“What the heck is Blab?” a friend asked me the other day when I told him I was on Blab three times a week. Well, Blab is a rather appropriate name for a live-stream video social sharing platform where people sit around projecting their video image and blab. Well, they speak, share, present, and all other good things referring to communication but, when it comes down to it, yeah, they blab!
Isn’t Blab Just Like…
So he immediately asked a follow-up question, “Oh, isn’t that just like Periscope or facebook Live?” referring to two other competing live-stream platforms. Well, no, not exactly. But how to explain the difference. I was suddenly transported back to the hey-day of the Amway multi-level marketing business and remembered how many marketers with competing companies, trying to explain their own brand of MLM would say, “We’re just like Amway, only better!”
OK. JUST LIKE and ONLY BETTER… the precise definition of oxymoron, if I’m not mistaken. The same was true here… only different. Periscope and facebook Live are nothing like Blab; save for the fact they all use live steaming video. You see, Periscope and facebook Live are designed for smart phone users. You can either point your phone’s camera out at the world and broadcast what you see — kind of a news crew view of what’s going on, wobbly though it might be — or you can point the camera at yourself, typically looking up your nostrils and with a slipping-jerking background that is most likely to bring on that sea-sick feeling you might expect when bobbing in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean.
Blab, on the other hand, while supporting portable devices like tablets and smartphones, is designed for, and predominantly used by, those of us with more stable desktop computers and webcams. The result is a more professional presentation platform more like the news desk or talk show. More studio than street. And that’s not to say there isn’t a lot happening on the street that you might want to see… it’s just that whole wobbly up-the-nostril thing that is a little off-putting.
But Blab is also more social than the news desk and different than the typical talk show in that the guest (or guests/participants) don’t have to all be in the same studio and on the same sound stage. They can each be anywhere in the world they happen to be at the time. Blab provides four seats for live video participants and an unlimited number of gallery spots for onlookers. Direct participants interact with live video/voice capability and gallery onlookers can participate by typing in a live chat sidebar.
I liken Blab to a virtual coffee shop with tables, each with four chairs. It’s a virtual coffee shop with virtual chairs so the people in those chairs can be anywhere in the world as long as they have a computer, a webcam (and microphone) and an Internet connection. Then, just like people sitting around a table in a real coffee shop they can chat with each other, share information, even get a presentation from one or more of the participants.
And, just like in a real coffee shop, people come and go, dropping in to see what’s happening, and get a coffee — in the real world, not on Blab. On Blab you have to bring your own coffee! — Sometimes people standing waiting for service will over hear the conversation at your table and maybe lean in or move a little closer to hear better. They may even comment or join in the conversation. If there is an empty seat at your table you may even invite them to join you. So, too, with Blab.
If you haven’t tried Blab yet, you should check it out (https://blab.im), and you might want to check out a few presentations. I’m on regularly, three times a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:00 p.m. EDT (New York time). Drop by. Have a coffee. And say, “Hi!”