blab

Chances are, if you like to interact online, and through social media, you’ve taken a good look at the new platform Blab.im.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Blab, it is live video chat, that also allows for text dialogue to have various conversations simultaneously.

You can also follow users on Blab, like you do on Periscope, Twitter or any other platform.

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Blab identifies itself as “a place to watch, join, and interact with live conversations about the topics that matter most to you.”

Blab is also integrated with twitter, and you can find topics by searching for hashtags.

If you have participated in any of the discussions, you know that Blab is a useful tool for exchanging thoughts and information, as well as networking.

I like to think of Blabs as webinars on steroids.  You can have more interaction with a main speaker or speakers, and if you feel so bold, you can pop in with your webcam and engage via livestream.

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Here’s a look at a few Blab screenshots.

Now I have not participated in these specific Blabs.  They are merely screen shots to show how the platform works.

I’ll even go one step further into my disclaimer, that what I’m about to say about these Blab screen grabs, has nothing to do with the content, knowledge, or expertise of these fine Blabbers.   I would imagine they all excel in their field.

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Do I love Blab?

I want to.  I really do.

I’ve heard some amazing content on there, and learned some incredible things about social media, marketing, PR, and other topics.

But that nagging TV guy in me can’t help but focus on the lack of aesthetics.

I get it.  We want things immediate, raw, and making an impact.   But I can’t deal with figures in the dark, with bad mics, and dangling wires.

Most importantly, the backdrops.  Sometimes it’s your cubicle, home office, or maybe you even have a desk set up that might give us a glimpse of what’s in the fridge.

Just last week, I watched a Blab from someone’s bedroom.  This might just be my demented mind, but I don’t want to see where you sleep, or give it a second thought about what else you do in that bed.

So does Blab have to look professional?  Of course not.

Can it look better?  Absolutely.

If you take your craft seriously, and you really want to market your brand, here are four tools that can really make you look like a digital broadcasting professional.

**Another disclaimer – I absolutely have no financial benefit in any of the products mentioned – they are all highly rated products that fit in my so-called Super Kit.

Lights, Camera, Action

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For a mere $43 plus shipping on Amazon.com, you can give yourself this Neewer lighting kit.  Why?  So people can see you!  You probably don’t even need to use all three lights!  If you shop around, you might be able to get away with buying just one light, or maybe two.

I don’t know if it’s intentional, but I never understand why people go live with a webcam, while stuck in the dark?

The other day, I watched a Blab, where one of the guest speakers had an unfortunate sun spot on her face the entire time.   The sun had just moved into a place where this ray of light was crashing through the window, and splashing her face.

The sun blinded her and washed out the picture for the entire Blab session.

This kit provides evenly distributed lighting towards your face, so people can see you, while you communicate with them.

Cord Cutting

I’m trying to take you seriously, and I’m really into your message, but I just can’t help thinking that you’re just another jogger or teen with those ear buds dangling from your head.

This is really shallow of me, but it’s so tacky!

The solution is really simple: Wireless ear buds.

Again, here on Amazon.com is the Axgio wireless ear bud.

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For a mere $17, you can wear essentially the same thing news reporters wear (and most of the time, they aren’t wireless – they are just good at hiding it.)

There are some varying brands on Amazon.com that have one earpiece or two.

You can cut the ear buds, or the clunky Beats by Dre headphones, and look presentable.

Mic Check

No ear buds?   No problem!

How can I talk?

Very simple.

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With this wonderful lav mic that plugs into your phone.  You can clip it nicely to your shirt or collar, and run the mic inside your shirt.

No more echo for those not using mics, and no more wires for those who do.

It’s just pure, crisp, clean audio!

I am seeing more and more people buying nicer mic stations for their work desks.  This is great if you broadcast and livestream from the same spot every time.

But a lot of the influencers out there are well-traveled speakers who are livestreaming on the run.  They might be in their hotel room, at the airport, or a borrowed conference room or cubicle.

You can’t Blab on the go with bulky equipment.

This beauty is also on Amazon.com and is $24.

Crossing Lines

This fourth tool really brings together the second and third.

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One tiny $7 gadget is all you need, to make the audio in and audio out work in harmony.

This Startech adapter is one of many on Amazon.com.

This little piece got a lot of great reviews.  You might also be able to find a similar adapter, with the same functionality, at a better price.

I know, I promised four tools, and so far totaling less than $100 dollars, you are broadcasting cleanly, with nice sound quality and studio-style lighting.

Stream and Repeat

This bonus tool is for the person who typically broadcasts from the same place every time.

While portable, I don’t know that I’d want to roll around with this backdrop, even rolled up in a tube.

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eBay seller “SuperCheapBanner” sells 4′ x 8′ step and repeat banners.

These are the banners hanging above Hollywood red carpets at movie premieres, capturing the logo of the movie, and production company, and major sponsor.

At this price, you can customize your banner with your website, social media handles, name, or logos of your sponsors.

This really gives you that professional look that you deserve.

$44 is a bargain to always have consistent brand messaging behind you.

$150 Super Kit

Running a business isn’t cheap, but you can cut down on high production costs with this super kit assembled piece by piece.

Your livestreams will look like top quality and match your insight that you promote to peers, customers, or industry insiders.

If you also Periscope, or make videos for YouTube or your website, this kit is perfect to keep a similar look throughout all of your live and live to web production.

Having a polished look isn’t mandatory, but for such a small price, can you really afford to live without it?

Be the one person in that quad box that looks like they are on top of their game.

I’m confident this kit will help you!