. Every page should have only as many links as it needs, and no more. (Just my opinion, of course.)
    Be well,

  8. – Leaving the BBB, PayPal and VISA icons on the webpage do add to the credibility, please continue.
    – Changing the term to “PayPal Button” makes the most sense.
    – I personally have no need for “Share Files” option.
    – “Status” of the job could be simplified to OPEN or CLOSED (the ‘Pending’ status usually translated to ‘Closed’ for the auditioner).
    The more fluid and stream-lined the process, the more successful and profitable we can be. Thanks for being part of the “rising tide” that raises all ships !

  9. Thanks for putting forth the effort to keep the site streamlined and easy to use! Here are my thoughts on your Top Ten list:
    1. DROP “STUDIO”: Makes perfect sense. Consolidating the folders is fine as well.
    2. REMOVE “SHARE FILES”: Also fine with me. I never use this feature.
    3. STATUS: Helpful. I’d keep it.
    4. LANGUAGE: Drop it just as you suggested. It makes perfect sense.
    5. LOGIN COUNTER: Don’t need it. Get rid of it.
    6. BBBONLINE, ETC: I agree with one of the other posts that it adds a bit of credibility to the service. Leave it.
    7. NOTES: While I like this field, it would be easy to include notes in other fields to accomplish the same thing. It doesn’t matter to me whether it stays or goes.
    8. SITE MAP: I’ve often felt that a well designed site really shouldn’t need a site map. The site should be intuitive enough that you will be able to find your way to what you are seeking. If it isn’t, then the fix needs to take place somewhere other than at the site map. However, I’m not opposed to having one.
    9. WEBSTORE to PAYPAL: Yes, change the name. However, I have a problem with the way the PAYPAL button is set up. Perhaps I’m not understand how it’s supposed to work. It looks like I’m supposed to post a “standard” price that will be charged when you click the button. Am I missing something? While I do have standard rates, I don’t have one standard rate that fits all jobs. For this reason, I haven’t used the button.
    (Okay, now that I’ve revealed my intense stupidity to the rest of the class, could someone please tutor me on how this feature is to be used? :-> )
    10. TOO MANY LINKS: Yes, to quote the old adage, “Less is More!”
    Thanks for the great service and for all you’re doing to make it better.
    Best regards,
    Rich Roszel

  10. I agree with the Paypal button change. Under what circumstance is it really useful? Does anyone use this? If so, how?

  11. Hi everyone,
    Thank you for your comments.
    We are seeing a pattern here and many of you have the same ideals when it comes to pruning the tree, so to speak.
    To answer your question Terra, The PayPal button evolved from a series of 3 buttons. Each could be programmed to receive payment to your address for services rendered. For example, some people used the multiple buttons to accept online payments from students with one button, and charged for their voice services with the others.
    The idea behind this was that you could set the rate that you wanted to charge when invoicing a client. The client would then go to your web page at our site and make payment for the specific amount agreed upon using a PayPal button in your webstore. Buttons could also become invisible when not in use.
    Many talent took advantage of these buttons and they were a great selling point (we’ve had the PayPal button option for almost 3 years) as we were the first to institute the PayPal button for invoicing clients in the voice-over marketplace.
    We streamlined this to just one button this year and have decided to move to a generic PayPal link to your address, similar to what you see on sites such as eBay where customers can send you money as opposed to you having to manually edit in the rate.
    I trust this has clarified the origins of the PayPal button at InteractiveVoices, its evolution to this date, and where we are going with it at
    Thank you again for your comments!

  12. What I would like to see is how many people have answered a lead. I would like to get an idea of how competitive the site is. I’d also like to see the ability to revise an audition. Also, the PayPal button should be as simple as possible!

  13. Eliminate studio makes sense.
    What would be helpful is if on a bid we don’t have to just put numbers in the bid field. I give discounts for payment in advance… But if they don’t read the comments section, they don’t realize that they’re seeing a discounted rate that requires something in return.
    I really hate that people can give us a rating (like on eBay) when they haven’t hired us. I think that’s a good feature, but only for those who’ve worked with us.

  14. Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your comment – we have a separate post about feature additions and requests here:
    Some talent have requested the ability to know how many people have auditioned, but there is a growing number who are opposing that view and are content with the current system.
    We’ve already decided to revise our PayPal button to make it more conventional, so you’ll be pleased to hear that it is in the works.

  15. I agree with Colin that it would be VERY helpful to see how many people have responded to a lead. If I know that 300 have already auditioned, it’s unlikely that I will spend time on that one. It’s a great suggestion.
    Thanks again,
    Rich Roszel

  16. Direct from our headquarters in Fishers Indiana, The Top 10…
    1. STUDIO: I would like to be able to get an email – go to my account on the site and have one page I can do everything on. Combine with the Profile if that’s the best answer.
    2. SHARE FILES: Never used it.
    3. STATUS: Keep but simplify. Open or closed.
    4. LANGUAGE: I only want to see the ones I’m eligible as per my preferences.
    5. LOG-IN: I must admit I do look at it. Keep.
    6. BB/VISA etc.: Credibility. Keep.
    7. NOTES: I do use that. Possibly title it “More Info” or “Other”. Keep.
    8. SITE MAP: Clean up and make it as specific as possible. Most people use a site map to find items that are otherwise down longer hallways of links.
    9. WEBSTORE: I would change this to PayPal – but, I too wonder why a single button with a single amount is supposed to represent what I may charge for a radio spot compared to a on-hold message. ?? Maybe job specific rates for each?
    10. LINKS: Simplify this entire concept into a “Control Panel”?
    A couple other items of concern: Access to templates on the job page – I wish had a link from the job itself page. I have 5 different ones set up to use. Not because I use all 5, but because I tried to have different ones for different jobs. We need a DELETE button for those that you no longer need or use too.
    PLUS: Can those templates follow some sort of end of paragraph word wrap or whatever you call it? When you go to your history are and read what you have written to a client, there is no punctuation, no line breaks, etc. AGGHH! It’s one big clump of run-on sentences. I sure hope the clients don’t see it that way. That would be a huge disservice to them.
    Thanks for asking the membership these questions. I’m sure I speak for a large portion when I say that there aren’t too many others out there actually building their infrastructure with true input from it’s users. I hope you ask the clients too.

  17. Hi David,
    Languages: I only want to see those I am qualified to do.
    Voice: I’d rather not see how many jobs there are for “Male” voices I would prefer to only see listings for “Female” and “Both” voices.
    Other: I would like it if, after I have auditioned for a job, it was automatically moved out of the “jobs” section. This way I wouldn’t see the “Oops! You’ve already applied for this . . .”
    Best regards,
    MK Fottrell

  18. Why, when I log onto jobs do I see auditions for female voices and foreign language voice requirements? This filter needs to be improved.
    When a job is pending – you can no longer audition for it – so why does it remain in the listing?

  19. Another service I once used allowed its members to record straight to the server so one could quickly leave a demo without having to open the program-record-save-and send. Not sure if there would be any interest as it would only cost you more to do business but I found it MUCH easier as I do not always have extra time to do personal auditions on my own system. your ten points are fine with me.

  20. 1. The BBB & other Icons at bottom of page do lend credibility to the site, so I suggest you KEEP them.
    2. As noted, change the “My Web Store” button to “PayPay” (with NO $ amount) AND (when the form opens up) let the customer fill in whatever amount they wish to credit to our account. (We have the option of accepting it or or not.)


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