Archive

Archive for July, 2011
24 Jul

How to live broadcast your Google+ Hangout

The moment I played with the Google+ Hangout function I, like many others, immediately had a ton of ideas: communal movie-watching experience, a new form of Web chat, a vodcast and more.

The first question, though, was how do you record a hangout to make a simple, informal vodcast? That was answered right away. (While not ideal, the answer is screen capture software, like Camtasia or screencast-o-matic.com.)

The next immediate question was, why stop there… while there is a ten-person limit in a Hangout, how can I broadcast this and make it a live talk show?

Today, I found the answer!

Some background: I’ve been experimenting with livestreaming at locations for a few years. At Seattletimes.com we experimented with a few setups that led to live shots from bars, outside Safeco Field and an MST3k-style commentary of a governor’s debate.

Oh the challenges we faced… but the setup has been pretty much perfected by the crew since I’ve left, but I recall the hacker tools like the “Wok-Fi.”

Justin.tv, Qik, UStream and Livestream have been the key players exploring the live streaming space, each one releasing something new and advancing the technology.

I flipped when UStream released their mobile app that allowed streaming directly from your phone over the 3G network. There are more apps that offer this now, including Twitcasting.

But today’s tech development goes to Livestream.com (formerly Mogulus) that has been owning the desktop/laptop broadcasting space. They have a downloadable application called Procaster.

The piece of software has a simple interface and is loaded with a ton of features, including the ability to broadcast your desktop. What’s also great is that you can zoom in/out to frame your shot, which makes it the ideal Google+ Hangout broadcasting tool.

Here is the video of my test with Kate Gardiner earlier today:

The first minutes of the video are of me setting everything up, but jump 7:30 minutes in to see the start of the finished product. The main need to tweak is to amplify your Hangout colleagues’ audio, but that’s an easy fix.

All you need is a free livestream account, a Web cam, strong audio speakers and people to join you in a Hangout.

Let me know how your experiments go!

18 Jul

Meme and me: Barack, Hillary and the Women’s World Cup Finals

So, there really is no need to write this… but in the back of my head… there’s a tinge of worry.

Today, after reading some comments on Google+ about expecting the Internet to merge this historic photo of the deadly Osama mission and this just-released photo of the first family watching the Women’s World Cup Finals, I couldn’t help myself and mashed together within 10 minutes.

No harm was done… it’s just another obvious Internet meme. But I thought… perhaps over thought… what if some jackass attacks me and says this threatens my journalistic credibility. What if they say that if I “fabricated” this, could I have lied elsewhere?

It’s unreasonable, no? Actually… not really.

It seems like people are often looking for ways to undermine someone’s credibility. Taking quotes out of context, re-editing video, or Photoshoping an image is not uncommon.

But there is a significant difference.

One is to lie and the other… is just Internet humor. Perhaps no different from adding a poorly written caption atop a cute cat photo.

But still… while I shared it on Google+ — and fully knowing that by posting it online it would be shared – it felt weird to see someone share it. I got worried.

What if…

In journalism, it takes years and years of hard work to build up your credibility… and sometimes one mistake to wipe it all away.

That’s the time we live in at the moment. Not just for journalists, but newsmakers and civilians as well.

Maybe that’s why I am writing this… an attempt to say THIS WAS AN INTERNET JOKE, NOT JOURNALISM.

And that’s cool, right? RIGHT?

Tell me it’s cool and that I’m over thinking this.

P.S. The Internet gets it… someone just added Sad Keanu to the photo!

12 Jul

Google+ Clip Club

Well, here’s an idea… let’s have a ‘hangout’ on G+ and watch films together that are on YouTube.

There are plenty to choose from… In the past I wrote about seeing the classic journalism film Deadline, U.S.A., which sadly has been removed. But there are many others to watch.

Maybe it’s a clip showcase… maybe it’s reviewing our work… maybe it’s a meme off, in the but-have-you-seen-this style? Maybe it’s a version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Anyone interested? Send me a note!

And, if you have an idea for a film/clip, submit it here!

Thanks for trying this out with me!

Robert

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