Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leo Laporte and Robert Scoble changed the game at SXSW

There were no satellite trucks with huge logos. No fancy graphics on the screen. It wasn't carried on any major news network ..... although the 'players' probably should have been watching.

Live webcasting isn't new. For more than a few years, there has been great live video and audio feeds from trade shows and conventions.

Webmaster.fm has been at almost every event I have taken the time to attend ..... for many years. There are MANY others now, in a very crowded field.

In these rapidly changing times, there are more important meet-ups than ever ... as well as sponsored events by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple. If you're in this business, you want to be there. (Especially now that the three titans are literally at war in one form or another ..... ).

Many said they were going to opt out of SXSW this year. Many who said they weren't going .... did.

Networking face to face is vital, especially in these fast-paced times.

I hardly ever watch Internet videos longer than 30 minutes. Whether it's my attention span or just lack of value, when I am watching video on the web, it's usually catching up on an episode of 24 on Hulu.

A couple of nights ago, I was working on a project when I noticed a tweet from Scoble.

He was pumping up a live feed from SXSW by Leo Laporte.

I decided to 'click' and was immediately consumed.

LaPorte was using a get-up that looked like a jet-pack.

Live, untethered and feeding good quality video via 3G, the two web personalities (along with Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, Sarah Lane, Jeff Jarvis, Dr. Kirsten Sanford, Justin Robert Young, Mark Milian, and Brian Brushwood) were wandering around Austin doing spot interviews. A continuous stream in motion and live.

Locals, start-up reps (from all over the world), familiar faces as well as a few major players in the tech scene.

There was no AC. No DC. Just one battery change. A lower-power LED light panel provided the lighting and a cool set-up designed by FloTV which was using two connections each to three cellular carriers.

It was more than fun to watch. We were looking at a tiny piece of the future of the web platform, and as the numbers of viewers grew, it was pretty obvious that 'something' was working.

Was it a game changer? Was the combination of 3G Video, FourSquare and Twitter a hit?

The archive of the episode I watched is now posted to Laporte's Twit.tv here.

See what you think.

Note: The link to the video is now active.  Thanks for your comments / emails !