How I got started with video on the web

Back when I was in middle school Miss America visited our school. I don’t remember much about her, but I remember this was the first time I ever used a digital camera. This is sometime in the early 90s, the digital cameras back then were pretty expensive and lacked features, like a screen. I remember my computer teacher Mrs. Brandt allowing me to take her digital camera into the auditorium with a tripod and take some photos with it. I don’t recall it being capable of recording video, but I wouldn’t doubt if it only had a 1mb of memory. I remember taking this camera into the auditorium and taking pictures and then rushing back as fast as I could back to the classroom to see them on the computer. Back then the photos were in black-and-white, and the quality was really bad, but I remember just be able to look at these photos and think wow that’s pretty cool! I just took that a few minutes ago, no developing!

In high school, I was “computer editor” for the school’s yearbook. It’s funny to think back of the term “computer editor” which was something my teacher made up. I was the one that took care of all of the computers and software that we used on them. I spent a lot of time in PageMaker on this Mac making modifications to layouts and such. Being that I was an “editor” I was also able to go to the football games and take pictures as a photographer. It’s interesting to think that in middle school was using a digital camera, but in high school we are still using point-and-shoot cameras that use film. The quality just wasn’t there with digital cameras and are simple point-and-shoot cameras which worked really well for us budding photographers. I recall taking developed photos and putting them 11 x 17 pieces of paper and marking out using wax markers indicating where a photo went. Nowadays kids are just using digital photos and putting them into the software and just going from there.

At home, I ended up with a webcam called a Connectex QuickCam which was black-and-white but it did allow me to do video as well as photos. Back then I had a website where I had a page set up a page to display the photos from the webcam. The webcam software sent the images to the website and build small clips of me doing something on my computer. Most likely it was boring to watch, but it was impressive and kept me amused.

Fast forward to present, I run a web development company, Tucker.Pro that uses WordPress to create website sites. I have a passion for new media… be it podcasting, live streaming audio or video and I enjoy sharing all of it online. 2 year ago I found a need to combine these two passions: web development and live streaming by streaming a WordPress meetup that I was attending. At first I was just recording the video for myself then a few people asked me if they could have a copy. Not wanting to do the same thing more than once I came up with a plan to begin streaming the event. I spoke with Steve Zehngut, the guy running the Orange County WordPress group (OCWP) if I was allowed to and he approved. I started out by using basic equipment and worked my way up to more advanced stuff that was still in my budget. Now I’m streaming 2 times a month at the meetup and have quite a few people watching the live stream and also going back using it for reference material.

More recently still I started a YouTube channel called WPwatercooler a weekly WordPress developer and designers show. Since I could just do video we also release a version in podcast form in audio format. The show is 30 minutes long and we stick to one topic per episode, which is hard to do but we try our best to do so. I’ve done a few podcasts in recent years but none that have done as well as this one. I’m really looking forward to what the future holds with this, but I have to thank my past for getting me here.