So doing the streaming for a Plone Conference is quite a stressy task at times. You mostly run around trying to get the right people, you are searching for a possibility to plug into a sound source and you are trying to get a good network connection. Sound was working in the end after I check the mixer myself and managed to get a long enough cable (wireless mic would be nice but is expensive). And instead of having a dedicated line I had to share the wifi connection. But in the end it worked better than expected and I had 2 streams running, one to ustream.tv for the website and one to StreamGuys.com for Quicktime to use it in Second Life.
So should you plan to stream a conference or any other event live, make sure you
- arrive early, 3 days in advance might not be too little time. Make sure, the technical staff is around, too.
- bring enough long cables with you (or buy some in the area).
- have a power connection. Make sure you have power adapters should you be in foreign countries.
- check in front if there really is a dedicated line for you (not sure how good a 3G connection might work but it can be better than nothing and especially not shared)
- setup a Second Life venue far before the event
- prepare a streaming website (basically showing a ustream.tv widget) also ahead of the conference. This should be announced early and should also contain up-to-date information. A CMS like Plone is of course quite useful for managing such things.
- announce the life streaming early on as many channels as possible. Prepare a text and send it out to your blogs, to news sites, as group announcements etc. (create a group ahead of time or use existing ones)
- have a good enough Quicktime Streaming Server. You might want to look out for a sponsor which should be easy to find for interesting events. If there is a budget it is even easier of course. As for our sponsor, StreamGuys, I can only say that it worked like a charm.
- don’t forget to hit the Record button on ustream.tv also. This way you directly have an archived version of the video you can link to.
- you link to the agenda of the conference and eventually convert it to Second Life times (something which I hadn’t time to do yet).
Of course I knew some of these things before but you forget quickly ;-) Especially doing the website before leaving is a very good idea as you probably will have enough stress already on location.
So if you want to join today’s streaming of the conference (starting in about 1 hour), join us via web or Second Life.
(photo by Aaron van der Lip)