Streaming the Streamys

shiralazar-streamys-w520.jpgLast night the first annual Streamy Awards in Los Angeles honored original programming created for broadband distribution.

Once the event was underway at around 7:45 PM PDT, about 15 minutes later than scheduled, the Streamys.org Web site provided a high-quality Flash video stream of the live event.

The promised live streaming from the red carpet, however — scheduled be begin at 6:00 PM PDT — was less successful. The Streamys.org site had no live video, and only intermittent snippets of audio, during the pre-show events. There were, apparently, technical problems with the planned broadcast from the red carpet outside the venue (although both the Streamys.org Web site and the streamyawards Twitter stream were mum about what was happening).

Los Angeles media personality Shira Lazar jumped in to seize the moment and provided live streaming through her Nokia N95 cell phone over her channel on Kyte.com. The image was choppy and the audio was poor, but it worked. With a parallel text chat that Lazar monitored to cull questions from the audience for the celebs arriving on the red carpet, the ad hoc interactive event proved to be strangely compelling.

Fortunately, the higher-quality live stream arrived just as the event began (and Lazar’s poor Nokia N95 lost battery power).

The entire event provided a glimpse into the future of online journalism — raw, immediate, and bidirectional.

As an aside, the Streamys turned out to be a big night for the cast and creators of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” which walked away with a number of awards including those for Best Directing and Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series, and Best Editing and Best Cinematography in a Web Series. “Dr. Horrible” lead Neil Patrick Harris garnered the award for Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series. “Dr. Horrible” also snagged the Audience Choice Award.

In addition, “Dr. Horrible” cast member Felicia Day received awards for Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series and Best Comedy Web Series for her production, “The Guild.”

A complete list of the winners is available on Story Gas.

Update: Since this was posted, the Streamys.org site has published a complete list of winners: http://www.streamys.org/go/winners/.

3 thoughts on “Streaming the Streamys

  1. I’m glad to see Dr. Horrible did so well. It deserved it.

    As someone who has run streamed video events in the past, trust me, it is no easy task. From 2005 through 2007, we had various degrees of success streaming the virtual worlds convention I helped found – there always seemed to be a problem. In 2005, level3 decided to have a problem with their backbone. In 2006, things were better, but problems on the client end of things. In 2007, the Hilton in Chicago only gave us 1mbps for 4 streams, even though we paid for 15 mbps. Of course, being over a weekend, they had to call the union guys to take care of it, so it didn’t get fixed until after we were done.

    There’s always something, and there are a lot of moving parts in video streaming, especially if you’re trying to hit a large audience. Even Apple has given up on trying to stream Macworld’s keynote, and they’re the ones who did the Darwin Streaming Server and Quicktime player!
    I’m hoping that new technologies like Jing make this stuff easier.

    Like

  2. Tim and Hector:

    I was also pleased to see “Dr. Horrible” recognized with Streamys. And that Joss Whedon knows how to give a great acceptance speech.

    My intent with the post wasn’t to blast the Streamys for their technical problems. (Although the irony of the Streamys not streaming was lost on no one in the Twittersphere that evening.)
    Broadcasting a live event over IP is, indeed, technically challenging. And once it got off the ground, it looked great. However, I think the people working on this can be validly criticized for not letting anyone know what was going on. At around 4:00 PM PDT @streamywards tweeted “Only two hours to go.” Three hours later there was no video and no updates. Some status information in their Twitterstream or elsewhere would have been helpful.

    But my point wasn’t to criticize the Streamy folks, but to compliment @shiralazar for her creative improvisation. Primitive though it was — streamed through a Nokia N95 — her cell phone broadcast saved the day. Kudos to her.

    Like

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