When I finished the blog post about MyEye I thought I was done for a little while on all of the good options of Live streaming. Should have known I was wrong. Because like a shot all of a sudden there was this huge kerfuffle about the Google Hangouts killer and it does live streaming. And you can add several other people and have a 4 person discussion its great! Well, if it is all that then it should be covered.
The App and site is Blab.im and they are doing a great job of shaking up and causing a disturbance in the live streaming field. Blab is actually taking two different services and mashing them together and creating something delightfully different. Now Blab takes the portability of Meerkat and Periscope and adds the ability to add other people to the mix, a lot like Google Hangouts. Except for the fact that you are only able to have 4 people at a time while Hangouts allows for 10 people in on a discussion. In all reality Hangout is a different critter all together so the similarities end at the group discussion.
Blab a lot like Meerkat and Periscope allows for Twitter integration where the audience that finds your stream is able to “Tell a little Birdy” and this posts the stream that you are viewing to your Twitter feed. You questions are also posted on Twitter so your followers are able to see that you are talking to someone and they can join the conversation. You have the controls to open a space for someone to jump in or you can close it up so that only you and your invited people can be on the show.
The Perks of Blab
You can have a talk show style of streaming happen almost anywhere. I have seen streams happen out in parks and in some very nice locations so you are now no longer tied to having your backdrop be your bookcase. Your choice of locations is as open as your imagination. You can be walking down a street or at your house Blab.IM really doesn’t care.
A great community and expert generation tool is the use of Q&A’s. One big perk over the other live streaming apps is that you can have an actual Question and Answer sessions. Invite your audience members to jump in and you and your guest can field questions. All of that helps with letting your customers and audience members get their specific questions answered. This leads to your customers feeling that you are helping them with their problems by allowing access to your guest.
The other live streaming apps allow you to record your stream. Yet, the problem many people will have is that video’s take up a lot of space, and with some people their space on their phone is very limited. Blab has fixed this by allowing you to record your stream and it actually records on their servers. I get why they did this. Because if you have three other streams coming into your phone to record your phone and data connection would melt into a blob of goo. So Blab will do the recording for you and after you are done, you will receive an email with a link to download the Video, the audio and if you choose to you can actually embed the stream to your site. So the abilities of Blab are tremendous compared to their rivals.
The Drawbacks of Blab
You remember when I mentioned that you can stream your show from anywhere? Well some people take that to heart, and they are talking from their car as they are driving down the road. Sadly this means lots of up the nose shots of people talking and not looking at the camera. So though you can do a live stream of a talk show anywhere it is better when you can hold your phone or camera level with your face and talk into the camera. That way you can connect better with your audience, and not look like they are having to play second fiddle to your driving skills.
Podcasters in particular are going to like this this app, but know that again because you can stream anywhere there is going to be a lot of background noise if your guest isn’t mindful of their surroundings. Yeah it can be nice to have bird chirping in the background if you are a nature show. But if your guest is walking by a construction zone you will have a disaster of recording. So you might recommend your guest to stay put in a quiet location.
Much like Skype you will at times have people start sounding like a Drunk Cylon or the video quality might fall through the floor. So you if you are a podcaster who prides themselves on quality then you might want a double ender.
One problem I found with the controls is if you are streaming and you hit the home button it is a go home no warning the show has ended. This can be a bit of a problem for you or your guest if they hit it by accident.
Blab is very promising and fun to play with. The possibilities are tremendous in the means of community building so if you chose to use Blab use it for all its worth.
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