Today, Ustream announced the close of our series A round. We’re absolutely excited to be working with the DCM team. There couldn’t be both a better strategic and team fit.
This capital will allow us to continue to serve our community. We’re looking forward to allocating it in areas that will bring new and exciting features and powerful functionality to our Ustreamers.
But don’t just take my word for it; take it from our Head of Development and fellow Ustream Founder, Dr. Gyula Feher:
“Over the past year our team has built an amazing infrastructure that has proven its ability to scale in both time and load. The funding will allow us to take our technology to a new level and provide a level of service unprecedented in the live space. We will also employ capital to turn those great ideas coming from our community into great features.”
Finally, I want to thank each individual in our Ustream community, including broadcasters, viewers and fans. Your feedback, evangelism, and great content has spurred us along the right path. Definitely keep it coming, and stayed tuned for exciting new improvements throughout the platform!
One of the greatest thrills of a social media platform like Ustream.TV is watching how an idea you would have never thought of, simply work.
Technology Evangelist Benjamin Higginbotham utilizes the Ustream platform to present the vastness of the universe itself. Broadcasted on Ben’s Ustream channel as well as his project, SpaceVidCast.com, Ben utilizes a public NASA video feed to highlight exciting events, as well as commentate and moderate the always lively chatroom.
While the NASA feed is public for any type of repurposing, Ben makes it a complete interactive experience, utilizing several Ustream tools (Co-Host, chatroom, etc.). You can watch the NASA feed itself almost anywhere. But you go to SpaceVidCast to get that all important context to fill the vast empty spaces of meaningless dark matter.
Ben’s passion for space travel shows in his work, and his mission statement more than reveals the grand scope of Ben’s dreams:
“ Even without any marketing on my side this project has already become larger than I am alone… I started this site to educate people on the value of space travel… Starting directly after STS-123 SpaceVidcast.com will begin a weekly live videocast exclusively on Ustream.tv. The sole purpose of this videocast is to get all of planet Earth excited about space flight and living amongst the stars. Help us spread the word. Help us advance the human race. I hope we’ll see you there.”
There are undoubtedly countless “only in SXSW” moments for a non-twitterer like yours truely to really record and archive in web-published format.
Like, for example, having Mark Cuban walk up and spontaneously grab my camera to take a picture of ME — like the Dallas Maverick himself was but a kind stranger I subsequently thanked him as. Or getting a picture with the Geico caveman, in full regalia. Or meeting the various founders and execs of web 2.0 sites I use on a regular basis. Just another day in the life of SXSW Interactive.
But one of the most meaningful moments occurred on the first day of the SXSW Music portion, for the Pimp C tribute at Fuze. A tribute for recently deceased half of UGK, the show featured the other half, legendary underground rapper Bun B. If you aren’t hip to UGK, I forgive you, and I’ll pause as you quickly go Wikipedia them.
So now you know that UGK is Texas underground legends who have hit number one on the Billboard and guested with Jay-Z on Big Pimpin. Yes, there are two other rappers on Big Pimpin. And you know that Bun B hadn’t had much time to mourn Pimp C’s untimely passing.
And right in the middle of the tribute show, right in the midst of a typically molasseses-thick Pimp C beat….
Bun B ever so subtlety broke out in tears. At least I think he did. Check out the evidence here:
And kept on keeping on, hitting every single versed word of his fallen comrade in music.
You better believe their was hardly a dry eye in the building. OR the Ustream chatoom, for that matter.
And that’s not even the last of it. Thanks to the folks at AllHipHop.com, Bun B gave a shout out to all the viewers watching live from home!
Other personal highlights from SXSW Music:
+ BushWick Bill’s surprise appearance at the Bun B show (streamed)
+ Discovering Sabrosa Purr @ the Rock Opera Party (streamed)
+ Discovering the party bumping alchemy of DJ Klever at the Imeem showcase.
+ Discovering Chalie Boy, an ATX musician I would have never heard of outside SXSW. (streamed)
+ Dancing a fool to Flosstradamous… twice in one week
+ Dancing a fool to A-Trak…. twice in one week
+ Observing the Clipse close and in person, as to learn how to get my G on.
+ + Meeting Anthony Volodkin of one Hype Machine, one of my favorite music sites.
+ Watching our day-time music showcase, the Web 2.0 Hoedown, reach up to 670 concurrent viewers and over 100,000 unique viewers total… with barely 30 people at the venue itself. (streamed)
Amidst all the networking and the pitching and the running around that SXSW requires and all the craziness that ensues, you get these cerebral moments of zaniness that can only be explained in a series of a thousand words. So here we go…
The Geico Caveman, in full regalia with…
Yeah, Brad and the Caveman go waaaaaaay back. Millenniums. One uses sunscreen, one doesn’t. Can you tell which?
Nothing is more boring that a Lunar Eclipse. You spend hours staring at a somewhat normal moon, your legs get tired, and whatever previous excitement you may have had quickly dwindles leaving you with nothing but strained eyes.
Yet…a Lunar Eclipse is still pretty sweet. The sheer fact that it is rare makes it awesome.
So, its February 20th, the night of the eclipse. At around 6:30 pm (pst) I jump out of my chair and alert everyone within shouting distance that its time to go watch the eclipse. No response. In a second attempt to gain some followers I explain that its the last complete Lunar Eclipse until 2010 and finally, among grumbles and sighs, but still some inevitable curiosity – I successfully lead everyone outside…Only to find that its cloudy.
In defeat I sat back down to my computer, blindly browsing my internet haunts. Huge success! Low and behold, someone on Ustream, in non-cloudy-Florida, was streaming the Lunar Eclipse. As I sat watching the moon slowly go dark, I enjoyed a lively chat with other viewers from all over the world. We were happy as could be.
I was completely glued to my seat for over an hour watching something that I found extremely boring. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I needed to see the moon go completely dark before I’d be satisfied, or if it was the crazy conversations I was involved in with the other viewers. Random people shouting “GOOD NIGHT MOOOON!”, “MOON! SHOE ON HEAD”, and the occasional babbling of a learned astronomer created such an entertaining and friendly environment that I couldn’t leave. Although I wasn’t the one streaming, I felt involved.
I think its safe to say that, along with the thousands of other viewers who watched the Lunar Eclipse on Ustream, this random Ustreamer made my night.
First, the good news: Ustream.TV has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious SXSW Web Awards! We have all been nominated in the TV/Film category, the winner of which will be selected by a panel of SXSW judges, and announced at the Ceremony March 9, 2008. The nomination is in no small part because of the great content produced by our lovely and talented Ustreamers!
That’s the good news. Here’s the GREAT news:
As a finalist, Ustream.TV also qualifies for the People’s Choice Awards, as voted-in by YOU. Simply click here to vote: http://sxsw.com/peoples_choice . You can vote up to once a day per email address until March 3, so don’t be shy about setting yourself up a daily reminder. We actually have a great chance at winning the People Choice Awards, precisely because of our devoted and growing community of Ustreamers and viewers like you.
When you enter the voting area be sure to look for Ustream.TV under the FILM/TV Category, as indexed on the right column like so:
The judges had their say — now it’s your turn! Sign up to vote daily for your favorite finalists from this year’s SXSW Web Awards competition. Don’t miss your chance to vote once daily until midnight on Monday, March 3.
Anyone else in the mood for dreamy, guitar-strumming singer-songwriters? Boy are you in luck!
Ustream.TV is proud to present acoustic performances by not one, but TWO swoon-inducing artists; one ech for the guys AND the gals! The good folks at Sophie’s Lounge in San Diego presents Australian music indie rock luminaries Missy Higgins and James Blunt, this Friday and Saturday respectively, 11:30 AM Pacific / 7:30 PM London. Check them both out on Sophie’s Lounge Ustream channel.
Sophie’s Lounge, a project of Sophie’s 103.7 in San Diego, regularly puts on intimate, exclusive acoustic performances by some of the best artists in the world. This Friday and Saturday, Sophie’s Lounge is inviting the world to experience the live music magic!
About Missy Higgins
Missy Higgins is an award-winning Australian singer-songwriter, best known for her hit singles “Scar” and “The Special Two” off her debut album The Sound of White. Her second album, On a Clear Night was released in April 2007.
On July 7, 2007, Higgins participated in the Australian leg of Live Earth performing her own set, as well as joining Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and John Butler on stage for the song “From Little Things Big Things Grow.” The song could have been considered “the event’s anthem” and Rolling Stone cited it as a highlight, stating that the “whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses.”
In 2004, Higgins was nominated in four categories at the ARIA Awards. These included “Best Female Artist” and “Single of the Year”. At the awards ceremony on October 17 she received the award for “Best Pop Release”.
About James Blunt James Blunt is an English singer-songwriter whose debut album, Back to Bedlam, and single releases — especially the number one hit “You’re Beautiful” — brought him to fame in 2005. His style is a mix of pop, folk and acoustic rock. Along with vocals, James Blunt plays a wide variety of instruments including the piano, guitar, organ, marimba and mellotron. He is signed to Linda Perry’s American label Custard Records. Blunt became the first British artist to top the American singles chart in nearly a decade when his song “You’re Beautiful” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006; the last British artist to do so had been Elton John in 1997 with the song “Candle in the Wind 1997″. Blunt won two BRIT Awards and was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2006.Have a taste of James Blunt’s music here:
Chris Pirillo, one of Ustream’s earliest adopters and most prolific broadcasters, was recently covered by none other than the internationally renowned BBC News. Darren Waters, official BBC News tech blogger @ dot.life, pens an entry matter-of-factly entitled “In praise of Pirillo” which it then – matter-of-factly — goes on to do. Thanks to Pirillo, Ustream.TV is now also a BBC News worthy entity – thanks Chris!
The entry ostensibly celebrates Chris’ 1000th YouTube posting as a jumping point to delve into the innovative, multi-point models Chris has employed to self-publish and distribute content online. The Ustream community is lucky enough to follow Chris’ entrepreneurial adventures everyday on both his Ustream channel and his own site, Chris.Pirillo.com
The entry runs through many of the developing hallmarks of successful video content distribution in the new online world, including long-tail sensibilities…
“My model for publishing video on YouTube is not to have seven people watch one video but to have one person watch seven videos.”
… interactivity, especially of the real-time variety…
“During live broadcasts viewers can leave comments that appear live on screen and are later embedded in the YouTube video.”
… multi-point distribution and social networking…
“He has a blog, a Twitter feed, the YouTube channel, a live channel and is one of the most networked people imaginable.
… which all leads to a groundbreaking formula for success in the new media world:
“Audiences for his YouTube videos are in the hundreds and in total more than 668,000 people have watched them. But it’s not about the size of the audience it’s about the strength of the community… Pirillo talks to his audience in a way that mainstream media – the BBC included – is only beginning to understand.”
Chris Pirillo is an instructional example of utilizing Ustream as a critical component of an overall media brand building. Social media platforms like Ustream.TV are lowering the barriers for distribution on many fronts, so you can concentrate on what you do best: producing compelling content.
As the bottlenecks of limited distribution break apart in the new media age, it’s possible for anyone for anyone to become the next Chris Pirillo. That is, content producer as owner and entrepreneur. Marc Andreessen — founder of Netscape, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and overall really smart guy –- intelligently writes at length about the emerging new media entertainment industry as “Hollywood Rebuilt in Silicon Valley’s Image”, and the attendant “producer-as-entrepreneur” filling its ranks. Both entries are great, detailed reads for anyone seeking to become the next Chris Pirillo of (fill in your passion here).
So go ahead and let Ustream.TV do all the heavy lifting for you, so you too can produce the type of content that will find you in the BBC News; the online edition, of course!
Ustreamer Daemondox yesterday demonstrated the power of live video broadcasting when he streamed his pet dachshund, Magic, giving birth to a litter of puppies. Around 50+ viewers had a chance to experience the thrill and miracle of birth, before 2 year old Magic fell completely exhausted and could not push anymore. The viewers, sharing the worries and concerns of Daemondox, chimed in with invaluable advice and support in the chatrooms. You can just feel the tension of the moment in the chatroom dialogue recorded in the screencaps below (click on image to link to full size image):
The viewers were then left in breathless suspense as Magic was rushed to the vet for oxygen treatment and c-section.
Alas, the advice proved invaluable, as Magic returned from the vet alive, well, and a proud mother of a liter of four healthy puppies! Tune into Daemondox’s Ustream channel to keep track of the brand new happy dachshund family!
As the presidential elections makes its steady march through the primaries, the viability of candidates take on a quantifiable momentum, producing breakthrough campaign activity both tragic and triumphant. Today, the Ustream community witnessed both extremes of the spectrum, live and in the moment.
Rudy Guiliani officially announced his withdrawal from the White House race, and thanks to our friends at Politico, we saw it all live from a front row seat at the press conference.
Giuliani coupled his exit announcement with an endorsement of fellow Ustreamer — and presidential candidate — John McCain.
On the democratic side of the campaign aisle, the Ustream community saw not one, but TWO speeches from Ustreamer – and presidential candidate — Barack Obama. Bouyed by his big win in South Carolina, Obama delivered a rousing speech to a massive rally in Denver, featuring Caroline Kennedy, before video-conferencing a talk with a Baptist organization. Barack’s team made sure to deliver both events live over Ustream.TV.
Political news junkies take note – when we say “LIVE” update we actually mean it. Here’s to the next President of the United States, whichever Ustreamer it turns out to be!