- Project Portfolio
- About Us
- Connect With Us
- Contact Us
Some ideas have the potential to take you far or take you down.
My fingers are crossed for BIORadio to take us to the upside.
I'm at the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual convention and exhibition being held this year in Washington, DC. Genome Alberta is part of the BioAlberta contingent and we're all part of the Canadian Pavilion.
I'll attend some of the session, do some booth duty, take pictures, and write some blog posts. Thanks to some help from Gayle Kangsagor who is doing some of the media wrangling for BIO I also have a media pass. With my 3 hats as exhibitor, official blogger, and electronic media I'm in a good position to offer up a unique view of BIO and really soak up some good information.
Rather than the usual collection of posts, tweets, and networking across the exhibitors I decided a good way to capture information and meet people this year was to record some interviews and post some good audio. with software and a new Snowball mic I felt ambitious and ran the idea of not just recording, but doing some live audio streaming, past a few people, including journalists.
Great idea they said, technically feasible, and BIORadio started to take shape. 3 hours live from the Canada Cafe from the 28th to the 30th.
I searched around for the best way to do streaming audio and quite frankly found a lot of junk initially. My first searches turned up more paid ads than real information and social media had surprisingly little to offer. After 140 characters it seems a lot of self-styled citizen journalists run out of steam. I eventually came across a Canadian company called NetroMedia, based in Vancouver that could do the job. Started by a 19 year old a few years ago it is not one of the free services, but my take on audio streaming is you get what you pay for.
Flash encoder installed, player on the home page, tests done and BIORadio looked like a go.
Then much to my surprise a major hurdle popped up from the exhibit floor where I am going to be 'broadcasting'. The exhibitors do not have access to free WiFi. In 2011 the Washington Convention Center does not have WiFi and when I checked into prices it appears it is all about dollars and cents. In a wired world WiFi is a cash cow squirting change into someone's money jars. Not unique to the Center and I've seen it in similar situations around North America but at a major convention of high tech people in a major world capital it isn't what you should expect or accept.
We worked out a good (but not free) deal with Rogers Canada for a roaming data package on a rocket stick and BIOTECanada helped secure a wired Internet connection for backup and BIORadio is back in business.
It still hasn't gone to air but the idea seems to have a life of its own now and the discussions continued and raised another question.
This is an annual convention and BIORadio will have a niche audience not glued to their PCs or laptops. Whether it is broadcast media, social media or the web - know thy audience.
My low tech, low cost, low maintenance, low bandwidth BIORadio was not going to stream on a mobile device.
NetroMedia had an answer ( not free, but reasonable ) and by the end of the day on Friday has built a custom player that will work across devices. I checked it on y Blackberry and the player looked good and I sat down Friday night, opened the zipped file and prepared to add it to our site.
It is now Monday morning and it still isn't embedded. Multiplatform streaming is not a tech slam dunk and the time zones are working against me, Genome Alberta is a small not-for-profit and BIORadio is a one time communications tool so 24 hour, 7 day a week technical support is not realistic. I promised I would go to air on Tuesday but that today (Monday) I would try to do some preview audio. I'm working in the Eastern time zone, all my support is on Pacific time.
I'll just have a coffee, upload some pictures from last night, and wait for the West Coast tekkies to wake up and get some caffeine into their system as they open their Inboxes to see my list of questions and pleas.
Stay tuned for BIORadio .....