I’m getting ready to crawl into bed for a few hours before I fly back to NYC. But some last thoughts about using uStream as a major event streaming platform:
- If you’re hooked into a video feed like I was, try to avoid lots of pans and zooms. Not only does this kind of action make compression harder, it also places a strain on the server or local computer doing that compression. I am 99% sure that most of the hiccups we saw came right after a major change in camera angle or zoom.
- Use the chat feature! It’s another opportunity to engage your audience. I used it this evening more than yesterday. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy chatting with everyone, my presence seemed to encourage folks to tell their friends about the stream, too.
- Keep everyone informed. If you are using the chat feature, make sure you communicate regarding schedule changes, etc.. It helped a great deal, and made everyone feel more involved.
- Be flexible. Understand that there are a lot of possible points of failure: Your outgoing bandwidth, your computer, the video feed, uStream’s servers, your users’ computers, etc.. You have to roll with it, and don’t be afraid to ask the audience, â€œHey, how’s the stream for you guys?â€. Several times I thought we were having major issues, but it turned out everyone else saw a great webcast – it was just my laptop.
- Use CamTwist. I will do a tutorial on this. Use CamTwist to create a ‘stand by’ graphic, as well as a logo and stripe for the bottom of the video. It makes your broadcast more professional.
OK, I’m out.
PS: If you have time, I recommend watching the videos of this event. It was really a great experience…