I’ve been considering doing this for awhile – we’ll see how long it lasts and when my wife puts an end to it. If you look in the upper-left corner of the blog, you’ll see the “Ask Jesse” Show stream. If I’m online, when you click play you’ll see me, live, as you are on the blog!
Here’s how I did it:
- Create an account at Ustream.tv
- Click on “My Shows” – there you can configure the look and feel of your show page if you want
- Click on the “Go to Show URL” link next to the “Broadcast Now” button
- You’ll now see an “Embed Stream” html snippet in the lower right of the page – copy this, then paste into your html layout for your blog
- Click “Broadcast Now”, and you’re live for all your voyeuristic viewers to see!
The Camera I’m using is the Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX. It has great picture, includes a built-in microphone that detects how far you are, and the camera comes in with built-in software that follows where your face is (or two faces if you’re more than one person). I’m half-way across the room, and you can still hear me well, and the streaming results are almost real-time! (Scott Lemon says it took just 14 seconds from him Twittering to me saying I received the Twitter)
Some issues to watch out for:
- Make sure you’re appropriate when your camera is on! Put a sign up or something reminding those entering the camera area that they are being recorded.
- Be careful if you talk to sensitive business clients. You may want to mute, or stop the stream altogether so sensitive information isn’t broadcast out to the entire world
- Be sure your router can handle the bandwidth. I use a Gigabit Linksys WRT350N Router, and my Comcast connection has 8 Mb down, and about 3 or 4 up (at times). Search for “Comcast Speed” in the search box in the upper-right for some tips on how to speed up your home internet
My big prediction for 2008 is it will be the year of streaming video, and you’ll see more and more people embracing such technologies. I think I’ll try this for a bit – I think this can be a great way to drive people to stay on your blog longer. People are naturally voyeuristic, and want to know more about the person whose writing they are reading. If they can actually see them and chat with them, they are likely to stay longer, bringing more traffic to your site.