Tag Archives: video chat

Are You Ready to Blab?

By Chantal Bechervaise

Were you ever called a blabbermouth as a kid? I admit to being called a blabbermouth a couple of times as I have a tendency to talk a lot. That may come in handy now with an increasingly popular video chat service called Blab. Blab is a live-streaming app which allows up to four people to chat simultaneously as an audience watches. Observers can leave comments, register likes, and even switch places with one of the four video chatters if invited by the host.

One of the attractions of Blab is that it’s very simple to use. Here’s how it works:

First go to Blab.im, click on ‘Start a new blab’ and create a description for what you would like to talk about. You can select up to three tags to help people find your chat and decide if you want the chat to go live now or sometime in the future.

You will then be provided with a link that you can share with others to invite them to your chat. When people click on the link they can then choose to ‘subscribe’ to the chat, which means they’ll get a notification once it starts.

You can also record your chats by clicking on the record button that will appear in the top left of your Blab screen. Once you click the record button, you will be provided with an embed link which you can use to share your chat via email, your blog or various social media platforms.

If you are the chat host, you can allow others to join your chat. (You need at least one other person for the conversation to begin.) As host, you can also:

  • Accept people into the chat. People can request to join the chat but you must accept them before they can participate.
  • Block off seats so others can’t join the chat. This is useful if you are conducting an interview and only want to include specific people.
  • Ban people. Banned people will still be able to listen to your chat but they won’t be able to interact with you or any other participants.
  • Mute yourself or others on the chat. Mute can be useful if there is a lot of background noise.
  • Change the topic. The host can change the chat topic by clicking on the edit icon at the top right of the Blab screen. It can also be changed by entering “/topic” into the comments box followed by the new name for the chat. Conversations can go off on a tangent quite easily, so it’s important to keep the listeners up-to-date on the current topic.

Joining someone else’s Blab chat

If you receive a link to a Blab or see one on social media, you can click on the link to join in or, if it hasn’t started yet, hit the subscribe button to get a notification when the chat goes live.

You can also go to Blab.im and search for chats that are currently taking place or are scheduled for a future date. Just click on one or more tags on the left side of the screen to see all the live and scheduled chats in those categories.

In many ways, Blab is easier to use than Google Hangouts and is a lot more fun! It can be used as a way for people to get together and debate current topics and events, have short meetings with remote workers, or to collaborate on a group project, and I have already seen people using it for live weekly talk shows.

Want to see Blab in action? Check out the VZWBuzz Recap, which took place on Wednesday, September 3.

CBechervaise67Chantal is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She is passionate about everything related to the World of Work: Leadership, HR, Social Media and Technology. You can read more from Chantal at her TakeItPersonelly blog or follow her on Twitter @CBechervaise.

5 Reasons Why You Should Video Chat This Holiday Season

Let’s face it – most people over the age of 25 don’t like to video chat. Either they remember those early Skype experiments, where the call kept getting disconnected, or they just don’t like the idea of appearing on camera without a full night’s sleep and a couple of hours with their very own hair and make-up department.

But video chat has changed. It’s become so reliable and convenient that millions of people are seamlessly switching between regular voice chats and video chats without batting an eyelid. In fact, with short-form video apps like Vine, Keek and Snapchat, the lines between “normal” chat and video chat are already blurred for much of the younger generation.

With the Holiday season already upon us, it’s the perfect time for the rest of us to give video chat another try. Here are a few more reasons why:

Video chat is more personal

There is no better feeling than being up close and personal with loved ones the Holidays – and if you can’t be together in person, video chat is the next best thing. Show grandma how tall the kids are, or let your sister see how great that sweater looks. Sure, you can always chat on the phone but video chat is much more personal.

Video chat is free

Video chat apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, Tango and ooVoo are completely free, and some of them allow multiple parties to join a call for group video chats. If you’re using a mobile device, be sure to use your home Wi-Fi instead of your cellular network – that way it’s not eating into your data allowance either.

You can chat from anywhere

The overwhelming majority of video apps are built or customized for mobile devices, so you are not tied to your computer or laptop. Let your kids take grandpa on a tour of the house or show friends how good the Christmas tree looks. The front-facing cameras on most tablets and smartphones are ideal for video chat; as long as you stay within range of your Wi-Fi or cellular network, you can take your chat anywhere!

Video quality has improved dramatically

Those interrupted calls and fuzzy images are now a thing of the past. Smarter apps, super-fast networks and HD screens have all combined to make the video chat experience seamless and crystal clear. With mobile devices, we no longer have to worry about flaky webcams that only work when they feel like it. And if you’re worried about those Amoled screens showing a little too much of your early morning face, then you can always appoint yourself Director of Video Chat and carefully point the camera elsewhere!

Video chat is fun!

And the final reason to video chat? It’s just more fun! Your kids love video because it allows them to be clever, funny, serious and goofy all at the same time. Take a leaf out of their book this Holiday season: pick up your phone, throw caution to the wind, and join the video chat party!