Usability TV — Experiment One

Tonight I did a live show reviewing web sites that people sent in. And it went… okay…

I broadcast via which offers a chat option while you are doing the show so people can interact with you. So, what do I mean by “okay.”

The Good

People showed up! Seriously, I was afraid no one would show but I had about 6 or 7 people show up which I take as pretty good, for me. I reviewed 3 sites, all of them different. I think I gave some decent feedback and felt like the people presenting the sites took it as it was intended.

The Bad

Tech problems galore. The video wouldn’t work for the first 10 minutes or so. Everything on my admin view showed as if I were broadcasting but no one could see or here me. After a few attempts to fix it (stopping and starting the broadcast over and over) it started to work. Mostly.

I shouldn’t have used two computers. I was afraid one computer couldn’t keep up with streaming and recording the screen so I used two instead. Part of the reason that was a problem is that I forgot to click “Start Recording” on Ustream. So all I have is the screen capture I did on my second computer which is still rendering and only 35% done after 20 minutes! Ha. That’ll be one large file. Plus side is that it does have audio and video.

The interaction is still a little odd with people. Me talking, them texting. This isn’t bad per se, but it made it difficult sometimes to react to what people were saying while focusing on the review.

The Ugly

I bet you think I am going to say: me. :) And you’d be right too except I am so bloody handsome.

No, the ugly was an asshat who joined the chat and was writing what I consider threatening and vulgar things. I booted the person and thankfully we never heard more from them. That’s the downside of doing things like this in public. I am just glad that Ustream offers the ability to boot people. And that I knew about that functionality before hand.

Up Next?

I am going to try it again next week. But I suspect if I really want to do this on a regular basis I’ll need a set up that’s more reliable. I could use WebEx, but that’ll cost me. The draw to Ustream is that it’s free. And unless I get a sponsor, I am not sure I can afford WebEx. Though I plan to look into it.

If you watched the show, what did you think? I welcome all feedback, except from asshats.


  1. My eloquent response is Welcome to Ustream. I am sorry to hear about your problems BUT thats the best part of Ustream. We have been there before and for most problems that crop up it is easily (and cheaply) fixed. Feel free to contact us at or Oh and good luck with the show!

  2. Thanks Fred. Once the show started to stream, there wasn’t much of an issue. It was just that there was nothing on my end that led me to understand what the problem might be and thereby how to go about fixing it.

    Overall, and glitches aside for a sec, I’d say Ustream does a great job making it easy for anyone to broadcast. It’s great to be living in a time when that is the case.

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