Citizen journalism with Ustream mobile broadcasting apps
posted this on June 28, 2012 17:21
The recent events transpiring around the globe have ushered in a new era of citizen journalism. Ordinary people from Egypt, Oakland, Wall Street, and beyond are broadcasting live video from their mobile phones directly to millions of viewers. The democratization of news is here and it is being broadcast LIVE on Ustream.
Ustream provides mobile applications for Android and iPhone that enable anyone to share their point of view with an unlimited global audience for Free.
We have been receiving a lot of questions from would-be citizen journalists so we wanted to put together a guide intended to show you how to make the most of your mobile broadcast and share your story with the world. I encourage you to ask any questions in the comments section and get out there and Ustream!
Download and Run the Ustream application on your smartphone by searching for 'Ustream' in your devices App Store or Marketplace (Download Links: Android and iPhone)
Setup your Channel Press the Camcorder Icon in the Top right of the application
Select the 'Go Live' button to bring up the login or channel selector screen
Select your channel or Login with your Ustream account credentials. If you are new to Ustream follow the steps to create an account
Once you select your channel you will see the camera preview and you're ready to start spreading the word and attracting viewers
Build an Audience
Provide a short description of what you are broadcasting and share that with Twitter and Facebook. This will send a link people can follow to watch your broadcast on their computers, mobile phones, tablets, or web connected TV's - See All Ustream Apps
Ready to Broadcast
Press the Red Broadcast Button :-)
You're Live!! Now What?
Provided you are broadcasting something compelling and have activated your social networks you should start building an audience. You can track your viewer count in the top left of the application.
Encourage your audience to invite their friends and retweet to their followers. Spark the virality of your broadcast by energizing others to help get the word out. Inform viewers of when you will be live (start/end) in advance. Talk to friends and family, Post to your Twitter and Facebook before, after and during your broadcast.
TIP: Always remember to include your channel URL whenever you promote your broadcasts!
Engage with your Audience
Ask your viewers to enter questions in the Social Stream or Chat module and press the Chat Bubble to see those comments. You can either verbally answer their questions, follow their directions, or provide text based responses that syndicate out to Facebook and Twitter.
Shoot Great Video
Hold the camera steady and don't make frantic moves. Think of the camera as an extension of your own eyes and viewers will see what you show them, so it is best to keep the motion smooth and steady. You are the best zoom available. To be a good videographer you need to be able to go where the action is. Don't be afraid to move closer to the action when safe to do so. If you are not close enough viewers may not be able to see or hear what you are trying to film.
TIP: Most modern smartphones come with a small LED light on the back of the device. You can activate this light by pressing the torch icon while broadcasting. This will illuminate what you are recording and works best when 3-5 feet from what you are trying to film.
You are the eyes, ears, and often times need to be the voice explaining what is happening to your viewers. Compelling video should be supplemented with your verbal explanation of what you are filming and why the viewer should care. Remember if something was said that was difficult for you to hear chances are it was even more difficult for your viewers to hear.
Keep the dialog with your viewers going by providing commentary of what you are filming. Read what your viewers are saying in the Social Stream/ Chat and ask them if you are doing a good job or what they would like to see or hear.
OK I get the Basics how do I take this to the next level?
Mobile Phone and Data Packages
Broadcasting quality live video requires a decent amount of upload speed. Look for and purchase a smartphone device that uses 3G or 4G LTE or WiMax high speed wireless networks and make sure you are in a coverage area that supports the advanced data rates. (Best Pick Samsung Galaxy S2 on Sprint 4G or Verizon LTE networks)
TIP: If you are going to be broadcasting a lot of video (Multiple Hours) it is probably a good idea to invest in an unlimited or higher tiered data package.
If you have an iPhone or other 3G smartphone you can buy a 4G LTE or WiMax mobile access point and create a mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot to enable faster broadcast speeds. (Best Pick Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Hotspot)
Extra Battery Power
Devices are getting thinner, faster and have bigger screens. This all means battery life is going to be an issue. You can look at purchasing extended batteries for your particular phone model or if you want some real staying power look at an external battery pack that continuously recharges your device while you are broadcasting. (Best Pick Energizer XP18000)
Get out there and Ustream!
Check out this inspiring video from Tim Pool an independent citizen journalist who along with others have reached over a Million Live Views after streaming the events unfolding in New York as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.