Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sat 2/6: The real Zak, live on your computer

I don't often have the chance to announce something really new here on the Zak Blog, but today I do. Let's start with the basics, and then I'll explain more.



Now, some details.

1. What is Ustream?
It's a live online video streaming service. Think of it like YouTube, but for live broadcasts instead of pre-recorded videos.

2. Do I need special hardware or software to see it?
Nope. If you can watch YouTube videos, you should be able to watch Ustream via your web browser.

3. Why are you doing this?
Sigh... I'm not very good at explaining why I do what I do, but the long story short is that doing live video shows of my music is just another way for folks to become aware of me as a musician.

4. Don't you use SL to perform live? Why change over to this?
Well, I'm not stopping doing Second Life performances. I really enjoy playing live in SL. As most of you reading this blog are well aware that in the last three years, I've done almost all of of my live musical performances in SL, and feel it's been great for me and my music. At the same time, musicians who are interested in promoting their original music can't put all their eggs in one basket. You wouldn't, for example, play at one bar night after night for years on end. You'd cruise around, playing to different people in different places. This is why musicians tour. So, hopefully by expanding to this whole other platform, I'll be able to gain some new fans and allow more folks to get a new perspective on me as a musician. In any case, this type of thing won't replace SL for me... just supplement it, if it works out well. I'll still continue doing plenty of SL shows regardless.

5. Aren't you concerned about mixing up your real life and virtual identities?
For some people, that might be a problem. But on a personal basis, I've never attempted to have any separation between my virtual and real selves. As I've explained before, "Zak Claxton" may have started as a name I got when I joined SL in 2006, but almost immediately also became the name I use whenever I do music of any kind. Zak and I are the same guy in every way.

6. But people will see what you really look like!
Good. I'm a devilishly handsome bastard. This can't be a bad thing.

7. Okay, what's this "Zak Claxton Happy Fun Show" all about?
Ah, here's where it gets cool. There are things I can do in a video format that I simply can't do as an avatar in SL. In fact, without giving the whole show away, I'm actually doing more than just live music. There will be some news, some video, some fun stuff. Think of it like a variety show... just one that's not very professionally produced.

8. How do I see this thing again?
Simple. Probably the best way is to go here on Saturday 2/6 at 12 noon PST: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/zakclaxton. I also have the same show embedded on my site at http://www.zakclaxton.com/. Either link will give you the same show, though I'd say the most stable of the two will likely be the Ustream site.

9. Is the show going to be any good?
Answer: I do not know. This is the very first time I'm trying anything like this in my life. I think I have some good ideas, but I will be shocked if there's not some technical screw-ups. At some point, I find it highly likely that something will crash, or that I will hit the wrong button and things will get wacky. But guess what? It's live TV, folks, and I'm a full-on noob. Part of the fun might be watching me figure out what the hell I'm doing. As far as the show's content, I think it will be pretty cool, and there will be more than just me strumming a guitar and staring back at you through your monitor, so hopefully it all works out.

10. Is this going to cost me any money?
Oh, hell no. It's free as could be. Anyone and everyone can tune in and watch via the links I listed above. I believe that if you want to participate in the chat, you need to be registered on Ustream, but that's free too. Do it if you wanna, as they say.

So, that's everything you ever wanted to know about the Zak Claxton Happy Fun Show. I look forward to you seeing the real me on Saturday!

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