“Rhett and Link” Make Ustream Debut

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rl.jpgRhett and Link (from RhettandLink.com) made their Ustream Debut this week. If you missed the episode, you gotta watch the replay:

Rhett and Link LIVE Episode 1.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with these guys the past few weeks and love them. Rhett and Link’s dry sense of humor kills me. These guys are not acting, they are naturally “pee in your pants funny.”

See them perform their song “Cornhole” Live..

Check them out every Friday at 12pm EST or 9am PST (5pm London) here:

Dead Air – The Live Stream Killer

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akaufman1.jpgBack in the 1950’s and 60’s, much (if not most) early broadcast radio and television programming was produced and broadcasted live.

The skills of producing a live broadcast were refined and improved through the years. Early radio broadcasters like Alan Freed and Dick Clark, TV soap operas like As The World Turns and The Edge Of Night, most US News coverage, sporting events like the Superbowl and of course shows such as Saturday Night Live all have also used live television as a device to gain viewers by making their programs more (or atleast appear) exciting.

But the skills these producers used, whether for the 1969 Landing on the Moon, the ’96 Dallas Cowboys Superbowl victory or the live episode of ER in ’97, are no different than for a live Ustream show or event. Since we launched the company in March, the most successful broadcasts on Ustream utilize these somewhat forgotten techniques of broadcasting.

So what in the world am I getting at? There are basic production skills Ustreamers can follow to make their live shows and events more appealing and ultimately more successful.

1. Dead Air is a live stream killer. A live broadcast needs to keep flowing, stay interesting, and keep moving. Failure to do so will cause people to stop watching. We are all busier than ever in our lives and don’t have time for dead air.

2. Start The Broadcast Before The Show Starts. Some call it pre-show, others loop music, but letting people know a show will start soon increases the number of people who wait around for it to start. If you are streaming a conference, turn the camera on and stream the audience, even if it hasn’t started yet. If you do a talk show, use Camtwist to loop some music and put text on the feed that says “Starting at 9pm”. If you are streaming your local high school football game, stream the athletes warming up. In my experience, allowing people to start “gathering” to watch the live event dramatically increases your viewership.

3. Take advantage of the chat. We have found that people tend to stick around for a live show about 5 times longer if you have the chat. The reason is simple: engagement. Engagement is both attention AND interaction. Giving people the ability to interact with others during your broadcast will keep them there longer.

4. When Possible, Stream At Sametime Every Week. Obviously this is not possible if you are streaming a one time event, but for episodic content, begin at the same time each week. The predictability of a show helps people plan and makes it easier for them to remember you are on.

This isn’t the full list of techniques, however, they are a few basic things broadcasters can do to increase their viewership. Feel free to post any other ideas to help improve shows.

For a broader and more detailed list, see my blog post on 10 Tips For Microbroadcasting.

Obama And Oprah On Ustream This Sunday

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On Sunday 12:30pm EST/ 9:30am PST LIVE on Ustream from the University of South Carolina, Senator Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and special guest Oprah Winfrey will speak to thousands of Obama campaign supporters at a Democratic political rally.

You can watch the live stream here:

The event, originally scheduled at an 18,000-seat arena, has generated so much buzz that it was moved to the 80,000-seat football stadium on the university campus. By streaming the event live on Ustream, the Obama campaign has the opportunity to reach an even broader audience from all around the country.

One of four political rallies being held this weekend that will feature Democratic White House hopeful Senator Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and special guest Oprah Winfrey. Huge crowds are expected to attend both in-person and live on the Internet as talk show queen Oprah makes her campaign trail debut.

Having Oprah on Ustream live is just another incredible example of amazing events in the world that, without live internet video, would not be seen live by the rest of the country.

Sen. Obama has been a avid Ustreamer, his last stream being his “Open Foreign Policy Discussion“.

Gov. Romney Speaks On His Faith Live To Thousands

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romney1.jpgGovernor Mitt Romney, a US Presidential candidate, today gave a national speech LIVE on Ustream.TV.

Introduced by George Bush Sr., Gov. Romney spoke very eloquently about his faith and its impact on his potential presidency. This was a highly viewed stream reaching 100,000’s of people across the world for the live and recorded feeds.

If you missed it live, you definitely should check out the replay:

Mitt Romney’s video has set records on Ustream for the most watched recorded video after only 3 hours. It has been huge! Mashable.com even covered it: http://mashable.com/2007/12/06/mitt-romneys-speech-breaks-online-video-views-records/

Whether you agree with Gov. Romney or disagree, you can’t help be amazed at the free flow of information, specifically video, that continues to revolutionize our lives and the web. Microbroadcasting of live events (not otherwise covered by main stream media), then interacting during them through chat, is powerful, engaging, and normally a incredible experience.

And it spans many areas of our lives. Here are just a few examples:

Epileptic Gaming, a great live video game show:

Sen. Barack Obama, US Presidential Candidate:

College Hockey:

Aspiring Musician’s Like Matthew Ebel:


Rhett And Link Entertain Ustream – Starts today at 9am PST/ 12pm EST

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I’m VERY excited to announce we have Rhett and Link, one of the top comedic duos from Youtube.

Their show will be Fridays at 9am PST/12pm EST here:

I have spoken with these guys numerous times by email and phone, and they are as funny in real life as their podcasts. You DON’T want to miss this.

Check out their website also at www.rhettandlink.com

“Faith In America” – Gov. Mitt Romney Speaks LIVE

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Tomorrow, Governor Mitt Romney will deliver a major speech titled “Faith in America.” The speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the role religious tolerance has played in our nation’s progress and how the Governor’s faith would inform his presidency.

The speech will take place at 10:30am Eastern LIVE from the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. You may watch the entire speech live on MittRomney.com or here on Ustream.tv http://www.ustream.tv/channel/faith-in-america

Governor Romney’s faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this is the right time to share his views with the nation.

Last week, Senator Barack Obama streamed his “Open Discussion On Foreign Policy” Live on Ustream.TV.

You can view Obama’s speech here:

United Nations Climate Summit Starts Tomorrow On Ustream.TV

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un_cl.jpgStarting tomorrow December 3-14th, the United Nations will stream live their Climate Summit in what is being termed as a “Virtual Bali” Conference. In both Second Life and Ustream.TV, the United Nations is providing a low carbon alternative to people around the world flying out to the conference, thus wasting precious natural resources and decreasing the conferences carbon footprint.

The live feed will begin at 7:30am EST and run throughout the day. To watch the live feed, please go to: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/virtual-bali

“The 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green and industry lobbyists and journalists who will fly in are estimated to emit the equivalent of more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual emissions of the African state of Chad.” This is just one way the UN is trying to do their part to minimize this effect.

The Global Climate Summit is a United Nations sponsored debate on Global Climate Change. It is produced in conjunction with OneClimate. OneClimate is an initiative of OneWorld UK, a not-for-profit organization and whose mission is ‘to leverage media innovatively for a fair and sustainable world’.

For more information on the UN Climate Summit, please visit:



Sony BMG’s Soulsavers LIVE Interview Today From Bebo.com Offices Today

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Watch the live Soulsavers interview today at 12pm PST LIVE from the Bebo.com Offices in San Fransisco.


Soulsavers are an English production and remix team comprised of members Rich Machin and Ian Glover.

They have released two albums, Tough Guys Don’t Dance in 2003 and It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s the Way You Land (with Mark Lanegan and others) in 2007.

The pair are also making headway as film score composers, with a portfolio of work that includes 2 feature documentary’s for the GNN group.

Their song ‘Revival’ was featured on the November 22 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, ‘Crash Into Me’ Part 1.

For more information on the Soulsavers, check out their Bebo profile:

Politics Returns To Ustream Tonight- Republicans and Kucinich Go Live

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Politics Returns to Ustream Tonight with several Republican candidates streaming live during and after the CNN/Youtube Debate. One noted is Governor Mitt Romney who is picking up steam in the Republican polls.

Also tonight, Congressman Dennis Kucinich will stream his Town Hall On The Constitution starting at 8pm EST.

We continue to believe strongly the impact of live video on the political landscape. Bringing more information to voters, more interaction with candidates and more live events allows you to make a more informed decision.

See this recent Mashable article on Ustream and politics: Youtube And Ustream Go Political

Also, Senator Barack Obama streamed his Open Discussion On Foreign Policy yesterday. If you missed it, check it out here: