Take-Aways from the Ustream Disaster…

ustreamOn Friday, I did my first ever
Live Video Broadcast. It was an interesting experience, and I learned a lot in the process!

Most people know I'm a bit video challenged. I definitely do my best work in plain text. :P I'm working that out though, and still actively testing equipment & mediums.

The live broadcast was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk, and specifically his book - Crush It! which was the topic for the event. I did it as a test, on several levels, and walked away with some interesting results...

The Ustream Broadcast

The live broadcast on Ustream was a complete disaster, but not a total loss. The connection was terrible, causing a lot of stalling & buffering. We had close to 200 people join in live at one point, but many dropped off due to the poor quality.

We had around 150'ish stick it out. (you guys rock!)

As the host, it's hard to tell how bad the stream is lagging. I caught on by watching the text chat, and realizing they were responding to things I said 10 minutes ago.

The text chat is really hard to watch, by the way, while you are simultaneously trying to frame a video and coordinate PIP screencasting. You really need a dual-monitor setup to do it properly. I have that, but I was on my Macbook Pro (with built-in web cam) for the broadcast...

I just went with the flow, tested things out, and had a little fun with it.
What else can you do, right? :)

ustream crush it reviewThe purpose of the broadcast was to do a live
book review of Crush It! to go along with my
written Crush It! review and 9-book giveaway.

The actual video review portion was about 6 minutes, give or take, where I shared some significant take-aways from the book.

I (mistakenly!) assumed that the recording would take place on my end. Instead, it seemed to be in time with what viewers were seeing - which meant it was synced to the good 5-minute or so lag. Ack!

The actual recording started way before the review, and ended just into the beginning of it. LOL - Lesson learned! When broadcasting live on Ustream, record the entire session - then edit the video later if you want to keep a certain segment. Another smart option would be to do a back-up recording with a video camera.

So the live event was painful to watch, and the end result is a recording of me making weird faces and then cutting you off right as the review starts. Nice, huh?

Thank You!

I really appreciate those of you that tuned in live, and even stuck it out with me to the end.

Thank you for the feedback, for laughing with me through it, for your patience, and for the tweets & comments. You guys truly do rock! :D

Those of you that stuck it out, by the way, are the only ones that will ever know what all I shared in that review...

The Objective

One of my goals is to always teach by example. So when I decided to write a review on Crush It!, it only made sense to use the methods that Gary teaches in the book.

I used Facebook, Twitter, blogging, a live video broadcast, a Poll and give-away, and even email. Normally I would just write a book review on my blog, and maybe share the link on Twitter & Facebook. But everybody does that, right? I wanted to go the extra mile using the things that I learned in the book.

If you were online between 6am and 1pm Eastern on Friday, you got to see this all happening live. So instead of just reading about how much I enjoyed Gary's book, you got to see some of his best tips in action. There's nothing like a visual example, except maybe a live visual example, right? ;)

Of course, there was no real pitch involved. I did use my affiliate link in the review post, but that's pennies in commission if any at all - because the main "call to action" was to win one of the 9 copies I was giving away for free!

My primary objective was to see whether I could engage people in more active participation, in various formats, and to see whether the ROI was worth it.

I took the opportunity to set up a Poll to go along with the give-away, so that I could really get a feel for where everyone is with their online business.

I'm currently in the process of setting up a new podcast, creating new reports & guides, and setting up my publishing calendar for the rest of the year - and I wanted to make sure I'm putting out exactly what my readers want & need most...

The Results

As I mentioned earlier, almost 200 people logged in to view the live video broadcast, and we had about 150 or so who actively participated.

So far, 239 people have completed the Poll and entered to win a copy of the book.

There were over 900 views to the blog post. This is maybe 2-300 more than usual for one of my posts.

I gained -zero- Twitter followers. There was no growth to my Social Media reach at all, even though several people re-tweeted my updates (thank you for that!).

Probably the most disappointing of the experiment, was the lack of social media interaction. I could definitely work on the 'buzz' aspect...

In the future I'll plan to do more things, like: guest blogging, a live webinar or teleseminar with the author, give people incentive to spread the word, etc.

All said and done, it was a fun experiment and I learned a lot in the process. I have over $300 and more than 8 hours personally invested, so obviously there is not a monetary return with this particular event. And it's hard to put a price on a good laugh, but I'd say we're definitely in the black! :D

The one thing I have been incredibly impressed with, is the quality of responses to the Poll. Those responses are invaluable, and will go a long way towards helping me create awesome new content... and take my business in the right direction. That was easily worth 10x what I have invested here.

I hope you learned something from all of this. I know I did. I think there are a lot of great take-aways from this that we can all use going forward. I have to give props to Gary Vaynerchuk - the book is truly inspiring, and has me motivated and stepping way out of my comfort zone. Love it!

And no - I'm not giving up on video OR live video broadcasting yet... ;)

Best,

p.s. You can still enter to win one of 9 copies of Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. I'll be mailing them out on Monday morning!

-Thanks again, you guys are awesome!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. You often drop out for half a second on the IMTW podcast, might want to review your net connection, obviously not an issue with ustream.

    • Hey Sam,

      I do the podcast hard-wired in, on a totally different system & set-up. I think that may be Skype causing that, not sure. Thanks for letting me know so that I can check into it!

      I'll be testing Ustream and other platforms, along with different combinations of video source and day/time etc. Appreciate your feedback.

  2. You never know until you try right? It was lagging but I stuck around and really enjoyed what I got from it. I like the book and whoever wins your free copies will be lucky.

    • Exactly. Even with testing several times beforehand, I had no way of predicting how things would go with that many viewers on board. I learned a lot from the experience though and will definitely keep testing until I work out the kinks!

  3. After the live broadcast, I switched over to your Ustream channel and was able to listen to the replay with absolutely no lagging.

    Rest assured, I learned a lot in participating to your first Live Ustream experience :-)

    Will the technical difficulties encountered change your mind in regards of using Ustream for the SSWT weekly webinars? Is there a way to improve the streaming?

    Thanks and take care!

    • That experience definitely changed my mind about using the platform for my weekly Q&A's. I'm looking to make a change, but that won't be it - not unless I can work out a way to get it to run much smoother. :P

  4. Wendy Sullivan says:

    Oh Lynn, I'm so sorry you got caught up in the Ustream curse. I've tried to participate in things countless times, and I refuse to use the most apt descriptive terms for their service on your family friendly site. ;)

    Wendy

    • LOL Wendy - I'm glad to know it's not just me! I've heard the same from others as well. I'm looking into other platforms & options, including Vype for my Facebook Page for live shows. Lots of ideas to work with!

  5. You can tell people over and over how to play golf but until you actually get up and take some swings, you aren't really playing. (I've promised myself to take golf lessons this year so all my analogies revolve around golf lol). The online business owners who aren't afraid to try new things, uncomfortable as it can be, are those who I follow because I'm learning so much from them. We all know by now how valuable social media/video is but many of us haven't done for one reason or another. I love to see you working through it. Good job! And I stuck around today, I just had to see how it ended. :)

    • Thank you Lisa! I appreciate your comment & support. I figure everyone is in the same boat with working out the technical details, and my goof-ups over the years have hopefully put people at ease about the frustrations they experience. You're not alone!!

      When we see people pulling it off without a glitch, creating awesome videos & presentations, it makes us wonder what they know that we don't - or if they're just "charmed" :P The truth is, it takes digging in and figuring it out, and working out the kinks...

  6. Lynn,

    Congrats for stepping up and going live with the broadcast. It's not a easy thing to do for most people and I know you've always been a bit apprehensive about the whole video thing. Great job. I didn't watch, but wish I had (snafu's and all).

    Here's what I'd do before your next broadcast...

    Go Live on your channel, but just have like 5 or 6 people in there. You can chat, get used to the interface and test things out for a hour or so with no pressure. By the end of the hour, you'll feel way more confident about running the show solo and will know the particular settings you'll want to have set up. And you can watch yourself on the other computer to really see how long the lag is. I've never seen it 5 minutes behind. More like 30 seconds in my experience.

    Hope to see one of the shows. :)

    Jason

    It's obviously better if you can just be the talent, and let someone else run the controls, but I've managed to be a one man team on 95% of my broadcasts. And you're ten times smarter then me with computer stuff so I'm sure you'll be a Ustream whiz pretty quick.

    • Great advice, Jason - thank you! I've watched your Ustream shows in the past, and they do seem to run a lot smoother. I'll keep testing.

      I did several tests beforehand, one the evening before, and then logged on about an hour before the live time, but it wasn't until the room filled up that the issues really started. I'd tested recording before too, but usually start to finish in one segment. So lesson learned on that - it records the lag, not what I see on my end...

      Have you tried Vype on your Facebook Page yet? I just had that set up at http://www.facebook.com/clicknewz - the Shows tab...

  7. thing is our time is as precious as yours, if you cared for the audience then you should know this

    so emailing to get us to watch live, means we dropped stuff to watch you doing what thousands of the teens do on ustream, mess around twiddling buttons and giggling

    i really think this kind of damages your own brand, because we are not teenagers (our mindset and time issues are different) but look up to you as professional marketeer

    so my advice would be - do full test and run through (incl recording) before you send out to your list

    we are bombarded with other blogs, info, newsletter and we just don't have time to waste, we are people who have jobs, families as well as trying to do marketing so every second counts. watch gary v he speaks fast, gets to the point doesn't mess around and gets his message out clearly and quickly

    james

    • I agree James, and I do realize everyone's time is as valuable as mine is. The entire thing happened in under half hour, with the actual review being a total of 6 minutes. I did my best to keep it quick, and make it work.

      I did do a full test on both broadcasting & recording, but the situation was just different once 200 people logged on. Sometimes the only way to know is to just go for it.

      As for the "looking up to me" bit... I have never aspired to be anything but what I am - one woman who has successfully worked online and from home for well over a decade, doing my best to help as many people as I can to do the same. I've never portrayed the image of anything else, and it's a known fact that I'm no pro with all the technology. If anything, I represent my target market and the issues and challenges that they face themselves.

      My brand is being real. Challenges and all. Things are not perfect & easy, and I think things that portray IM that way are misleading...

      Thank you for your feedback. Definitely things I will continue to keep in mind going forward!

    • Sorry James, but I have to call you out on this post.

      You wrote, "...if you cared for the audience..." You obviously aren't familiar with Lynn's work ethic and all she does for US! She could use a lot of her time for increasing her bottom line, but chooses to teach and help those who are less knowledgeable.

      I don't think it damages her own brand, but rather demonstrates she is human - I think this event connects her to her audience and even encourages us. The take home message there is you don't have to be perfect to be successful.

      As for your perception of wasting our time - what?!! If the technical issues outweighed the value you were receiving, you could just click away; no one forced you to stay and watch. Technical things happen - has your cable TV ever gone out, or ISP been slow, spotty, or plain out gone down? Stuff happens. You have the choice to use your time how you want. Lynn did due diligence with testing, but it is not a perfect cyber-world.

      Finally, I'm a bit sad that you did not get value out of the "Ustream Disaster" Broadcast, and I congratulate you in your business that the half hour you "wasted" is so valuable that it outweighed the value the rest of us got from it.

      Peace,

      Roey.

      • Well said Roey. I know of no one on the internet who spends more time with their members and takes time away from their own life to help others in need than Lynn.

        I think the fact that Lynn was even willing to attempt something like this shows courage and adaptability.

        I understand you feel your time was wasted James, but to imply that Lynn doesn't care about her audience is just downright insane and pretty offensive in my opinion. It's beyond obvious that Lynn sacrifices a ton of time in her life to appease her members and long time subscribers.

      • I agree with you, Roey. It speaks VOLUMES about the loyalty of Lynn's followers that so many people stuck it out to the end. Yeah, I was frustrated with it, but in no way did I ever consider blaming LYNN. That's like blaming the weatherman for a thunderstorm that didn't arrive when predicted. Well, okay, so maybe that's not a good analogy, but I'm sure you get my point.

        What was Lynn supposed to do? Invite 200 of her closest friends for an hour BEFORE the event just to see if Ustream was gonna sabotage her or not?

        It's the "me-centered" people who make my blood boil. Lynn has ALWAYS put herself out there for US, going the extra mile, doing whatever it takes to help US.

        It seems the biggest failure here in this little exchange is someone thinking more of himself and HIS time than anything else. Obviously he doesn't know Lynn.

        Oh, and there's this new technology out there on a computer keyboard, BTW, that's called the SHIFT key. It's not so easy to capitalize on a cell phone. But it is disrespectful to readers to force us to read unfair blistering comments composed without benefit of capital letters in order to criticize someone who not only answered his criticism with grace, but gave him more respect than he deserved.

        We're not teenagers texting one another here. Let's try to remember that we're ALL adults, and act like it.

  8. Sorry to hear that the Ustream testing didn't go so well, but it sounds like you had fun and turned it around in true Lynn style ;)

    Here's hoping someone out there in techieland will read about this experience and offer up a better solution that solves all the things you need it to.

    • Thank you Loretta :) I am actively looking for solutions and even new equipment, because I definitely see the value in live broadcasts. The weekly webinars where we do a Live Q&A have proven that the model is successful and well-liked. I'd just like to take that to the next level!

  9. Lynn,

    Sorry I missed it. Sounds like it could have been fun. :) Thanks for teaching us how not to do Ustream. ;) Hopefully your next venture into Ustream land will go much more smoothly and be on a day and time that I can participate.

    You're such a good teacher and fantastic role model, that I hate it when I miss something new that you're doing.

    • Thank you Mary :D I'm guessing the technology will improve with the demand, and this is definitely a direction I would like to go. Just working out the kinks for now, and will see what we come up with. ;)

  10. Gene Pimentel says:

    Hey Lynn,

    I really enjoyed your broadcast, glitches and all! You warned everybody up front (BEFORE the broadcast) that this was the first time you attempt this and were not sure how it would go. There is no reason for anyone to complain about their "time being wasted". I went in prepared to experience the glitches and speed bumps, and I think anyone with a little common sense would as well. Thank you, for taking the time to reach out and connect with us. Appreciate all you do!

    Gene

  11. I was there on time (before time) but for some reason all I saw was a black screen and some text chat. Sorry to have missed it but WTG for putting yourself out there and having a go :)

  12. Nothing bad ever happens...

  13. I'm sorry that happened to you with ustream. I missed the live broadcast. I don't really like watching stuff on ustream because of the lag but I'm glad you tried!

  14. I listened into the broadcast from start to finish and in no way felt that my time was wasted. In addition to wanting to hear what Lynn had to say about "Crush It!", I wanted to support her in her endeavor to do her first broadcast. It is so little to give back for all that she has done and continues to do for me and her followers.

    So, thank you Lynn. Even if it didn't go smoothly, I appreciate your effort and the book review. (And even if Slim was determined to be camera shy!)

    P.S. I am glad to hear from Janice that the recording turned out good.

  15. I learned that I didn't know my ustream password! Oops. Between trying to get the kids lunch and trying to get my password reset I wasn't able to text or watch a lot, but it was still fun to "see" you.

    And I feel you're recording pain because I recently used DimDim and was unable to get the recording - only the text chat. Days of phone calls, emails, texts, and no recording. Ugh.

    Glad you're not giving up on video because you are good at it!

  16. Love this post, Lynn! And thank you for giving us the real scoop. It's interesting that you didn't gain new followers and didn't get much out of social media. Are we a bit social media fatigued perhaps? I'm editing final draft of my free ebook and makes me want to re-do/tweak the social media part which was also inspired by Gary's book :).

    Love your work, as always.

    Janettte

    PS In fact, your post is inspiring me to write a blog topic on social media.

  17. Lynn, I missed the live broadcast Friday and tuned in to ustream Saturday to see the recorded version.:-)
    My Monday morning email just happened to start with your Monday summary of blog posts right on top. Of course the UStream Disaster caught my attention.
    After reading your explanation of what happened, I want to thank you for two things.
    1. That you're not afraid to try things and show the results even when they aren't exactly as expected. Far too often my "perfectionism," has held me back. You reminded me to "do something even if it's wrong."
    2. "All said and done, it was a fun experiment and I learned a lot in the process. I have over $300 and more than 8 hours personally invested, so obviously there is not a monetary return with this particular event. And it’s hard to put a price on a good laugh, but I’d say we’re definitely in the black!"
    I agree that its hard to put a price on a good laugh - Like it says in the commercial, PRICELESS. After reading the above paragraph, I laughed out loud for over thirty seconds. Thanks for starting my Monday off on such a positive note.

    Duane

  18. I wasn't able to be there because my son had a doctors appointment. I didn't realize until I got back that you had recorded anything. So I watch and was very confused as to why it cut off!

    I have read the book and it is great! Gary V. does a great job of simplifying things!

  19. epic traffic systems review dude says:

    I guess I won't be using UStream lol. Otherwise, good post. I love Crush It! It really hasn't revealed a whole lot but is a good read nonetheless.

  20. Becky Cortino says:

    Thanks for all you share Lynn -- this adventure and your experience being one of those many valuable things you readily and openly discuss. You always provide incredible value to your audience based on your experience and discoveries.

    SO sorry to hear of the Ustream challenge! I know you put much thought, preparation and planning into everything you offer, and this was a difficult situation, with things not going as planned. But you are turning this into a valuable lesson for all, and I thank you for that!

    The idea to use 2 monitors is a great one! Good points and considerations shared here... I am working on a 'remote' of a special on-location event and Ustream was selected medium. Hmmmmmm....

    Thanks so much, Lynn!

    All the best!

  21. STRAIGHTALK says:

    Good day just wanted to let you know that ustream.com is Great most of the issues would be from your PC, connection speed and web cam!

    I have been using u-stream for a while now and I have come to the conclusion of most the problems arise from the the producers end..

    Also their is 2 broadcast tool you have been using the one off the site! You can download a better one by using the link provided in the first!

    If you have any questions don't hesitate to call Us @straightalk

  22. Iris Rounds-Johnson says:

    Lynn,

    Unfortunately, I missed the Ustream broadcast. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much preparation you do, things happen. Take Steve Jobs for instance, last week he did a "LIVE" demo of the new iPhone but had some technical glitches and couldn't get things to work. I'm sure he tested it before and had no problems but when the cameras started rolling . . . Murphy's Law!

    One thing I do know, you always do your best and try to make every experience a learning one. These challenges you had have helped a lot of us who want to venture into video marketing and Ustream broadcasts learn what NOT to do and what we should be mindful of. They're all learning experiences and reminders of the fact that we are all human.

    I appreciate all you do to help us get what we want out of life and succeed in our online businesses.

  23. Jamie Barclay says:

    I want to win that free book too! But well as for the lagging issue you had encountered I hope that in your next live video, you won't encounter same issue again. I also use two monitors when I do video conferencing and conference chat. It helped me a lot in monitoring the conversation. Sometimes video conferencing always dropped me off maybe because of my connection too. I hope to watch your next live video :)

  24. James Franco says:

    Have you given UStream another try? I'm just wondering if their service is any better now.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lynn Terry and Michael Hartmann, EC (Lisa) Stewart. EC (Lisa) Stewart said: RT @lynnterry: Take-Aways from the Ustream Disaster… http://www.clicknewz.com/2429/ustream-disaster/ > very insightful! [...]

  2. [...] blog post was inspired by Lynn Terry’s Take-Aways from Ustream Disaster  which chronicled her recent experiment with Ustream inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush [...]

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