It’s pretty new, so it’s possible you’ve not even heard of it yet. blab is a new live-video streaming network that I only became aware of a couple of weeks ago. I subscribe to tons of blogs about social media, exactly for this purpose: so that I’ll know when something new comes around.
There are new things coming around all the time, but there have been a few over the last few months that are feeling like they are catching fire, and all of them have been live video streaming networks.
Blab.im is live-streaming video that allows you to include up to 4 people in your chat, including yourself. It also combines a live chat feature on the right-hand margin, so anyone watching can ask you questions.
In many ways, blab is an extension of the new live-streaming video services of Periscope and Meercat. Those ones only allow you to do a single live-stream; just yourself, and, if you can get someone else in the shot, them as well. But you just have one camera. People can ask you questions via text, and you answer them live online.
blab allows you to have a live-streamed conversation between up to 4 people, and they don’t have to be the same 4 people. We did one the other day with Steve Dotto and Vicki Mcleod, and we left the fourth “seat” open, so that people could jump in and ask questions.
Here are my thoughts after doing my first one:
- The technology works pretty well. I’ve been frustrated a lot with Periscope. Many of the times I’ve tried to do one, the technology has failed in some way. With blab, we had a few problems with sound (echo), but that was the main issue. Other than that, the image was great, and we were all able to see and hear each other quite well.
- blab is connected to Twitter. This is always, always, always a good thing. Like Periscope, when you start a Blab, it sends a tweet to all your twitter followers encouraging them to join. There is also a feature in Blab (on the left-hand side of the screen) called “Tell a Little Bird” that allows anyone on the chat to tweet about it. Great for pulling in viewers.
- It’s not limited to an app. While there is a blab app, it works just as well, or maybe even better, on your computer. There are advantages to this. I was able to look stuff up in the middle of the chat, without having to run off. Plus, the bigger screen advantage…
- Scheduling and Push Notifications: You can schedule blabs in advance, which is a great advantage over many of the other live-streaming apps. If you have the app on your phone, you’ll also get push notifications every time someone you follow is starting a new one, or any time someone mentions you in a blab chat.
- You can give “ups”. Like Periscope (who uses hearts) you can give praise or cred, or whatever you want to call it, by clicking on that person’s quadrant.
- You may need to dedicate one person to monitoring the feed. Our chat feed got a bit crazy, as we had 30 or so people watching and asking questions and interacting. It’s a great idea to dedicate one person to monitoring this and bringing up people’s questions so they don’t get lost.
- You may not have answers to things. Here’s the problem with doing a live-stream, any live-stream. People are probably going to ask you questions you don’t have the answers to. There may be gaffes and snafus. This is all part of live-streaming. It’s live.
- There’s no “private” version so far. You can’t use it for personal use–it’s public all the way.
How can we use blab for marketing?
- Interviews with experts: you can host your own TV show, of sorts, by interviewing an expert in your field. If you are a clothing boutique, you could interview a stylist about next season’s trends. You can then have one or two seats open for people to jump in and ask questions. This has numerous applications: beauty, lifestyle, cooking and food, home decorating, exercise….
- Customer service: you could host a blab where your customers can jump on and ask you questions in real time and you can answer them and solve their problems.
- AMAs: you could host an “ask me anything” with a local celebrity, or even with the executives of your company.
- Contests and real-time events: get your fans or clients involved by including them in the action! Watch real-time as three competitors attempt to see who can hold tree pose the longest, who can do 15 pushups the fastest, etc…
Have you tried blab? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.