Coverage of Southern Cali Fires On Ustream

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For the past few days, I’ve watched in horror the fires raging through Southern California on Ustream. We have seen spectacular coverage of the event from San Bernardino with live discussions and on the ground video footage. The stories have been real, emotional, and raw.

As the barriers to stream decrease (and they will), we will see more and more citizen journalist giving real and lightning fast coverage of news stories.

Already Ustream has witnessed citizen journalist in the past cover major national events, often before main stream media covers it. Students from the Virginia Tech massacre were able to stream live from their dorms during the school lock down on Ustream. The earthquake in Mexico about 6 months ago was also covered live on Ustream before the major media outlets even knew.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in harms way in California. For more coverage please visit: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/live-from-the-sun

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FX Allows Fans To Interact With The Stars of Nip/Tuck LIVE

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Nip/Tuck’s Season 5 premieres on October 30th on FX. FX, among other major media companies, are embracing emerging technology to supplement traditional promotion efforts.

“Fans that interact with the stars on the launch or premiere of a series are far more likely to feel compelled to tune-in and watch consistently. After all, I’ve watched all the seasons of a major sitcom because I actually met the lead star…when you feel a sense of connection, it’s easy to decide on what to watch on TV,” says Angelica Valentine, Ustream.TV Manager.

For more information, please visit: http://mcnamaratroyla.com/losangeles/

United Nations Hosts Live Ustream Event For Global Poverty

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The United Nation’s Millennium Campaign against global poverty streamed live today on Ustream for bloggers around the world.

The Millennium Campaign is an interagency initiative of the United Nations that supports citizens’ efforts to hold their governments to accountable for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Working in more than 30 countries, both rich and poor, the Campaign partners with a wide range of partners at the international and local level to inspire grassroots movements toward the achievement of the Goals.

STAND UP and SPEAK OUT is a worldwide call to take action against poverty and inequality and for the Millennium Development Goals. During the 24 hour period between Oct. 16th at 9pm GMT and Oct. 17th at 9pm GMT, millions will literally STAND UP and SPEAK OUT to show that they refuse to stay silent or seated in the face of poverty. Help us break the world record so we can break the record of broken promises.

For more information please visit: www.standagainstpoverty.org

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Singer-Song Writer Tori Amos Experiences Ustream LIVE!

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What’s it like to chat with thousands of adoring fans live on the internet? Just ask Tori Amos.

Popular singer Tori Amos appeared today live on Ustream.TV and through her own website, www.toriamos.com in conjunction with the chat platform Meebo. Tori chatted for nearly a hour with our fans from all around the world.

This is one part of the promotion and marketing of Tori’s upcoming “American Doll Posse Tour“.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few music stars to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include “Crucify”, “Silent All These Years”, “Cornflake Girl”, “Caught a Lite Sneeze”, “Professional Widow”, “Spark” and “A Sorta Fairytale”.

Amos has sold over 12 million records worldwide and has also enjoyed a large cult following. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic.

For more information, please visit www.toriamos.com

10 Tips For Better Microbroadcasting!

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tradeshow.jpgI get asked all the time for tips and tricks on how to produce a better Ustream show. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but certainly there are some basic essentials you should follow.

The best shows are the ones that utilize good video/audio technical skills, basic production rules of thumb, and smart show promotion.

Below are my 10 important factors for producing a great Ustream show. Post you own advice in the comments section!

1. Great Audio! Audio is always the most important aspect of a video feed. Use a microphone or take the audio from a sound board (or malt box). You can easily pull sound from a sound board with $10 worth of cables from Radio Shack.

2. Good Lighting. This is a simple concept, but powerful. Good lighting produces crisper video. Adobe Flash does not handle low lighting situations very well. Don’t forget the video production basics!

3. Use A Good Camera. Although Ustream works with webcams, a decent video camera will give you much better video feed quality. You should use at a minimum a Sony Handicam or similar camera.

4. Use Camtwist (for Mac) or Webcammax (for PC) to add graphics, text, PIP, and many other cool features to your video feed.

5. Embed your stream in blogs, forums, bulletin boards, social networks (ie Myspace), and your own webpages. Remember the internet is a very complicated network. The more you disperse your live video feed out there, the more likely people will stumbleupon it to watch. You probably want to do this about 15 minutes before you start the broadcast.

6. Make use of Twitter, Pownce, and Jaiku. Services like these allow you to quickly notify your friends/viewers that you are live. Remember to add the show link to your entries so people can navigate to the show with one click.

7. Use the Ustream Chatroom. We have found when people can interact either amongst the viewers or with the broadcaster, they tend to stay and watch the stream 5x longer than without. This is incredible data and shows our long held belief that live video keeps people more engaged than simple pre-recorded video like Youtube.

8. Start your live feed 15 minutes before the event. You can put up a “starting soon” banner, images, countdown timers, live shots of the audience, or any other way to get people interested so they stick around for the start. This will encourage people to start gathering before the beginning. (Chatroom helps for this as well)

9. Don’t Publicize Too Early. Since this is live video, people definitely need to know the event is occurring in advance. But if you publicize your event 2 weeks out, it will lose effect. We have found the optimal time frame is 2-3 days in advance. I also believe if you can do shows on a regular basis, you can better build up a loyal following. For instance, do your shows every Tues at 7pm (or whatever time). The key is to be consistent and predictable.

10. Get Ustream To Help Promote! Email Ustream at events@ustream.tv if you have upcoming events! We can help with media, PR, homepage time, banners, etc. We are here for you after all.

I hope this helps some of you and feel free to email us anytime with your comments, questions, or concerns.

Brad

Republicans and Democrats Stream LIVE

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obama.jpgTwo great events took place recently on Ustream.TV

First, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama did his first official broadcast on Ustream. While Obama had appeared before in the context of the various debates that we’ve broadcast, this was the first time that his campaign officially used Ustream. As you can see, our broadcast was embedded in both Obama’s campaign Web site and MySpace page, and drew a nice
crowd.

Second, Ustream.TV is proud to announce conservative uber-blogger Michelle Malkin has decided to use Ustream to add live video to her online political channel, HotAir.com. A brief test with her and her co-founder chatting and munching on takeout from McDonalds quickly scored several hundred viewers, a figure which will be much higher once she begins to embed and promote on MichelleMalkin.com, which is one of the most read political blogs in the
world.

We continue to believe you will see more and more live streaming during the 2008 election cycle.

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Day 1: Podcast and New Media Expo 2007

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Mason Reed and Ustream Founder Brad HunstableWhat a day! Today Mason Reed (from Thisismason.com) and myself streamed live from the Podcast and New Media Expo. Click here for live feed.

The day started out with us streaming the Keynote Speech with Howard Lindzon, Creator of Wallstrip. Although the WIFI was spotty, Howard was funny and entertaining to say the least. Tomorrow we will have a dedicated T1 for the Keynote Speech by Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 which starts at 9am PST. Sunday’s keynote is at 9am with Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Ask A Ninja.

Internet Celebrity Matthew EbelWe also had popular Ustream artist Matthew Ebel do a LIVE concert from our booth. At one point a guy with a green feather in his hair came by screaming at Matthew to turn it down. Luckily, Matthew didn’t miss a beat and I slipped in to graciously lower the volume (even though their podcast was BLASTING in our booth all day. Gotta love it!)

iJustine also stopped by to say hi. She was streaming on Justin, Talkshow and Ustream all at the same time. Talk about streaming overload!

Also a special thanks to Mason for helping us do the live interviews with the conference guests and fellow Ustreamers!

Look for more coverage and action tomorrow through Sunday. Come join us in the chat or at the conference and say hi!

Wow.

Podcast And New Media Expo Starts Tomorrow!

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Ustream.TV will be streaming live tomorrow from the Podcast and New Media Expo in Ontario, CA. Numerous Ustreamer’s are in attendance and making guest appearances. Ustream Founder Brad Hunstable and popular Ustreamer Mason Reed from Thisismason.com will provide live coverage and interviews from the Ustream booth.

Ustream will also stream the keynote speeches each day at 9 am PST. The keynote speakers are:

Friday: Howard Lindzon, Creator of WallStrip
Saturday: Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3
Sunday: Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Ask A Ninja

Join us in the chat and enjoy the coverage!

More information on the Podcast and New Media Expo:

The 3rd Annual New Media Expo is an annual convention that educates individuals and companies about how to produce high-quality audio and video digital content, grow a loyal audience, and market or monetize that content in creative ways.

The Expo is a prosumer and corporate event that brings together influential digital media creators, podcasters and content developers to cover the complete range of creation techniques, business objectives and future trends.

Ustream.tv Goes to Hollywood

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dirtysexymoney3.jpg This past Sunday, Ustream.tv Founder John Ham and I attended the exclusive premiere of ABC’s new show “Dirty Sexy Money” – starring Donald Sutherland, Billy Baldwin, and Peter Krause. Working in association with Entertainment Tonight producer John Pattyson, Ustream helped launch Starbiz.tv, the first live streaming celebrity entertainment show. Conceived by John Pattyson, Starbiz.tv gives viewers live access to Hollywood red carpet events and celebrities.

Equipped with just a Sony VAIO laptop and Handycam, we were able to stream high quality celebrity interviews live to fans around the world. When we told the actors they were live on the Internet, they seemed genuinely surprised and excited. When actor Seth Gabel – who plays Jeremy Darling on the show – heard he was live on Ustream, he even called his mother to tell her to go to Ustream and watch him.

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Plus it was tons of fun to be able to ask questions on behalf of the chatroom audience. We even got Billy Baldwin to tell us what kind of sandals he was wearing. Just another example of how live video connects people.

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If you liked the show, be sure to tune into future Starbiz.tv broadcasts, as well as tonight’s “Dirty Sexy Money” premiere.

Ly Chheng