How to Stream Your Council Meetings to Any Location Using BoxCast

October 27, 2017

Streaming council meetings on your website is a great start to public meeting transparency. However, as more and more platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter announce the ability to stream live video, you may be wondering how to take advantage. The good news is you don’t have to create separate streams for those locations. Instead, you can use an easy technique called simulcasting.

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How to Start Your Search For City Council Live Streaming

September 20, 2017

If you are a communications director, clerk, elected official, or IT director for a local government, the world of public meeting live streaming can seem daunting.

If you’ve asked around to see how your neighbors are bringing their meetings into the online world, you may have received a wide variety of answers. One town next to you may have a $100,000 AV system while another may be streaming to Facebook Live off of a council member's phone.

If you have been tasked with figuring out the right live streaming solution for your municipality, the variation of options may be making it difficult to start on the process of finding the right solution. In this post, we breakdown both ends of the spectrum and explain an alternative that is a better fit.

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This is Why Your City Council Meeting Attendance is Low

September 07, 2017

Whether you're a council member, public information officer, or engaged citizen, you may have noticed a decline in the number of seats filled at your weekly public meetings.

Your local government isn’t alone in this struggle – low attendance is a regular concern of municipalities across the country.

As a part of my job, I’ve attended council meetings in various cities and have witnessed the problem firsthand. I’ve even shown up only to realize that I was the only non-government employee in attendance.

However, I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to residents. Time and time again, they’ve made it clear that they care about what’s going on in the community, but just can’t make it to council meetings in person.

This is what they’ve had to say about why that is....

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How to Store and Archive City Council Videos: YouTube vs. Vimeo

August 18, 2017

When it comes to keeping archives of public meetings, different local governments operate on a variety of rules, regulations, and practices. Some governments prioritize the meeting's transparency whereas others think record-keeping is most important.

Since there’s not just one right way to go about this, it’s important for you to understand what you’re looking for in a video archiving and storage solution. The following questions will help clarify that for you:

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Government Transparency: Should Your Small Town Care?

August 02, 2017

I’ve heard it time and time again: administrators and elected officials of small towns think that their municipality is too small to use live streaming as a viable mode of transparency.

After all, “If residents were interested in the council meetings, wouldn’t they show up in person?”

This logic is faulty.

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Facebook Live: Is It Good or Bad for Your Local Government?

July 26, 2017

In early 2016, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made international headlines with a bold claim: “a few years from now [...] the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video.” His logic was easy to follow, as “most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming videos.”

Live video was of particular interest, as Zuckerberg proclaimed that it offers an unfiltered medium by which to share moments. His declaration brought the world’s biggest social media platform into the streaming arena and drastically increased awareness of live streaming’s power as a tool.

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Why Are There Two Black Bars on the Sides of My Video? (Aspect Ratio)

July 18, 2017

Every so often, customers approach us asking why their live streams have black bars on either side of their videos.

This common problem has to do with what’s called aspect ratio, or the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. 

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What a White Noise Machine Taught Me About Live Streaming

July 14, 2017

You’ve heard it since you were a kid: “You get what you pay for.” Still, there’s a certain temptation to the idea that when you use something for free, you beat the system. Companies prey on that instinct when they tout that their products are “free."  

I fell for that trap. This post describes my experience with a free product and what it reminded me about the true value of things.

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How Much Does Live Streaming Cost?

June 16, 2017

If your organization is thinking about live streaming its events, one of the first questions that will undoubtedly come up is “So, how much does it cost?”

Let's break it down. This post will outline three main factors to consider when determining your budget.  

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How Streaming Can Help Your Local Government Reach a New Audience

June 13, 2017

Since their conception, cable access channels have worked to provide a level of transparency between a city government and its residents. However, as the City of Avon Lake’s Barb Cagley notes in the video below, these channels are only beneficial to the people who know to look for them.

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