PLEASE NOTE: This blog post reports the results of our Twitcam testing. Please turn your volume down before reading this post, and then turn it up slowly, then deactivate one of the videos. Twitcam videos do not include a reader activated player button. Instead, the videos start to play as soon as you land on the page. You'll understand why I asked you to lower your volume when you observe how the players perform on the page. Thanks!
Yesterday, my assistant, Madeleine, and I conducted our first Twitcam test. Today, we conducted two more and I want to share the mixed results with you. While I like Twitcam and it has great potential, it seems that a few bugs need to be worked out. First, here's the video we did to show off some more Indie Beauty Network member products. This time, we featured soaps and candles by Barcelona Bath & Body, sugar scrub by Bidwell Botanicals and bulk lotion and cream by Essential Wholesale.
(If you are reading this post via email or an RSS reader and can’t see this video, then click here.)
Here's what we noticed about Twitcam:
- Chat Stream Skips. The chat room does not seem to pick up all of the chat entries. We know this because we had 3 people logged in to watch and chat at the Twitcam broadcast live. We noticed that we chatted a few times but the host never saw our chat. We also noticed that our Twitter streams did not pick up each chat. This seems to show that there may be a disconnect between Twitcam and Twitter in that you can chat from the Twitcam chat interface, but cannot rely on the entry going to your Twitter stream.
- Broadcast Stream Freezes. The broadcast also froze a few times during the live broadcast. This could have been due to our Internet connection I suppose. There's really no way to tell. We did two back-to-back tests and one test had a freezing problem while the other one flowed smoothly. The freeze was not picked up in the recorded version as you can see.
- Time Delay.This is not unusual for a live broadcast, but it's significant enough to mention the 20-30 second time delay. This is fine if you are not inviting anyone to watch you live. However, if you are broadcasting a live show like the Indie Business Radio Show, and you want to add a video component, the lag between the host and what viewers are seeing and hearing is significant enough to become confusing.
- No Player Controls. When you save your Twitcam broadcast to your blog or elsewhere, it plays automatically when the page loads. This is typically not a good thing since it's best to use a player that gives viewers the option of clicking a play button to begin watching the recording. Otherwise, you have the problem you see on this page — when you came here, both videos displayed here began to play at once. That's not good.
I Like Twitcam
I would not normally have allowed two players to start automatically at my blog, but I am posting this largely to show you some of the ways I think Twitcam could be improved.
I want to point out that I am not a techie type so the glitches reported here may be to something I'm doing wrong and not something that's wrong with Twitcam. We did try our best to follow the instructions at the Twitcam website and it seemed like we did everything we were asked to do.
Despite the testing hiccups, I still like Twitcam and plan to try to use Twitcam on Monday for the Indie Business Radio Show. I recorded this video to introduce Monday's guest and to show you how to listen to the show live and and also join the Twitcam broadcast live as well.
Will you join me and see how it works out? I'd love to have you and we can all learn together how we can use Twitcam to communicate with our customers and other stakeholders. I think Twitcam is an incredible tool and I cannot think of a single business that could not, with a little planning and focus, put it to good use. Hope to see you Monday at 1:00pm EST.
Remember, if you want to join the show via audio only, just click here and follow the instructions to listen at your desktop.
If you want to listen and watch the show live on Twitcam and chat about it on Twitter, just click here at 1:00pm EST and follow the instructions that display on my Twitter page.