I See Smart People

Camera 1 at Limerick OpenCoffee. Pic by Bernie Goldbach

I’ve been so busy I hadn’t time to blog about my experience of Limerick Open Coffee Club last Thursday. Much has been made of the excitement caused by our live broadcast. James describes the twitterstorm, and there is more about it by Bernie, Conor, Niall and many others.

Conor gets the credit for giving me the idea with a twitter-query about live updates from the Limerick meeting. Hat-tips also to Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo and Leo Laporte – all of whom I’ve been watching play with this stuff over recent months.

But the real inspirations, in more ways than one, are Patrick and John Collison. If Ustream.tv has taught me anything, it’s that not everything is worth broadcasting! Robert Scoble figured this out early on, and soon began to keep his live broadcasts for special events. And last Thursday’s OpenCoffee Limerick was undoubtedly special – and certainly worth sharing with others.

At it’s peak, we had 14 viewers on the stream – and at least 3 of those were in the room!!! But I’m very pleased that people who wanted to share the experience were able to do so – and even contribute, as Niall did with a question.

Now that it’s over I notice all the faults in the recording! If there had been more time to plan it I’d have got a tripod and a better microphone setup. I’ll get those things right the next time – and I’ve a feeling there will be a lot of next times, and not just by me either!

Video streaming is easy. All you need is a camera, a computer and a broadband connection. (The Flash on sites like Ustream.TV takes care of everything.) The difficult bit is having something worth broadcasting, but I think that the OpenCoffee clubs, BarCamps and PodCamps sweeping the country are actually providing that.

Serious talks at Opencoffee. Pic by TouristRepublicExplanatory Note: Open Coffee Clubs are informal gatherings of entrepreneurs, investors and people interested in startups which have spread worldwide since they began in London last spring. Limerick Open Coffee club meets every second Thursday (not this week, next week) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. It recently moved to a new venue at the AbsoluteHotel.Com. Currently the best way to keep track of Irish Open Coffee meetings (including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast) is on the #irishopencoffee channel on Jaiku.

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Explore posts in the same categories: irishblogs, Video, opencoffee, opencoffeelimerick

6 Comments on “I See Smart People”

  1. Niall Larkin Says:

    Nice one Conn. Well impressed with the use of ustream for LOCC. Would love to experiment with this in Dublin. Presume I will need to begin by buying a video camera? Any recommendations for something for this specific purpose?


  2. Thanks Niall. Actually, I don’t know if there’s too much to be gained by buying an expensive camera for streaming. I used a Sony Handycam – but I suspect I might have got the same quality with a golf ball webcam!

    However, I am working with the folks at Tipperary Institute to record high quality video fo later podcasts. Bernie Goldbach or I can put you in touch with Michael Kiely at TI if you need advice on cameras.


  3. Conn you make a very good point about not everything being worth broadcasting. I’m suffering a minor obsession right now with Ustreaming and wonder if, once the novelty wears off, I’ll become much more fussy about what I watch. But right now I can’t wait for the next Irish OCC or tweetup coverage.

    Just wondering what OCC format you think is best suited to Ustreaming? A questions and answers session like with had with the Collisons? A round-table discussion? A free-for-all (hardly)? A ‘roaming reporter’? Or other? I guess the reason I’d like to know is I’m wondering if we should try to set aside 1 hour of every 2 hour OCC session for Ustreaming and if so what format that should take? I don’t know if we could have the same caliber of discussion every week as we had last time but if we could aim for it I imagine the Ustreaming of the event will help greatly in raising the profile of OCC around the country. And that’s worth aiming for.

  4. Niall Larkin Says:

    Thanks Conn. I pre-tested out a couple of different entry level webcams I have lying around yesterday in the hope of streaming the RubyIreland meetup last night. The best results I could get were fairly poor as seen here http://www.ustream.tv/NiaLLLarkin/videos/FPFQl2mrDV6m5EyXShzSGw

    So I may just need to get a better webcam, which’d be cool.


  5. Niall, I think you may be right – a better camera might help there. For what it’s worth, I used a Sony MiniDV handicam in USB streaming mode.

    James, I’ll have a better idea after OCC Cork on Friday. The main focus of our efforts will be to record high quality video podcasts. In some ways I think these may be more effective in promoting the OpenCoffees than a live stream – but I coulds be wrong. I think something like the Collisons’ presentation will always hold a live audience – but beyond that, I’m not sure – just yet.

    One possible future candidate for live streaming will be PodCamp Ireland, which runs the same day as Podcast Expo in California. Maybe we’ll link up live with someone there?


  6. […] week Limerick Open Coffee did a live “TV” stream from their event. People tuned in as the Auctomatic lads talked about the land of Silicon Valley […]


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