“What Should I Do?” – Livecasting

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on April 21, 2010 in: Social Media Mindmeister

In this “What should I do?” series, I’ve been writing about the Social Media Framework mindmap at MindMeister.com. In each post, I’ve been looking at one of the subtopics of the framework and giving you tips on how to make it work for you.

In this post I’ll be talking about livecasting.


Livecasting is one of those funny things that seem normal offline (live radio, live TV) but online there’s still a “gee whiz” factor. Livecasting is basically your average broadcasting (via voice, video, or chat). And it’s live. Duh. As the mobile web becomes more popular and access broadens and connection speeds increase, livecasting will become even more useful. It’s big and getting bigger, but it still feels like it’s in its infancy.

The social media framework mindmap offers several different livecasting tools, which are broken down into audio, video, and chat. The subdivisions in video (“live video”, “seesmic” and “TubeMogul” are a little unclear to me so I’m just lumping them altogether as “video”.

What should I livecast?
I imagine that the first thing most businesses are wondering is “what should I livecast?” I’ve heard of people livecasting themselves just sitting there while they work, but I think that’s about as useful as tweeting that you’re going to the bathroom. There are many ways to livecast with value. For example, you might want to have a show at a regular time. Or you might to do on-the-street interviews. Or product reviews. Or host a talk show. Or teach a virtual lecture. Or hold a meeting. Or vlog.

Twitter is a form of livecasting, too, so you might consider how you could extend the value you provide on Twitter to a large market through a different livecasting medium.

My confession
Although livecasting is an engaging idea, PLUS I’m an avid Twitter user, I admit that I’m not 100% sold on a full adoption of livecasting as a superior alternative to prepared content. (Quick definition: “Livecasting” is live-to-the-web while “prepared content” is something created, reviewed, edited, and posted. It’s like the difference between a tweet and a short ezine – one is live and in real time, the other is pre-created).

The first reason that I prefer prepared content to livecasting is that the web is 24/7 and your target market may want to listen to your great livecast but they want to do it on their own terms. Mix in timezone differences and you’ve got a potential problem if your market is at work or asleep while you want them to be viewing your livecast. The other reason that I haven’t fully adopted livecasting is that sometimes I say things that I shouldn’t say and it’s nice to have an edit function handy.

On the other hand, where you have a scheduled meeting and want to deliver live over-the-web instruction or in a collaborative meeting scenario, livecasting can be pretty helpful.

More to come
In spite of the fact that I’m just not “there” yet when it comes to fully adopting livecasting as a marketing tool, I do see the benefits. If you want to make livecasting your primary medium, good for you; run with it! I think the future of livecasting is exciting with more possibilities still to come. But until there’s an edit button, I’d better stick with prepared content!

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