HOUSTON - May 25, 2012 - Spreecast is a social video platform created by the founders of Stubhub and launched in beta in November, 2011. Intuitive enough that even the least technologically adept can launch a live online TV show, the benefits of “spreecasting” are enormous. Just imagine what you or your business could do with the ability to interact face-to-face on a public platform with clients and colleagues all around the world. It’s like blogging on steroids, and like blogging, it’s free.
But Spreecast doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can host concerts, broadcast community events, discuss the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars, or be a commentator during your favorite sports team’s big game.
Spreecasts can be embedded on a website or blog, thereby streamlining traffic to your online hub. Live online viewers can share your Spreecast via popular networks like Facebook and Twitter, or even embed it on their own website. Social media functions such as an integrated chat window and messaging system allow attendees to talk amongst each other and ask the show host questions in real time.
But Spreecast’s social prospects don’t end at host-to-viewer or viewer-to-host interaction. You can invite up to three friends or colleagues to guest on your show. No matter where they are based, they can use their own computer and webcam to serve as a personal television studio.
Occasionally viewers will complain of lag time, but this is usually a result of their own Internet connection speed being a little on the slow side. The recorded videos resulting from live Spreecast events show little to no lag time and medium to high quality picture quality, depending upon the connection speed and webcam model of the webcasters.
On Thursday, April 19, Greg Wacks of Spreecast was the featured guest in a live SeeTalkGrow event. A seasoned TV producer, Wacks has worked at major television companies such as MTV and VH1, doing everything from field and studio production to live shows and post production. Now, working with Spreecast, he specializes in content and business development strategies.
While talking with SeeTalkGrow, Wacks discussed the manifold ways people are using Spreecast’s webcasting functions every day. From recaps of The Real Housewives (by actual housewives) and live musical performances to Q&A sessions and educational classes, all events are live online and viewable by a diverse audience around the globe.
Here are just a few of the ways webcasting is being leveraged:
- To cover an event, such as a favorite TV show or sports game
- Advance a social cause or charitable organization
- Discuss politics, religion, and cultural issues
- Socialize around a hobby, from fashion to video games
- Educate about anything from cooking to playing guitar
- Promote and market a business or service
- Broadcast concerts and community events
- Host Q&A’s with celebrities, public figures, and specialists
How do you get people to watch your webcast on Spreecast? Simple social networking via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, in addition to the occasional email newsletter, seems to drive the webcasting platform’s traffic very effectively. SeeTalkGrow’s five events during the month of April garnered over 2,600 views in that month alone, with Facebook being the main tool for promotion.
Of course, having an interesting show theme and an entertaining, informative discussion is vital. But by and large, Spreecast’s built-in website traffic seems to give show hosts a healthy jump start in the viewer stat department, even if said show host isn’t superfluously active on other social networks.
Besides Spreecast, there are a plethora of competing webcasting platforms on the Internet, such as VOKLE, U-Stream, and GoToMeeting. It’s definitely worthwhile to preview a number of services before settling on which platform will work best for you.
Here are some things to consider when researching:
- How much does it cost?
- Are shows embeddable?
- Do shows get recorded?
- Are all shows public or can they be made private?
- Is it easy to use, even for viewers who aren’t too tech-savvy?
- Can my viewers easily Like, Tweet, and Share my show?
- Can my viewers communicate with each other and me during the show?
- Do I like the overall website design look, feel, and navigation?
- Does the video stream cut out, freeze up, look too pixelated, or seem buggy?
Unfortunately, unless you want to put out some big buckaroos, hi-def webcasting isn’t possible, even if you’re using a hi-def webcam. Although hi-def webcams will improve your picture quality substantially, so much is dependent upon things like internet speed, room lighting, and the stability of your connection to the web that hi-def webcasting is quite the premium service. No doubt at some point in the very near future technology will have advanced to the point where all webcasts will be BluRay quality. Only then will we be able to count the pores on each other’s noses. Until then, you can find a list of webcam, microphone tips and frequently asked questions on Spreecast’s website.
The advantages of Spreecast are noteworthy, in that all events are free and completely embeddable (not just the video, but the chat and social networking functions as well), the video quality is competitive, and the ease of use makes it less likely that you’ll have viewers complaining during your show about technical difficulties.
Below is the complete discussion between Greg Wacks and the author, during which audience members asked questions and interacted in real time. The result is a highly informative video essay about social media, online marketing, networking, and of course, webcasting.
Greg Wacks & Jennifer Grassman on SeeTalkGrow:
“How To Launch Your Own Online TV Talk Show”
About Jennifer Grassman:
Singer, songwriter and pianist, Jennifer Grassman is an award-winning recording artist and founder of SeeTalkGrow, a 100% online music, film, technology, and communications conference. Subscribe by RSS feed and read more at www.JenniferGrassman.com or www.SeeTalkGrow.com. Follow Jennifer in this column and at her music column, The Business of Being Diva here in Washington Times Communities. Also keep in touch via @JGrassman, @SeeTalkGrow, and likeFacebook.com/JenniferGrassmanMusic and Facebook.com/SeeTalkGrow.
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