Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The magic of online video





Five O'Clock Shadow 61

Originally uploaded by evo_terra


Today I discovered the magic of online video. OK, truth be told, I discovered online video a long time ago, but it was over the weekend when CJ showed me how to get Stickam working. As for the magic, that was definitely today.

I work remotely from my home. About a third of the company I work for (more on that in the future) are like me -- slugging away at the job from the comfort of our own home. Yes, that can be as cool as it sounds, but it can also be very isolating. We've been bridging physical divide with Skype for some time now, but it's still not the same. Phone calls aren't the same. But with two of us both using uStream, it is a very close approximation to having a co-worker just around the corner or across the cube-wall.

Mandy and I used it all day today and worked out some protocols. Like shutting off your microphone when the phone rings. And keeping Skype open to bip each other when the feed drops or the audio goes wonky. Nothing hard to do.

Our next step is to bring in a third member of our team and to embed all of our streams into an HTML page. Very Brady Bunch of us, I know. But I have high hopes for it.

How are you taking social media tools and adapting them to how you work and live?

3 comments:

  1. Hey Evo,
    We actually use uStream over at the Wood Whisperer, but found it's much of a one way conversation. I've looked at other online streaming video sites like blogtv.com and found they had more interactive features for their users (meaning all users could participate via live video in a chatroom). I think if we decide to do more interactive video, blogtv.com would be the site for us, but for now uStream is working great.

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  2. Hey Evo,

    Glad to hear that you're using Ustream. One thing you might check out is StreamingRooms.com. Some enterprising folks created it a while back so that folks could stream Brady Bunch-style with a shared chatroom.

    Chris Yeh
    CEO, Ustream.TV

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  3. I end up using Twitter to keep in touch with people. It's not the same as having a coworker "present" via video, but it cuts down on the isolation by allowing me to see what my friends are up to without necessarily distracting me. I like the idea of video, too. I've "hung out" with people via various video streaming tools with the addition of Skype for more reliable audio delivery. Everyone pretty much agrees to wear headphones so there won't be feedback to deal with from built-in mics. Let us know when your Brady Bunch stream is working - I'd love to peep at it or see a screenshot.

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