Learn to be a media master by donating your time

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.

Jason Tucker

Jason Tucker

Web Developer at Tucker.Pro
Jason brings 15+ years of hands-on experience as a web developer and systems administrator at large corporations and businesses in the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, technology and entertainment. Specializing in PHP coded sites utilizing WordPress. Jason owns and operates Tucker.Pro a WordPress web development company in Whittier, CA. He is also the host of WPwatercooler a weekly WordPress YouTube show and podcast
Jason Tucker
Jason Tucker
Jason Tucker

4 Comments

  1. […] hardware that I use. In past posts here at wpmedia.pro I went over a few of these things: “Learn to be a media master by donating your time” is one such post and “Top 5 ways to promote your live stream like a Pro” […]

  2. JoelEade on April 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Hi Jason,
    Thanks so much for sharing your process. I’m thinking of doing this for WordPress Melbourne. The room we’re in is large, very reflective and next to a train station, so the camera mic may not work great. I was thinking of buying a Bluetooth lapel to improve the audio recording. 
    The Plantronics Wireless Bluetooth Lapel seems to be the only good quality one I can find on eBay – http://bit.ly/10OinrE or Amazon – http://amzn.to/10OjAPN. Have you ever tried one or heard anything about them? I can only get the one from eBay, being in Australia, however it’s quite expensive ($100+) so I want to be comfortable before taking the plunge.
    Thanks!
    Joel

  3. JasonTucker on April 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Joel,
    Thanks for contacting me. I love hearing about other meet ups streaming and recording their videos. I tried the SoundMatter Bluetooth speaker with integrated microphone and I always ended up having problems with with distance from the device to my laptop. I even used a USB extension and a coat hanger to make an antenna of sorts for my Bluetooth external dongle (the one in my MacBook wasn’t effective enough)
    One thing you may want to try is to use a Bluetooth headset in your location as a test before trying something that is more expensive. A Bluetooth headset that you use on a phone may be a decent test before iterating. I wouldn’t use it in your event but I would at least try it at the venue and see how the distance is. Doing things on the cheap requires more testing but I feel it is with it.

    • JoelEade on April 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

      JasonTucker Thanks for the tips! I’ll try out a headset first. Most appreciated.
      Keep up the awesome work! JasonTucker JasonTucker

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