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Michael Sorg

Michael Sorg

Helping people tell their story.Podcasting guru that's hard at work building a little empire in my corner of the 'net with Sorgatron Media. Videographer that loves shooting for regional professional wrestling outfits, high school football, web series and documentaries.Video editor that's worked on safety training, promotional materials, and web content for over a decade.Social Media worker that's helping local companies get their message and vibe out there.

 

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The Musings of Michael Sorg

Taking 360 video to scary levels.  

Taking 360 video to scary levels.  

From the Sorgatron Media Creators Newsletter List for October 27, 2016.  You can Subscribe to it here or read the archive.

Recently The Scarehouse released a 360 video we were experimenting with. This was one of a long line of uses for the new technology, in this case, we had on hand the Samsung Gear 360 and Ricoh Theta.

The first issue that we had was lighting.  The room was rather dark.  Hey, it’s a haunted house. Working with the staff, we determined a pretty nice lighting that came up from below the camera in the middle of the Room of Doors, lighting the subjects with a chilling effect.

After determining the sequence, we ran through with each camera a couple of times.  The Ricoh Theta won out with lighting, and ability to edit.  (Samsung gets funny when you don’t have the software installed, and there are no Mac options as of the time).  We added logos to cover up the tripod and to fade in to finish it off.

While I have some issues with some of the video quality with the hardware we used, one has to remember these videos are typically being seen in the stream on Facebook or on smartphones rather than an Oculus Rift or full screen, making the low end perfect for these scenarios.

What do you think of our scary 360?  Check out the Facebook or the Youtube version! (You can use Google Cardboard with your Youtube app!)

October 27, 20160 commentsRead More
Ride the Facebook Wave 

Ride the Facebook Wave 

From the Sorgatron Media Creators Newsletter List for October 14, 2016.  You can Subscribe to it here or read the archive.

Last week, we talked about how one company was using Facebook Live around an event to create some engagement and serve their customers.  This week, I wanted to talk a little about considering the platform over YouTube Live.

When YouTube Live became available to the masses, it was a chance for all of us to tap into YouTube’s crazy massive audience directly.

But then Facebook did video.

When video came to the blue brand, it was clear using it to post your videos gave you a little bit of a boost, since Facebook wanted everyone to see more videos.  We’ve seen an exponential growth in Wrestling Mayhem Show’s likes and views since starting the strategy.  Facebook Live is seeing the same trend.

Right now, if you use systems like OBS or Wirecast, you can tap into Facebook for live content just as easily (ok, you may want to learn what a stream key if you haven’t yet).  In recent weeks, we’ve moved our Wrestling Mayhem Show and AwesomeCast live streams over.  The untreated, lower resolution streams of our raw interviews with pro wrestler Britt Baker or WMS episode with announcer Burt LeGrande are now trending higher than their fully edited and cleaned counterparts.

This won’t last.  Something else will be not he crest of Facebook’s new feature wave you’ll have to take advantage of, but maybe it’s time to give the Facebook Live a spin and see how far it goes.

October 14, 20160 commentsRead More
How Facebook Live Saved The Day

How Facebook Live Saved The Day

From the Sorgatron Media Creators Newsletter List for October 6, 2016.  You can Subscribe to it here or read the archive.
These days, we have so many tools for communication and broadcasting.  Utilizing them is a challenge.

This week, we endeavored to use Facebook Live for a client to cover the in office going ons during their biggest day: Registration.  In this instance, for events that span March through June in 2017, most sell out within the first hour, if not minutes, from going online.  This is day where their servers get taxed to the point of shut down because the flux like a late night Apple iPhone pre-order.

The first day: We had a good number of live viewers for the Aero competition.  Students were interacting, sharing what was and wasn’t working on the registration page, and and even touch base to confirm their registration since they couldn’t see the list with the slammed servers.

Day two was a little different.  We started having web site problems a whole hour before registration even opened. An odd event that early.  In the end, there was a major server issue and the registration didn’t happen.  With over 500 streamers watching, we were able to have a dialog with the waiting signups to explain the situation, and let them in on the ride as decisions were being made as to what would happen next. The responses were overwhelmingly positive.  Even more so than the day before when things were working (if slowly).  After, we considered what the response could have been if we weren’t talking directly with all of those people out there left with a 404 page.

Day three was smooth.  And quick. The first of two events usually sells out quickly.  We were able to capture that happen with a smashing record of just over 2 minutes for 120 teams to be signed up.  An exciting way to end the week’s signups.

In the end, the staff was able to have unprecedented communication during the most tense time of their entire season.

You can find the results and interaction yourself by following the pages here, here, and here.

October 6, 20160 commentsRead More
Get the Podcast Out There. Live. In Person

Get the Podcast Out There. Live. In Person

From the Sorgatron Media Creators Newsletter List for September 29, 2016.  You can Subscribe to it here or read the archive.

img_0161This week, AwesomeCast is hitting the road to join some fellow casters with the Millvale Podcrawl.  This is an event put together by our friends at The River’s Edge in celebration of International Podcast Day.

A live Podcast?  Why would you want to attend that?  It seems almost counter intuitive at first. We create these Podcasts that we intend to talk to the entire world, but then have these Podcast events in our back yards. But with many of the shows showcased, Ya Jagoff, Drinking Partners, and our host’s run of shows, are fairly localized.

If you have that luck that you have a local fan base, these shows can be a nice chance to build your audience stronger.  Remember, if you even have a small handful of people listening to their show, that’s some dedication. Maybe they’re already friends.  Maybe they stumbled on you. It means something to be able to connect.  Or you can look at it as a way to find a new audience.  Even our friend Buzzy Torek from Epicast Network recently talked about holding events with their personalities and comedians that would trick people into attending Podcast recordings live.  YaJagoff (pictured with Mayor Bill Peduto) does a great job of getting out there on Light Up Night with a big banner at Fifth Avenue Place and special events with fans and sponsors for their Summer Porch Tour.  It’s a little more than just booking a venue and hoping your listeners show up sometimes.

But you also have to be careful.  Sometimes a live podcast can be disruptive to your audience.  If you are trying to do an episode of your show, it may come off with an entirely different vibe, or may not be the same audio quality.  Some shows lean into it and completely change the format.  So judge your audience and take your shots lightly.  And make sure that audio holds up above all else!

How will we fair?  What cone of beer related tech will AwesomeCast discuss as Doug Derda of Should I Drink That joins our panel?  Drop in and find out!

September 29, 20160 commentsRead More
Double Ender Podcasting That Isn’t Scary.  

Double Ender Podcasting That Isn’t Scary.  

From the Sorgatron Media Creators Newsletter List for September 22, 2016.  You can Subscribe to it here or read the archive

A few months ago, we were looking for a light weight solution for remote recording some team members for a certain collegiate competition Podcast. One of the members brought up a program called Zencastr.

For those newer, let’s look at what a “double ender” Podcast is.  A lot of Podcasters have a need to use Skype or Google Hangout to connect with cohosts or guests across the country (world?). This is a great solution, but those that have heard some of these shows, or used the voice over internet services know there are some quality issues sometimes.  In the double ender, you actual record on both sides of the call locally.  You end up with separate tracks with each of the hosts recorded.  You then sync that track and have a much cleaner show than if you just recorded on one side.  (Disclaimer: I absolutely don’t do this in many of my main shows for configuration reasons)

What Zencastr does is make this simpler. Instead of a higher learning curve and making sure people on both sides of the internet know what they’re doing, and some of the audio drift issues you see from using different kinds of computers, recording software, etc, it is an online site that handles it.  As you record, you are able to chat with a simple interface and when finished, each person’s track is uploaded to the service for you to grab and edit later.

This has served not only my clients, but helped save Does This Hold Up as their hosts were suddenly split several state away from each other.

The service IS in beta, and you can get a few hiccups here and there (files don’t show up right away, disappear if you drop calls, etc) but everything has it’s faults and this seems to be a nice place to start your Podcast with as good of quality as each of its hosts can muster.

September 22, 20160 commentsRead More
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