Free Video Conferencing Platforms, Skype, Google Hangout and UStream.TV

There are exciting opportunities happening today for broadcasting on the web and connecting with your customers.With a little bit of effort you can become a global broadcaster for basically free. The three main platforms are Skype, Google Hangout/Air/YouTube and UStream.TV. Skype and Hangout are more video conferencing platforms, though with Hangout Air you are global but with a small group. Google Hangout Air broadcasts through YouTube so your reach is unlimited. UStream.tv is a real blast it out to the world application. Lets dig in a little

Skype
skype home pageSkype is the granddaddy of free video conferencing. They have two versions, free for one-on-one video conferencing and Pro for larger groups. Skype works great, I find its signal stays connected the most, the picture and sound quality are excellent. All you need is a free account for both parties, a webcam and mic of some kind and you are ready to go. You can upgrade to a pro account for about $60, and with that you can join up to 10 people on a conference call. They also have a phone calling options. If you combine your Skype call with a screen capture software like Screenflow you can record the call and put it up on YouTube, perfect for doing an interview. To learn more check out https://www.skype.com/en/

 

google hangout screen

Google Hangout Screen

Google Hangout and Hangout Air
The newest member to the group, all kinds of things are happening at Google Hangout. Hangout is part of your Google Plus page, it is a free video conferencing service that comes along with our gmail account. You need to have a Google Plus page which is free, a webcam and the Video Plug which you download the first time you use Hangout.

Hangout comes with all kinds of cool features, from being able to title your video page with a lower third, chat features, tie in to YouTube, and the ability to  add funny hats and more to your head. It has outstanding screen sharing abilities; from the entire screen to just one application or webpage, great for consulting and training.

Hangout connects up to 10 people at a time. The application switches whoever is talking to the main screen, it can sense sound. Hangout works great but you need a little setup time to get everything working. It can also be a little widgie, little tougher to do on the fly. One of the amazing features is that you can also do a Hangout Air, which broadcasts your conference call right to your Youtube Channel. Hangout probably has the lowest video quality in terms of clarity but it is an amazing service. It can also get overloaded and loose connection. It is still a beta program but well worth using. People are doing some amazing broadcasts with it and it is changing the entire way we market our products and services. Learn more at https://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

I put together a longer article on Google Hangout best practices and tips which you can check out here Introduction to Using Online Video for Professional Services Firms

If you have over 1,000 subscribers on YouTube you can also broadcast through them directly. Keep your eyes on YouTube, they are the future of television. Most new TVs are coming web ready and we will be using all these programs on them shortly.

UStream.tv broadcast screen

UStream.tv broadcast screen

UStream.TV
The service that is the most like regular broadcasting is UStream.TV UStream.tv is used by a lot of radio stations to broadcast their shows, conferences use it and all kinds of events use it. You can also just go onto the UStream.tv site and just watch a broadcast. To get going you just need a free account a webcam and mic. Almost all computers come with the necessary gear built in. UStream.tv allows you to add titles, it has a chat feature to connect with viewers and you can record your show for later broadcast and viewing. UStream.tv is a one way out broadcast, the other services are two way. UStream.tv is very reliable and easy to use. They also have a pro package that lets you do screen sharing, and add additional cameras. To learn more https://www.ustream.tv/new

All of these services work pretty well and are a great way to send your message out to the world. Almost all computers these days come with a webcam and mic built in. These services will also work on tablets and smartphones. I have done some pretty interesting broadcasts using portable laptops and smartphones. I highly encourage you start using these and expand your marketing.

Do you want to go live with a chat area and take orders? Then look at a site called Flip-it Live.com. They offer a one-stop solution for a live WebCast, includes the broadcast window, a chat area, production, hosting and interactive page creation and control. See more at https://www.flipitlive.com/

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How to SEO Optimize Your YouTube Video from Dr. Anthony and Market Samurai

Dr. Anthony Fernando at Market Samurai put out an excellent video recently on how to optimize your YouTube SEO and get your videos to rank. Market Samurai is a company that helps you figure out how to find keyword phrases and get your websites and content found online.

Great tips from Market Samurai and Dr. Anthony on getting your video found and the YouTube SEO process
• Create a good quality video
• Keyword, Align your video title and description with the keywords people are actually searching for.
• If you used the Google Keyword Tool  or Market Samurai and searched on your main keyword phrase you can use the phrases that show up as title and subject matter for future videos. All of these phrases are aligned with your main topic
• Search in Google on one of the phrases you discover and see if any videos show up in Google search, if not make a video that fits in that slot

11 Tips on how to optimize your new video for both YouTube and Google

1. Make sure the keyword phrase is in the title of the video
2. Make sure the keyword phrase is also included in the description
3. Make sure the keyword phrases are in the tags or keywords for the video
4. Use the keyword in the file name of the video, don’t have a name like FG453EJ.mov but more like Health-and-fitness-apps.mov
5. Upload high-def videos, upload the best quality you can, YouTube wants their views to have the best experience
6. Have your video transcribed, included the transcript in the close-caption, Google will index your transcription, Create at 300-500 word description with the http: url first.
7. Make sure your user engagement is active, YouTube tracks Views, Inbound links, Social shares, Embeds, Comments, Responses, Likes, Thumbs up/down, Favorites, so you want as much engagement as you can. Ask in the video for subscribers, comments, like, etc.
8. Send out a email with a link to your video
9. Always allow embedding
10. Try embedding your video on a high-Page Ranking page
11. Respond to comments, engage with your viewers
You can learn more about Market Samurai at https://www.noblesamurai.com

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Introduction to Using On-Line Video for Professional Services Firms, Google Hangout

I recently hosted a brown bag lunch session for the LMA New England Social Media Group (SIG) at the Boston intellectual property law firm of Wolf Greenfield on what is going on and how to use on-line video in a professional services firm.  Below are the luncheon notes that I put together, thought others might find them interesting and helpful.

Recent meeting held at Wolf Greenfield with the LMA NE SIG on social media, on how are law firms and professional services firms using on-line video.

Recent meeting held at Wolf Greenfield with the LMA NE SIG on social media, on how are law firms and professional services firms using on-line video.

Intro
There are major changes happening in the on-line video world. We now have the ability to broadcast video conferencing and live events globally with costs that have dropped to almost zero. Events can also be recorded for later showings again at almost zero cost. All of this is getting matched up to a changing YouTube through their OneChannel upgrade that is refocusing itself to becoming a social media and marketing platform. We can now easily produce, market, broadcast, record, distribute and repurpose our video content globally for just about free across many different platforms. This is an exciting time for marketing and delivering your message.

The Main On-line Live Video Platforms
Google Hangout, Google Hangout with OnAir/YouTube, UStream.TV, LiveStream, Justin.TV, Skype, which can be distributed over desktop, laptop, tablet, and smart phones. All of these platforms are rapidly evolving and growing.

UStream.TV
• Free and Pro packages
• You can record, built in chat, Pro packages are approaching the abilities of commercial television.
• Add in Facebook and you can have live interactive broadcasting. UStream.TV is partnering with a lot of Internet marketers who are using this technology for producing long form, info commercial type broadcast with live interactions. Balancing guests with merchandising.

An excellent example of using the UStream.TV platform for building an interactive live workshop, https://www.creativelive.com/

Google’s GooglePlus/Hangout Video Chat Platform
• Similar to Skype, host up to 10 people in a video chat for free
• Variety of Screen share options
• Various apps, lower thirds, funny hats and glasses
• Using the OnAir feature you are able to broadcast and record directly to YouTube
• Works very well with PowerPoint and other desktop applications
• 100 to 1 ration of people watch the Hangout after it is posted not while it is live
• Once it is done, it is done, no post production needed
• Greatly helps with the massive HD video file sizes.

Some Basic YouTube Stats
YouTube, owned by Google, is the main video hosting platform on the web and should be the main distribution channel for your video efforts. Because video is so engaging and popular it needs to be a big part of any marketing plan. YouTube gives you global reach. A key thing to remember is that we all get the same web window. Coca Cola doesn’t get a bigger window, it is up to us what we do with it. Remember act local think global.
• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
• 4 billion videos are watched every day
• Over 2 billion searches per day, #2 search after Google, videos show up as thumbnails in Google search
• Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
• 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
• 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
• YouTube is localized in 53 countries and across 61 languages
• In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth
• 500 years of YouTube video is watch on Facebook everyday
• 700 videos shared every minute on Twitter
• 100 million people take a social action on YouTube every week

• YouTube is becoming much more marketing focused with the roll out of OneChanel, it now allows you to put live links in videos, consistent banding
• Most people don’t utilize YouTube best practices and benefit from its power. Title, Description, Tags/Keywords, Live Links
• It is FREE, across all platforms, smart phones, tablet, desktop, TV, broadcast free to the world
• 5 billion mobile phone with 1 of them smart phones

What are Law Firms Doing
• Using it to connect with their clients
• Depositions, Expert witnesses
• Brings video conferencing to firms of any size
• Meetings and consultations

• Broadcast your seminars and events live and record for future viewing. Increase your reach.
• iPad connections with clients, documents plus the ability to easily hold a video conference

An Excellent Hangout on How Law Firms are Adapting to New Technology.
By BrianMChase@gmail.com of Chase Law
https://www.chaselawaz.com/tech-live-stream/

Key Points
• Adoption will happen as the population changes to younger attorneys
• Adoption will happen as the technology getting simpler
• Changing the patterns of how work is being done, remote site
• Lawyers and social media. Google Plus can be sectioned to focus on specific groups
• It isn’t about how many connections you have, but who you are connected to.
• Attorneys can direct their efforts to specific connections
• Integrating Facebook and what is going on in the community
• Using Google hangout to connect with experts and depositions
• Great for smaller firms that don’t want to spend for a Cisco type of system
• Using Google to share documents in Google Docs
• Concerns about security need to be address but Google does use encryption on all of it platforms, using Dropbox and Google.
• Video conferences can be used for depositions and witness. Use iPads for recording deposition, save to the cloud or download to the Mac.
• Firms are using iPads to collect and hold all the relevant documents. Hold conference calls, using screen share to review, marking up documents with programs like Skitch and producing screen captures. Tablets offer tremendous mobility and the ability to hold a lot of information in a simple to use device.
• Firms are using iPads or Kindles for connecting with clients. Load all of the documents into them and send them off. On an iPad you can do a video chat for follow up. Documents can be stored in the cloud and updated as needed
• Have the clients buy whatever device they are comfortable with and then adapt your content to their machine, tablet

• Prezi presentation software, cloud based, online
• Ability for screen sharing
• Cloud allows for Mac and Windows sharing, bring your own device

Demo Google Hangout
• Show Google Plus
• How to get to Hangout and OnAir
• Different features, apps, chat, muting, screenshare great feature, camera man
• Go live to YouTube

Running a Seminar or Show using Hangout
• All participants need to be up on Google Plus unless you are using OnAir then just give them your YouTube Channel address.
• Host needs a YouTube Channel, basically just sign in
• Have a moderator
• Market with your social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, your list, blog, YouTube Channel
• Practice a little
• Set up some communication channel for questions, Twitter with a hash tag, email, FaceBook group page, YouTube also puts up a chat box next to the video.
• Talk to your viewers, tell them things they need to do
• Using email for viewers on YouTube to communicate and send in questions. List it in your lower third on the screen

What Bruce has learned from the Boston Internet Marketing Meetup Group
• Turn on the lights
• Connections can break, this is still a Beta program
• Bandwidth can be an issue
• Logo in the background works well
• Don’t move around a lot
• You can go from live to web and back very easily using the screen share feature
• Getting people to go live with you.
• You can set up a 4 person panel in front of a laptop
• Do it a bunch to get used to it
• Going live to YouTube isn’t always live right away
• Adding a second camera
• This isn’t CBS television, but it is the future of television
• Invite your circles but never push the public button
• You will have almost no competition

Basic Equipment and Setup
• Google Account
• Google Plus Page
• YouTube Channel
• Decent Internet connection
• Laptop, built in camera, built in mic will work fine
• Download and install the Google Talk Plugin, free app
• Camera Man feature
• Have notes on the screen, stickies work great

For a little better quality, (see resources)
Upgrade to a LogiTech HD Webcam C920
USB Blue Yeti Microphone or Audio Technica AT2020USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Basic Marketing Setup
Video is successful when it is matched with an effective marketing system. Use your content to drive traffic and generate leads for your firm.
• Google Plus
• Facebook Page
• Twitter
• Blog or someplace to send people for more information and to post the YouTube video
• Email signup, AWeber, Constant Contact
• Test promotion to get viewers to your event, it is very channel dependent, an hour or two before going live
• Cross pollinate your Hangout on multiple channels, YouTube, FaceBook, Blog, Pinterest, Linkedin
• To get people to join your Hangout join other Hangouts, just go to Google Plus and click on live Hangouts
• Think like a TV producer, big picture, production and marketing
• Use a world time scheduler when you are promoting your show, remember you are a global broadcaster
• Interact with viewers, send the them to some place to download show notes, resources, white papers, reports.

Best Practices for Running a Google Hangout
• Turn on the lights
• Look at your backgound
• Good audio, people will forgive bad video but get upset if they can’t hear, sometimes a decent USB microphone will help a lot
• Try to be in a quiet room
•  If doing a live OnAir Hangout, non-speaking participants should hit the mute button when not speaking
• The panel is critical, monitor your guests and make sure they fit, a good moderator is a must
• Be careful of participants doing other things when not talking
• Close the door, looks bad if you have people walking in and out of the room
• If you are doing a Google OnAir Hangout, it is very helpful to have someone manage the questions coming in through email or social media.  Have that person feed the question to you.
• Edit and complete your YouTube description box for better search exposure, add a live http link to your description
• Test and get use to Hangout before doing a major seminar, especially if the participants haven’t done one before

Trends
• Future of TV
• YouTube OneChannel
• YouTube is going to be TV
• Ability for anyone to send your messages out to world
• Interact with your audience, conversations
• Reducing video conferencing costs dramatically
• News is moving to Google Hangout, discussions between the news
• Conference calls with a bigger world wide audience.
• Ability to deliver information and opinions very quickly
• Add a live streaming component to your conference or event. You can charge for these.
• Long form info commercial with interactivity
• Launching courses, training, consulting and coaching
• Hangouts are becoming bonuses for buying a course, online coaching

From Netflix, April 25, internet-delivered on-demand content, [with a reliance on data tracking for programing decisions]
Video to Watch for Great Tips

Sarah Hill’s excellent hangout on doing hangouts
http://sarahhillstories.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-host-hangout-on-air.html

And her blog
http://sarahhillstories.blogspot.com

Attorney Brian Chase, excellent Hangout on using technology and law firms. Also example of a very well run Hangout.
https://www.chaselawaz.com/tech-live-stream/

Paul Collgan, YouTube OneChannel Updates
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwDBJEIKpi4

Resources

Mic
– Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone, $99.00
– Logitech Stereo Headset H250 – Graphite (981-000353), $20.00
– Audio Technica AT2020USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Camera
– Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording (960-000764)  $69.99
– Logitech HD Webcam C310 $29.00
– Polaroid 8″ Heavy Duty Mini Tripod With Pan Head With Tilt For Digital Cameras & Camcorders, $8.00
– Steve Garfield equipment list, http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/p/cameras-lights-mics-etc.html

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Lighting
– Cowboystudio Photography/Video Portrait Umbrella Continuous Triple Lighting Kit with Three Day Light CFL Bulbs, Umbrellas, Stands, and Carrying Case For Product, Portrait, and Video Shoots $60.00
– Contractor lights, Bayco, 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light, $9.00

Some cool tools
– Pro Studio for running your Hangout
http://hangoutapps.com/+/?gid=893851448980&app=Pro-Studio-Google-Hangout-App
– Webcam Settings” app in the App Store on a Mac, $8.00
-Screenflow or Camtasia for recording the screen, ability to edit

Presentation by Bruce Jones
Bruce Jones has been a business graphic designer for almost 30 years who loves exploring all sides of social and interactive media. He has produced over 300 videos, 20 books and several software products for presentations, design and education. Bruce will be releasing his newest business book, “Kickstart Your Blogging with 52 Great Ideas” this spring, available on Amazon.com. You can catch the latest episode his web based TV show “The Bruce Jones Design Show” on YouTube.

I would love to hear what think, please leave a comment

2013 Predictions from the Boston Marketing Meetup Group

The Boston Internet Marketing Meetup Group which I am a co-director meets in a Google Hangout on a regular weekly basis as well as at live events. The three directors, Lew Sabbag, Keith Spiro and myself, recently met and pulled together our predictions for 2013 and where we see the internet going for the next year.  Using Google Hangout has been an excellent way for us to meet and it has also given us the ability to broadcast live over YouTube. Our predictions meetup was also matched  with a live event where we polled the audience for their views.

Predictions included
1. The continual falling of the gatekeepers for publishing, marketing, video broadcast and distribution
2. The merging of personal and business in social media, specifically in Facebook
3. The power of Amazon as it moves through all areas of commerce
4. The power of graphic designers and English Majors, or as I see it, anyone that can create content is going to win and be able to distribute
5. Mobile and Local merging together
6. Publishing will be redefined

Bruce Teaches Social Media at the Video Journalism Workshops in Washington DC

Bruce Jones teaching his social media session a the Video Journalism Workshop

Bruce Jones teaching his social media session a the Video Journalism Workshop

Just back from the December session of Bill Gentile’s Video Journalism Workshop. I went down to Washington DC to help film the four day workshop and give my Saturday social media talk to the students live. I had great time and it was a lot fun to go back through the Video Journalism course again. The Video Journalism Workshop teaches students how to find, film and edit compelling stories in a documentary style. Students come with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and all of them had success going through the four day course.

My job has been to talk about what you do after you have completed your video. How do you bring it out into the world. I talk about social media, publishing, making money and building your platform on the web. It was a lot of fun to be live and be able to connect with each student. The entire session was filmed and we will have it up soon for all to see.

Saturday morning session on promoting your videos with Bruce Jones

Saturday morning session on promoting your videos with Bruce Jones

Simple Techniques to be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web

The Bottom Line in 3 Steps to Stand Out Online

First: Cultivating visibility on line is a process of putting yourself and your content out on a variety of platforms with a variety of active and passive techniques that get you in front of the people and organizations that need to know about you. The content must be original. It must matter to your readers, with all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and it must be accessible to the search engines with clear links back to you, your business or organization.

To be successful, this process takes constant and consistent effort across many different platforms over a long period of time. You must also be able to measure the content and know where you are starting from, what is happening and then adjust, and do again.

Second: It is essential to build market leadership and connections to the leaders and organizations in your market. The goal is to go from following the market to leading the market and becoming an authority in it.

Third: One of the results of the first two stages is that you develop exposure, products and services that you can promote and sell in your market.

We live in an amazing time; For almost no cost at all, we can spread our message around the globe.  Everyone, from the biggest companies to the smallest one man businesses, gets access to the same pieces of real estate, the same basic web page, video sites or social media platforms to send out their messages. What we do with it is up to us and how hard and smart we want to work, but we all can do it.

An excerpt from our newest book, How To Stand Out Online, available at Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/How-Stand-Out-Online-Techniques/

New Book from Bruce Jones, How to Stand Out on Line

I am proud to release my newest book, How to Stand Out Online, Simple Techniques to Be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web.

Cultivating visibility online is a process of putting yourself and your content out on a variety of platforms with a variety of active and passive techniques that get you in front of the people and organizations that need to know about you.  The content needs to be original, matter to your readers, accessible to the search engines and connected with clear links back to your home site. In this short read, How to Stand Out Online takes you through this process from the Keys to Being Found Online, Your Web Home and the Active and Passive Sites one needs to have to be successful.

My book is broken down into three parts, in part two I cover how to build market leadership and connections to the leaders and organizations in your market. The goal is to go from following the market to leading the market and becoming an authority in it.

Part three gives you a brief overview of how we can use this platform to not only promote ourselves but also allow us to develop, market and sell products online.

This book developed out of my consulting on social media with my design clients and as the social media consultant to Bill Gentile’s Backpack Journalism Workshops.

Available in paper back at Amazon.com and shortly on Kindle.

How to Stand Out Online: Simple Techniques to be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web

How to Market Your Business with Only One On-line Service

We had an interesting conversation going on the other day on if you only could do a couple of things to market your business what might they be.

You have a small business, what is the one thing you would do on-line to market your business, just 1 thing and your business is a physical retail store, brick and mortar?
1. Simple blog or website/backed up by Google Places

Ok your business is a services business, consulting, law firm, accounting, sales rep kind of business
1. Simple blog or website/backed up by Linkedin

Alright then we dug a little deeper, You have a small business, what are three things you might do to market your business on-line

Retail, store based, brick and mortar
1. Simple blog or website, something with the ability to add pages
2. Google places
3. Flickr or Picassa or YouTube something that can hold and link pictures/video, could be Facebook, I haven’t found any business yet through Facebook, so not sure how well that is working yet to locate a business, maybe better after you already know about the business to follow it. Have had success with YouTube driving traffic to a website.

Service business, consulting, law firm, accounting, sales rep kind of businss
1. Simple blog or website
2. Google Places
3. Linkedin, could be Facebook, but I think Linkedin is more important.

Way in, how would you market your business if you only can do one thing

Some of the Best Business Advice Given to Me in My Career

My response to Week 16 of Blog Ideas

In a previous life, way before I do what I do now I worked in a high tech firm in the purchasing department for an outstanding boss named John Colclough. A tough guy, demanded a lot but taught a lot. I credit the experience under him as my real business training and 29 years later I still use his advice every day.

He had three key rules about being in business, negotiating and life in general

1. When someone comes to your home you supply the sandwiches.

2. If you are going to point a gun to someone’s head make sure the gun is loaded, that the gun has bullets in it, that you are willing to pull the trigger and most important you have the authority to pull the trigger.

And this is the one that I use all the time
3. Always look behind the person you are dealing with and see who is really in charge.

What he ment by the last one is that very often when we deal with people we aren’t really dealing with the one we are talking to but with the person that is behind them. Their boss, a spouse, some rule, but almost always someone or something we can’t see.

I have take this in a number of ways. One is to not get to upset by someone’s behavior that might seem odd or out of place to the situation, it may not be them who is really speaking. The second direction I take this that when you present something to some in a business setting, very often that person will be presenting your ideas to someone else. Make sure that person has everything they need to make a great presentation. Don’t hang them out to dry, make them look good and you will look good.

What has been amazing to me with these rules is that I have remembered them in almost exactly these words all these years and how often I think about them.

My Business Started in My Living Room

I started Bruce Jones Design in 1985, really the fall of 1984, but I went to Europe for 3 months at the end of the year to take a break from working and see the world. Business really started in March of 1985 from my living room in my 4 room apartment in North Cambridge. I would sit in my living room everyday from 9:00 to 5:00 every day and and try to figure out how to have a businesss.

When I began I had no clients and would spend the day starring at the phone trying to get up the courage to make some sales calls. I would sit there everyday and wouldn’t come out until 5:00 unless I was out doing something related to starting the business. It was a long 6 months. In September of 1985 I volunteered at the Boston Arts Festival on the Esplanade along the Charles River. One of the reasons was to see if I could find some clients. I did and that help get things going and things slowly built from there.