Well, after playing with always-on camera work yesterday I’ve decided that being on 24-hours-a-day isn’t for me. Justin.TV is safe from being cloned. It’s very exhausting being “on” all the time with an audience staring you in the face. I felt a lot of pressure to keep the connection up and running (which was frustrating at the beginning of the day) as well as ask interesting questions and keep things interesting.
That said, it was a fun thing to do at a conference where I could ensure there were lots of interesting people to talk with and I think my guests enjoyed getting live questions from the chat room as things went on. I did an interview over at the Marriott where the wireless worked great, even inside. There were lots of people watching (oh, and I broadcast my drive in and it worked all the way from Half Moon Bay to San Francisco). Verizon Wireless works pretty well. Once inside Moscone, though, I hit a snag. Turns out one wall doesn’t get good wireless connectivity. Once I moved back to the lobby things were great for the rest of the day.
Ustream.tv’s setup works pretty well. Found it scaled pretty well (someone even turned their widget into a full-screen display). The tools, however, on the service really need more work. For one they need an “automatically reconnect” feature. If the system freezes it requires a series of clicks just to get back working. Also, there’s no way to know if you’re actually successfully sending video. They need a green light or something that’ll tell you that the servers are receiving video and audio packets.
I’ll be on again tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll be hanging out on the third floor lobby at the Web 2.0 Expo near the speaker room (always ensures a good flow of interesting people).
Yesterday a student from Virginia Tech used Ustream’s system to live broadcast from yesterday’s horrific scene. It won’t be the last time live video is used journalistically. I’d expect to see a LOT more people doing live, wireless, webcasting (lifecasting, if you will) in the future. It’s very inexpensive to do, and it’s an easy way to bring your audience into a new experience.
Dave Winer has a little video of what the rig looks like.