Introduction from VetDojo and a brief history of my livestreaming
Note that this is a very old photo! I have lots of grey hair and a little bit less of it. This is my first experience writing a blog but I thought I would have a crack. I can’t say I have ever even read a blog, so I am reinventing the wheel.
Anyway, I will tell you a little about myself. I am a techno-geek. I love surgery and I also love teaching. This e-learning platform is a perfect way to combine all three!
I have always been interested in combining technology and teaching. When I was in practice in Northern Virginia where I started a specialty surgery practice, I bought a digital camera back in 1998 and started taking photos of my surgeries. I bought a high-end photo printer (for that time) and would print surgery photos on every patient and mail them to the primary care (referring) vet. They loved it and I was hooked. That was back before I was regularly using email, so snail mail was the way to go.
About 10 years ago, I started emailing surgery photos to referring vets, but I did not think that it got the traction that sending actual photos did. Anyway, about that time, I started doing some video – I would recored bits of a surgery, go back and edit it into a short 5-7 minute video and do voice-over. I started a youtube channel about 9 years ago and started uploading video. I always wanted to live-stream, but the technology was not really up to the task at the time. Our broadband speed was too slow, particularly for uploading. Also, at the time, I did not have a convenient way to broadcast it live to a large audience. I tried goto-meeting but the free version only allowed 40 viewers and it was clunky to invite people and everyone had to download the app. We did not have sound, so I had a nurse typing what I dictated during surgery. Sarah H. was typing for me during a spinal surgery and I dictated “we have just removed a large disc from the spinal canal” and what she typed was that “we had just removed a large dick from the spinal canal. There had to be a better way.
I started a youtube channel which was a great avenue for publishing my prerecorded video, but still nothing live. About 18 months ago, I discovered live-streaming. I think I needed 1000 subscribers to be allowed to live stream, which I had easily (I think we were up to 4500).
In order to get the video output from a camera on to a live stream, you need a capture device. There are cheaper units out there, but at the time, of course I had to buy the most expensive. I got a Roland studio live-switcher which allowed me to mix 4 HDMI inputs as well as sound, and I could do picture in picture, split screens. I was in heaven. I could broadcast the close-up of the surgery, the wide angle of the room, the CT scan and a scope all at the same time!! Plus I could wear a lapel microphone which made the sound capture much better.
So, we are now up to 16,000 subscribers (I think I would be called an influencer now) in a very limited market. We have had 2.2 million views and counting. I love live-streaming. I really enjoy seeing the same names on the chat and the banter we get back and forth during the stream. I finally got James on board and he has caught the bug as well. Anyway, if you have any comments or suggestions, let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel (SouthpawsVet) and make sure you turn on notifications so you will get a ding on your phone when we live stream!