Ask a Creator Anything: When to Start?

Ask a Creator Anything: When to Start As a Creator?

Enabling Creator Ecosystem Success – from Influencers to Marketers – through Education, Events, Memberships, and Partnerships

“VloggerFair” has been rebranded as “CreatorAdvocate,” but will CONTINUE to focus on the creators themselves throughout the year in a subscription service that can be found on now.

“CreatorAdvocate” is not just for vloggers, however – it is for anybody who finds themselves being or becoming an independent content creator.

Our mission, thus, is as follows:

Empowering independent content creators with qualified advice & intelligence based upon actual experience, answering questions that can’t readily be answered, and sharing discoveries of new developments that will further accelerate the ability to create in any capacity.


Live video online has become somewhat of a sensation lately. YouTube helped to popularize recorded videos online, but the obvious next step is to see things live while they happen. A variety of services have been built to take advantage of available bandwidth and technology and make this happen, but for the most part they’ve been destinations in and of themselves. A service from called Camtweet seeks to change this by deeply integrating live video with Twitter.

Just in case you don’t know, was one of the first companies to make live video something interesting online, and the fact that Camtweet comes from them and integrates with the core service makes it that much more compelling. You won’t need to create a separate account for Camtweet because it works with your existing Twitter account information. Once you login you can send out a tweet that announces your current live stream and begin broadcasting. Viewers can comment and interact with you, and one of the neat things about this is that these conversations can be pushed out through the respective Twitter streams and be made public, thereby drawing even more traffic to the stream. It only makes sense that live video should be integrated with social media in this way.

Yahoo! Live

Online video is certainly a hot thing right now, and it’s become easy for anyone to either watch or create their own videos on the Internet. This isn’t just some fad, either. This is the future, and many people have opted to get rid of their cable or satellite television service and stick with what they view on the Web. Most of the time what you watch online is prerecorded, but live broadcasts are becoming more commonplace thanks to services like, Ustream, and Qik. These live video broadcasts really bring online video to the next level, and some of the major players in the technology arena have taken notice. Yes, even Yahoo! has now thrown their hat into the ring with Yahoo! Live.

The interface is slick, and Yahoo! Live contains many of the same features that are a part of other live video services. For example, these live sessions can be embedded, and things get interactive though text chat and other means. Since Yahoo! is such a large company, you might expect their network to be able to support the demands of this service, but it’s still an experimental release, and it’s just not very stable right now. Because of this, Ustream and the others are making Yahoo! look bad, but hopefully the reliability will improve so that Yahoo! Live can become a true contender.


The Internet is more about social interaction now than it ever has been before. If you’re just sending out your content to the masses without providing them with multiple ways to get involved, then you must still be living in the Web 1.0 days. I don’t know if you’ve received the memo or not, but that’s just not allowed anymore. There are a variety of ways to get your own personal community involved, and whether that’s something as simple as enabling comments on your blog posts or something as advanced as doing live video chat sessions, find what works for you and go for it. One of the best ways to quickly get an understanding of what your community is thinking is through a poll, and 99Polls enables you to create them.

Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you can start creating your own polls and customizing their appearance immediately. When your poll is created, you’ll be provided with a nice page that displays the poll along with the results and a space for people to make comments. More often than not, you’ll probably want to embed the polls directly on your Web site, and you can easily do that.

Mad Scientists In Leo's Lab!

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for (well, maybe not ALL of you, but most certainly a few dozen of you). Ponzi and I have returned to Vancouver to tape a couple more episodes with Leo on his hit television program, the Lab with Leo Laporte. The shows will be recorded live-to-tape somewhere between 8am and 2pm (Pacific) today (Tuesday).

Now, I’ll have a MacBook (!) with me, attempting to stream our journey north, south, and just about everywhere in between. The fun begins at 4AM (Pacific) and likely lasts throughout the day. So, spread the word, my TechTV faithful – I’m going to take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of what’s happening with Leo (of course, he’ll likely be busy throughout the day, but at least we’ll be able to meet the folks who make all that television magic possible).

My suggestion: watch what’s happening on our own live community page. Now, if you’d rather load my live video stream in a separate browser window altogether – that can be arranged. Some people have gone as far as to create widgets for some gadget platforms! If you’d like to join us in chat without loading the Java IRC applet, we’re on in #Chris (all the time, not just for the next day).

Join me (through my Sprint UpStage EVDO connection – or through the studio’s Wi-Fi). We gotta get the word out about this sooner rather than later – so Digg this link so that people know what’s happening. It’s my true goal that when we demonstrate ustream live on Leo’s TV show, we’ll have hundreds of viewers participating in the chat room and watching the video stream live!

Before too long, I’m hoping to do Q&As throughout my regular days, record those video answers, then immediately upload them to my various accounts (UndoTV, blip.TV, YouTube, etc.). Tried to start that this weekend, but the live upload feature of YouTube doesn’t work very well – and video re-encoding issues are keeping us from moving too far with the idea.

Join us throughout the day – and stick around for a while. ;)

[tags]live video, streaming media[/tags]

Building A Better Video Stream Interface

Currently, bear’s IRC bot (wicket) responds to ‘what is cam’ with the following information: “For the most part, Chris usually relies on a Canon GL2 DV camera connected via FireWire for video and a Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser mic for audio. However, there are times when he relies on a Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision and/or Apple’s iSight for A/V.”

Since receiving the 16′ FireWire cable, I’ve set up the GL2 DV camera to run through my Mac mini for the home office live stream (using Cam Twist to display the URL and live time in the footer of my video feed). Still trying to figure out how to rotate sponsor logos in there, though. No matter, this new setup certainly beats the old one — largely because I don’t use the Mac mini for much else. On the road, I’m likely to rely on the iSight built into the MacBook.

I was getting ready to head to bed tonight (honestly), when I decided to refresh my streaming window. Lo and behold, I discovered that ustream JUST upgraded their video streaming interface to provide much more information and control:

You now have two video preview windows: one for what you see, and one for what the server sees (so that you might detect when the stream has stopped working). Note that you can now turn both of these previews off to save bandwidth! Nothing else notable about this upgrade, to my knowledge – although the font is damn near illegible at this point size.

[tags]live video, streaming media[/tags]

Social Networks: We Need Bridges, Not Silos

Every day, I seem to receive at least one email or invitation to a new “social network” of sorts – and just about every one of these networks are networks unto themselves. That is to say: they’re community silos, not community expanders.

This is frustrating – and I don’t see the trend changing anytime soon. As someone who has always had a community (or network) of friends, both real and virtual, the last thing I want or need to do is split them up. I don’t need another proprietary chat room – I don’t need another proprietary commenting system.

So, each of these “Web 2.0” efforts wants to be the next success story – right? Why, then, do they not understand that the “Holy Grail” of social networking is in eliminating the walls between social networks? It’s not just about doing yet another mashup – it’s about bridging existing gaps.

Chat (active interactive) and Comments (static interactive) seem to be communication devices that some people already have (but not everyone, admittedly). Still, for those of us who already have solutions in place – why make yet another silo for us? Why not break down that barrier and allow us to use the tools we already have in our stable?

Dunno. I’m not down on the whole idea of social networking – but I am down on the idea of creating yet another social network to get to the people who are already in my social network. Gawd, that phrase means absolutely nothing to me anymore (I’ve said and heard it enough times).

I understand the validity of creating rich, live chatting experiences – but not at the expense of abandoning (read: ignoring) my existing IRC channels at IRC has been around forever – imperfect, but widely adopted. The only reason Twitter “works” for me is that it allows me to receive updates via my IM network of choice. Imperfect, but already running on my desktop.

If you decide to integrate some kind of live chat within your service, at least let people choose to use their own instead of yours. If security is an issue, then you shouldn’t be doing chat in the first place. Live chat, of any kind, is only as strong as the room’s active members and moderators.

Stop creating community (communication) silos, please? Please?

[tags]chat, irc, live video, online community, social network[/tags]

Out Of Context

There should be an image here!I should compose all of my blog entries full screen like this, eh? Then you can see how fast I type and how many typos I make in real-time. If I stop winging it? Move to the left?

Maybe if I sit back a bit, it’ll work better. Wow. This isn’t perfect, but I can definitely see how I could get used to typing up simple stuff so that everyone can see what I’m doing – if I want them to see what I’m doing.

Now, if I bother to post this text as a blog entry itself, nobody will have any idea what I’m talking about (without context). We’re working on ways to archive the live video stream and chat, actually.

I’m using something one of our community members recommended – an anonymous community member, at that! It’s a free program for Windows called “Dark Room”, which enables you to enter text full-screen. Normally, I wouldn’t think of using it – but I’m actually typing up this particular post inside the application so that my live followers can see what I’m doing. I even rested the Webcam atop my head for easier “remote viewing.” The font is set to Arial Black 96pt. You have to see it to appreciate it, so… in true live fashion, I’m going to ask someone to take a screen shot of their screen and post it to a Web photo (Flickr?) account so I can link to it directly before this post is completed. ;)


Heh… and who was it that said live Internet video was a waste of time and resources? I think we’re proving them wrong every single day.

[tags]live video, streaming media[/tags]

400: "This Is Pirillo Live!"

Last night, on our way home from dinner, I asked Ponzi if she’d come on cam to say hi to everybody who was tuned in. I told her there were probably 100 people in there and she said there probably wasn’t. We quickly discovered the chat room count sitting at 79, so she dismissed me and went about her nightly business. I told the chat room that Ponzi wouldn’t return unless we had at least 100 people in chat.

Minutes later, people were twittering away – asking their friends to join the fun. Then someone decided to post to Digg. In less than a half hour, our chat room swelled to over 400 people – actively asking questions. I was answering them in rapid-fire succession. Our server was taking quite a hit, but we kept going thanks to everybody (SubWolf, Sean, usrbingeek, LordKat, Bear, Kat, Freekie, IslandDave, SC_Thor, Ryan, Pierce (and I hope I’m not leaving anybody out).

We had a total blast – and someone suggested that Ponzi do a live cooking show, taking questions from the audience all the while. I think she’ll do it, but I don’t know when. The site is streaming 24/7 (and the community is buzzing, thanks to new friends from Facepunch. All in all, this is nothing more than an ongoing experiment – but it’s turning out to be quite successful (especially for our existing sponsors, I can safely say).

[tags]chat, irc, live video, online community[/tags]