uStreaming Conversations with Candidates: Part 5

Ian Lurie

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, “Hey, how’s the stream for you guys?”. 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…

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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