Live-Streaming: What is it and why do it? | Tech, No Babel

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On today’s Tech, No Babel: Live-Streaming: What is it and why do it?

What is a live-stream

Don’t mistake live-streaming with streaming. If you want streaming video, you can get it from YouTube, Vimeo, or any number of other sources. It’s actually pretty easy. Make the video. Upload it. You’re done.

Live-streaming video is much more involved.

It also provides something that streaming doesn’t: the possibility of interactivity. This is the key point of streaming video. Even if you don’t have a live chat room, you can foster a sense of community. Just as in the old days we’d all watch a show and then talk about it the next day at work.

In some ways, a live-stream is better than television because you don’t need a certain cable package or live in a certain location to get it. A good internet connection is all that’s needed.

Why should your church use live-streaming?

Since live-streaming provides both a sense of community and access all over the world, it’s available to a lot more people. Someone who can’t get out because of illness can participate online. Someone who lives in countries where Christians are persecuted can watch in secret. People in your local area who want to sample the service to know what to expect, can participate from their own homes.

Why you shouldn’t live-stream.

There are many reasons not to, though. We’ll touch on them later, but for this episode, I want to emphasize that if your church is prone to view technology as a scape-goat for other problems, fix that attitude first. If attendance drops, don’t blame the live-stream. It might just be a convenient excuse for their exit, which had already been planned. It could be that they weren’t really all that engaged anyway.

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Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of TrinityDigitalMedia.com, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.