Sunday, August 4, 2013

Broadcast Yourself

This week's assignment was to complete a live broadcast.  My friend and I write a blog about nail art and nail polish, so I decided to broadcast a tutorial.  I chose to do a tutorial for galaxy nails, which are a popular design at the moment.  I have posted galaxy nail designs on the blog many times, and I have had a lot of people ask me how to do them.  I posted a photo tutorial for it a while back, but I still get questions from people.  So to answer those questions, I decided to do the broadcast tutorial.

I invited friend and family members who are always asking me how I do various nail designs.  I also advertised on the Twitter account I use for the blog.  Four people showed up for the broadcast (although one left partway through), and they seemed to enjoy it!

For the broadcast, I chose to use Google Hangouts.  I wanted to use this program, because it was a Google tool that I was not familiar with.  I like to try out all the Google tools that I can, so I was glad for the opportunity to use Hangouts.  I started the broadcast by showing everyone what polishes they would need to complete the design:

I then walked through the process of creating the design step by step.  One issue I did run in to was the clarity of video.  I used an external webcam for this, since the one built in to my computer wasn't what I needed for this type of video.  Because I wanted to be able to aim the camera at my nails, I needed the external webcam.  I'm not sure if it was the quality of that camera, or just the quality of video on Google Hangouts, but it did take away from the broadcast a bit.  Since I was trying to show close ups of nail art, I would have like to have better quality.  It was slightly better than what is shown here (the capture feature on Google Hangouts takes very low-quality screen shots), but was not as good as I would have liked.  I had to give better descriptions of what I was doing, rather than just relying on the video to show what to do.

 One thing that I really liked about doing a live tutorial is that people were able to ask questions along the way.  For example, after I finished the design, there were a few questions about nail art in general.  One person wanted to know what kind of tools I used to create my designs, and I was able to answer the question and show the tools.  It was nice to be able to provide immediate responses to questions.
 Since the captures picture quality is so low, here's a better picture of the final design:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have done live broadcasts with my students.  I think that live broadcasts can be an extremely helpful tool in certain situations.  While I don't think Google Hangouts is the best choice for broadcasting with students, I could certainly see myself using Google Hangouts in the future in order to connect with friends and family.

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