This was posted first on FuelMyBlog’s blog by me. I have reposted it here for my Flat-water readers.

Each week I look at technology and reformat that knowledge to let you Fuelers know about some fun things to enhance your blogging life. This past weekend I went to CollegeFest 2007 in Boston. I was a Postie Reporter for PayPerPost. You may have noticed that I posted a message on Saturday and kinda hijacked this blog to let you know that I was there and I was on Ustream live from the event. Well, Saturday’s broadcast was not the best quality but Sunday was pretty decent.

Today I want to talk to you a bit about Ustream. This is a free service that you can use to stream live video out to the world on your own channel. I had heard about it in the past and have even watched the Cali Lewis of GeekBrief.tv and Kristopher of Zooomr.com channels on Ustream. I decided to make my own channel on Ustream on Saturday. This was something I did at the last minute and wasn’t really prepared for, on Saturday that is.

On Sunday I went back to CollegeFest prepared and I took mental notes to share with you.

Create your Ustream account. There are a few tabs where you fill in information.

  • The first is My Details that has spaces for personal address information and other items.
  • The next is My Pictures, this is where you can upload photos for your profile and other things.
  • Then there is the My Settings tab that allows you to set whether you want to make your stream available to just friends or to the world.
  • The next tab is the My Tv Tag tab, that is for the link you can use to direct people to your personal Ustream page.
    I’ve been attaching mine everywhere when I write Ustream. It is the little red box.
  • There is a tab to My External Applications like BlipTV (I’m not familiar with that) and Twitter.
    Not sure if this automatically sends a message to these external apps when you are recording live but I think that is what they do.
  • The last tab is the My Personal Links tab. This is where you can link to Paypal for a tip jar, enter both a blog url and a website url. I linked to two of my blogs on that page. There is also a link for myspace, twitter and facebook.
    I have yet to see where these links actually show up, however; because they are not on the profile page when you look at a user’s Ustream profile.

To start a stream you need a web cam and I would suggest a mic. I got a cheap $10.00 one that worked great on Sunday but Saturday I had only the mic on my travel web cam. That didn’t work so hot. To start your show click the My Shows button there you can create a new show either custom or standard. Or if you already have a show you can choose to go live. The application will ask for control of the camera and you will allow that. Then you can click start streaming and if you want to record for future playback you will click start recording as well.

This weekend I was in a place with free wireless. It was pretty good most of the time however I had so many things open at once that Ustream was just one more drain on the resources. But at the same time the video worked and I was streaming live all day long. I even interviewed a few people from various companies such as qipit and radar.net (I’ll be doing future tech Tuesday posts on those companies including the interviews) I also interviewed singer/songwriter Laura Glyda and Joey Chestnut, the World Record holding Hot Dog Eating Champ. All of this got recorded and is available at my Ustream page.

Once you have your live feed going you can enable a chat room. The chat room feature did not seem to be working for me but I think it was a network issue with the wireless. You can determine who can see your feed and who can chat. You can also moderate the chat room. There is a decent FAQ about it.

I let the Ustream run the entire day. And I think if I do this again I will just make the interviews live and make sure I record them specifically rather than as chunks. Each time the feed was lost the recording would stop and a new recording would begin. So after 2 days I had 8 pages of videos. I went through them last night to delete the ones that were under a minute and other ones where I had pointed the camera at an empty chair.

You can click on my videos to see the list of all your recorded videos. You may determine whether you want to modify the settings, download the video, send it in a message or delete it.

When you decide to modify your recorded videos you can edit information about each one. For each video you can set a name, you can include tags that describe it so others can search and find your videos by topic or keyword. You can also write a description of the video and set the controls for viewing.

When you decide to download it you can pull it onto your desktop for personal viewing. The format is .FLV so you are going to need a flash viewer to watch the videos. I was able to download FLV Player from Applian Technologies for free. They try to make you install additional software but you can say no to that and just get the player. And the player is pretty cool.

I may try the replay product as well to maybe take my videos and splice them together and edit out the crappy parts. Some of my videos that I did for PayPerPost at CollegeFest 2007 were split up because the connection in the wireless kept cutting in and out on me. If I can cut them together you can watch the whole video.

If you
set up a Ustream account, swing over to my channel or profile and add me as a friend. Till next Tuesday.

BenSpark Writes four blogs, is an avid kayaker and a Transformers fan, he also takes at least one photo every single day and posts it to his BenSpark Blog. You can visit him at The BenSpark, BenSpark 2: Electric Boogaloo, Flatwater Tech or The Wired Kayaker.

Benspark is also a contributing writer for blogs such as Photowalking.org, The Blogging Den and most recently Blue Ribbon Bloggers. He is also expecting his first child in October and never sleeps and will somehow sleep even less in a month.


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4 Responses to “Tech Tuesday with BenSpark #19”

  1. Ryan Macalandag says:

    All your posts are so cool that I feel totally n00b, man! I’m gunna try this out. There are a lot of things in my place that needs broadcasting! hehehe Peace!

  2. Drew says:

    Hi Ryan and welcome to my blog. I am glad you are enjoying the stuff I have been putting up online. No need to feel like a newbie. Not a problem at all.

  3. perros says:

    It looks like you had a blast at college fest. That sounds like a really cool idea – have my own tv station kinda… hmmm.. prety cool :) Maybe I’ll save some money on my cable bill now, hah!

  4. Drew says:

    It is a pretty fun thing to do from time to time. CollegeFest was awesome!