Integrating Twitter for live conference webcasts

Digilogue have been webcasting since 1999. No, that's not a mis-print! INTO webcast their Annual Congress in 1999 and if memory serves, we had to ensure the hotel had ISDN and tried to match our bitrates and resolution to the widely used 56k modems and tiny-windowed 160pixels wide players. Webcasting was done then via 'Real Producer' and many aspects were pretty challenging!

This is in huge contrast to this year's INTO Annual Congress webcast which had the following media types/sources (and had 3,295 viewings from over 10 countries and 40Gb of files for archive afterward!)

  • 2 HD main cameras, with operator
  • 2 remote HD USB cameras
  • high definition presentation slides (eg from Powerpoint)
  • Locally played HD video (presenters wishing to show short clips etc)
  • and the star of the show .... Twitter

Below are a couple of short videos and some screenshots of the types of view we broadcast. Below I'll discuss integrating Twitter and tweeting into livestream webcasting further ...

 A couple of other short examples:

Integrating Twitter into Webcasting / Livestreams

As you can guess from the above screenshot - at varying times during the webcast, we used a PiP (Picture In Picture) view to minimise the main camera view and superimpose this smaller front-camera view on a high quality twitter feed. We often use tweetdeck or hootsuite to monitor and display the tweets. Some advantages of this Digilogue approach to webcasting are:

  • Viewers at home are kept up to date with latest comments
  • It varies the view for the viewer
  • Cross-pollination: We mention the webcast URL in our own tweets, and find that many casual tweeters click through to see what's happening - and then stay and watch parts of the conference.

Tweeting and integrating twitter into a live conference - especially one with broad-ranging and political / trade-union opinions cannot be left to chance. Digilogue worked with INTO to ensure that we had proper filters for our tweet stream and also a few key INTO personnel who sent key message tweets and images and kept the flow. Particularly encouraging was the ability to integrate member tweets and also comments from the public which contributed to the conversation.

 

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