After the Olympics

What next?

By the end of September “London 2012”, by which I mean the Olympics / Paralympics / Cultural Olympiad and all that good stuff that has so dominated the UK and London in particular over the summer will be a fading memory. It has been an amazing and emotional summer of sport, theatre and music that, much to the pleasant surprise of most Brits (and, it has to be said, against most expectations),  seems to have gone rather well!

We ourselves will be involved in the final event of the Cultural Olympiad on behalf of Peace One Day, when we live stream their concert from Wembley Arena on the 21 September via YouTube. This promises to reach a significantly larger audience than the concert that bookended the season back in June that we streamed live from Derry. This one features Elton John and James Morrison, along with Two Cellos and Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law.  If you can’t be there in person – I think tickets are still available – then do watch at http://www.youtube.com/peaceoneday

But then the evenings will be getting darker… London will get colder and gloomier as winter approaches… oh no! But its not all doom and gloom; one bright event that I can recommend any business owner, current or aspiring, to attend takes place on Saturday 6 October is “Become a Key Person of Influence – 8 hour Brand Accelerator”
This event will assemble an all-star cast of high performing business leaders to share with you the exact sequence to follow if you have a skill, talent or message that more people should know about. Having taken part in the “KPI Programme” myself I can highly recommend this day.

The Olympics may be over, but there is going to be plenty of inspiration available on that particular Saturday.

Experiencing YouTube LIVE!

Artists perform at the Global Truce 2012 Concert in Derry
PHOTO: Newton Faulkner at the Global Truce 2012 Concert in Derry. Inset (clockwise) Imelda May, Pixie Lott, Jude Law
Backstage at Peace One Day Concert in Derry

A couple of weeks ago we had our first experience of streaming an event using YouTube live streaming… from this portacabin in Northern Ireland!

Now you may or may not be aware that this is something that is not generally available to your average Joe webcaster! They only launched the beta platform in April last year and as they said in their blog at the time;

“Today, we’ll also start gradually rolling out our live streaming beta platform, which will allow certain YouTube partners with accounts in good standing to stream live content on YouTube. The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead.”

And they are moving towards that goal with a growing number of accounts with access to the YouTube live platform, but the perception is that to date it has been presidential addresses, state visits, major news and sporting events and the like that have benefited from live streaming on YouTube – until now that is. Such is the power of a ‘good cause’ to get things done. In this case the ‘good cause’ was Peace One Day and its founder Jeremy Gilley simply phoned up a heavy hitter he had met at Google and asked if we could use the YouTube platform to live stream the Global Truce 2012 concert from Derry. The answer (after a modestly short delay) was “yes” and so our adventure into live streaming the YouTube way began.

All in all it was a very positive experience. We were supported every step of the way by our contact David Thorpe, Senior Sales Engineer at YouTube Partnerships who introduced us to the platform and held our hand through testing, both before and during our time in Derry.

To cut a not very long story short, everything went incredibly smoothly – both at the recording end of things in the Derry drizzle and at the YouTube bits and bytes streaming end. Given the 4+ billion streams a day YouTube delivers you probably won’t be surprised at that.

The Peace Bridge, Derry

(As an aside, despite the drizzle, Derry was a real pleasure to visit; a very friendly city with an immense amount of civic pride in the on-going regeneration, a very welcoming pub in the Park Bar and a striking Peace Bridge linking the two halves of the city – well we were only there for two days so it’s not a very comprehensive list.)

I’m hoping that BeThere Global CTO Mark Buckland will be writing a more technical appraisal, but in essence The YouTube interface was reasonably straightforward to navigate and the live statistics were very satisfactory, providing a clear and constant update as to the number of viewers connected, the peak viewing numbers and the average time viewed. Particularly interesting was a graphical depiction over a timeline of how many people were connected to the different bitrates we were streaming. If anecdotal eveidence is worth anything, the viewer experience seemed to be excellent, as I received many “wow it looks/sounds good” type messages of support from friends and family. Funny how they don’t seem to show as much interest in the corporate, scientific and financial events that we normally stream as they do when it’s Pixie Lott and crew! (Another aside; if you saw the concert weren’t the Wonder Villains great?)

Performers at the Global Truce 2012 Concert in Derry
PHOTO: Derry band The Wonder Villains. Inset Jeremy Gilley, The Guillemots

Overall the concert seemed to be a great success, both for the physical and the virtual audience.

The stream was viewed in 88 different countries and in total over 6000 hours of video was streamed to an audience that peaked at 2,529. Given there were only a matter of days to promote the live stream; a pretty good result in anyone’s book.

Now YouTube, how about making your excellent service available to us permanently?

Streaming live on YouTube

The River Liffey, Dublin

As I write this we (that’s myself and fellow BeThere Global founder Mark Buckland) are on the ferry heading into Dublin and the onward drive to Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland in order to do our bit to provide a web audience for a very important and exciting concert.
On Thursday 21 June, the Peace One Day Celebration, as Part of the London 2012 Festival, will be taking place in Derry’s historic Ebrington Square. In conjunction with Peace One Day and Production Network (who are providing the cameras and vision mixing) we are delighted to add our expertise and encoding services to stream this event to a global audience.

The concert features;
PIXIE LOTT
IMELDA MAY
NEWTON FAULKNER
GUILLEMOTS
WONDER VILLAINS
and contributions From
Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley

Wherever you are in the world, join us as we open the London 2012 Festival in Derry-Londonderry and mark the 3-month countdown to Peace Day on September 21, 2012.

Watch the concert LIVE at 7.30pm BST on Thursday 21 June here: www.youtube.com/peaceoneday

Juicy webcast

Richard Reed

Hear the down to earth wisdom of Richard Reed (founder of Innocent Drinks) AND find out more about Peace One Day from founder Jeremy Gilley, in this on demand webcast we recorded in May at Innocent’s HQ “Fruit Towers”.

Top Tip: If you find yourself running out of time to watch all of it, scroll down to the last item on the agenda “Rap by George Hardwick” to get the whole 99 minutes summed up in 3!

Click here, or on the image below to go to the webcast registration page.

Click image to play

Peace One Day – Insights

Jeremy Gilley

Just over a week ago we were privileged to sponsor the recording of Peace One Day Insights at the Grange City Hotel in London.

For those that aren’t aware of Peace One Day I urge you to visit the site and read and watch all about it. Then get involved! It is the most exciting and worthwhile ‘cause’ I have come across in recent years and is starting to gain real traction, as its visionary founder Jeremy Gilley (pictured) and his team of supporters and patrons work towards institutionalising a global day of non-aggression on the 21st September every year, so that it becomes as established in the world’s calendars as Mother’s Day. Having met Jeremy for the first time, I was supremely impressed and equally moved by his energy, enthusiasm and unwavering passion for a cause he began creating fully 12 years ago. This video tells you how it all began…

The Peace One Day Insights events are specifically targeted at SMEs. This is not surprising given that SMEs account for two-thirds of all employment globally and there are over 4.5 million of them in the UK alone. Jeremy together with President of the patrons programme Steve Bolton have identified this as the ideal target audience to help them build the groundswell of activity and engagement that is needed to make this a self-sustaining day in everyone’s calendar.

Aside form Mr Gilley’s energy and dedication, the thing that struck me having attended the event and later reviewing some of our recordings, was how much synergy there was between all the speakers and the cause the event is designed to support. Sounds obvious that it should be the case, but it shows great skill and sensitivity on the part of the person who researched and developed the day’s programme and also underlines the power of a truly worthwhile cause to draw in people who are naturally aligned with its objectives.

If you would like to see the recordings we have set them up on a Vimeo channel here. As an aside, I would be interested to hear your views on Vimeo as a viewer. It is the first time we have used it to create a channel. Seems to have some good attributes, although it is somehwhat annoying that you don’t have the freedom to instantly jump up and down the timeline as you do with our CDN hosted recordings. You have to wait for the file to download before you can jump to the end. That said; don’t jump to the end! All these recordings are all well worth watching.

Watch out for more news as BeThere Global becomes more involved with Peace One Day!