They say that “practice makes perfect”… so, I guess that means I need more practice.
The night before the conference, I tested the streaming capabilities at the SLA-TX board meeting so that we could talk to board members that couldn’t make the trip to Austin. We used the WiFi through the hotel, and quickly discovered that weak WiFi causes bad streaming. The slowness in the WiFi connection caused the audio to chatter, and the lag time in the video became huge (around a 10 minute lag time.) When I got to the conference room the next day, I quickly found the network plug and hard wired my Internet connection.
I actually did bring an extension cord with me, but the network cable I brought was only 12 feet long. Because the network plug was in the corner of the room, this meant I had to shoot the video at an angle. It would have been much better to have shot the video from the audience perspective with a straight on shot. Next time, I’m bringing at least 50 feet of networking cable, and 50 feet of extension cord… just to be safe.
Apparently, a well-lit room and a bright projector screen are not a good combination. I noticed in the Internet Librarian live stream, that you can see the speaker and presentation just fine if the room is darker. Next time, we’re turning off some lights in the conference room!
This problem I actually knew about before I started streaming on Friday (since my workplace blocks ‘Chat’ functions for security reasons.) Your audience will not be able to ‘talk’ to you, so the only way the can ask questions is to either sign in on the chat function (if they can), or you can set up a Twitter hashtag (we used #slatx09), and monitor that via the UStream widget. If all of that fails, give your audience an email address to send their questions and monitor that during the presentation.
I know, I know… this goes against the guy code and Toby has asked for my man card for even suggesting reading instructions but I really screwed the pooch on this one. We had a great keynote presenter in Gary Hoover who I promised I would record the presentation and send him a copy. Now I have to send an apology note to Gary that explains that, while I did press the “record” button, apparently, it was the wrong “record” button. Now, I have nothing for him but excuses. Turns out that I needed to use the record function through the UStream dashboard rather than the record function through the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder.