Wednesday 25 July 2012

What I learned from Start Up 101: Lessons from behind the Stream

Start Up 101 with Sarah Hill has now ended. In this post, I'm sharing what I do as a Hangout Producer and what I learned. In this process, I used Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Chrome and Google Picasa.

Here's a Timeline Narration. I'm sat at my laptop.. constantly refreshing the g+ stream. 

I spotted the LIVE Feed for the show (at this stage I had no access to any privileged info, just the stream).

Thursday 19 July 2012

Google+: Sarah Hill's Broadcast News Hangouts with full Audio Transcript

Google released a video today featuring Sarah Hill and many more people who I've come to call my friends since my involvement with the News in Missouri. 

It's no secret to reader's of my stream at g+ (and this blog) that Google Hangouts have changed my life forever.

Little did I know in July 2011, when I sat on a sofa forcing myself to learn what Google Plus really was and how to use it, it would lead to this. I've seen things and gone places that I could never have dreamed of.

For many who have not experienced it before, it seems odd that a webcam, a headset and a microphone can do that. We are a year on now and my passion for Google Plus and what Hangouts can achieve is only just starting. I know Sarah feels the same.

Here is the audio transcript edited for you to read. By reproducing it here, makes it Google Searchable. That's a lesson for another day. 

0:07 Sarah Hill: My wheels are constantly turning about what might we be able to do in our news broadcast.
0:12 Sarah Hill: It all has to do with providing an accurate record, and being a resource for
0:19 people who reach out to us.
0:21 Sarah Hill: In our business, sometimes we think that we need to give you information, information,
0:27 information - and we’ve kind of forgotten the fact that that we need to listen.

0:32 Chad LaFarge: What Sarah’s doing is she’s gone from traditional news reporting format,
0:36 where there’s a person standing on the screen and they throw news at you - to a format where
0:40 people can come in and join the conversation. from your home you can log in...
0:44 Chad LaFarge: ...Sarah gives the news and says, “Chad what do you think about that”
0:47 Sarah Hill: It’s essentially a hybrid newscast that combines social media with TV.
0:52 Kim Beasley: Sarah does something that’s really unique. She has a earbud in each ear.
0:56 In one ear she’s listening to her producer.
0:58 Jen McMillen: You’re about a minute from headline.
1:00 Kim Beasley: In the other ear she’s listening to us.
1:02 Kim Beasley: Sarah what are you talking about today.
1:04 Kim Beasley: As she’s reporting the news, she’s hearing our feedback. Sometimes she
1:08 incorporates that into the newscast.
1:10 Jen McMillen: Standby. Headline.
1:10 Sarah Hill: If you guys could help me with the mute button.
1:18 Floor Director: Three, Two, One.
1:21 Jen McMillen: Go.

1:22 Sarah Hill: Hey Gang, I’m Sarah Hill welcome to U_News. Chad Lafarge you have an announcement
1:25 regarding your muckraking here in town.
1:26 Chad LaFarge Yeah, the muck ruckus that we talked about last Monday has moved.
1:29 Producer: Sarah top story on the website. E Coli strain.
1:31 (Guest: ...its in honor of.. .)
1:33 Sarah Hill: Okay. Guys.
1:34 Michele Spry: Yeah?

1:35 Sarah Hill: Two more reports of the same strain...
1:38 Kent Collins: The host or anchor for a show using social media...
1:41 Kent Collins: ...Is like the only air traffic controller on duty in New York or Chicago....
1:46 Kent Collins: ...It’s Mind Boggling.
1:47 Kim Beasley: No longer will news stations have to have someone on the scene of breaking news.
1:51 Kent Collins: People who are unhappy about the condition of a street in their neighborhood.
1:55They now are significant contributors to a story.

1:57 Sarah Hill: As news organizations we are realizing that we need to come down from that mountain
2:02 that we’ve placed ourselves on, and listen to people.
2:05 Chad LaFarge: I don’t want for my kids to be sitting there in front of the TV, having
2:09 the news thrown at them and not have a say. I want them to have the feeling that they
2:13 can contribute to that conversation.
2:14 Sarah Hill: There’s beauty in giving people a forum, and allowing people to share their stories.


Sunday 15 July 2012

An Introduction to Mediacise by Mike Downes

In this post, I will introduce the term mediacise, contrast it with the ostracism while paving a way for future discussion.

The Setup: I've listened to people in the media business, tried to understand their thinking and asked if they have any idea what's going on with the changes in their industry. 

I've watched countless presentations from current media professionals, chatted to them and posted. Many of them are stuck in the dark ages.

The Aim: To introduce the term, mediacise. If you wish to search for this word, you will see it has little use (and is not in any dictionary, until now). Let's see who picks it up. This may lead to people and companies taking an interest in becoming mediacised.

Media [mee-dee-uh]
This extends to far outside of the media business. For example, I've heard people say they are not a media company, but have a media arm. Some well placed gurus are saying everyone needs to be a media company - not just the media (themselves).

The Background: From Ostracism, we have a procedure to expel a citizen from Athens, Greece for 10 years. This was used to diffuse an argument [with rival politicians] through neutralization.  A modern usage could be a form of social rejection defined as, ' …any behaviour in which a group or individual excludes and ignores another group or individual'. Ostracism seems to have been used as a way to decide between radically opposed policies.

There is a link to Petalism: a form of banishment where names of those considered are written on leaves. Athens asks the Q: Do you wish to hold a OstracismVotes cast must be at least 6,000 in Athens. Thereafter, the winner is the person nominated who had ten days to leave the city (should they return, they face death). However, they can be called back early.

The Objective: Bring people, groups and business up to speed. Make them story tellers using our new found digital tools.

Dictionary definition [future] 2012/13
What is to Mediacise?

Ostracism is the banishment for 10 years, where Mediacism is the inclusion for the last ten years. Where were you in 2002? And what may you have missed? To Mediacise may be similar to modernise. 

A non-mediacised person or group, in extreme cases, is someone who is not aware of any digital changes at all. A milder case, is someone who is aware but scoffs or belittles those people who use the latest technologies. These non-mediacised people may be said to be living in the past.

This may apply to people working in the media industry or extended professions. An example maybe a print journalist who is forced to now publish online or to open a twitter, facebook or Google Plus account. Although many have embraced the new ways, it is no excuse that many have not. One swallow doesn't make a summer.

Another example is the small business owner who knows having a website, a blog and a social media presence may benefit them, but ignoring is a whole lot easier than consciously making steps towards mediacising. As I've said, every company needs to have a media arm in this fast changing digital age. As a reminder ..

Archive notes from Mike Downes
What have we seen in the last ten years? 
2002, Multi Media Messaging and Blackberry
2003: Wordpress and MySpace
2004: facebook and flickr
2005: YouTube and Windows Live
2006: Twitter
2007: Kindle
2010 Pinterest, iPad and Instagram and 
2011 Google Plus (And remember, Google was only founded September 1998, 14 years ago).

As we move towards a realtime digital world with the ever present video as a means of easy face to face communication, geography is all but forgotten. Global is now local. 

Media is the middle ground. The dictionary tells us it's a wall between two areas - it need not be.

So, Do you wish to hold a Mediacism? From my exploits in the news business, it seems there are many who are badly in need of being shocked into the reality of 2012. The avoidance shows itself in some very strange ways.

If you've ever experienced a raised eyebrow or being scoffed at when you mention Twitter, facebook or Google Plus or someone you know spends ten minutes walking to the shops for a newspaper (then spends three days reading it) .. and if you say.. what you're reading is kinda out of date .. and then you are given a look that makes you feel like you're the odd one out .. as you are the one with a laptop wickedly spending time online each day, then you may know what I mean.

Or the time you phone a business as they have no email or website and you are told the seller has no time for all that nonsense.. they are far too busy .. you may know what I mean. Or the time a major news organisation holds back on reporting some news for five hours.. when you read it on twitter 37 seconds after it happened .. you may just know what I mean (and yes I know we can argue over this one, and believe me I will).

The Ancient Greeks had a solution 2,500 years ago, Ostracism. What I'm looking to do is a flip, it's Mediacism (Mediacise).

For it's now late 2012 and these are the post modern times. Make sense of what's happening in the digital world. Find me and the people like me (who are media disruptors) to Mediacise yourself or your business before it's another ten years - ten years too late.

Friday 13 July 2012

Cameraman App leads the way for Channel Hopping with Hangous On Air

How do you Host Your Own Hangout On Air? Do you even think about it? Here are just a few ideas. I'm compiling a list and you can add your own.

Cameraman is a new App that lets you Channel Hop between users in a Hangout On Air. The slide shows some ways it can be used. Pro Studio is another App that can help produce seamless hangouts.

I've left out The Panel Discussion and The TV News Show, so the more adventurous we get, the more we create and have fun along the way.

For something so simple, the Cameraman App in Hangouts On Air could be the best think ever invented. It's a Channel Hopper ..

Remember when there was no TV Remote Control, to change a channel, it was the long walk from the sofa to the plastic button on the TV set and giving it a hard push.

Well, Cameraman is like that .. Sarah Hill could still say, Who do we have on our Cyber Couch today? and this time we will never know unless she hits that Channel Hopper ..

Thursday 12 July 2012

Guest Post from Pio dal cin interview with Cali Lewis

When my friend Jack Crawford suggested me that I looked Cali Lewis up on Google+ I  gladly did.

She has 1.400.000 plus followers, I saw that she  was looking great, both in her profile description and in her picture.

I did realize, after one year, that the power of Hangouts here on Google+, is far greater than I though.

This was my first Hangout ever with her. There was some initial "tension" as there is normally when meeting someone yo never encountered before. Once the ice was broken, by a few reciprocate questions, we were ready to go live, as Jack  joined us we did, and it turned out to be a great conversation about technology, but also about the dream job Cali is thankful for; her dreams and expectations, her future plans, the show she is hosting on (

Only the time limit that was set, abruptely stopped me from asking any other question. I would have loved to continue with more insight from Cali.

I was really impress by the total ease and respect with which she held the conversation into a high level of interest.

The energy she delivered was great and contagious. I must say that this was one of the best Hangouts I have ever had.

Thanks again for being with us tonight. It was a thrilling experience indeed.

Sunday 8 July 2012

LIVE Coverage of the Demolition of the Massey AGCO Tower from Coverage

Many Thanks to all those who supported the Massey Tower Event Today. I'm delighted to use Google Plus and Events in this way. It will provide an great example for people curious how a LIVE Event unfolds. 

For the record, at the precise time of the detonation, I refreshed my screen and missed it. Which is getting to be a habit as when we covered the LIVE Thyroid Surgery, I also missed the exact moment the thyroid was removed from the patient. 

Saturday 7 July 2012

G-10 Summit with Sarah Hill: How to Host a Hangout On Air

This post published at Sarah Hill Stories following a LIVE Hangout On Air. I include it here as it's essential (look out for my inclusion).

A Hangout On Air is a group video chat room within Google Plus that also streams live on You Tube.  In this HOA, France 24, KOMU-TV, KRNV-TV, WSPA-TV, Developers and Independent Journalists share tips, tricks and tools on how to host your own Hangout On Air.        

This 10 person video chat room is fueling a Journalism Renaissance as it's a collaborative space bringing together developers with traditional and independent journalists.  For more examples of how Journalists are using Hangouts On Air, please see 10 Ways Reporters are Using Hangouts On Air.

Video Rundown:

02:00 Panel Introductions: Chad LaFarge (Pro Studio), Dan McDermott (Google Plus Week), Eric Olander (France 24), Kemton Lam (Indie Journo), Mike Downes (Indie Journo), MoritzTolxdorff (Hangout Lower Third), Melissa Carlson (KRNV News), Sarah Hill (KOMU News)
06:00 Dan, Melissa on Story ideas
08:40 Eric on the French Perspective on using Hangouts
10:00 Diversity, Vetting Guests
13:50 Developing Apps: Moritz and Hangout Lower Third
16:28 Chad LaFarge and Pro Studio
19:20 Mike's Screenshare Demonstration
22:00 Questions from the stream
23:00 Comment Tracker App Demonstration 
24:15 Questions
26:00 AmyWood (WSPA) South Carolina
29:00 Guest Etiquette
32:15 Advertising a HOA, how far in advance?
36:00 Hangouts in Business
39:00 More Questions
44:00 World Time: 
45:00 End 

Apps/Extensions referenced in this video:
Pro Studio by Chad LaFarge
Hangout Lower Third by Moritz Tolxdorff  
Comment Tracker by Gerwin Strum:
Google Shared Calendar Events by Charles Hogge 
Google Events Announcement:  

To follow my updates on Google Plus or to join my Hangouts On Air, please see

Sarah Hill Guest Post: Ten Ways Reporters Can Use Hangouts On Air to Enhance News Coverage

This was first posted at Sarah's Blog: Sarah Hill Stories

Equipment Needed:
Click "start broadcast" and your Google Plus "Hangout On Air" streams live on You Tube.  The recording is then automatically saved to your You Tube channel. 

1Open a Hangout On Air during a news conference and allow people to watch the Q and A live.  Invite guests to suggest questions for the Police Chief, politician or superintendent holding the news conference.  Or if you're like the Toronto Police Service, use a Hangout stream the news conference yourself.  Reporters can join a Hangout On-Air and ask questions without leaving the newsroom

2. Open a Hangout behind the scenes of a newscast on a laptop/computer near the news set.  Point the webcam at your news set and talk to your audience during the soundbites and commercials.  Before, during and after the newscast, have Hangout guests share links to news items they find interesting.  Find out what they think is news.  Recently, Chad LaFarge, a Hangout viewer, helped KOMU-TV gather information to cover a breaking bank robbery.  A Hangout gives a station 9 extra pairs of hands during breaking news. 

3.  Wear a second IFB (ear piece) so you can hear the Hangout viewers' commentary about your news stories in real time. Anchors are already skilled at being able to talk and listen to their producer at the same time.  Why not listen to your audience? Work some of their comments into your newscast. 

4.  Use Hangouts as a free satellite truck. Hangouts operate in the middle of an international crowd sourcing tool so with public queries, you have the ability to find individuals who have experienced news events. Bring in experts virtually for live Hangout interviews and allow the other guests to ask questions.  

5.  Look at the most commented story on your social streams. Invite people to join a recorded or live Hangout and talk about that issue on TV face to face.  This was a recent Hangout on TV discussion about whether candidates should reimburse towns for police protection during campaign stops.


6.  Open a hangout during a breaking news event and show the world what you're seeing. Think of "live hanging" like live tweeting but with a face to face group conversation.  Invite others to ask questions about what they're seeing. Jean Francois Desmarais opened several Hangouts On Air during the 2012 Montreal Demonstrations and invited Canadians to ask questions.

During the 2012 NATO Riots in Chicago, Dan Soto also opened up a laptop for a live hang.

Photo Courtesy of Dan Soto

7. After an in studio interview, continue the conversation by bringing that guest into a Hangout to talk with virtual viewers.  Here's MyFox LA's Maria Quiban hosting a viewer chat behind the scenes with Mike Tyson.  When "time spent with content" is important, this extends the life of a TV interview beyond the studio.

Melissa Carlson of KRNV in Reno, Nevada uses Hangouts on her web show to get the public's opinion on talkable topics.


8.  During a snow storm, go beyond a weather map.  Ask the guests in your Hangout to turn their  webcams out their windows and show how much snow they received.


9. Invite politicians into a Hangout to have a virtual debate where candidates answer constituent questions. You can embed the live streaming Hangout on your website.

10. Join viewer hosted Hangouts to better learn the technology and interact with your audience on another level beyond the news host---news viewer relationship. There are Hangout shows on cooking, concerts, trivia games and much more. Cliff Roth compares Hangouts to "virtual trade shows" where you find people who share your passions. Group these passions into Google Plus circles and you have a Rolodex of experts at your virtual fingertips to talk about a variety of subjects. 

11. Open a Hangout during a story meeting and ask people what they think the newsroom should cover. 

Ok I lied. Make that 10 reasons.......... +1.

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