I <3 livestreaming

As a child I remember watching PBS with my dad, particularly the live auctions of art and local items to support the station. My dad would call in and bid on something fun for us and we would get all excited watching others bid him up for a good cause.

Later as I started my career in media the PBS station in Providence, RI needed a writer who could deliver hundreds of scripts in a week for auction items while curating and hanging rotations of art every 15 minutes for the live show. A lifetime of creative pursuits brought me back at age 24 to try my hand at live production – and I loved it. The only job I wanted more than curating and writing was behind the camera, directing and producing the entire experience.

A few years later I got the chance to try my hand at directing and over the last two decades have put hundreds of hours of lens time in to capture the essence of stories, interviews and live events. While I never considered myself a journalist – more of a documentarian at heart – there is a sense that my work is to be the eyes of the world, capturing fascinating moments with shared meaning.

Of all of the media careers I have tried – radio, print, writing books, producing events, videos and virtual worlds – there’s something about creating LIVE in collaboration with others that excites me tremendously. The pace of live production is fierce. You must be ready for anything to happen at any time, then keep your cool while everything around you melts.

Over the last few years I have learned to master various streaming paths and production tools for broadcast, collaboration, events and mixed media experiences. My new show Nonprofits Live is hosted monthly at TechSoup with a new episode this Friday on giving Great Presentations. NPlive is a live interactive talk show using a cloud suite called Watchitoo that allows for robust social sharing, Q&A, shared whiteboards and integration with video and slides along with 25 video feeds from around the world – a great and easy way to host virtual meetings across borders.

Some of my colleagues have produced tremendous livestreaming experiences and one in particular, Sarah Austin, is a smart woman who understands the technical challenges of various streaming platforms for live event production. We have a talk proposed for SXSW this year – Streamweaver, I believe you can take me…..Live. Last year I produced a game show with Josephine Dorado on Causebuilding Games at SXSW and this streamweaving session is going to be a stellar mix of social actions & streaming throwdown as we see who has the chops to make it and take it live.

I love livestreaming and have used many platforms – Ustream, Livestream, Qik, Adobe Connect & other video conferencing tools, Watchitoo, TinyChat, Skype, Google+ – what do you love to use, and why?

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