NMC029 Live Streaming Blab is Dead

Rosa Linda

Recorded: August 26, 2016
Location: Riviera Beach, Florida
Subject: Discussing the demise of the live streaming platform, Blab.

Hello friends!

A big part of my personal journey, which I have shared sometimes here on this podcast, is my career. I went from a reporter and anchor in the mainstream media to a full-time mom back in 2005 when my first daughter was born. That baby girl just turned 16!

Although I left that broadcasting career to focus on my family, I have never stopped experimenting with, dabbling in and learning about new ways to keep my career alive. That is how New Mexicast was born in 2007.

Back in 2016, live streaming was very new and I had tested out several platforms, like Periscope and Blab. Blab was by far my favorite. Sadly, it quickly went the way of the dinosaurs. I share my thoughts on Blab’s demise in this week’s episode.

Thanks for checking out my podcast. Have a great week and be well everyone!

Lots of love,
Rosa Linda

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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello and welcome to New Mexicast. The enchanting audio podcast, featuring my ramblings and our story about my family living on a sailing catamaran. I'm Rosa Linda Román. I like to call this New Mexi-castaways. New Mexicast, the video podcast, started in 2007. And I did feature stories about fascinating enchanting people in New Mexico and beyond fusing my broadcasting skills from many, many years of working in mainstream media. And now, and then after that it became a TV show, a half hour, weekly TV show, and now I am mostly doing live streaming because that is a new tool that is available, that makes lots of things possible. So as far as my video broadcasts go, mostly, you would see live streaming on my family's move to the Dawn Treader, which is our sailing catamaran. We moved onto this boat 72 days ago, which seems impossible. Rosa Linda Román (01:44): It does not seem like it could possibly have been 72 days already. I was doing the math yesterday when I did a Facebook live shot. And it, it was that long 71 days yesterday. Yesterday's broadcast that I did was about hurricanes and homeschooling. So I thought I'd talk a little bit about that because basically this audio podcast is a companion to the New Mexicast, the TV show slash you know visual broadcasting, let's say. So really this is just where I talk it out, share more of the process, the behind the scenes, the stuff that you know, that is that I'm thinking about while I'm going through this process. What is this process? Well, it depends if it's the working with kids, which I have three working with our German shepherd puppy, thankfully there's only one. And also any of the ups and downs of broadcasting that I am trying to figure out how to make the transition between what we have done in our in my regular broadcasts and where I'm going now, because obviously the main focus is on this boat and the adventures that we have still to come. So while I am figuring that out, I'm using this audio podcast to just talk it out. That's what you, what this is here for. If you're looking for something else, like more produced pieces, you can go to the New Mexicast archives on New Mexicast TV on YouTube, or you can again see my live streaming on either facebook.com/newMexicast, or occasionally on Periscope. You can no longer go to blab.com or Blab dot I am, I think it was to see my broadcasts. And the reason for that is that Blab went out of business about two weeks ago. So if you don't know what I'm talking about, let me back up a little bit. So when it came to live streaming it reminds me a lot of how things went with my video podcasting days. Rosa Linda Román (04:18): I heard about this thing called live streaming. I knew nothing about the technology or what was out there, but I wanted to experiment and explore. And a lot of the exploration and testing that we did, people said, Oh, you're on the bleeding edge of this technology. So there were a lot of mistakes and ups and downs and all around good, bad and ugly. But one of the platforms that I ended up using consistently was called Blab. And I really liked Blab because it allowed you to not only bring in a cohost, but to actually have a conversation with up to four people at the same time. Which I don't love four way conversations a lot of times, especially when each person has a camera and they're trying to get their part said. I don't, I don't love that. I think it's better with two, with an occasional person dropping in to add commentary or insight. Rosa Linda Román (05:20): So anyway, Blab was great because I worked with Nathan, my husband's cousin, Natalie Goldfein to get her message out there about a platform that she developed called My Habit Upgrade. And I've talked about it on the show before, but My Habit Upgrade is basically a way to help keep you daily, doing daily steps to improve your life and the life of those around you. And so I would, we would do this thing called "the my habit upgrade moment" and we figured out that it was best to keep it short. So we did five minute broadcasts, five minutes or a little, sometimes maybe six, but basically short broadcasts where she shared a self-improvement technique. And we talked about it and practiced it. And, and it was just very positive, upbeat, nice way to start the day, two days out of the week, we were doing that Tuesdays and Thursdays in the mornings. Rosa Linda Román (06:20): Then I made my move from New Mexico to the sailing catamaran. And not only did my schedule get all wonky, but the internet options became almost nothing. I, in New Mexico, I knew my internet was bad. I was up in the mountains on 75 acres, I knew my internet was really bad there. I had no idea how bad it was going to be once we moved down to the boat and it wasn't because we were sailing to remote islands, we actually have the boat in, in West Palm Beach area at a marina, and we should have had internet options, but it just wasn't. None of the internet was working. Nothing was working. They had wifi at the marina but I could get connected for about 30 seconds max. And it wasn't strong enough signal for live streaming at all. So I spent basically the first month and a half pulling my hair out, trying to figure out how to get some connectivity so that I could do some broadcasts and test some things out and hopefully get back to broadcasting with Natalie. Rosa Linda Román (07:30): Well, all of the, all the while I started hearing talk, cause I belong to a group of fellow live streamers and they share their insights and experiments and learning about the technology that allows for live streaming. And I just kept hearing that Blab is going to be dead. Blab is dying. Blab is going the way of the dinosaur, which is, was a shame because I had tried a few other things like I, I do Periscope, but Periscope wasn't really great for what Natalie and I were doing. And I again, do Facebook live, which the numbers are nicer with Facebook live but as far as having that cohost and letting the audience interact, it really didn't have that potential. It wasn't working with Facebook live yet. That may be an option by the time you hear this broadcast or this podcast. But as of this recording, they're still in the experimental phase with using Facebook and having to have more than one camera, more than one stream, if you will. So anyway, long story short, it was true. Blab was dying. The creators of Blab, now we were like champions of, we loved Blab. We being, not just Natalie and myself, but the people that we met through Blab really supported the platform and really believed in it and really, you know, got them, tried to get the message out there and brought all of their viewers and people to this platform. But they always, Blab always stayed in beta. They never actually moved out of the beta phase, which is the experimental phase of an app or a platform. And so somewhere along the way, Blab introduced the founders or the creators of Blab, the team that created Blab introduced something called I think it was Bebo or something like that. But it basically, it was, and I never went to this platform. So please, if it's something else don't berate me, it's probably great. Rosa Linda Román (09:43): And I'm sure whoever uses it, loves it, but it was a totally different kind of uh platform. It reminded me more of trying to get like some of the Snapchat younger demographics. And when they did it, there was no, no communication with the Blab community, which technically they owed us nothing. They didn't ever charge us anything to use their platform, but they never gave us the option to pay, to use their platform, which is what we had hoped to have happen. We thought, okay, we, you know, if there was like producers could pay to help support the platform, it would keep the platform alive and allow, allow it to grow. But Blab never, they said, no, we don't need to monetize. They said they had a big investor and they never needed to do that. Well, obviously they did because they ended up going under, which is such a shame, but they also moved on to this other platform. Rosa Linda Román (10:42): And that's when all of the live streaming community started to say, I think we see the writing on the wall here. It's not looking like Blab is being supported anymore. It used to be that when you would do a broadcast in Blab like for example, Natalie and I were brand new to the platform and trying to figure it out, we would, if we got stuck, like Natalie's camera wouldn't come up, you would write in the chat in your while you're broadcasting, you would write at help. I think it was or something like that. Or maybe at Blab help, something like that. And one of their tech people one of their developers would come onto your show, like just, they get the little notification and they'd come in and say, Hey, how can I help you? And it was amazing. It was like, you felt like, Oh, there's real people behind this platform. And so it was so different. The beginning of that experience from a broadcaster standpoint and, and an early adopter, you know, you felt like, okay, I can get behind this platform because they believe in the producers and they're going to support us. And we can, we can really build our shows around that now lucky for me, or maybe not. So luckily my, because I took this break so that I could do my move onto the boat. I wasn't as invested in Blab as a lot of the producers were. I didn't build, like we did create some show graphics and do some things with that, but it wasn't, New Mexicast stands alone. I have my own website. My broadcasting that I do is not dependent on any one platform because frankly I have the skills you know, from my back broadcasting background to dabble in whatever technology is out there, I'm not intimidated by it. Rosa Linda Román (12:39): I feel comfortable trying new things. So yes, I was sad to find out that Blab was dying because I really liked it. But in the end when they stopped communicating,so it went from that where they, you just put the at help and the help guide pops in. And you know, that was so great. It went from that to zero communication, nobody and, and everything started breaking a lot of the little, you know, there's, every time you have a platform you have to stay on top of it to change when operating systems are upgraded or when new phones come out. I don't know the tech side of it. I don't pretend to know, but I know that as you know, every time you have like an upgrade on your phone, you got to update all your apps, right? Well, same thing with lab, but it wasn't updating. And there were starting to be more and more glitches in the shows. So we would, for example, I would do a show with Natalie. One of these might have it upgrade moments. And then the way it used to work is we would, once the show was finished we would immediately be able to upload it to YouTube. Then the show would archive and then people could find your show in the replay. Well, it started to be that you couldn't get the, it just stayed like the spinning wheel of death that just never, you would hit the upload to YouTube and nothing would happen and nothing would happen. And initially we would send a note to the Blab team and say, Hey, I can't get my replay. I can't get the replay to upload my link isn't working. Rosa Linda Román (14:32): And they would respond and that was great. But over time it was every time and it never, it just stopped working. Let's just, let's just say that it just stopped working. And so it was really discouraging for I'm sure for the people that really invested in the platform. But just a couple of weeks ago, weNatalie and I, did our last Blab broadcast, just talking and we put it out there blabbing about Blab. And this is before we had any idea that just a few days later, it would totally shut down. And I'm not talking about like the Blab people would come out and say, Hey, you might want to get your content off of here because you know in a week we're going to shut down the site. No, it was, Hey, we've decided to rip the band-aid off. Literally, this is what the founder, and I forget his name, but this is what he wrote in his, he wrote an article in Medium and he's like, yeah. So we're going to just shut down the site. We're ripping the band-aid off. Blab is dead. And he wrote it in such a cavalier way. Like he didn't, he was so he was, and in our later read that he had on his resume, several failed other businesses that he wrote about almost as if it was a source of pride. And I wish, you know, it's a shame because I don't, for me, I don't see that as the kind of work ethic and, mespect for the community that's behind you, that would take, and maybe that's the new era. Maybe you can just be blahzay about what you create. You can create the next big thing. And he mentioned, you know, that he wanted it to be some big Facebook thing, you know, to the equivalent of that scale, instead of this small little thing that it was. Rosa Linda Román (16:16): So anyway, all of that to say, Blab is dead and Blab is very dead. They killed it. Like just turned off the site. They, you know, everything does not work anymore. So there was no chance to just take all of the shows off of their site. Luckily, I had been uploading most of the stuff since whenever I could, our shows, I would upload it to YouTube. So I have most of what we did and it's fine. It was really just an experiment. I did like Blab and I wanted it to live and I would have supported it however I could. But again, they didn't give us that opportunity. So now what, that's the question? What, what now? And what do we, where do we go from here? I had done that show with Natalie asking basically just put it out there, like, okay, so what is the next evolution? What platform should we be looking at next? You know, we knew the writing was on the wall and we needed to start thinking about other possibilities. And there are a few things that people are talking about now. One is Firetalk another is Huza. And then of course, there's the question of YouTube, Facebook live, and there's a number of other players. One of the things we've talked about, Natalie and I, we had a meeting yesterday and we talked about the possibility of just recording our Skype calls and putting that on YouTube, but that doesn't have the live interaction of the audience that I really like. Then we talked about Zoom and I think that's kind of maybe the same thing. I'm not sure. So coming up next week, she and I are basically going to do some experiments. We're going to do some experimental broadcast to see on these different platforms to see which one will work or us. Rosa Linda Román (18:10): The goal will be to start broadcasting more consistently on whatever platform we can and try to simulcast on Facebook live. So I don't think that our main platform will be Facebook live as far as doing the side by side, like interview format show, but we will probably use that. And Facebook live like recorded at the same time. So anyway, at this point, I don't know exactly what, what I'm going to do with it in the long-term, but in the short term, she is launching this really cool challenge in conjunction with her My Habit Upgrade. It is The Culture of Kindness Challenge. Basically the idea behind this is that there are, there's just too much negativity going on in the world. And, and it was sparked because of a terrible tragedy in Orlando where there was a nightclub shooting that was just horrendous, and just some other events in the world. Rosa Linda Román (19:23): But also at the same time, we're going through this political season where there's a lot of negativity and just people not being kind. And she is all about focusing on improvement and self-improvement on, you know, general improvement. And so out of that was born this culture of kindness challenge. Basically the idea is coming up September 1st, which is just like a week from now, she is launching this initiative where we get online and everybody posts kind acts and focuses on doing one kind at least one kind thing a day, and she'll have prompts and ideas for what we might do that day. And from that, she was just going to do that on her own. And I thought, well, I want to get on board and I need to start doing some broadcasting again. Because now I, I left out earlier, I didn't mention the marina just got awesome, super fast, amazing wifi throughout the entire marinawhich wouldn't have done me any good if we had sailed away as I had hoped because I was planning to I was planning to be sailing in The Bahamas by now. But my daughter is a competitive gymnast and we realized she got with a gym here that is really helping her do amazing work and improve her game tremendously. Rosa Linda Román (20:53): So we, she, we are staying put for a little bit. And so she so here we are, and we've got this great wifi and I thought, you know, now is the time for me to start my broadcasting. When I first thought about it, I had we had a liveaboard nanny, Miss Linda, who was awesome and we loved her. We brought her from New Mexico and you've heard me talk about her many times. But then Miss. Linda decided to go home. She was homesick and her sister had had a baby. And, you know, there were a lot of reasons why it was time for her to head home and not the least of which is, she is an independent woman and really wants to spend that time, you know, having her own space and we are a big loud family. As I've mentioned, we're a family of five, three kids, German shepherd puppy, my husband and myself. And even though relatively, I think it's a big boat. It's still a boat. And living on a boat with six people who are not your own family or five other people who are not your own family must be very challenging. So I am so grateful to Linda for having helped me get to the boat, make the move, downsize my house in New Mexico and a number of other things that she helped us with, but she did leave us about two weeks ago. And so I had to kind of regroup and figure out, okay, what am I doing now? Cause that was not what I was planning on. I, I was like, okay, I got the internet and now I'm gonna, you know, do my work. But then of course there's always, whenever you make plans, you know, there's always a change that comes along. So you just gotta roll with it. So we ended up finding a sitter who lives here in the West Palm Beach area. Rosa Linda Román (22:51): We found through Sitter City, as I mentioned, and she is helping us with the next phase of what we're doing, which is homeschooling. And that's a whole other subject, which I will talk about at some later date. So now that I have a babysitter again, I have wifi. The next challenge is to figure out what am I going to do with that time? What kind of broadcasting do I want to do? What, you know, what next is the big question. And so that is what I'm actively exploring. And I'm actually going to have to take a break cause I'm in the middle of delivering our puppy to my high school friend, Betsy, who is a dog trainer. Nala is here in the car beside me. And she is going to do some puppy training and she's going to stay Betsy for probably I think at least 10 days. But we're actually having her go early because we are leaving the boat for the weekend. And I will explain that when I come back. Rosa Linda Román (24:06): Okay, I'm back. Sorry about the little bit disjointedness of this broadcast, but or podcast. But that is the nature of, I should just call the show Rosa,Linda's Ramblings because that's pretty much what it is. I like you guys listening. If you are listening in, send me a note, let me know, that this is fun for you and you enjoy listening. Anyway, so now that I actually haven't delivered the dog yet, I'm just sitting, waiting for my friend to arrive. So I thought I would chat for a few more minutes and then I'm going to wrap up this show. So the reason we're leaving the boat this weekend is because there is a tropical storm heading our way. It has on again, off again on again, off again, looked like it was going to turn into a hurricane. Now this is the first time we've ever had to face this while living on this boat. And I don't remember us ever going through this when we lived on the first boat six years ago. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go through the archives. We lived on a boat when our kids were two and four, our daughters before we had three kids, we only had two at the time. But this is the first hurricane season that seems to be actually threatening us when, while we're actually on board. So just last week we decided we were going to actually homeschool our kids. We've been thinking about it for a while, brainstorming what to do and looking at school options around West Palm Beach and around the area, knowing that we still do want to sail after, at the very latest after this this gymnastics season, which means by December, we would like to hit, you know be sailing. Rosa Linda Román (26:00): So after a lot of soul searching and lots of family discussions and brainstorming and looking at schools, we realized that our best option is to try boat schooling. We've never done it before. We've thought about it for a long, long, long time. And so we are going to try it. And we started this week and three days into their schooling, we ended up finding out that this hurricane was threatening the area that we are, that our boat is docked in. And we realized this is an opportunity for a great learning opportunity, but also a scary situation, and that we had a lot to learn about "what do you do to prepare for a hurricane? What, you know, what causes a hurricane?" There's many things that we, I did spend many years in Florida, so I was familiar with hurricanes, but I had never lived on a boat during one. Rosa Linda Román (27:01): And there's a lot that we needed to learn. So we thought, okay, this is a great learning opportunity for the kids. Let's do what we can. We'll prep the boat and you don't stay on a boat when there's a hurricane. That's just crazy talk. There are people that do it. I do, we, we err on the side of caution, as far as all of our adventures, you're going to here. We do not believe in, we're not these wild, crazy sailor types that, you know, I, I had a friend who just said, "Oh, I'll go down with the ship". Okay. I told her to bite her tongue and that's not the way we do it. We believe that we enjoy this sailing adventure, but with within safe parameters. So when there is something that's threatening us, that's out of our control like that. We need to, to get off the boat. So yesterday was spent strapping down the sails, retiring all the lines, buying extra fenders. I mean, we did a ton of work, spent a ton of money, but basically we are prepping the boat so that we canso that, so that we could vacate, the boat and leave it and hope that the boat survived the storm, but certainly know that we are safe in a hotel somewhere. Well, with that in mind, we thought, well, we don't need to stick around here. We're mobile, and so we are actually going up to Walt Disney world because we already have tickets thanks to my sister who went with me and she's in the military. So we got a great deal on that. And we decided why stick around and wait for the storm to hit or not hit. We secured the boat as best we could. And we are now,ugonna head up to Walt Disney world. So that is the kind of thing we really have been wanting to do. When something comes along an opportunity, we want to take it and we want to, you know, really utilize all of the possibilities. So,unext time I talked to you, hopefully I will have some stories from Disney and I will share more about this whole homeschooling-boat schooling thing. And,we'll go from there. So I think this is a good place to wrap it up since my friend should be here shortly. And I got to hand off Nala who needs some puppy training and,uyeah. Then we're going to go to the happiest place on earth and hope that our boat makes it out and is intact when we come back and a little side note, it looks like all of these storms are now dissipating after all that work, which is great. Now we know what to do. Now, the boat is prepared. We can go have a weekend with the family and then come back to normal again. Hopefully. Alright, there's my friend. So I'm going to wrap this up and if you want to check out my shows, go to facebook.com/new Mexicast or Facebook New Mexicast TV on YouTube. So,hanks for listening. Talk to you soon.

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