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Tuesday Two.Oh! A tool for live web broadcasting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
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Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. :)

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be taking a look at a tool that enables you to broadcast live via your cell phone telephone or your webcam.  I’m particularly interested in this tool (and possibly others we’ll be exploring) because we’ve gotten a lot of interest in our summer workshop, unCOILed 2011: Get Schooled!  We’ve even been asked if there will be any portion of or workshop online.  So, we’re exploring our options (no decisions have been made yet!).  I’ve known about today’s site for awhile, so we’ll take a tour today and test it during COIL’s July 1st meeting.  So, let’s get started and take a look at Bambuser!

I really had a lot of fun messing around with this tool today!  I’ve done a LOT, so prepare for an exceptionally long blog post.  Before we really begin I’ll say thanks for your patience!!

Find Bambuser on Twitter.

Okay, so signing up for an account is easy.  You get the increasingly common Facebook login:

And you get the more traditional version:

Simple, really.  Once you’re logged in you can easily network to social sites like Facebook and Twitter.  You need to sign in and give the required permissions, but once you do any time you live-stream Bambuser will post and people can log in and watch live on either of those services.

Using Bambuser you can stream to the following services:

When you are done linking your various accounts, you’ll be at your Dashboard.

From your dashboard you can start broadcasting with either your phone, your webcam, or with some sort of desktop app (I didn’t try the desktop app).

I decided to start out with the webcam because after some discussion with associates we thought that it would have the best resolution (at least, in the end, there was less shakiness).  So I clicked the red go live with your webcam above, and this popped up.

And, no, I’m not doing myself any favors with this post, am I!?!

Anyway, I sort of looked at the screen for awhile before I realized I had to hit the big RED button to start broadcasting (I think I just assumed it would start when I opened it).

So, once you start broadcasting on a webcam, your screen looks like this:

There’s a chat box for live interaction with your viewers (you can see how many people are currently viewing on the bottom of the left hand box).

I thought this was a neat feature!  Live chat with a live broadcast.  It’s mildly weird because it’s not interactive, so I wonder if you’re expounding about the vastness of the universe and someone chats, do you stop talking?  Or is it for views to discuss your discussion?  I don’t know.

I like the feature for potential COIL purposes, though, we could connect users with meeting easily.  Those at distant locations could hear the meeting, see the meeting, and comment- as long as there was someone monitoring there could be some good interaction.

So while this is going on, Twitter…:

and Facebook…:

…are streaming live.  Obviously people can comment on your broadcast as it’s streaming.

Here’s a look at the entire video on YouTube and Bambuser (Though, it’s just me looking sheepish), you can check it out for webcam quality.

Wow, I’m sorry about that.  🙂

Onward!

From here I wanted to test the iPhone App.  I have an iPhone, but if you click on that link you’ll see all the smart phones compatible with Bambuser.

When you’re recording on the App it looks like this:

It’s very easy to broadcast using this method- I thought it was easier than the fixed webcam.

I walked around a bit with my iPhone as a test.  I think there’s a bit of a light issue with both the cell phone and the webcam.

Here’s the video on Youtube:

Okay, some thoughts.  The live stream slips nicely into Facebook and Twitter, which I really really like!  In fact, my tests all got a lot of attention and I think that’s what we’re looking for.  On the other hand, I had a really hard time getting the videos to embed directly from Bambuser into WordPress.  I’ve had problems with videos before, so this wasn’t s huge surprise.

That said, it was super easy to download the video (.flv format).  All I did was a quick upload to YouTube (very simple) and my videos were ready.

So, I really liked this tool.  For our next meeting on July 1st we’ll be test Bambuser out.  Those who can’t make the meeting will be able to watch us via our Facebook and Twitter pages.  We’re just testing to see how this tool will work in other situations.

I thought the audio could be better, but I’m curious how this might work with mics.  In these tests I thought that the iPhone was a better option than the webcam, but my webcam is getting on in years.

So, have you used a live broadcasting site?  Have you used Bambuser?  What did you think?  What applications do you think might be available for this tool?

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