Home > Facebook, LinkedIn, Video > Ustream and Facebook and LinkedIn, Oh My!

Ustream and Facebook and LinkedIn, Oh My!

Streaming video from adoption ceremony helped build awareness about important issue.

Imagine if Dorothy and the gang would have had social media. Instead of lions and tigers and bears, it might have been Ustream and Facebook and LinkedIn. Oh, my! Here are some of my recent experiences while skipping down the yellow brick road of social media.


Yesterday morning, my Communications teammates at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services and I streamed live video from the third-annual “mass adoption” ceremony in Probate Court. Five families adopted children from the child protection system in a moving event held to build awareness about the need for adoptive parents. Although my employer recruits more than 100 adoptive families each year, the need never goes away. About 200 kids — mostly school-aged youngsters in sibling sets — await adoptive families as this is being written.

I’ve really appreciated watching live streams from Cincinnati Social Media, New Media Cincinnati and other events — on those occasions when I can’t attend. I’ve brought up the idea of us streaming from happenings such as the mass adoption to get more value out of them. My boss, Brian Gregg, thought this was a good idea. Penny Hedrick, a video expert, set to work on the AV end. And John Cummings of Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment, a former radio guy, got ready to do on-air talent work. Meanwhile, Communications teammate Laura Van Houten and administrative assistant Kathy Pflum agreed to monitor the online stream back at the office. I served as laptop techie, working Ustream, Twitter and Facebook.

Well, it was an adventure, to say the least. Kevin Dugan, Mr. Social Media in Cincinnati, warned me at the most-recent PRSA meeting to test the AV. I know from watching that Ustream almost always blips off during a stream. We had tested the laptop, wireless card, camera… in advance. Penny made several trips to the courtroom to do test streams.

Still, we encountered technical difficulties — probably indicating we needed a more stout Internet connection and a more beefed-up laptop. Also, more experience by the Ustream operator (which will come in time) would have helped. What happened was that I stopped the stream during “dead air” time. When I hit the “stream” and “record” buttons to restart the broadcast, only “stream” worked. Record was grayed out. Then, after two of the five adoptions had taken place, I clicked on the Facebook tool in Ustream and the stream stopped.  Ustream would blip off in a split second every time I hit “stream.” We couldn’t get it to work until John was doing the recap.

Despite these glitches, we consider the first-time try worthwhile. About 25 people got a chance to view the first two adoptions. One viewer commented on Twitter that he clapped along with the audience! Another, a former social worker with our agency, offered praise for the fine work our Adoptions staff is doing. Side note: I sent a photo to Twitter using TwitPic on my BlackBerry — and it got more than 50 views.

Bottom line: We built awareness about an important issue, even though we were basically doing a test-run.

Here’s a little tale about Facebook. Less than three weeks ago, I started a Facebook page for my place of worship — New Thought Unity Center in Cincinnati. I put on a logo, basic information, video clips and photos from services. I invited members of the congregation who also are Facebook friends.

Already, we have more than 160 fans!

One person, who attended Unity years ago, said the Facebook updates are prompting her to return. Another said it makes her feel great to see a Unity update in her Facebook stream. People are commenting and giving thumbs-up.

One point: I’ve had to educate people on our volunteer marketing committee that a Facebook fan page isn’t like a Web site home page. Rarely do people come to a fan page. Instead, people see updates in their Facebook streams. You need to do daily, in my opinion, updates. Space them out —  morning, afternoon, evening. Do one at a time. Don’t do six or seven (as one administrator did) at once, or people will hide your posts or unfollow.

Finally, as we near a return to Kansas, here’s a note about LinkedIn. I learned about the power of LinkedIn groups recently by posting a link to this blog on PR-related groups. I shared my notes from the PRSA Media Day — the previous two posts.

Wow! The posts got 10 times more visits than the average for this blog.

A point to make: I shared something that I thought viewers would appreciate and benefit from — not some spam about an unrelated event. Unfortunately, most of the shares I get on LinkedIn discussion and news feeds are from people promoting something unrelated to the group’s mission.

Hope you found these experiences helpful. I’m off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of… social media?

  1. November 25, 2009 at 11:59 am

    What a fantastic post! I certainly understand your frustrations with the technology not working when you need it to.

    I think wonderful, wonderful idea to stream events like this. The word about adoptions needs to be sung as loud and clear and often as possible. And utilizing social media is probably one of the most cost effective, affordable and far-reaching ways to do it.

    It sounds like you have a great support system to help with that. You are fortunate.

    I look forward to hearing more!


    • mikeboehmer57
      November 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks, Vickie. We’re already excited about trying this again to further some important cause! I’ll keep you posted.

  2. November 26, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Great post Mike! I particularly liked your insightful comments on using Facebook fan pages. Over-posters get hidden, under-posters get forgotten,…

    • mikeboehmer57
      November 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Jeanne! It’s both an art and a science, I think. You don’t want to bury your target audience with information. You want to feed enough to satisfy its hunger–and entice it to engage in meaningful dialogue. By the way: Congrats again on your new job. You’re going to do a great job with social media.

  3. November 26, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Couldn’t agree more with your observation about a FB fan (or cause) page not competing with your website. These should complement one another and play off each other’s strengths.

    When you share content across several social media platforms — FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al –you are significantly increasing the chances for online exposure and, perhaps, finding new sources of support.

    • mikeboehmer57
      November 26, 2009 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Paul. As you mention, it’s important to integrate the various social media platforms into your strategic communication efforts. This will help you achieve the objectives and goals that you’ve set for your overall communication plan. I’m glad the Freedom Center taps the power of social media. It’s such an amazing place!

  4. November 27, 2009 at 11:13 am


    When I found out you were doing this, I was so inspired. What a great way to use social media for good and to share good news!

    Your post led me to reflect on my own experiences.

    I am grateful for those environments I’ve been in that have allowed for experimentation. Much of who I am and what I’ve done in social media has been highly experimental.

    I started recording audio with my iRiver at New Media Cincinnati… just to see if it could be done and as a way to help people get to know one another. I started using UStream.tv at events… just to see if it could be done and as a way to provide better, curated content from events. I started holding a monthly planning call as an experiment in helping set expectations and learn more how to improve.

    I don’t consider myself an expert. I’m more of an experiment.

    • mikeboehmer57
      November 27, 2009 at 11:50 am

      Thanks, Daniel. I get lots of my ideas from watching you innovate!

  5. November 27, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I, too, have found some great success through sharing information via LinkedIn, with the appropriate groups and connections.

    I am still working on my first Facebook page, and I’m encouraged by the results you’ve found there.

  6. michellebeckham
    June 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Great post Mike. I always appreciate your insight and use of social media in your personal world, i.e. your faith community. Thanks for sharing!

    • mikeboehmer57
      June 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

      Thanks, Michelle. I’m glad you find this helpful. Social medial has made a big difference in my world, that’s for sure.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: