Always on isn’t for me

Well, after playing with always-on camera work yesterday I’ve decided that being on 24-hours-a-day isn’t for me. Justin.TV is safe from being cloned. It’s very exhausting being “on” all the time with an audience staring you in the face. I felt a lot of pressure to keep the connection up and running (which was frustrating at the beginning of the day) as well as ask interesting questions and keep things interesting.

That said, it was a fun thing to do at a conference where I could ensure there were lots of interesting people to talk with and I think my guests enjoyed getting live questions from the chat room as things went on. I did an interview over at the Marriott where the wireless worked great, even inside. There were lots of people watching (oh, and I broadcast my drive in and it worked all the way from Half Moon Bay to San Francisco). Verizon Wireless works pretty well. Once inside Moscone, though, I hit a snag. Turns out one wall doesn’t get good wireless connectivity. Once I moved back to the lobby things were great for the rest of the day.

Ustream.tv’s setup works pretty well. Found it scaled pretty well (someone even turned their widget into a full-screen display). The tools, however, on the service really need more work. For one they need an “automatically reconnect” feature. If the system freezes it requires a series of clicks just to get back working. Also, there’s no way to know if you’re actually successfully sending video. They need a green light or something that’ll tell you that the servers are receiving video and audio packets.

I’ll be on again tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll be hanging out on the third floor lobby at the Web 2.0 Expo near the speaker room (always ensures a good flow of interesting people).

Yesterday a student from Virginia Tech used Ustream’s system to live broadcast from yesterday’s horrific scene. It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically. I’d expect to see a LOT more people doing live, wireless, webcasting (lifecasting, if you will) in the future. It’s very inexpensive to do, and it’s an easy way to bring your audience into a new experience.

Dave Winer has a little video of what the rig looks like.

Comments

  1. “it worked all the way…”

    Wasn’t this the drive where it was very choppy and video/audio would repeatedly drop out?

    This stuff can work (as it did 7 years ago) but it takes a lot of tweaking with the bitrate and compression to get it right (which you probably don’t have access to with the upstream service), plus you’d need a increased buffering window option on the service to allow for less reliable connections.

    Upload speed on wireless is always an issue.

  2. “it worked all the way…”

    Wasn’t this the drive where it was very choppy and video/audio would repeatedly drop out?

    This stuff can work (as it did 7 years ago) but it takes a lot of tweaking with the bitrate and compression to get it right (which you probably don’t have access to with the upstream service), plus you’d need a increased buffering window option on the service to allow for less reliable connections.

    Upload speed on wireless is always an issue.

  3. Robert…Quick question…Hows Verizon treating this? They have finally admited that unlimited is not actually unlimited but 5-6Gigs down per month, exceed it and they can cancel you. They don’t mention upload limits.

  4. Robert…Quick question…Hows Verizon treating this? They have finally admited that unlimited is not actually unlimited but 5-6Gigs down per month, exceed it and they can cancel you. They don’t mention upload limits.

  5. would you do a tech-geek-blogger compare & contrast between ustream.tv and stickam.com — I think they’re both kinda similar, but the latter has a lot of people using it already

  6. would you do a tech-geek-blogger compare & contrast between ustream.tv and stickam.com — I think they’re both kinda similar, but the latter has a lot of people using it already

  7. Robert,
    Thanks so much for doing yesterday. Both you and Jeremiah did an excellent job. It was like hangin’ out with you at a conference in SF for hours! From London!

    Excellent experience overall!

    Can’t the ppl at Verizon Wireless have ‘a word’? ;P – they’re a Podtech client http://podcast.com/show/6524

    Let’s face it, the Flash Media/Communication Server technology to do this had been around for years.

    IMHO the KEY enabler here for ‘mobleScoble’ to work is the advancement and availability of the wireless connections these days.

    This is just the beginning.

    Mark my works, in two years the streams/speeds/quality/tools and UIs available will make all this look so lame.

    It will be mutli-screen-mega-stream-mashup madness (with a side order of twitterness)

    I have seen ustream ‘listening’ to people’s requests. First the irc chat rooms. Now pop-out chat etc too. and more.

    There’s so much can be done here with all the archived content too. I hope to help along there in some ways. ;p

    BTW: here’s the moment you met justin.tv ;)
    http://kozcast.com/scoble/scoble_justin.jpg

    cheers! Koz

  8. Robert,
    Thanks so much for doing yesterday. Both you and Jeremiah did an excellent job. It was like hangin’ out with you at a conference in SF for hours! From London!

    Excellent experience overall!

    Can’t the ppl at Verizon Wireless have ‘a word’? ;P – they’re a Podtech client http://podcast.com/show/6524

    Let’s face it, the Flash Media/Communication Server technology to do this had been around for years.

    IMHO the KEY enabler here for ‘mobleScoble’ to work is the advancement and availability of the wireless connections these days.

    This is just the beginning.

    Mark my works, in two years the streams/speeds/quality/tools and UIs available will make all this look so lame.

    It will be mutli-screen-mega-stream-mashup madness (with a side order of twitterness)

    I have seen ustream ‘listening’ to people’s requests. First the irc chat rooms. Now pop-out chat etc too. and more.

    There’s so much can be done here with all the archived content too. I hope to help along there in some ways. ;p

    BTW: here’s the moment you met justin.tv ;)
    http://kozcast.com/scoble/scoble_justin.jpg

    cheers! Koz

  9. [...] could turn into something big in the next few years.  Scoble tried it himself yesterday, but since changed his mind.  Twitter is still going strong despite some earlier claims that it had already jumped the shark [...]

  10. You could do much of this stuff nearly 10 years ago, but it required practically standing on your head, holding your tongue just right and a good amount of patience to make it happen. I remember playing with Win Media, WinAmp, Flash, Real and a few homebrew solutions to attempt to get some video out to the world.

    The difference this year is that much of the scalability has been solved and the tools are becoming more accessible. Currently, I can just open my MacBook and stream out my life using the built in camera. And multiple WiFi hotspots makes it nearly too easy to connect from remote spots.

    Now, as Scoble has learned, it will be up to streamcasters to redirect their creativity and brainpower from wasting time on solving the technical issues to dreaming up content that’s engaging, fun and interesting to watch. When that happens, this tool is going to explode. We’re right on the edge.

  11. You could do much of this stuff nearly 10 years ago, but it required practically standing on your head, holding your tongue just right and a good amount of patience to make it happen. I remember playing with Win Media, WinAmp, Flash, Real and a few homebrew solutions to attempt to get some video out to the world.

    The difference this year is that much of the scalability has been solved and the tools are becoming more accessible. Currently, I can just open my MacBook and stream out my life using the built in camera. And multiple WiFi hotspots makes it nearly too easy to connect from remote spots.

    Now, as Scoble has learned, it will be up to streamcasters to redirect their creativity and brainpower from wasting time on solving the technical issues to dreaming up content that’s engaging, fun and interesting to watch. When that happens, this tool is going to explode. We’re right on the edge.

  12. “It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically”

    … because there’s a whole industry that does that?

  13. “It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically”

    … because there’s a whole industry that does that?

  14. “It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically.”

    You aren’t seriously suggest this is something new and innovative are you? Wow! Why didnt’ people think of this before? I mean, just think for example, how much more interesting the space race and even the moon landing woudl have been had we had live video being used journalistically back then?

    Wha?? You mean we did have it??? Nevermind.

  15. “It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically.”

    You aren’t seriously suggest this is something new and innovative are you? Wow! Why didnt’ people think of this before? I mean, just think for example, how much more interesting the space race and even the moon landing woudl have been had we had live video being used journalistically back then?

    Wha?? You mean we did have it??? Nevermind.

  16. Just say no to Justin.TV. Good choice . . . Quality over complete coverage is the way to go. By the way, I’ve enjoyed this blog for more than a year and I just wanted to give you a quick shoutout for providing some great content!!!

  17. Just say no to Justin.TV. Good choice . . . Quality over complete coverage is the way to go. By the way, I’ve enjoyed this blog for more than a year and I just wanted to give you a quick shoutout for providing some great content!!!