If you haven’t already, check out NewsOK.com/live. It’s a pretty cool tech mashup.
Live video, live chat, live blog updates, two live Twitter feeds, live Flickr photo feed, updated traffic reports for OKC and Tulsa…
Isn’t this what the Internet is supposed to provide? Instant information. On demand. Live.
So here’s what we’re doing:
David Jones and Tim Money are driving a silver Jeep Cherokee around the streets and interstates of Oklahoma City.
Honk if you see them.
We are using a Sony Vaio, a mini laptop.
We’d like to experiment with a netbook, which are pretty cheap these days. This Vaio is running Windows XP, and we’re making it work. We’ve plugged a wireless card into the Vaio for mobile Internet access.
We have a Sony HVR camera (similar to this one) placed on the dashboard, using a Firewire connection to the netbook. We are using Adobe Flash for the actual encode before it goes to Mogulus, which is then embedded onto the template of newsok.com/live.
Very simple. But it’s working very well.
Yesterday morning, I met with Jones about this idea. We decided to go for it and see what level of quality we got. We’ve used the wireless cards in Norman during our live Campus Corner Pre Game Shows. The quality hasn’t been this good. But, we’re not using any audio on purpose to save bandwidth. We suspect this may be helping. Also, we are not running into thousands of people using their cell phones like at the game day situations.
So the live video has been successful. We had a steady audience of about 300 people on Monday watching the afternoon drive. Today’s crowd was been lighter as expected. Fewer people are actually in the office.
Then we embedded a smaller Mogulus player on the NewsOK home page. We’re around 500 viewers, lurkers, voyeurs this afternoon.
Jones is using his iPhone to Twitter updates of their location. We created the #OKice tag and are pulling that onto the page. Jones is also using bit.ly to shorten his geo location from his Tweets.
But it’s not just the video. It’s the whole mash up of technology. Right next to the video feed is an embedded live chat. We use CoverItLive. It’s free (there is a new premium version) and works well. We used it on game days, primaries, election nights and for the Thunder basketball games.
I kidded Mike Koehler about being our virtual Magic 8 Ball. He has been monitoring the chat room, feeding stories and information from the NIC and moderating the online discussion. But he’s also been asked for advice, which shows the power of the mash up to generate conversation. I asked him what I should consider for dinner.
If you scroll down, you’ll see the traffic map of OKC and Tulsa and more Twitter feeds. We also pulled in a Flickr feed for user submitted photos.
Yesterday this page was visited more than 5,000 times. We are promoting our live coverage page from the top of the home page of NewsOK.com.
We used Mogulus to host our live streaming election coverage Tuesday night. Today, they posted a note on their blog of 35+ “big media” companies to use their service. Mogulus works well for us most of the time. We had a hiccup during our 8 pm segment. But they have been pretty reliable and allow for great functionality.
Apologies to Bill O’Reilly for the inspiration.
If you don’t know what I mean, click here (language NSFW).
My video crew and I laugh about it everytime we go live, mostly because we know how off the rails it could go at any moment.
NewsOK does 6-8 live streams a week: the daily energy update on CleanSkies.tv at 2 pm, the sports segment “Press Row” on Thursdays at 11:30 am, and each at OU home game, a segment called “The Oklahoman’s Pre-Game Show.”
This past Saturday, Campus Corner was a little more pumped than usual. Maybe it was the best football weather imaginable, or the combined enthusiasm of the Nebraska fans who stayed to watch and participate.
Thousands of people pack Campus Corner on game days to watch the Sports Animal’s always good pre-game show, to drink a few beers and to eat and browse the local merchants. This weekend was no exception. And the weather was really great, if not a little warm.
We set up at the corner of Boyd and Asp, between the Starbucks and Louie’s. We stream live on NewsOK.com, thanks to the Internet access from Barrett Williamson Architects, located just above Starbucks. Yes, Barrett tosses us a lengthy ethernet cable that we use to connect to the Internet to stream. That’s how you do live on a budget, people.
From the stage I use the AT&T wifi from Starbucks, $3.99 for a two hour window. I monitor the chat room and field the questions for Berry Tramel and Jake Trotter, who usually sit alongside to talk about that day’s Sooner football game.
We use one of our field cams to shoot, connecting to a Sony converter box. A small PC laptop with Adobe flash encoder. And my MacBook Pro with CoverItLive.com‘s software to make it happen. David Jones shoots and directs. Brad Belyeu mans the live stream and set up of the software. Often, Mike Koehler is somewhere in cyberspace regulating the live chat. Probably while multitasking five other duties.
We have more live coverage planned Tuesday night to cover the elections. We’ll go live at 7, 8, 9 and 10 pm at the top of the hour for 10-15 minutes. Thanks to our friends at Saxum PR, we have guests to provide analysis, including Renzi Stone himself. Ed Kelley and Angi Bruss will join me in the studio to provide updates from The Oklahoman’s newsroom and field reporters. We’ll have live updates from the DC Boys – Chris Casteel and Mark Green – in Washington DC. And we’ll try to go live via iChat with our videographers from the watch parties. Should be fun.