It is clear that we’re not going to be going to public events any time soon. Online is the new pink. With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to a couple tools which will be seeing a lot more use for the next while.
This is a tool for publishing a live stream.
You’re probably thinking it’s similar to Zoom, which isn’t quite true. Zoom is a video conferencing tool which can be used for live streams, while Streamyard is what you use to publish a live stream simultaneously to FB, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc while at the same time recording your stream so it can later be uploaded to Youtube and Facebook. If you’ve watched a recording of a FB Live video and it had a logo in one corner, then it was probably recorded using Streamyard (this is one of its cooler features).
One way to explain the difference between Streamyard and, well, everyone else would be the analogy of recording video with your smartphone versus a DSLR. Yes, they both do the job, but one produces much better content.
If you plan to produce a lot of live streams and haven’t yet checked out Streamyard, now is the time to do so.
I don’t want to oversell it but Pathable could be the future of conferences. It is a platform for virtual conferences that brings together scheduled sessions, attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors into a single site.
Basically, if you want to have a virtual conference where attendees can actually network and not just all launch a Zoom stream at the appointed time, you need Pathable.
The RWA used this platform for its conference this past weekend. I was there as an exhibitor, and I was surprised at just how useful this was. I could respond to questions, message attendees, share files, and even host my own live streams. (I hadn’t prepared for that because I didn’t even know it was possible until the Wednesday before the conference, but I could have done it.)
Right now a lot of conferences are still telling attendees which Zoom link to open at a given time, and if you are lucky they even have all the Zoom links on a single web page. Balticon worked that way, and it did work after a fashion, but it also wasn’t very much fun because there was no way to really talk to the other attendees outside of a session. (In their defense, they did have to switch to virtual on very short notice.)
That said, Pathable is great but it’s still far from perfect. It was competently designed by capable engineers, but the current interface was clearly not made with users in mind. (Seriously, Pathable, I’d be happy to consult on this.)
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Do you want to know why I am sharing this? It’s because I know people who are planning conferences for next spring who still think they can hold an in-person event. That ain’t happening, and I am hoping someone will forward this to them so they can start planning for a virtual conference now rather than waiting for the last minute.