We seem to have technical issues every week. And we rarely experience the same one twice--often variations of the same ones, perhaps, but still unique in their own way. It's amazing. Nearly three years later, we're still experiencing issues.
At first it was slow internet, then sluggish computers, connection issues, 3rd party services, software, hardware. And even the softest of software can be one of the biggest problems with guests and even hosts late to the show, so we don't have enough time to test audio and video. Though most guests are on time, a handful are not. And we no longer have the tardy, couldn't careless host issue (Maybe I'll blog about that one day. Maybe not. Oh, what a tease I am)
I'm an IT professional with decades of experience. So the technical problems are fixable, eventually. They're a pain in the backside, but at least I have a chance to over come those.
With 3rd party software and services, I can always email or chat on-line with support. Either they can help us resolve our frustrations, or confirm that we need to find a work around. Knowing the limitation of what you're working with is half the battle.
I've updated my internet so I have 25 Mbps uploads, and I recently got a new laptop. While I don't think any of these things will ensure the show will be problem free, at least the odds have improved. I'm sure of that.
But the weekend of April 24th and 25th hit us with the biggest issue we've had to date. Facebook took away my ability to live stream to The Invisible Man Show Page. I was given no warning and no reasons. I discovered we couldn't stream on Saturday 24th exactly half hour before we were due to start the show. I usually start the stream 30 to 15 minutes early so everyone can share the stream.
We use a program called restream.io which allows us to stream to multiple social media platforms at once, including YouTube, DLive, Periscope (before it was decommissioned by Twitter), and of course Facebook.
We went live and waited. Nothing showed up on Facebook. I checked YouTube and the stream was live there. I logged in to restream and the stream going to our Facebook Invisible Man Show page as well as my personal Facebook page were showing "connecting".
We had no idea what was going on. I tried all the obvious things. Logging out of restream. Disconnecting the Facebook account from restream and re-adding it. Restarted OBS and so on.
By this time it was getting close to show time. Literally minutes away. As the vast majority of our audience was on Facebook, it would seem to make sense that if we can't use restream to broadcast to all our social media, we'll go directly to Facebook.
Then Facebook barfed all over the floor and made a mess of my shoes.
Suspicious activity, change your password. I swore.
I changed my password. I swore again.
So finally back in, I went into the Facebook page settings to get the stream key and then, just like a slap in face, Facebook slapped me in the face. "Suspicious activity on your account" live streaming had been disabled. "If you think this is in error" I could enter a few sentences into a small text field and hit enter.
Of course it was in error! I Hadn't done anything to warrant being blocked. I post once or twice a day to our Facebook page, if that. I live stream on Saturdays for The Invisible Man Show Page and every 2nd Sunday for The Invisible Song Club. What could I say?
So I wrote that I had no idea what I've done to get me blocked. So of course this was in error. I hit send. Over a week later, nothing. I was also blocked by Facebook from administering The Invisible Man Show Page, the page I set up last year. It's my page, for crying out loud.
And so that was it. Two minutes before show time, we were blocked from streaming to the platform where most of our viewers were.
We had no choice. We started the stream and shared the YouTube link on Facebook. At least we could do that.
Our regular viewers came over to YouTube, for which we were, and still are, really grateful. And after venting for a few minutes, the show went off without a hitch. I was still blocked from streaming for Sunday's The Invisible Song Club.
Both Ryan and Angela said "Forget Facebook" let's just stream to YouTube. I'm in half a mind to do that.
We were able to get Welcome To The Madhouse working by getting Adam to use his Facebook credentials in restream. So we should be good for the other shows for the short term.
But, quite honestly, I'm feeling I've had enough of Facebook. I have no one to contact for support. No reasoning on why I was blocked. We have no recourse.
Because something that we have no idea happened...maybe a few things in a row happened, I don't know. But the algorithm's illogic stated The Invisible Man Show usually goes live on Saturday afternoons.
BLOCK! BLOCK! BLOCK! BLOCK!
RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!
Sigh. I think we need to make the jump to YouTube, and just share on Facebook. At least for The Invisible Man Show and The Invisible Song Club.
Adam runs Welcome To The Madhouse, so it would be his decision if he wants to stay on Facebook or not. And I will stand by his decision.
As for me, my mind is not wholly made up. But it wouldn't take much to convince me to make the decision to leave Facebook.
What do you think?
Should we stay on Facebook? Or should we move the focus to YouTube?