Last week, my buddy Vincent Ng asked me if I wanted to join a Blab with him and Jeff Sieh. I had some vague idea that Blab was another live streaming platform like Meerkat or Periscope, but one that would allow interactive conversations and rotating guests. Cool! The topic? Using Pinterest to drive traffic to your site. I’m in!
Today was the big day. Not really sure how it would work out or if anyone would show up, I shared it beforehand on my Facebook profile. A surprising number of people seemed interested.
Blab – First Impressions
Blab works on mobile – so they say. It crashes Chrome on my iPhone 6 Plus every time. In Safari it just hangs and hangs. So, I’ll wait and see on that. My PC laptop also crashed shortly after I signed up for Blab, but that could be a coincidence (insert Mac joke here).
IT IS FANTASTIC. Easy to join with Twitter, you can schedule ahead and post your link everywhere – email it out, whatever you need to do to build some buzz and encourage people to join you. From the page you can also easily Tweet out the live Blab – it will include the Twitter handles of everyone currently on the broadcast.
Monitoring comments is a breeze. Instead of appearing (and quickly disappearing) on top of your image, there is a chat panel to the side which you can scroll through at any time. On replay, anyone can look through the comments. Love that!
You can invite people to join in, they can request to join and you approve or not. Once they’re in, anyone can mute them, and you can boot them if you need to (not that we did!).
A Google Hangouts Killer?
I kind of hope so. It’s so smooth, seamless and fast and being able to just get on from Twitter removes barriers to entry that still plague HOAs.
One thing I haven’t figured out how to do on Blab (and hey, it’s still in Beta) is to share screens. So, it may not be ideal for presentations, but it is amazing for interviews and discussions. I love the way you can include the audience, though you might find some too shy to come on camera. Big thanks to Pinterest Superstar Tina Gammon who joined under pressure.
Not Just Another Meerkat Clone
It’s early days, but I’m excited about Blab. I see major potential for content creators. Don’t like to blog? Host a blab, write up a summary and post it to your blog. Better yet, send it to your VA for transcription. You could do something similar with Meerkat and Periscope, but the platforms just seem buggy and incredibly demanding in terms of bandwidth. But, it’s the smooth audience engagement of Blab’s live streaming that really made it stand out. That and the great-sounding audio recording.
How I Plan to Use Blab
I’ve been thinking it was time to move the Superheroes of Marketing podcast to HOA. I miss being able to see the face of the guest. Blab seems like it might be even better for our podcast! I could hook everything up through our recording setup, or just grab the .mp3 that Blab sends of your audio recording. Vincent sent ours and it sounded good!!
I also plan to use this to promote our upcoming Visual Social Media Conference as well as a product that is still in development. We kept today’s Blab going for about an hour and had people cycling in and out throughout. I’d like to keep them short and hope that with a regular schedule and good promotion beforehand, a 15-30 minute broadcast might still get decent engagement.
Before you call me out for jumping on the latest bandwagon or building my brand on a site I don’t own (both bad practices, I know!), I will acknowledge that the site is new, has bugs and may not be around forever. That’s OK. It’s a tool. If it disappears tomorrow I’ve lost nothing. I go back to audio-only podcasts, or go to HOAs. I use webinars as always. No biggie. But, for now, this is looking promising.
Do you Blab? What potential do you see? Or maybe you think it’s another social media flavor of the week? Let me know!