NMC011 The Blab Experiment
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Recorded: February 10, 2016
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: Broadcasting with Blab. Getting closer to packing up the house to move on to a boat.
It has been so fun for me to work on these recent New Mexi-Castaways podcasts. It is like a walk down memory lane. They were recorded in 2016, when I was just figuring out how to continue my work while preparing to move onto a sailing catamaran. There were a lot of experiments with the new technologies at the time as live streaming was just becoming a possibility. In the previous episode I shared my experience with Periscope. In this episode, it is all about the Blab experiment. Personally, I loved Blab for the way it created a fun sense of community. Sadly, it was not to last. The owners shut down the Blab platform in August 2016, leaving a lot of loyal content creators feeling betrayed and heartbroken.
Still, I hope you enjoy this episode as it shares my excitement over the possibilities that lie ahead with Blab, with the boat and with life in general. There are plenty more experiments and adventures on the horizon here on New Mexi-Castaways, so please be sure to subscribe to the podcast! You can do that here:
Coming up in the next episode, learning how to outsource.
Lots of love,
P.S. If you enjoyed this podcast and want more, here’s how to:
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Rosa Linda Román 0:00 Hello, everyone. Welcome to New Mexicast. I'm Rosa Linda Román. And before we get started, I want to share what you can expect here on this podcast. First, you should know that my family lives on a sailing catamaran, and this is my personal audio journal. What you're about to hear is an episode from 2016, when we were just starting our journey of moving from our home in New Mexico, onto the boat, as a long time broadcast journalist, I wasn't sure how I was going to keep working while pursuing this crazy new lifestyle. This journal is where I worked through a lot of things, both personally and professionally. That means you will hear about experiments with new technologies like Blab and Periscope and testing out systems to make the move easier like wild tree meal prep. And KonMari for downsizing our stuff. As you can imagine, some of these experiments were successful. Well, some like Blab and wild tree don't even exist anymore, but I decided to leave even the failed experiment in this audio journal. So you could get the whole story of how we went from New Mexicast to New Mexicastaways. If you like, what you hear, please stick around till the end and I'll share how you can find out where we are now and how you can get much more content by joining the New Mexi-Castaways crew. Enjoy Rosa Linda Román: 01:19 Hello and welcome to New Mexicast the enchanting show featuring interesting people and places in New Mexico and beyond. I am your host, Rosa Linda Roman. I created New Mexicast, the video podcast, almost a decade ago, and then the half-hour weekly TV show about three years ago. And now this audio version of New Mexicast. Now, this audio version is just a sounding board and brainstorming session, if you will. It is the place where I share tips and tricks and thoughts and just random musings about the creation of my show. Now I have been an independent reporter as I mentioned since I started video podcasting way back when, when it was the first video podcast in the state of New Mexico. And so I've learned a few things along the way about how to do content creation when you're on a zero or very low budget. And I'm, I'm also an independent filmmaker, um, as a hobby. Rosa Linda Román: 01:32 So I like to share some of that here and today. What is on my mind is similar to what was on my mind last episode talking about live streaming possibilities. But today I want to talk about blabbing, blabbing on an app called Blab.IM. So Blab is this new platform. Um, it's, I think it's only been around since August and at the time of this recording it is February and Blab. It has really changed the way people are doing their "shows". Now when I say show here on New Mexicast, I initially started even when it was a video podcast, I always modeled it after a traditional show in traditional broadcasting because of my background as a mainstream, a reporter and anchor. But now the possibilities are so open and endless that people are really redefining what a show might be. Rosa Linda Román: 02:41 And Blab is similar to a Periscope, which I talked about in the last episode, which in that it allows you to do, interact in a live format in a, in a live forum with viewers and actually deliver content in real-time. Well, semi real-time. With Periscope, there's a delay sometimes up to a minute worth of a delay in the broadcast. But so like if I'm talking on Periscope for example, between when I say something and when people start to text comments because they can text and give you hearts and things in real-time. There's sometimes up to a minute delay between when I say something and people start responding and I'm, I'm pretty sure the reason that is there is to avoid, you know, people doing inappropriate things on live television. But there's, this new Blab is different because of a, it's absolutely straight live. There's no delay, it's real-time. Rosa Linda Román: 03:52 And the big, big thing that is really transforming things and has me thinking in different ways about New Mexicast and about just broadcasting in general, um, is that you can, you can include more than one camera source in your show. So let me explain. When I'm doing Periscope, it is me and my camera, my iPhone actually you have to do it on an iPhone or a phone of some kind. It doesn't have to be iPhone, it can be android as well. But you broadcast straight from your phone and then that goes out using either your wifi signal or your cellular data and that goes out to the masses. Whoever also has to have that app can subscribe to your broadcast or, or to you as a broadcaster. And then it alerts them when you're doing a show or doing a live report. And they, that's, that's it. Rosa Linda Román: 04:56 It's, it's you and, and you're the on camera with your phone and everything else is just people texting in response. Now you can look at Periscope in a browser as well, but generally it's used on a mobile device. Well, Blab, first of all, you can use Blab and really if you're hosting, you should use Blab on a computer. And it, it gives you a lot more real estate if you will. You know, so that you're not just this tiny little box on a phone, but the difference is you can add cohosts or additional, um, people can come onto the broadcast. From what I understand, Blab started as a way for people just to communicate and chat in real-time where I think from what I read or somebody told me probably, um, the, the developers were noticing that people would get on social media and you know, might maybe text or, or, or comment or like somebody, a post on Facebook. Rosa Linda Román: 06:12 But the thing that was missing was that seeing another person's face and hearing their voice and having that, that sense of connecting with your, your being if you will, you know, where you can really get a different sense of a, a person from talking to them, especially in person, but even doing like a Skype call for example, where you can see the person and you can talk to the person. Um, even, even if they're not with you, you can see their expressions and you can, um, really get the benefit of understanding what their intention is more than just by texting. So I think that was the original intention of Blab and it has now developed into, uh, people are looking for ways to turn it into, um, more traditional shows. And so it's interesting because I was doing ,on Periscope, I mentioned in the past, I have this partnership with Natalie Goldfein of My Habit Upgrade. Rosa Linda Román: 07:14 And the way we were doing it on periscope is Natalie would be on one screen on my laptop, uh, and I would call her via Skype and she would be on my computer screen and then I would talk to the camera with my phone, talk to uh, the people on Periscope and say, hey, we're going to do this interview and um, please join us. And then I would basically put my face next to my laptop so that you could see Natalie on the screen of my computer and my knee at the same time. The problem was like lighting was horrible cause what I needed to like my face is horrible for lighting us a computer screen. Um, obviously you don't want to light a computer screen because of the reflection and all of the, you know, you see, you see all the light shining off of the screen instead of actually seeing what is on the screen. Rosa Linda Román: 08:14 So it's really, really, really hard to have my face next to the computer screen. Plus it's awkward. It doesn't feel authentic. Well with Blab it pulls up her video source in a box next to me. So I come into like imagine the screen as four quadrants and I'm in the upper left hand quadrant as the host. And I introduced the show and I say hello and I then say, and now joining us is Natalie Goldfein and she's going to talk about our techniques for the day and she then pops up in the upper right hand window of that quadrant and then she and I can have a conversation live and you can see our interaction from as a viewer, you can watch that and both people can be well lit and both people look more natural and it's just a much nicer way to communicate people. Meanwhile, the viewers are watching and they can give these kudos or um, I dunno what you call them cause I'm not familiar with the blab lingo. Rosa Linda Román: 09:26 Like I know when you do a broadcast on Periscope, it's called a scope. And, um, you know, people have terms for different things and you, but I don't know the Blab lingo yet. But anyway, the, well you can tap the screen and give us kudos as well. So you could, if you like something that Natalie is saying while we're doing the broadcast, you tap the screen and it gives her like an applause kind of, but I don't know, it's hard to describe but it's like a bubble floats up on the side of the screen. Um, you can text questions directly to the host and those get put in a sidebar, which is really nice as the person producing the show because you don't have to try to look at comments as they scroll up over your face or over the image and you can also refer to them and go back to them, which is something that I don't think you can do on Periscope. Rosa Linda Román: 10:21 I'm usually, as I'm doing a live shot on Periscope, I have to catch the question as it was posted and, and then try to remember it when I have a break in what I'm saying as I'm talking live. So there's a lot going on when even just doing a normal live shot where you're just standing in front of something and talking about it, that takes a lot of brain and energy space to make that look natural. Um, I know we've all seen people on the air and, and if you've been in broadcasting, I know we've all been on the air looking like a deer in the headlights and forgetting what we said or getting distracted and it's very awkward for the viewer and it's not something that you want to emulate or do again, if you ever had that experience like I remember my very first time going live when I was in El Paso, Texas. Rosa Linda Román: 11:12 I was working at KVIA 40, KVIA channel 7 in El Paso and I was sent to do my first live shot ever in the field. I had done live shots from a bureau before, but I was in front of the police station and I don't even remember what the story was, but I swear if you had asked me what my name was at that moment, I would not have remembered it. I felt like, you know, just my brain was fried. I was so stressed about being live on camera that everything else went away. So for those of you that are listening to this, because you are also exploring Periscope, Blab and doing these live reports, I totally get what you're going through because I did that and now it's probably, I don't know, 20 years ago, but um, you know, any of us who have been live broadcasters can totally sympathize. Rosa Linda Román: 12:04 Um, anyway, so I digress. And what is nice is you get these questions on the side. So they're there for when you get a break in your, your communication, you can say, hey, I see I, we've got a question from John and he wants to know, you know, what, whatever this is, and then you can address it. Another feature that I learned is you can actually put that question up on the screen in one of those quadrants so that the other viewers who are watching get to see that, that question so that they know what you're referring to. And they also get to see who asks the question, which is really cool. But here's another thing that is really wild is you can invite the viewers to pop into the conversation. So let me give you yesterday, which was our first Blab as an example. Rosa Linda Román: 12:56 I was doing the Blab intro. So I started the show, introduce myself, introduce Natalie, and when it was time for Natalie to come on, we could not get her video, her image to show we couldn't see her and we couldn't hear her and it just wasn't working well. I had learned from watching a different, um, Blab if you will, um, like a welcome one from the actual company that if you type in the, if YOU as the host, you can type as well. So you type at help while you're live on the air and someone from Blab will pop into your broadcast and uh, and help you, which is just the coolest thing ever. Um, and so this guy Jason helped talk us through and we got Natalie in. And what was really neat about it is it didn't interrupt the broadcast because you pause recording when you, if you bring someone in like that, you just pause the recording and then it will pop up again when you start the recording. Rosa Linda Román: 14:01 So this help guy advised me to stop the recording. I stopped the recording, he came on troubleshooted right there, live with us, Natalie got on we that he left and we got back to recording and it was if you potentially you could do that and it would not look like a major interruption to the viewer other than maybe a freeze-frame until you came back. You could say, hey, we're going to troubleshoot, we'll be right back. That kind of thing. So that was really interesting. But this is the part that I think is very cool. You can have someone from the audience if you want them to join the broadcast and ask a question. They put a request in and you know, and in that lower, let's say left hand quadrant there, there's a dialog box that pops up and offers for you to um, let them into the broadcast. Rosa Linda Román: 14:54 And so, in this case, yesterday, there was a guy named John Birch who is in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and he, he joined us to communicate and he was on camera with us. So picture out of the four quadrants, there were three of them taken. So I was in the upper left hand corner, Natalie in the upper right hand corner and then John was in the lower left hand corner. It was really cool because we were able to interact with him in real time and he asked us a question and then we started asking him questions since we were new to this and he had been doing these Blab shows for like, I don't know, 169 days or something like that, which means that he's like a veteran at it because so many people, um, you know, this is such a new brand new technology. So anyway, the long and the short of it is this gives us amazing possibilities that Periscope currently doesn't give you. Rosa Linda Román: 15:53 Now I should back up, there is one other option with Periscope and that is you can use a GoPro and hook that up. So that you could use a second camera as well, but it's not set up the way that Blab is. It would be more like switching between cameras. So if you're somewhere and you maybe want to show some action, um, you could switch to your GoPro. Like I know the way I learned about that was from, uh, from Chalene Johnson who I've mentioned many times on here as if she's my friend because I listened to her Smart Success Academy and, uh, uh, Virtual Business Academy and I'm learning a lot from her. And anyway, so I ha she was showing how she used her GoPro. Uh, and she would go like, she went skiing for example, and so she could switch between talking on the camera too, you could see the view as she was going down the mountain. Um, and it actually turned out to be very funny cause it switched to the phone in her pocket at some point. And so it was like riding down the mountain in her pocket. So that was a pretty funny one. But the theory is sound that you could switch conceivably between, um, you know, you could switch between, um, sources and see two different things in one periscope. But again, it's a very different vibe than what I'm talking about here with Blab. Blab. It is now. Now it's like my brain is about to explode with excitement and possibilities because whereas New Mexicast the TV show, I always like when you back up, when I, when I first started creating content, I was still in my full mainstream broadcast mode. And so in my mind I needed it to be high quality and well-produced and, and look very polished. Rosa Linda Román: 17:44 And so I spent a lot of time creating quality stories. Um, and that was because I was emulating the mainstream shows, right? But over time I came to realize that that was very restrictive. I didn't have to do that because this is a new medium. But in many ways it was a new medium with similar vibe that was still following old school way. And I realized I didn't need to do that because there is more flexibility when you're creating your show independently. You can do whatever you want, but again, it still was prerecorded and it, it was contained into kind of this nice, neat little package. Well, now adding this streaming live element changes the dynamic again and now I'm envisioning ways that I could conceivably integrate not only an interview with someone like I did with Natalie, but I could, let me back up. Rosa Linda Román: 18:49 They're getting to a point, It's in Beta right now, where you can add slides and pictures and maybe video to um, a broadcast on Blab. So in theory, I could switch between all of these different sources. I could do, uh, conduct an interview and insert a package. Um, it meaning a story, a pre-produced story into the show. And so all of a sudden it becomes like, I've got not just my own show, but my own broadcast station and with a switcher and I could potentially have a producer or a director or whatever. And this is huge in my mind. This makes a massive, massive difference. And I just feel like the possibilities are wide open right now. And I'm really excited to explore what I can do with the, this new technology. Again, yesterday was my very first Blab and, um, it was exciting and it, you know, I really feel like there's a lot of potential, so I hope you'll stick with me for the ride. Rosa Linda Román: 19:58 Um, if you want to ask questions and interact in real-time, you should check out, um, some of those live shows that I'll continue to do and that's Blab.im/newmexicast. Blab will be more for like creating the studio feel if you will. But we'll see. It's all an evolution and a work in progress. And that's why I like these audio versions because I can share the process with you and we can talk about just how it's all evolving. For better or worse. I mean, you know, I haven't even gotten into the fact that, um, you know, uh, maybe not half, maybe 25% of my followers and all the followers that I know of, people that do shows on Periscope are porn people. So, you know, this is an open forum, an open medium, and, uh, you know, there's a lot of, uh, potential for abuse as in any of these kinds of technologies. So it's all about trying to manage it in a way that, um, brings out the best and minimizes the worst. So thanks. Thanks for following me along the way. I hope you enjoyed this little jam session and, um, I will see you somewhere in the great media experiment that we are all living in. Have a great day. Bye. Theme Music: 21:28
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