Working with live streaming video was very empowering. Being able to broadcast to the world with very little incremental overhead (once you had the lights/camera/sound and a streaming platform at your disposal) was exciting to say the least. I had the opportunity to meet John Bare, Vice President of the Arthur Blank Foundation, at a business function in Atlanta. We talked a bit about video, video production, and live streaming. Seems the foundation was recording events, and posting them for viewing on demand on their website. John was excited about the possibility of streaming live.
Knowing the Arthur Blank Foundation was closely tied with the Atlanta Falcons and several other large local businesses (Home Depot, others), I decided to work with John to stream a live event at no charge (on my time) as a proof of concept. I got permission from my CEO to use our platform (his kids went to school with Arthur Blank’s grandkids, and he was excited about the project).
Using my personal computer as a streaming device (it had two Black Magic cards), we streamed the first event in late 2009. John had hired a videographer he knew well to handle the cameras, microphones and lighting, and I pulled feeds from the various cameras and switched between them using my laptop and some free software (Wirecast).
The event went off well, with over 400 viewers to the live stream. Mr. Blank thanked me personally for my efforts, and John and the other managers were thrilled. Over the next two years we streamed over a dozen discussion panels and personalities. I had a chance to meet Sanjay Gupta, Alton Brown, several Atlanta Falcons football players and the owner of the New York Giants among others.
The efforts paid off personally and professionally, as I had a chance to work with the Atlanta Falcons on a webcast during training camp, and several other local companies who had seen the webcasts. The efforts paid off personally in long-standing relationships with John Bare, Mr. Blank and Penelope McPhee, the President and Director of the foundation. It was truly time well invested.