Shore Things: Launching a new live chat partnership

Shore Things: Launching a new live chat partnership

Summer in New England is the season of beaches, clam shacks, boating and play.

On Monday, I drove down to the tip of Cape Cod to launch a new live chat partnership with the Center for Coastal Studies, which employs scientists who research those summer and beachside themes.

I’m calling the series, “Shore Things.”

Our First Chat
July 8, 2019

Our first chat featured Owen Nichols, the CCS’ director of marine fisheries research. He fielded questions from several dozen viewers as I produced a stream augmented with slides explaining his research projects. 

We worked together in advance to fine-tune the theme of our presentation, in hopes of encouraging audience participation. I think our choice, “Ask about the science of your seafood,” did a good job of focusing the discussion and inviting the viewers to learn something new.

With this first chat, I was happy to see several members of the audience declaring their interest in advance through Facebook’s upcoming stream tool. While not huge, our audience was engaged and provided plenty of questions to keep Owen busy.

Our partnership with CCS will also allow me to test several new features of our Facebook Live toolset. This chat, for example, was our first to be produced outside of our studio and to use a mobile production rig. I learned the audio needs a little adjustment but was happy that most everything else worked smoothly.

Future chats will allow us the opportunity to test other stream times to find the best audience and, I hope, tools that will allow our guest to remain remote. I may also test streaming simultaneously to other platforms beyond Facebook to broaden our reach.

My goal is to experiment with the audience we’ve built through breaking news and sports coverage, to determine if there is an appetite for informative content that is less time-sensitive.