Ustream.tv, the website that hopes to do for live video broadcasts over the Internet what YouTube has done for the recorded variety, is on the verge of releasing the latest version of its technology, offering new interactive features for both viewers and broadcasters.
Regarding the former, it hopes that The Shout Meter and Live Polls will be a key differentiator over its rivals in the interactive value of its live video feeds, offering viewers the chance to influence broadcasts by conveying their thoughts and feelings as they progress:
The Shout Meter
Every time you click, you boost both your personal shout volume for the show (how interested you are), as well as the overall roar of the crowd. Both measures of shout volume are dynamic–as soon as you stop clicking, both your personal shout volume and the roar of the crowd start to fade. This lets Ustream measure the second-by-second excitement level of each show, and highlight the most exciting shows by featuring them on the homepage and program guide.
Check out the new Shout Meter on any live show – just click the sound wave button to pull up your Shout Meter, and click to shout.
The new Ustream will also let our broadcasters find out how their audience feels with our new Live Polls. At any time during your broadcast, you can go to the Broadcaster Console and set up an Live Poll just by clicking Poll and filling out the form.
Whether you’re trying to get an answer to one of life’s toughest questions, or just figuring out which shirt to wear, Live Polls let your audience give you their opinions.
Sounds like quite a bit of fun, eh?
“Ustream’s goal is to make its live video platform as interactive as possible”, said Ustream’s CEO, Chris Yeh. “Where the experience of recorded video is like watching a concert DVD, the experience of live is like being at a live concert – it’s a much more immersive (and valuable) experience.”
However, it isn’t just spectators who will benefit from the newest version of Ustream. Nope, broadcasters can also enjoy two fresh modules, Personal Links and the Past Clips archive:
Want to direct your viewers to your blog or Web site? How about your FaceBook, MySpace, or Twitter page? Now you can. Just log in, click on “My Profile”, and enter the corresponding URLs. They’ll show up right below your video stream for all your shows. And if you have a PayPal account, you can add a Tip Jar to your shows, in case your viewers are feeling generous (or in case you’re willing to take on-air dares).
Want viewers to be able to watch your old clips? Now, with the Past Clips module, viewers can page through your old clips without ever leaving your show page. Better make sure you’ve checked what’s in those archives!
Ustream.tv allows absolutely anyone to broadcast almost anything live over the Internet, and given that all you need to begin streaming is a computer, an Internet connection, a microphone and a video camera, wouldn’t now be just be the perfect time to show off your amazing talent for playing the spoons to the world? We think so, too.
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