This article, 2 Methods of Webcasting Explained to Ensure the Best Business Decision, goes into good detail on the 2 main ways you can make your own webcast. Using your own computer and using an online service. Both methods have their plusses and minuses to them. In any case, once you have decided what you want to do, your solutions are set for you. For instance, if you have a Mac, then most of the time an online option is more appropriate because much of the webcast software that runs on computers is made for PC’s only. Read on for more about how you can create your own webcast.
Webcasting is affordable even for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The beauty is that even with a free service your reach is unlimited. (Although the number of viewers in your audience will have limits).
Now there are 2 types of live webcasting methods:
- Using a software on your computer that allows you to webcast live.
- Using an online service that requires really no need to install a webcasting software on your computer. (I am not referring to a player plugin like Flash)
Software on your computer — For most entrepreneurs and small businesses installing another piece of software on your computer is like gambling… will it work or not? In all fairness, the experience I have had with installing these types of software, requires an IT person or you must have a good knowledge of setting firewall proxies and not opening a port to allow the webcast software broadcast out.The advantage to using a computer based software is:
- You decide who will stream (broadcast) your webcast. ex: Akami, Rogers, etc…
- It can be a top end quality in that you can even get TV broadcast quality, stand alone hardware that makes this a real pro-HD production
- Cost (can be very costly for the equipment and staff)
- Need IT expertise
- You will also need to know the ins and outs of the industry for suppliers and contacts to get it right.
Using online services — For the individual and SMB, this is the easiest. You just need:
- to setup your webcam and microphone.
- get an account with a webcasting service. (The one I use is JustIn.TV)
- plan the webcast
- and invite your audience.
Now one of the nice features that you want to make sure you get in a service is a login as a viewer option. With this option you can make your webcast private or public viewing.For example, I have set up an account for a promotional items company that needs to have a sales meeting once a week with their sales team in 4 different locations.
The main office holds the meeting at 9 AM on Mondays. The sales offices login at 9 AM and they see and can interact with the meeting by chat, email or phone. (They use skype for the calls) Attendees from the sales office really benefit because they can brainstorm with there counterparts and save the time and expense of travel.
The advantage to using an online service are:
- You do not need to install any extra software on your computer
- Other than accepting the flash player to connect to the online service (a pop up that asks if you accept), there is nothing else to do to get started
- It’s quite simple to use.
- You will be limited in the number of viewers at any given time. (Although I noticed that Dvorak, a well known IT guru, has several hundred at one time. So unless you have thousands of viewers, this won’t be a real issue
- If you don’t pay to upgrade, the your channel page, where your audience goes to view the webcast, will have some ads.
Webcasting is now truly affordable and it is an excellent tool for both promoting and training. Certainly, getting started with a free service is a great learning tool and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Bernie Landry is a website MacGyver. http://www.websitemacgyver.com. He has 27 years of audio communications experience, played on BBS’s and has been doing new media websites and marketing since the net started. The term website MacGyver was given to him by his clients because he fixes web site problems and marketing situations with what ever is available on hand at the time to get the problems resolved quickly.
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