Google+ Hangout On Air Advices

Tuesday, 8 January, 2013

20120924 Sir Salman Rushdie20130104 Melissa Carlson News 4 Forum

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci (in my Quotes I Love collection)

In this article, I plan to share with you some of my less technical but hopefully more “timeless” thinking based on my experiences in using Google+ Hangout On Air (G+ HOA) and what I’ve seen other broadcasters used G+ HOA since Google launched this powerful feature in September 2011.

1) LIVE On Location

G+ HOA used on location on the streets of Montreal, Canada. Many would agree that the 2012 Quebec students lead protests, in hindsight, played an important role in bringing down the Quebec government. Former KOMU news anchor Sarah Hill helped a freelancer named Jean Francois Desmarais of Canada to bring live and unfiltered street protest images to the world.

Montreal Demonstrations – streamed LIVE Apr 28, 2012

Montreal Demonstration Attracts Thousands – streamed LIVE Apr 27, 2012

My thoughts: Breaking news, live on location reporting can now be done extremely “light weight” by anyone without affiliations with any news organization. Broadcasters used to be the only ones to have the power to decide the how, who, what, when, where, and why of live reporting. G+ HOA and other live streaming tools have now given everyone that power if they choose to exercise it.

Broadcasters now risk becoming irrelevant if they ignore the citizens’ abilities to break news using G+ HOAs and other technologies and then distribute the YouTube Live video links via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, etc.

2) LIVE One-on-One Interview

It is not easy to find an intersex individual in Calgary to interview on camera to shine light on this sensitive topic. So it was my pleasure to get to know the Netherlands based Maya Posch for some months before an an opportunity presented itself and I took the initiative to interview Maya to talk about her court case.

Interview with Maya Posch, an intersex person, re court’s decision to change her gender to female

In the following video I had the pleasure to conduct a social media interview with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ontario expert Jean Turner-Floyd to learn more about police use of social media.

My thoughts: Similar to old-school journalism, we have to slowly and methodically build our network of contacts and experts over months and years, and when the opportunities present themselves, G+ HOA turn out to be great too to broadcast and capture these insightful interviews. I used the G+ community to help me to gather the needed information in a prompt and efficient manner and then used the G+ HOA to broadcast and record the interviews.

3) LIVE One-on-One Discussion

The consumption of shark fins and how the fins are “fished” (sometimes via the  brutal method of shark finning) have become a global issue in recent years. Highlighted by a recent series of photos and shocking AFP video “Outrage over Hong Kong’s ‘shark fin rooftop'”. Last Friday (Jan 4th, 2013), I took the initiative to arrange a live discussion with Calgary anti-shark fin ban group spokesman Richard Poon. I wore two hats in the discussion, on top of trying hard to be a fair an independent reporter and allowing Mr. Poon to present his points, I also spoke as a Chinese Calgarian that is distressed by my fellow Calgarians’ anti-shark-fin-ban actions.

My thoughts: First of all, old school journalism (connection & persistent) got me to take initiative to arrange a discussion with Mr. Poon. And instead of a private discussion or interview over the phone, I got Mr. Poon to agree to discuss with me LIVE in a public G+ HOA as I promised an uncut video of the full chat. The discussion can then become part of an informed discussion for the public to fact check and better understand the issues.

4) The “60 Minutes” of Google+ Hangout On Air

Before Don Hewitt created 60 Minutes in 1968, a show that “pioneered many of the most important investigative journalism procedures and techniques“, who would have thought such a show is possible, will be watched, and even made good money for the creator and broadcaster all at the same time??!! Note that I’m using “60 Minutes” as an example of something brand new and unseen before instead of its pioneering role in investigative journalism.

It is way too early to say what “shows” can become the “60 Minutes” of this Google+ Hangout On Air space yet but I have a few personal favourites. Maria Quiban‘s Fox LA G+ HOA and Melissa Carlson‘s KRNV News 4 Forum are two very engaging HOA shows that I am a frequent participant because I’ve a great time participating and watching. Instead of trying to explain in words, allow me to show.

4A) Here are three sample clips from Maria‘s Fox LA G+ HOA.

MyFOXLA Google+ Hangout: Howie Mandel Talks Mobbed

Howie Mandel Interrupts Fox 11 Reporter Live During Newscast

Salman Rushdie @MyFoxLA w/Maria Quiban

Melissa Carlson’s Jan 7th, 2013 News 4 Forum where the topic is about Connecticut town holding a drive to collect and burn violent video games. We were asked: “Does it remind you of the old book burnings? Do you have a problem with it?

4B) Here are three sample clips from Melissa‘s KRNV News 4 Forum

Melissa Carlson’s Jan 4th, 2013 News 4 Forum where the two topics were discussed.

NEWS 4 FORUM TOPIC: I’d love to hear what you have to sat about this story! Managers reaction = not fabulous.. Officers reaction? UPDATE: today officers eat for free

NEWS 4 FORUM TOPIC: Good lesson or Bad parenting? Are we raising a YouTube generation?

5) Concluding Thoughts

I think we are still at the dawn of Google+ Hangout On Air and the likes of  “60 Minutes” of G+ HOA has not been discovered by the general public yet. But that time will come.

The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

I consider myself one of the lucky ones who has a glimpse of the future by “chance”. Lets revisit the quote I started this post with.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci

My Advice: Go apply it! What are you waiting? Go do it!


Special Thanks: I haven’t gone through formal j-school training so I feel uneasy in giving advices to professional/aspiring journalists. But when my talented and charming friend Marissa Schwartz, producer at KRNV News 4 (NBC) who is finishing up her Masters at Reynolds School of Journalism, asked me to share some Google+ Hangout On Air tips/advices for her Masters project, I have no choice and gladly said yes. I just hope you are not harmed by my ramblings or as my friend put it, “my brand of poison“.

Insights from Montreal Student Protest Friday LIVE broadcast using Google+ Hangout On Air – Sarah Hill interview

Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 02

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 01

This afternoon I interviewed +Sarah Hill to talk about her amazing coverage of Montreal student demonstration captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27) with video from +Jean Francois Desmarais‘s camera on the ground, and Sarah broadcasting LIVE from her kitchen in Columbia, MO in the US using Google Plus On Air Hangout technology!

The following is a partial list of questions I asked Sarah Hill in the interview talking about the LIVE broadcast last night from her perspective.

How did the LIVE broadcast come about? How did Sarah know Jean Francois (i.e. the vetting)? What other uses of the G+ Hangout On Air technology can already be used for today? Was there any Hangout On Air technical problems during the broadcast?

I was also able to talk to Jean Francois via G+ message and he was kind to share the setup he used last night and some technical issues he had. Here is my summary of his main setup.

– An old dual core portable computer with 4GB of RAM and a 1394 Firewire port (Firewire 400)

– a Sony HVR camera that was hooked up to the computer with a 1394 wire

– 4G key USB stick for video/data transmission

– Note: Here is a picture of Jean Francois’ gear for Sat night (Apr 28).

According to Jean Francois, the above setup worked well until he had to run after the demonstration. He ended up walking 3-5 km in total and ran into some technical issues. I’ve listed the issues here in Jean Francois’ words. My hope is by sharing the issues, others can have a better LIVE reporting experiences.

“1- [As there wasn’t time to organize and tape everything together] The wires kept unhooking themselves
2- The portable kept shutting down as soon as I closed the lid – even if we went in the control panel and set the parameters so it doesn’t turn off.
3- When there is a large crowd sometimes getting the connection is very difficult. I lost a good 45 min trying to [regain connection].
4- The battery of the portable was a major issue. We could have had a power pack but we needed to convert the current, so we needed a “transfo”- It was already too heavy so that option was out of the question.
5- If I had more time I would have loved to be able to have somebody with a hand-held mic but we had an issue bringing the sound from the cam and into the mic headset. I need to do more R&D on this.
6- Also, as I learned from past experience, good streaming means a lot of light. So the more light you have the better the quality of the image will be. [Kempton: I suggest a battery powered LED light panel]
7- And there is a need for a feature to know if you are still on air. I kept asking Sarah if I was still on air because I was not able to see the computer.”

By the way, Sarah plans to do a LIVE hangout tonight (Sat Apr 28) at 10pm EST to talk about the issues re the student demonstrations. If you live in Montreal or in Quebec, watch out for Sarah’s Hangout or invite.

Again, special thanks to Sarah and JeanJean Francois for the amazing and ground breaking coverage last night!

Note: Apologies for the audio echo in my questions. Fortunately, the echo doesn’t affect Sarah’s answers.

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 03

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 04

Here is the video captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27)

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:12 MST UpdateMontreal Demonstrations on the night of Apr 28, 2012

Kempton presents U_News@4 promo video for Sarah Hill of KOMU-TV from Calgary, Canada

Thursday, 15 September, 2011

U_News@4 #SarahHill

I created a promo video from Calgary, Canada at Glenmore Reservoir (Google Satellite Map) and Heritage Park (Google Street View) for Sarah Hill‘s KOMU U_News@4. Check it out.

Kempton presents U_News@4 for Sarah Hill of KOMU-TV from Calgary, Canada

HT: Credit goes to my Google+ friend +Mike Downes‘s promo video (see here) for inspiring me to bring the beautiful Glenmore Reservoir and Heritage Park to U_News@4 viewers.

First KOMU Interactive U_News@4 Sept 12th premiere show + Uncensored & Unedited Making of video!

Monday, 12 September, 2011

Traditional TV news is like a One-Way Street where U are a recipient of information.  U_News@4 is a revolutionary interactive TV news show where it lets you talk back! A Two-Way Street!

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Want to see how the revolutionary interactive U_News@4 is made? Watch this uncensored and unedited behind the scene Making of KOMU U_News@4 Sept 12th premiere (including the pre-show meeting and post-show discussion). Feel free to jump around different part of the video as the video is long.

Co-hosts of the Sept 12th premiere: +Michael Mozart +Kempton Lam +pio dal cin +Jen Reeves+Chad LaFarge +Aaron Fuhrman +Joseph Puglisi +Kim Beasley +Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec

Quoting +Sarah Hill‘s after-show posting (emphasis added),

“Wow…what an incredible experience with U_News tonight! Google Plus Hangout guests from around the world co-hosted our newscast. A guest from France gave his account of the blast at the nuclear plant. A guest from Italy shared how G+ Hangout is enabling him to get news….and a guest from New York shared the mood in his city the day after the 9/11 anniversary. The Hangout technology worked beautifully and we even had viewers questioning whether the people on the news were “really from France, Italy and Canada”. We will get video of today’s U_News show posted shortly. Thanks to our co-hosts for being part of broadcast history! A new set of co-hosts will join us tomorrow.”

Sept 17 update: You can download and watch the entire KOMU U_News@4 first show from this link. [HT Jen Reeves] You can watch the entire Thur Sept 15, 2011 behind the scene Making of U_News@4 show here. [HT Michael Mozart for recording]

KOMU U_News@4 premiers today (Sept 12th) 4pm CST – User-generated promos – Love Is In The Air, Everywhere I Look Around

Monday, 12 September, 2011

A traditional TV news show is one that talks to you. You learn about the news form the show. A One-Way Street.

An interactive TV news show is one that talks to you AND lets you talk back to it! A Two-Way Street!

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Ground Breaking U_News@4

In the ground-breaking KOMU U_News@4 premiering today (Sept 12th) 4pm CST, Sarah Hill, an eight time Emmy award winning reporter, will use Google+ Hangout to co-host the show with people from around the world. Sarah‘s co-hosts will appear via G+ Hangout video in the studio on her 52 inch monitor!

Love Is In The Air, Everywhere I Look Around

For days before U_News@4 launches . Sarah‘s co-hosts from around the world have been spreading the word about the show. And showing their love and passion about U_News@4. Here are some sample video clips, articles and interview, and many many photos! Enjoy.

User-generated promotional videos from UK and Canada

+Mike Downes presents U News from Kenilworth Castle KOMU TV Sarah Hill [via Mike Downes]

U_News@4 Sarah Hill, hangouts with Bill Shatner and Ricky Gervais

User-generated articles and video interview

Kim Beasley’s article, “Learn How To Broadcast A Newscast Via Google Hangout – Technorati TV

Kempton Lam’s article and video interview, “Interview with Sarah Hill – KOMU-TV Google+ Hangouts and new interactive U_News@4 show

User-generated promotional photos from around the world

In alphabetical order, the photo links: Al Navas – U Sign, Bruce Garber – U Sign, Bruce Garber – We’re Listening To “U” – promo, Chad LaFarge – U Sign, Dan Weil – U Sign, Haley Brueck – U SignJen Reeves – U SignJoseph Puglisi – Bill promo, Kempton Lam – Sarah, Bill, Ricky U_News@4 promo, Kempton Lam – U Sign, Kim Beasley – U Sign, Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec – U_News@4 Sarah on Moon promo, Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec – U_News@4 TIME promo, Mike Downes – U_News from Kenilworth Castle promo, pio dal cin – U Sign, Robert Anderson – U Sign, Robert Redl – U Sign, Steve Oberman – U Sign.

(note: a few of the above Google+ links may have limited access, their photos are included below.)

Al Navas - U Sign

Bruce Garber - U Sign

Bruce Garber - We're Listening To "U" - promo Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Sarah Hill – KOMU-TV Google+ Hangouts and new interactive U_News@4 show

Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Ground breaking interactive U_News@4

This afternoon, I had the pleasure to interview Sarah Hill, KOMU-TV 5pm news and the new U_News@4 anchor. I asked Sarah to travel back in time to July to share with us her first experiences with Google+ Hangouts. I also asked Sarah to tell us what she had to do to convince the bosses at KOMU to give Google+ Hangout a try. Sarah also talked about the origin of the concept of the new show U_News@4, launching in a few days on Sept 12th 4pm CST, and the various segments of the new show.

Here is my video interview with Sarah. Enjoy.

Also have a watch of U_News@4 #SarahHill Preview.

Concluding Thoughts

One of the Quotes I Love is,

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” – a quote by Arthur Miller

In light of Sarah‘s innovative and expert use of Google+ Hangouts, I think this makes perfect sense.

A good hangout, I suppose, is a world talking to itself.

Additional news & articles references

* Sept 6, 2011, “U_News Test Drive Makes International Headlines“. Here is an excerpt,

“U_News provides a new digital forum for U to personally share your news, opinions, kudos and community events. Our viewers will essentially co-host this newscast.”

* My previous two articles “KOMU Sarah Hill Google+ Hangouts – General insights” and “Technical Insights and Ideas to Reshape Newsrooms“.

* July 7, 2011, “KOMU Airs Live Google Plus Video Chat

KOMU became the 1st local television station Thursday to air a live on-air Google Plus video chat.

The group video chat is called “Hangout” and it aired live during KOMU 8 News at 5. Google viewers were able to share their experiences with this new social networking site on-air with television viewers.”

Missouri School of Journalism Method, a “learn by doing” approach

Tuesday, 9 August, 2011

Missouri School of Journalism - Apple Mac Book pro - promo

Although I’ve never set foot in Missouri School of Journalism, I am getting to know the Missouri J-School via KOMU-TV ‘s Sarah Hill and Jen Reeves. To me, the Missouri method, a “learn by doing” approach, seems like the right way to go.

Check out this Apple in Education promo for a cool video and text info.

%d bloggers like this: