iDiversity and Livestreaming

In my last post, I talked about how iDiversity uses YouTube to provide a public archive of our events. In this post, I’ll talk about how we utilize Google Hangouts On Air to broadcast our events so everyone can watch in!

This post won’t be long, as using Google Hangouts On Air is really simple. There are three steps:

  1. Start a hangout.
  2. Click the “Enable On Air” option.
  3. When you enter the Hangout and have everything set up, click the “Start Broadcasting” button.

And that’s all there is to it! It even saves the broadcast to your YouTube account. You can invite people to join the broadcast (which we used when one of our speakers was in Seattle for ALA Midwinter) or you can share several different links so people can watch the broadcast without actually joining the video. Here are the three options:

  • Tell people to go to your Google+ page. Here, they will find the stream on your front page.
  • Share the YouTube link where viewers can watch it within YouTube.
  • Use the embed button to get a code to embed in a different website.

In the case of iDiversity, I recommended using the embed option. I created a page dedicated to livestreaming which our users can now bookmark, or we can turn into a QR code and share on our posters. Additionally, by directing people to watch our livestream on our website, we’re amping up traffic to the website. All in all, it’s a win-win solution. The only problem is that there isn’t a good way to comment on the video during the broadcast when hosted on this dedicated page. When we switch to the newest event, the comments on the old video become irrelevant and would eventually be lost. Currently, the comments are disabled to avoid this problem and we advise viewers to tweet questions or comments.

Obviously, if you use one of the other two options, your viewers would be able to post comments and participate in the discussion. One of the problems I’m personally having with this is that there’s no way to consolidate comments and questions from these two services. I’d like to see some kind of solution that makes everything neat and tidy!

Check out the video below for iDiversity’s most recent Google Hangout On Air.

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