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Pros and Cons of BeLive.TV and Blue Jeans Network

By Cheval John

It is safe to say that live video is the way most businesses and sports organizations will use to interact with future customers.

According to a report by Cision, 80% of all internet activity will have a video component to it by 2020.

That means that if you are not using video for your business, you will be left in the dust by your competition.

And live streaming is leading the way with live video.

Platforms like Meerkat and Periscope (both owned by Twitter) and Blab has brought the live streaming revolution to our daily lives.

When Facebook, the world largest social media platform with over 1 billion users, entered the live streaming game last year with Facebook Live, it created challenges for these platforms.

As an indirect result, Twitter shut down Meerkat and is in the process of integrating Periscope to their social media platform.

The owners of Blab shut down their platform abruptly in the summer time though they had a substantial user base.

It is apparent that Facebook Live is dominating live stream and is looking to continue it innovation to keep their user base on their platform.

As a result, live streaming platforms are being very creative in complimenting Facebook Live.

The platforms which are integrating their software with Facebook Live are Huzza.io, BeLive.TV and Blue Jeans Network

Huzza.io was founded in April 2015 as a way for musicians to get their music out to a niche audience.

Overtime, they expanded their services for live streamers and podcasters.

They were able to integrate their platform to Facebook Live which was a great option for people who wanted to use Facebook Live from their computers.

In February of this year, they sold their company to KickStarter.com and the platform will be shut down on March 1st.

I will add a note that the people from Huzza.io was much more professional in letting their users know that they will not be around anymore because it will give their users time to upload all of their live video recordings to YouTube.

The team from Huzza.io also allowed us to look for alternative live streaming platforms to continue creating our live video broadcasts.

Now, I will focus more on the pros and cons of BeLive.TV and Blue Jeans Network as I have tried both of the live streaming platforms.

Pros of BeLive.TV
The platform is free to use
Your live stream shows goes straight to your facebook page
You can record your show at a certain time
You can do a one on one interview with a guest if you have an interview type of show
The comments from Facebook will appear on their platform

Cons of BeLive.TV:
The platform does not have a way to download a stand alone video
Your live stream will only be for facebook live
If you want to put your video on other platforms like YouTube, it will be impossible due to the fact that Facebook and YouTube are competitors
They are currently in beta

Pros of Blue Jeans Network:

You can post your live show on different social media platforms in addition to Facebook Live
You can record at a certain time
Once the recording is over, you can still continue your Facebook Live stream if you want to continue the conversation with your audience
You can upload the stand alone video of your live stream to YouTube
You can also convert your livestream shows into a podcast

Cons of Blue Jeans Network:
The platform is not free to use
Depending on the price selections, you will be allowed to have from 25 to about 500 people in one room for your shows
The comments from Facebook will not appear on their platform

Live streaming is here for a very long time and Facebook will continue to be dominant in that space.

If you are only focusing on growing your Facebook Page and don’t have the budget to invest in a live streaming platform, BeLive.TV is the choice for you.

However, if you are looking to diversify your social media presence with live video, then Blue Jeans Network will fit your business.

For me, Blue Jeans Network is the platform of choice because of the features that it has to simulcast on Facebook Live and turn them into podcasts.

In a future post, I will share with you on how you can convert your live streaming shows to a podcast format.

Did I miss any live streaming platforms that integrates with Facebook Live? What are your thoughts about live streaming?

You can leave your comments below.

The Rewards of Hosting A Super Bowl

By Cheval John

I am in “recovery mode” after having the opportunity to work and cover Super Bowl 51 that took place in Houston.

This past super bowl was the best championship matchup ever due to it going into overtime for the first time ever.

It was also the first time that a team had an epic meltdown on the biggest stage ever.

The Atlanta Falcons, who came into the Super Bowl as having the No.1 ranked offense, found a way to lose to the New England Patriots 34-28 in overtime.

The Falcons had a reputation of collapsing in the playoffs over the years.

Many thought that they were going to reverse the above and finally win their first Super Bowl.

The Patriots found a way to overcome a 25 point defecit with their determination plus heart and won their fifth Super Bowl.

Many major media outlets documented the Falcons’ epic collapse and also Lady Gaga’s halftime show

These same journalists from the major media outlets travel annually to cover the Super Bowl, which is the biggest event in the USA.

If a journalist is not a beat writer or a sports reporter for that particular NFL team, then they will not be able to travel to cover the Super Bowl due to budgets constraints or if their team did not make the championship.

Many television, radio and newspaper journalists had the opportunity to cover the festivities surrounding Super Bowl 51 here in Houston.

We saw reports about different festivities like Super Bowl Live, which took place at Discovery Green, that allowed the fans to see live concerts and also see the sports television personalities from Fox Sports, the NFL network ESPN and many others broadcast their shows live.

We also saw the feedback from the visitors on whether the city of Houston did an excellent job of hosting them during the Super Bowl.

Local residents of Houston had the opportunity to work as volunteers for the Houston Super Bowl Committee.

Some of us who work as social media professionals volunteered our services in working at the social media command center at the headquarters of the Houston Super Bowl Committee.

I had the opportunity to work as a social media volunteer for the Houston Super Bowl Committee and cover the activities using the different social media channels to give my audience a behind the scenes view of Super Bowl 51.

Take a look at this light show at Discovery Green

And the revolving Super Bowl rings that was displayed at the NFL Experience (which you had to pay to attend) inside the George R. Brown Convention Center

This photo below is the Lombardi Trophy which attendees had the opportunity to take a picture with

You will see how downtown got extremely busy when the visitors outside of the Houston area arrived on the weekend of the Super Bowl

I can tell you that it was truly a dream to be here for the Super Bowl because of seeing the lively atsmophere when watching all of the media coverage of the championship event.

I got to see first hand the teamwork from the different tourism organizations like Houston First and The Greater Houston Partnership who helped promote the event.

I also saw the Houston Astros organization lend their full support to the Super Bowl with the use of Minute Maid Park, where the opening night (media day) took place.

Now that Super Bowl 51 is over, the Houston Super Bowl host committee did the honorary transfer of the guard to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee to get their city prepared to host Super Bowl 52.

My advice to the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee is to think outside of the box and enlist social media professionals in addition to business leaders to help promote Super Bowl 52.

You will do an excellent job because you have the right leaders and team members that are qualified to host the Super Bowl.

For anyone who works in the different business sectors and industries in the Minneapolis area, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be apart of the Super Bowl.

Though you will not get paid, I can guarantee you that you will see the long term benefits of volunteering your time for the Super Bowl.

When the commissioner of the NFL tells the crowd and the national media that your host city did an excellent work in hosting the fans and visitors, you will have a sense of pride in being a part of a Super Bowl.

To close out this blog post, here is the video of the Super Bowl train leaving downtown which was the home of the Houston Super Bowl Committee

And the fireworks to end the Super Bowl Live Festivities

Ross Brand: Host of Livestream Universe

By Cheval John

Ross Brand made a guest appearance on What’s The Word? to chat about how he started Livestream Universe.

He is also the co-founder of HR Avante and has made appearances on other livestreaming shows.

In this episode, you will hear:

How working in the radio industry has helped him to become a livestreamer

The failed prediction of the New York Giants playing in Super Bowl 51

How livestreaming can help a small business owner to become more profitable

Video Preview of What’s The Word?

Full Podcast Interview of What’s The Word?

Website: www.livestreamuniverse.com/

Twitter: @iRossBrand

Three Restaurants To Visit During Super Bowl 51

By Cheval John

In the Houston area, they are thousands of restaurants and coffee shops that serve the residents that call this city home.

The interesting thing is it will take a lifetime to visit all of the restaurants in the fourth largest city in the United States of America.

The reason is that most coffee shops and restaurants don’t last for more than five years.

Every year there is a new restaurant opening within the Houston area.

And with the Super Bowl set to take place in less than a week, the city of Houston are prepared to showcase what they have to offer.

According to Visit Houston.com, an estimated two million people will descend here for the biggest event of the year.

The city has changed dramatically since hosting the Super Bowl in 2004 with the expansion of the train system and the addition of discovery green park.

Plus, the convention district has renovated in the last couple of years with the addition of new restaurants, the new marriot marquis houston hotel and the partnership tower.

With that being said, people will want to know where are the best places to eat during the super bowl festivities.

Here are some of the best restaurants and coffee shops that you will enjoy while you are here during the Super Bowl.

These restaurants and coffee shops make this list because they are houston based and some have a strong social media presence.

ToutSuite

ToutSuite opened in 2011 with the intention of changing the east side of downtown houston.

They are located at 2001 Commerce St. near Minute Maid Park.

The company was founded by Sandy Tran and Thuy-My Luong.

ToutSuite has one of the best selections for coffee and food items.

What is truly cool about them is that they are consistently busy because most of their customers are college students who are doing their homework or studying.

Another aspect that makes them very unique is the way how they engage their audience on social media.

Their social media team consist of Roshan Bhatt, marketing coordinator and the company’s co-owner.

When I tell you that their social media is excellent, I mean it.

Each of their content on Instagram averages 400 likes and people always leave a comment.

The key driver as to why they are always getting engagement from their fans is because they consistently posts their content everyday.

Take a look at this post:

And this post here:

Though the co-owners had no intention of expanding their business, they opened a second location at 303 Memorial City because of a need to bring a coffee shop there.

And they are planning to add a co-working space to their company because they see a need for small business owners to collaborate on work related projects.

If you have the opportunity, you should visit ToutSuite.

806 Main Kitchen

This restaurant is located inside the J.W. Marriot Downtown, which opened in 2014.

The hotel occupies the historic “Carter Building,” Houston’s first skyscraper which was built in 1910.

806 Main Kitchen has a variety of food items that represents the city of Houston.

The interesting thing is that most of their customers are business professionals who work in downtown houston.

The chefs get the orders finished in a timely manner that makes it easy for the workers to enjoy their lunch hour and recharge before they go back to work.

So when you walk inside during the busy lunch hour, you will see a lot of business professionals enjoying their break time from the daily stress of working for oil and gas companies.

The only thing I would advise is to find out from the staff if the Main Kitchen will be open to anyone due to the Super Bowl festivities.

Zabak’s Mediterranean Cafe

Zabak’s Cafe has been in business since 2006.

They are located at 5901 Westheimer Road near the Galleria Mall.

The company has one of the best mediterranean foods in Houston.

What I love about this restaurant is that the ownership take care of their employees and they treasure their customers.

And their story is unique as well.

The owner’s parents immigrated to the Houston area from the Middle East and opened a restaurant that catered to other immigrants.

They have been featured in the Houston Chronicle and made Travel and Leisure’s Best Sandwiches List.

When you walk inside Zabak’s restaurant, you will sense a welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel more relaxed.

And they have no intention of expanding because they believe that they are in the right location to be extremely successful with their business.

It takes about an hour to get to their location via the Houston Metropolitan Bus 82 Route.

However, the travel will be worth it because you will enjoy their mediterranean food.

If you are staying in the Galleria area, you should stop by Zabak’s Mediterranean Cafe.

And if you need to know where else to go around downtown during the Super Bowl, you should check out,
downtownhoustonlive.com, a video guide created by Annette McBride and Laura Lea Waldusky to give visitors a video tour of what to do while they are here for the super bowl.

Did I miss any restaurants and coffee shops in this article?

What are your favorite places to eat and drink while you are in Houston?

You can leave your comment below

Tamara Thompson: Founder of Serious Take Productions

By Cheval John

Downtown Houston, Courtesy of Vallano Media, LLC


Tamara Thompson is the founder of Serious Take Productions, a company that helps entrepreneurs how to share about their business through storytelling.

Normally when a person wants to be an entrepreneur, most family members and close friends will talk them out of it.

They would tell the person, “be realistic, find a 9-5 work that will give you a stable pay check.

Tamara’s family told her the opposite and let her know that she could make a career as a film maker.

Tamara thought that she could not make a career in film making and went into the traditional working world.

However, she understood that she could make a living as a filmmaker and her company is now making 6-figure income.

In this episode, you will hear:

What led Tamara to focus on her true calling as a film maker

The lesson she learned after her major client went in a different direction that caused Tamara to lose a major source of income in the early stages of her company

How she did not allow obstacles stop her from completing her first major documentary that led to the growth of her business

Website:www.serioustakeproductions.com

Facebook:www.facebook.com/serioustakeproductions

Who would you like to be a guest on What’s The Word?

You can leave your comment below