I have to admit, I am not a techie. I typically get in the technological advances years after they enter the market. I remember finding email and cell phones useless. Now, I cannot live without them. I was late to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Twenty years from now I may get on Instagram (if it still exists). Saying all of that, I believe that if the technology is still around when I start using it, I can be assured it is here to stay.
That is not the case with Blab. I was late to Blab as well. I remember seeing people post about Blab and I truly had no idea what they were talking about. Frankly, I was still trying to understand Periscope. Once I finally understood Blab. I decided to move my monthly webinar to a weekly Blab. It all started off well until I saw a friend (the same one who showed me how to use Blab) do a Facebook Live post about how Blab was changing its focus. Several weeks later, I began seeing complaints about changes in Blab’s algorithms and how it is dying. Before, I had a chance to investigate, Blab shut down. Seemingly overnight, Blab shut down seeming overnight with only a sad post to users as an explanation.
Question 1: Is it better to make what you want or what others want?
One of the main reasons that Blab founders shut down the platform is because it was becoming something they did not envision. I can respect that. However, doesn’t conventional wisdom state that you go with the demand? Blab founders wanted to make a platform with millions of users. It was not pulling those types of numbers.
Blab was exciting. Google+ and Periscope combined which made it exciting. However, without users, it is pointless. The people who used the platform where people who were “hang out” and people who were hosting their live shows. It was those live shows that were pulling the platform down. So much so, the founders felt the need to shut down the platform.
Question 2: Does live streaming really suck?
According to Blab founders the trend toward shows was making the platform worse, not better. As the host of my own show, I can say that I thought I was interesting. We had one dedicated supporter, but we never really gained much traction. Did it suck? Maybe. We can’t all be professionals. But Blab did not want to give my terrible show a home.
So what is the point of a live stream app that does not what you to live stream? YouTube became so amazing because it gave people an opportunity to tell their own story. The true test of Darwin’s Theory through live streaming. The survival of the live stream fittest. Stars can and will be born. The truly terrible will die a quick and unnoticeable death. The mediocre will survive, but on scraps. However, Blab was not created to make you the next Oprah or Dr. Phil.
Blab was created for group meetings, friend chatting, and other ways of communicating between individuals. I am not sure why Blab wants to be like the other platforms that are out there. Blab was truly something different, but then again, it all goes back to question number 1.
Question 3: What is next for live streaming shows?
There is no question that there are many live streaming apps that you have to choose from these days. That was not the case wen Blab started. We have, what I am calling the Trifecta, Periscope, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live. Facebook Live announced this summer that it was going to allow two person broadcasting. That can be useful for those with shows. But we all know that as soon as it becomes popular Facebook will start charging.
Then there are other webinar and meeting platforms that essentially allow you to do the same thing as Blab did, but without the ability to have an audience find you while you are live. I just discovered this “new” platform called Crowdcast. It seems like it GoToMeeting meets Periscope meets Event Bright. So far I like what I see.
So at the end of the day, what do we make of Blab’s demise (or shift)? Blab Founders blame lack of usage. I believe it was that Blab was not or could not adapt fast enough to keep up with the type of usage that was being demanded. Blab constantly changed its algorithms (like Facebook does all the time), but it changed to a point that made your show impossible to find. In the end, Blab became difficult to use. That is the opposite effect that you want to have if you are trying to increase the number of users on a platform.
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.