Wirecast, Pre-recorded Video, YouTube, and Google

NB: I hate to mention a process without explaining how it works, however, putting together a live stream event is too elaborate for me to describe in a single web page. Sorry.

Original post:

Video ranks higher in search results than a static text page with the same information. I’ve written about this before. (internal link). Video that’s been live streamed ranks higher than other videos. What’s less known is that you can have pre-recorded content, videos you already have, set up as a live stream event and ranked as such.

One way to produce such a live stream event is to use Wirecast in concert with YouTube’s Creator Studio. It’s a lengthy, multiple step process, beyond the scope of this web page, but it works. Let me know if your company needs this service and I’ll get you in touch with my employer. Perhaps we can get your content ranked higher. (e-mail link to



When all else fails, try McDonald’s

Video work that I am doing for my Vancouver employer requires me to have a faster upload speed than what I can get through my internet provider, AT&T Uverse. My present upload speed in my older neighborhood is a paltry 1.1. Mbps. I can’t switch to another provider because I am moving to Las Vegas in four weeks. What to do?

I considered a day office service like Regus but their people could not say what their internet upload speed would be since their network is a shared resource among clients. They would also not disclose what they would charge. Out of desperation and curiosity, never wanting to dismiss the improbable, I went to my local McDonald’s.

There were three people on laptops and notebooks. I ran a speed check. Download speed, a slow 5.1 Mbps. Logical, since there were now four of us camped on-line. But upload speed? 4.9 to 5.9! Almost four times what I have at home. I’m still not sure I can do my work, since my laptop doesn’t have the processing power of my desktop. Come tomorrow,  though, I am certainly going to try.

10/31/2015 Update: It works!



Make A Call at The Phone Both

Cell phone coverage in California’s Sierra Nevada can be spotty to non-existent. I just got back from three days camping in mountainous El Dorado County. Although I was trying to be disconnected from work, there was one work-related message I wanted to receive. Yet no cell phone coverage. Until I discovered the Phone Both. Have you seen anything like this?

We were told by a bartender at Uncle Tom’s Cabin (external link to Facebook), a place running solely on generator power, that there was one solitary turnout on Wentworth Springs Road where I could hit a cell tower. An enterprising local resident had painted the roadway to mark the spot. (With a sense of humor and some hurried spelling.) Sure enough, I found the blue paint and was able to receive my e-mail. I guess my advice to remote workers is this: ask a local for help when you have to make a connection.



Writing on Spec

Writing on spec or speculation means submitting writing without a contract, usually a complete or finished work. Normally, an editor approves a query letter and you are sent a contract that outlines what is expected and what you’ll get paid. Writing on spec offers no guarantee of payment. After a tremendous amount of effort you submit your article and hope it is accepted. Risky. Yet a few magazines have this policy. What to do?

In two weeks I’ll take a geology field trip into Nevada and I’d like to write about it. My target magazine takes articles only on spec. Although I’ve never written under this arrangement, I’m going to do it this time. I want to write about the topic so much that I am going to take a chance.

To improve my odds I will closely adhere to the look and feel of the magazine’s previously published articles. I’ve also looked up their editorial calendar for the coming year; it details when articles like mine should be submitted. I am going forward. What did Churchill say? “For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.”

December 11, 2015 update: Success! Rock & Gem (external link) will carry my 2800 word article in their January issue.

December 30, 2015 update: Background on the article (internal link).

April 22, 2016 update: Rock&Gem will publish the second article I wrote for them on spec in May. Look for it at Barnes&Noble.


Newspaper article

The West Sacramento Historical Society: Looking Forward and Back

This article will appear shortly in The West Sacramento News-Ledger. I’m posting it now in the hope that people will see it before the Historical Society’s fundraiser on Saturday.

The West Sacramento Historical Society: Looking Forward and Back

Writing and photographs by Thomas Farley and the West Sacramento Historical Society

The West Sacramento Historical Society is a forward-looking group with a constant focus on the past. Current and future projects keep Society’s members engaged in preserving our City’s history and in explaining how yesterday’s people and places make up what we are today. Let’s take an example.

West Sacramento is the consolidation of several smaller towns. Can you name them? Historical Society President Don Schatzel wonders.  He says, “We went to a high school group and asked them what were the names of the four West Sacramento communities before the City became the City? They didn’t know. For them, the City has been a city for a hundred years. One person knew Broderick. But they didn’t know Washington, Southport, or Bryte.” Still, that does not discourage Schatzel. He enjoys bringing the past to the present.

“West Sacramento has had a long, vibrant history, a fun history once you get to know it,” Schatzel says. “One of our members just asked a waitress in Broderick, ‘Who was Broderick?’ She said, ‘I don’t know, I think he founded the City of West Sacramento.’” But the answer is much different than that. The Society, in always trying to educate people about our City’s heritage, has produced a small flyer on the man himself, David Colberth Broderick.

The circular, available at the Society’s gallery inside the West Sacramento Community Center, reveals Broderick to be a United States Senator from California. Chiefly associated with San Francisco, the anti-slavery Broderick was shot dead in a duel in 1859. West Sacramento’s Washington District later changed its name to honor the deceased senator, as well as to comply with a Postal Authority request – too many cities named Washington.

The Society is engaged in many projects. One involves renovating an old Bryte fire truck, a 1937 Chevrolet wooden tanker known as Lizzie. Schatzel says that Sierra Hart will give them an estimate on what it will cost to get it operating. They are also looking to do more outreach at schools. Rotating the exhibits at the Community Center is another continuing project. Schatzel says member Thom Lewis handles these displays, the current one being on the River Cats, the next to be a history of the equestrian community in West Sacramento.

Volunteers are sought by the Society. Schatzel says they always need people with website skills and those experienced in fundraising, but they can accommodate any measure of help. “Sometimes it’s just their availability to move things around in the storage room. And people don’t even have to work to help. Just come out to one of our events or fundraisers.” Speaking of which, the Society’s third annual fundraiser is October 10, at the Community Center’s Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $30 in advance to hear the Samantics choir, as they pay tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Call the Society at 374-1849 before the event sells out.

Lizzie, one of three engines in the WSHS collection.
Lizzie, one of three engines in the WSHS collection.

River Cats' history exhibit at the West Sacramento Community Center.
River Cats’ history exhibit at the West Sacramento Community Center.
WSHS pamphlet on David Broderick.
WSHS pamphlet on David Broderick.

Terms of the Trade

A few of my favorites:


Sometimes used to mark the end of an article or a press release. Its origin is debated, but the two numbers, standing alone, are always distinctive enough to denote finality. Its use goes beyond print. A CBS radio announcer, whose name I have forgotten, possibly Charles Osgood, signed off his daily reports with “And that is 30 for this edition.”

“Kill fee”

The dreaded kill fee. An amount you negotiate with your publisher in case your writing contract cannot be fulfilled. Often a tiny amount compared to the price in your original agreement, a kill fee might be invoked if you’ve revised your article many times but your editor is still dissatisfied with its suitability.


Illustrations. My Fort Brag printer used this term and I’ve always liked it. The photographs and diagrams I supplied were always collectively referred to by the term illos.


Writer speak for “to come.” TK is one variation of placeholder text, which can be any meaningless words or letters used to mark where additional writing must be added. See the illo below from a preliminary layout. The editor is showing me how much space I have to add new information.