Camtweet and Twitcam: Live video on Twitter

Want to send video tweets or live video updates via twitter? Two new applications Camtweet and Twitcam may satisfy your needs.

Livestream’s Twitcam (http://twitcam.com/) makes it easy to get started by using your Twitter credentials to login. Click the “Broadcast Live” button, setup the video source (it’s a flash driven app), describe the video before broadcasting (this is your tweet announcing the video), click the “Broadcast & Tweet button”, and you’re online. Click the button again to end the video and archive it at Livestream’s site. While broadcasting you can carry on a live chat.

twitcam

Camtweet (http://camtweet.com/), in private beta at this writing, is brought to you by Justin.TV, one of the biggest players in the live streaming market. It has the same basic application screen and setup, though Camtweet allows you to adjust frame rate (up to 500kbps) and sound. Chat is also implemented in the application.

Check out the demo from TechCrunch’s Real Time CrunchUp 2009

My tests found both apps very easy to setup and use. Using a screen capture product like CamTwist for Mac as the video source, one can broadcast your desktop screen. Recently, a student asked where to find exam handouts linked to a D2L quiz. I fired up TwitCam, captured a portion of the screen (with audio instructions) showing how to get to them, and posted it as a “tweet” for any of my students to view. This is much more efficient than capturing the screen with a product like Screenflow, converting the video to a suitable resolution, uploading the file to my course site, linking the video, then announcing it via email.

Give these apps a try. These apps will find their way into my tool kit of applications for communicating with colleagues,and especially students. I think you’ll find either of them useful educational tools too.

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About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

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