Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Top 5 Tips for Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

After producing 100+ online events while I worked at Motorola Mobility ranging from live audio podcasts on blogtalkradio, webinars using Adobe Connect, Ustream events and Google+ Hangouts I’ve gone thru every type of issue. I’ve had the audio issues, people can’t connect, guest speaker gets disconnected where I’m stranded for a couple of minutes to talk about something and so many more issues. After going thru all of those, I’ve learned some best practices that I want to share with you.  Here are top 5 tips for Google+ Hangouts for your business:

  1. Don’t use the Google+ Hangout Invite functionality
    • Invites aren’t reliable and there is no way for your to take those leads and follow-up with them after the event is over.  In the past, I’ve used Eventbrite to get people to register and answer a few survey questions. Others online event producers that I know have used Marketo or some other marketing automation tool.
  2. Have the proper external mic, headphones and lighting in-place
    • You are going to be on camera so make sure the main engagement sources – your voice and perfect smile – are heard and visibile.  I’d recommend an external USB mic and for lighting just make sure you aren’t behind a sunny window because your face will be all dark. If you have the ability get some lights shining at your face, to the sides and behind you. No need to buy a bunch but look what you have available in the office/home. And finally, get some headphones for the potential in feedback in your panelists  speakers (remember when you called into the radio station, you were so excited that you had the radio still blasted and the DJ asked you to turn it down…use headphones to mitigate this potential problem).
  3. Use an Ethernet connection vs. Wi-Fi
    • When you are doing any live event and streaming video and audio ethernet is highly recommended. Google+ Hangout doesn’t do a good job of streaming with low-bandwidth and alerting you to a bad connection.  I was on a Hangout earlier in the year and the host was delayed by over 1 minute and was repeating questions that were already answered by others on the panel – it was painful to watch especially the recording afterwards!
  4. Start with a private invite
    • When it comes time to the actual Google+ Hangout, invite only those people that you’ve pre-screened.  Don’t invite the public or any of your circles!  You want to keep the conversation on your Google+ Hangout according to what your agenda is. Sure you might  leave room for Q&A from the audience but inviting anyone will result in random people that have untested audio and video appearing within your recording.  As always with any online event, give your panelists a call before the Hangout at least 1 to 2 weeks before to go over the questions and double-check their Google+ Hangout settings.
  5. Plan 4 to 6 weeks in advance
    • Lots of planning is involved in a Google+ Hangout even though the tool is so easy to use. I’d recommend you send out an email blast to your database at least 2 weeks in advance and depending on your organization and process it might take 4 weeks to come up with copy, graphics, agenda questions, create an event page and internal approvals.

I hope these tips help and if you would like to share your best practices on producing a Google+ Hangout or online events in general comment below. Thanks and talk to you soon.

Randy Ksar
Follow @djksar on Twitter

New Video: Benihana – Master Chef Innichippai

Here is a video that my brother-in-law Justin Adkinson made when he went to Benihana the other week. My bro at the end starts to improvise some comedy and just starts busting up uncontrollably.  If you like this video comment below or ping Justin on Vimeo at BTW, he is looking for a video producer job in the SF Bay Area if you know of anyone that needs a very creative cameraman and final cut pro expert.


Interview with DeviceAnywhere CEO, Faraz Syed


For those that are building mobile applications one of the key steps in development is testing.  There are emulators out there but sometimes they don’t do just. What happens when you need to test an application in the real-world such as making a call, taking a photo, or using the accelerometer. One option is to buy all the phones, sign-up for the plans, and be out about $500-$1000 a month depending on time spent on the phone, cost of phone, etc…Well, now a company called DeviceAnywhere is offering a great solution to mobile application developers that let them test real live phones within a virtual environment. Developers are charged by the time spent using the phone which is cheaper than buying the phones and the service plans. I interviewed Fayed Syed, DeviceAnywhere CEO and Co-Founder, at EclipseCon 2009 in Santa Clara and talked about their product and what it means to mobile app developers:


Facebook Removing Videos w/ Copyright Content

Facebook is removing videos with copyright content such as videos and background music.  Just this week, a video I created when my family and I cut down the xmas tree in 2008 (uploaded Dec. 29, 2008) got removed proactively due to the Feliz Navidad song I used for background music. I’ve seen YouTube do that before and some sites that just remove the audio track depending on what part of the video has the copyright material. You must acknowledge the message or file a counter if you think they are incorrect.

Here is a snapshot of the message I received when I logged into Facebook today (also received it via email):

Facebook | Home

Has this happened to you?  What do you think Facebook should do since I assume they are getting told by the music companies? Add a comment below. Thanks and have a great week.

Randy Ksar
Follow @djksar on Twitter

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YouTube adds “Theater View” & “Turn Lights Off”

Similar to Hulu and Fancast, Youtube has now released a Theater View & Turn Lights Off version of each page. Really cool ajax integration that allows you to focus more on the video instead of the rest of the navigation and text on the page. Here are a couple of screenshots with highlights on the buttons.  BTW, the below video I was watching was a really cool Musicians@Google video series with OK GO band member Andy Ross who talked about his new music/band and the success that OK GO had on YouTube with their videos and user-generated contests. Check it out at


YouTube Theater View



Amazing Canon 5D MkII HD video footage!

Brand new camera from Canon that can do 1080p video footage!  This competes with Nikon’s new D90 which has been getting not so great reviews according to the chatter on twitter recently.

Pulizter Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet got his hands on a Canon 5D MkII for a weekend. Rather than shoot some quick stills, he rounded up an entire film crew and put them to work using the amazing 1080p video capture it offers – in helicopters, no less!  Check out blog post from Don MacAskill, CEO of Smugmug . Also, note on the blog post the Canon PR nightmare where they didn’t want Vincent and Smugmug to post the video and spread the word about how great the camera is.  Dear Canon PR, legal, and marketing: If you are reading this I hope in the future you value influencers like Vincent & Don who us amateur photographers look to for advice when buying a new camera.


Cameras I own: Nikon D80, Casio EX-S500, & Flip Mino

Note: Some of the above content was taken from the original post when I dugg the article and then posted it on my blog via digg.

Kodak’s Zi6 720p Pocket HD Camera & Digital Frame w/ WiFi

I’m a gadget freak with probably 5 things recharging at once (can anybody relate?).  I try and keep up with the latest gadgets via blogs and friends at companies in the Silicon Valley.  This time around I was browsing on the web and ran into these two new Kodak products:

  • Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camera featuring 720p, 60fps, and 16:9 aspect ratio and connects to your computer via USB.
  • Kodak’s Digital Frame with OLED display and WiFi support – no need to transfer photos to a SD card just load your albums/sets via the included WiFi card/connection.

Watch the video below for more information and comment below on what you think about these two products as well as any other gadgets you have found recently.