I’m back from our annual trip to Germany and while I should be typing up a recap of it, or attending to other important (at least, important to this blog) topics, I thought I’d use a Thinking Out Loud Thursday Link-up as a way to clear some of the junk that’s been rattling around my brain lately.
Robots is Good People
Far too many people are still talking about the Zombie Apocalypse and not enough are worried about the Robot Uprising. Not me, I’m going to work on making friends with our future overlords - I’m a survivor like that. The Lily Camera has been getting some attention from outdoor and extreme sports enthusiasts for being able to intelligently follow its user that is wearing a small tracking device.
I had fantasies of making cool videos featuring me swimming, biking and running (not to mention *Burbathlon*, cross-country skiing, maybe mountain biking ) with chase cam footage. A couple of days after I came across the video, I started seeing it everywhere - Facebook friends shared it with me having similar ideas to mine, and I even saw a couple of co-workers watching the video too. Apparently one of the gotchas of drones is how much skill it takes to fly them, so this one having automatic ‘Follow Me’ modes (among others) is something of a breakthrough. I also like how it’s waterproof and portable.
The thing is, with the autopilot feature being so desirable, they can’t be the only ones who have come up with a potential solution. I also wondered if I might want a GoPro or other action cam to do First Person video too, and then have a drone that can mount the camera for the chase cam stuff. I found the Iris, the Hexo+ as well as some highly experimental smaller drones like the Extreme MicroDrone 3.0 and the Nixie.
Of course, these are the serious thoughts of someone richer than me - I need to stay focused on getting my bike up to snuff for Barrelman.
Video Killed The Blogging Star
In a fit of Shiny Object Syndrome/Me Too Disorder (a.k.a Blogger Peer Pressure), I started using Periscope, an app for doing live broadcasts from your mobile device. Tamara from Fit Knit Chick did a great little beginner’s tutorial and you can see it here. I guess I thought I’d do similar content to what I had in mind for the drones and action cam; walking an audience through what I consider to be a fun workout or something.
I started with trying to incorporate a Bike Hill Training/Strength #WorkoutHack, previously seen here. I don’t think the broadcast was terribly good or successful, though people were kind and generous with their ‘hearts’ (which are like ‘Likes’ on Periscope). I didn’t enable a tweet share, and I haven’t found a way to share it now; even by uploading the MP4 file to YouTube (and the file doesn’t seem to be able to play natively on my phone either). You may be able to see the replay if you find me on Periscope (in app, search for apkussma). Based on that initial experience, here are my thoughts on Periscope (and yes, I’m aware of Meerkat, which is pretty similar).
You have to have something to say or show. Either you have a prepared presentation/speech/lecture or tutorial, or your location is interesting enough to provide the scenery giving your audience a show and a way to virtually join in your experience, (for example, a concert or show).
You have to have a good network connection; this rules out doing any kind of swim or underwater video, and if you’re outside your home network (and are unwilling to pay roaming charges), there’s no chance to do a live broadcast. This kept me from doing some Periscope video while in Germany... I could have shown you guys around.
If you want to broadcast action, be prepared for technical hiccups. My broadcast ended accidentally and an error popped up. I’m not sure if it was because the phone was being manhandled by me while trying to ride my bike, or if the phone ran out of memory while recording (you can enable the video to store a local copy) or if it was just a bug. I’m glad I didn’t put too much thought or preparation into it.
With those caveats, I’m probably not done with Periscope, but I think I prefer doing video with Instagram; 15 seconds is enough for a lot of the messages I’m trying to send, and I’m not limited to a character count for when I want to add some extra hashtags (unlike Vine). Here’s an example:
Last but not least on the Video Star front, here’s the official video recap of Spring Into Action 2015.
Mo’ Media, Mo’ Problems (Mo’ Money?)
Both of the aforementioned feelings (desire for a little cash to spend on gear and tech abd Blogger Peer Pressure) have coupled which has me looking at expanding some of the ‘business’ aspects of the blog. I’ve already joined some affiliate programs, you may have noticed some of the links in previous posts. Affiliate programs, Ambassadorships and Partnerships, better advertising are all potentially on the horizon, and yet I constantly remind myself that this blog is a hobby... about my hobbies. I do this mostly to go through the practice of writing, and share my experiences like some kind of glorified post-card. I train, I get outside, and I try to develop my writing ‘voice’ by describing those adventures. I do like to try new things, obviously, so I’m willing to put some effort into the kinds of things more professional bloggers spend time on, but I need to balance that with my sanity, and not make blogging yet another chore. Ahhh... that feels better. See you next time with something more triathlon/family/something related, OK?