LOLA Festival 2009

So LOLA is over, I’m kinda missing the chaos already, much like what happens on the ride home from any PodCamp! It was an amazing event and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have even a small part in what went on. If you didn’t know I was brought in to be part of the social media and apps (applications) team. We set up some social media technologies to promote the festival as well as ways that festival goers can manage information during the festival. We custom built some simple dynamic pages that would give you information on each band or art piece as well as find out times for events such as texting, or scanning a QR code, to find out what band is on stage and which is coming up next.We also ran a livestream for the duration on the festival so that people who couldn’t be in the park could watch. That leads me to the reason I sat down to write this post. I wanted to put a few points about LiveStream out there so that they can perhaps improve and you can learn a bit about them.LOLA Digital SignFirst point, and this is a HUGE one, is their customer support is non existent. We were trying to do something innovative, never been done before, and “we” (read: Justin) had to do some much hacking to get it to work with NO response from them. We were making a flex based (Adobe Air) desktop app that would pull bio data from a database, a ticker from a Twitter feed, and show what is currently on the live stream. Their API seamed to allow this but we couldn’t get it to work. We got one response from their customer service that was no help and no response to follow up requests. We finally did get it working after Justin spent most of the night before the festival working around their security. It worked and looked awesome!The other issues are more specific to the way the streaming works and if they made improvements it would be, for applications like this, a far more valuable service.I’d love to be able to select an audio feed to stay on while I switch cameras. We had a main “camera” set up that got a feed from the professional video crew that were doing the on stage projections, as well as an audio feed from the sound board. Obviously both were amazing quality but I’d love to had the capability to switch to a Qik camera that were in the crowd with out losing the board audio. Right now it’s either all or nothing, the audio and video feeds are tied together which is less then ideal.The other big problem I found was that I couldn’t tell one Qik camera from another. They all show up as “lolafest camera [qik]” which makes it extremely difficult to pull up the right camera where there is more then a couple and you just sent someone out to get a certain shot. Displaying the cameras Qik account would be a big help.Other then that I have to say that I feel my part of the festival was a success. We had our problems, like I said some of this stuff had never been done before and we only had a few days to get the real nuts and bolt of it put together.