March 5, 2009

Communicating About/Streaming Events Live

In the past week, I have seen two fellow Association bloggers - Jeff De Cagna over at Principled Innovation, and Ben Martin from the Certified Association Executive blog - utilize a fun little web product called Ustream.tv to live stream a session that was occuring in lands far, far away from where I was sitting. (Don't worry boss, I was researching...)

The larger events that included these sessions, one of which was for Realtors and one of which was at the ASAE International Conference, really weren't things I even considered attending in person, but I actually enjoyed watching them on the web. I also think I found an awesome opportunity to enhance the visibility of sessions at our summer Convention for those who are unable to make it by using this cool tool.

So you're probably asking 'why did I watch if I wasn't really in the demographic of attendees?' I think there are a few reasons:

1. WOM - I had seen the WOM engine working with Ben on Twitter and others also talking about the fact that Todd Carpenter from the National Association of Realtors was talking about social media at this Realtor Conference. Had I not heard about it through WOM, I wouldn't likely have tuned in.

2. Curiosity - I decided to listen to see what the NAR was doing social media-wise, since they are one of the biggest national associations in the country. I was curious to hear what they were doing, and how they were talking about social media to their members to get them to understand its role in their business.

3. To Get the user's perspective - The main reason I tuned in was to check out Ustream.tv from the users perspective. I often think that people roll these new shiny things out thinking they are going to be amazing, but don't really look at them from the user's perspective. I was able to do that by watching these two sessions, and really liked what I saw.

So, as I continue to think about how we're going to integrate social media and technology at our summer Convention, I am seriously considering this cool new tool that I researched this week.

Perhaps Ben or Jeff can talk about Ustream's ease of use from the conference planner's end. Was it difficult to manage? What equipment is necessary? What if any issues did you run into with using it? I'm sure we'd all love to hear it!

3 comments:

Ben Martin, CAE @bkmcae said...

It was really simple, Bruce. You need a high speed connection, a webcam, a microphone, and a willing presenter. That's it. It was so easy.

Bruce Hammond said...

@Ben - I actually tried it out yesterday and did a demo for the folks back at the office. They loved it, and we're going to be using it at our summer Convention to stream some of the educational sessions! Should be a really great added benefit for the members.

Thanks again for the comment.

Jeff De Cagna said...

Bruce, sorry I didn't see this post at the time, but Ben got it exactly right. Glad you enjoyed the session!