Spread the wedding cheer – live broadcasting up 250%

Spread the wedding cheer – live broadcasting up 250%

Live streaming weddings up 250% Last week, popular live streaming network UStream announced that live broadcasts of weddings are up 250% over last year. This means that between May 2012 and May 2013 almost 20,000 weddings have been shared with friends and family all over the world. An amazing number. And a number that shows that video broadcasting is no longer just the playground of the large networks. It is for everyone now.

Many couples see the ceremony in the church as the most important part of their wedding day. Which makes it ideal to share with friends and family all over the world. So, have you considered how to cater for this in your church or at your location? If you already have a team that does audio and video for the church, can they link up to an outside network like Ustream? And if you don’t have a team, have you thought of the right spots for people with camera’s to cover the best moments?

Live broadcasting is becoming more and more important for people. They want everyone to experience what they are experiencing. The Vine and Instagram Video apps have shown that for social media networks. But Ustream has been doing this for much longer. I remember live streaming a ride on the German autobahn through Ustream in 2008. Back then, it still was a hassle to do a live stream. These days, you need nothing more than a smartphone with a good camera to send out your broadcast. Obviously you can improve on quality by using better equipment, but to share an experience, that might not be necessary.

The same that goes for the wedding ceremony also goes for your regular church service. There are many people out there that are not able to attend a service, or are not aware they want to be in one. However, statistics show that the number of Google searches for Jesus has gone up. More people are looking, and it is up to all of us to give them something to look at. Something to experience. Whether that is a great wedding ceremony or the ‘regular’ Sunday service. It is a way to reach out to people within and outside your direct community.

Ustream put together a nice infographic on wedding live streams.

Instagram launches video for Instagram – 15 seconds to touch people

Instagram launches video for Instagram – 15 seconds to touch people

Instagram-workflow-videoOn Thursday the 20th, Instagram launched video as their latest addition to their services. It is a very powerful system that allows you to post little videos of what you are seeing with the push of a button. It is almost like a tiny ‘broadcasting made easy’ package that will allow you to share beautiful sights and sounds with your friends.

If you are not familiar with Instagram, let me do a quick introduction for you. Basically, Instagram allows you to take pictures with your mobile phone and share them with your friends within Instagram and across social networks. Instagram had two unique features that allowed it to quickly grow to become the biggest photo sharing service online. The first advantage was the well executed timeline. The timeline makes it very easy to see what others are sharing and to comment on their pictures. The second advantage were the great filters that Instagram allows its users to use on their photos. That way you can easily give your pictures a change in colors, borders and general feel.

Facebook saw the impact Instagram was having and bought the service. However, with the rise of Vine on Twitter, Instagram must have known it would be bad to just sit still. Vine allowed Twitter users to easily share 6 second video clips of whatever they experience. And now Instagram has gotten into that same field, but has improved on the concept.

Instagram video allows you to share videos of between 6 and 15 seconds. All videos will be shot in a square format, so there is no reason to tilt your phone to get a landscape view. Recording a video is as easy as holding down the record button on the phone and the slider will move as the seconds pass. After your recording, you can edit the video and apply colorful filters. Instagram will immediately show you the results that the filters have on your recording, so you can browse through the filters to find the one that suits you best. You then get to pick the cover photo, which will be the image people see before they start your video. And lastly you can add a title and the services you want to post the video to and click the share button. Instagram then takes care of the rest.

This is all great, but how can you use this? Well, Instagram is an awesome app to share experiences with people. Whether it is a great picture of a band, or the sun flowing through a stain glass window. And now they have added video, which allows you to have people experience a great moment with your youth group. It allows you to share a great time with friends, the joy around baptism or any other great moment. It is also a great tool to just stay in touch with people around you. To show them what you value. What makes you laugh, what makes you cry and even the ‘mundane’ things such as having a great meal together.

There is a saying that tells us that the eyes are the windows to our soul. I strongly want to encourage you to not only see that as the eyes showing what is going on within our souls. But also to realize that the eyes are one of the best ways to reach and touch the soul of someone who is able to share that precious moment with you.

The sharing economy

The sharing economy

sharing economyThere is huge interest in the sharing economy. Loïc LeMeur actually opened LeWeb with his talk on the sharing economy. So what is this all about? It is about people sharing resources to enjoy them with others. It might be renting out the spare bedroom for tourists, or allowing people to ride in your car when you go somewhere.

The question really is not whether we need to be a part of this as Christians. The biggest question is how we can put this in practice. After all, if we look back at the first church in Acts, they lived together and had everything in common. Technology now allows us to reach out beyond allowing others to join you for a meal. The sharing economy could be the trigger to go out there and share ourselves with the world more than we are doing today.

So, how should we go about it? Should we now all go and clear out the guestroom to have someone stay in there? Perhaps. But more importantly, we need a shift of awareness. Where we have been looking at catering for ourselves on a daily basis and for our church to fare reasonably well, we should reconsider and look at options by which we can collaborate with community. And there are great opportunities to reach out to your community through websites and online services. Even if it is just offering the thing you want to share through Craigslist. It will bring us back into the community catering for the things the community cares about. And if we care about them, we have an opening to share why we care.