Every other Monday I attend the local Orange County WordPress meet up (OCWP) and donate my time to help folks like me that suck at taking notes. How do I help them? I help them by recording video of the event for them and streaming it live out to YouTube. How does this help me? I get free experience working with video technology and I get to educate myself by doing.
During your next WordPress meetup take a few minutes and see if you can record your meeting, then try streaming it. Once you do that a few times you can tell some folks you are streaming and then start honing your craft. To add some food for thought here is my current method of live streaming:
This is one of the 2 times in the month that I come out the offices of Zeek Interactive and spend about 20 minutes setting up my simple set of gear and when the clock strikes 7pm I hit record and get the stream going.
My method for going about this is quite simple, here is my rundown of what I do before showtime.
- I unpack my bag and remove the following:
- I run a USB extension cable from my laptop towards the pedestal where the speaker will be speaking.
- I setup the tripod at the end of that USB cable and plugin the webcam and connect the webcam to the tripod
- Go back to my laptop and run the other USB extension from my laptop to the project next to me. The projector has a passive VGA splitter that I tap into. This allows me hijack the signal from the presenters laptop for my use.
- I plug the end of the USB splitter to my USB2VGA adapter.
- Hard wire myself to the office network, wifi isn’t your friend when streaming and never should be trusted.
- I plug-in my headphones and test the audio quality coming off of the built-in mic on the Logitech 910.
- My setup is complete
Now the fun starts. Lately I’ve been using some software called Wirecast for YouTube to combine the video signal from the webcam and the video signal from the USB2VGA to do some picture in picture effects. If you look at the video embed above you can see where I have Steve at the podium and the screen to the right of him. WireCast makes it pretty easy to make this happen. If you aren’t a YouTube partner you can always go the route of doing a single user Google Hangout On Air. I talked about this during my talk at WordCamp Phoenix 2013. Once the video is up on WordPress.TV I’ll be sure to update this post to show that.
Now that I’m streaming I send out some tweets and Facebook updates and get people to come watch the live stream. Over at OCWP.org, we have two places setup to show the stream. One is the blog post for the night OC WordPress Developer Meetup Feb 11 2013 and the other is our Live page. In a later post I’ll talk about these two place more in-depth for now they exist and people are able to access the Live page during the stream and the post as a way of archiving all of these videos.
Spend a bit of time and learn how each of these technologies work and you too can help your local WordPress community focus on the topics being discussed instead of worrying about if they took good notes or not.
Let me know in the comments below if you or someone at your meetup streams it, I’d love to take a look at the stream and see how well it goes for you.
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