This evening, in response to a Twitter question from Justin Staub, I created a 12 part MentorMob article series (technically it includes 11 articles and 1 audio podcast) addressing the question, “How Can I Webstream an Event?” There are multiple answers to this question, of course, which are appropriate for different situations depending on available equipment, money, bandwidth, etc. I titled this MentorMob series, “Lessons Learned Webcasting with Ustream.” I started using Ustream back in 2008 and it’s still my favorite webcasting platform.

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Here’s the text for the overview article I wrote to start the series, titled “Why Learn About Webcasting?” What would you add to this overview?

Webcasting is the LIVE broadcasting of a presentation or event over the Internet. Just a few years ago webcasting required a lot of technical skills as well as expensive hardware. Powerful moble devices, faster broadband Internet speeds and advanced video sharing platforms have changed that. This MentorMob series features blog posts and podcasts I’ve shared since 2009 about webcasting using the free service Ustream. Other webcasting options are available, however. Some of the webcasting services you should check out (which can, in most cases, work with both mobile devices as well as laptop computers) are:

  2. Livestream
  3. Qik

A “Google Hangout on Air” is another free way to webstream, but I’ve found it works best for meetings where individual people are in front of their webcams. If you’re going to use a laptop and a Hangout on Air to stream a presentation, I strongly encourage you to consider different options for using an external camera and microphone. Those options up the cost ante for webcasting, but they are important for both video and audio quality… especially if you’re not using a mobile device and app.

Consider using a free mobile app to livestream your event if you’re wanting to broadcast FREE or ‘on the cheap.’ Ustream offers 2 options for iOS users:

  1. Ustream (free app now includes broadcasting option, previously this was a separate “Ustream Broadcaster” app)
  2. Ustream Broadcast For Friends (tied to Facebook)

A tripod with a device mount is highly recommended, however, for longer events. Some examples are:

  1. For iPhone 4-5: Glif adapter ($20)
  2. For iPad: Makayama iPad Tripod Mount ($75)

Make sure websites and ports required for broadcasting are unblocked on the network where you’ll be livestreaming. If you’re using Ustream, this article details those settings.

If you have a newer Mac laptop and want to broadcast using a DV camcorder, consider purchasing a Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle w Thunderbolt or similar device. That hardware accessory isn’t cheap (about $220) but it’s the best/most affordable way I’ve heard of so far to import any DV or composite video source into a Mac via Thunderbolt.

Another alternative is using a consumer-grade, flash-based camcoder connected to a live streaming service. Sony’s Bloggie camera series is an example.

If you have questions about these ideas or resources, feel free to contact me via Twitter!

Many, MANY thanks to the wonderful Jackie Gerstein who showed me MentorMob over wifi on a Toronto bus enroute to UnPlugged 2012!

Unplug'd 2012


I met one of the Chicago-based founders of MentorMob a couple weeks ago at the ICE conference. I LOVE MentorMob, I think it’s a great FREE tool to use when you want to “step” people through a series of activities or resources. I created my first “MentorMob playlist” in October 2012: “Community Voices Interview Project Tutorial.” It’s a series of YouTube videos.

MentorMob Rocks!

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