One of the most recent unique experiences was the use of new technology last week to stream a concert and charity presentation from my living room. I was able to include family members, friends and other people I have never met but who share the same concern for causes like the one I was a part of in Ethiopia. All were there either online or in person. There were 150 people involved in participating in this event! My living room, fortunately, only had just under 50 people attend there in person. Here is how I did it.
Using free Web 2.0 tools like Livestream.com, I was able to hook up a consumer digital video camera and a nice recording mic in the room to capture the event–LIVE! Forgive the few sentences of geek speak that follow, but I think you might be surprised how simple this is to do.
Equipment and process used:
- Sony Digital Video camera with a Firewire connection. Ours is an old Digital 8 format, by the way!
- USB microphone interface to connect to the computer. MXL USB Mic Mate Classic$39.99 (You could use any sort of USB microphones these days to go directly into the computer, or a USB interface and use multiple inputs if you want to go crazy).
- Macbook Pro Laptop using Mozilla Firefox web browser. Yes, I use a Mac but a PC should be able to work as well using your best browsers for web such as Firefox or Chrome. The tools to interface are “flash” and therefore embedded into the browser. Or, you can download and use Livestream.com’s Procaster tool for HD and more bells and whistles.
- Boom stand with a Rode K2 large diaphram microphone at $699.00 (but a much cheaper mic will work, too! Like I said, there are many USB microphones you can get today).
- Livestream.com is the tool with their ProCaster software loaded.
- There in the room I used a Marshall AS50D acoustic amp($389) as the PA system, with a Shure SM57 microphone and a guitar inputted.
- My Sony HD flat screen TV was used so that a movie could be played and for the group to see the online streaming conversations. My wife used her PC laptop to moderate conversations so I could worry about presenting.
We had about 50 people show up online LIVE during the stream and since then an additional 50 have seen the content online, but not live within 24 hours. This was in addition to the nearly 50 who were present in my home. To think that technology from a living room can bring my family closer to yours is an amazing thought.
The stories I had to tell about the charity work in Africa were shared with many yet in a personal way. And, it was interactive, with one instance of important news from Doma, the charity I served with, being given from Floriday, Ohio to my California living room during a live Q and A.
The cost to do this in years past would make this ridiculous to consider. Even the video and photos I took were done so with an iPhone and a microphone attachment from iRig. My mobile phone essentially brought from Africa the content for a presentation that was then in turn shared globally from my home in southern California.
Technology has always been adopted in history like this as the human need for communication and connection is so deep. Yes, we think technology is something new, but really some sort of technology existed for communication from writing on paper to taking that paper and writing the Bible on it. Whether it was the telegraph, telephone, email or now social media this event last week proved to me that one family can touch others significantly.
How are you personally or organizationally using technology to connect your passions to people and causes?