Spring basketball is now in full swing. The men are coming off a big 33 point victory over Millikin last night. I hope you all are either dropping in on the games in person or watching the Titans on our streaming portal
Scoreboard and Interface Enhancements
We have completed work on a new scoreboard interface that is branded specifically for Illinois Wesleyan. You will now notice Tommy Titan next to the scoreboard and a new look for all the information graphics used for the streaming broadcasts. I have included a screenshot in case you have not watched recently. Thanks to Robert Frank III and Michael Gorman for their assistance in making this a reality! Stew Salowitz also added new graphics to the video interface that you will see before viewing any videos on the Stretch site.
Stretch Internet has now restored our viewer statistics capability! Here are the viewer numbers for Spring so far:
01/07/2015 Women’s Basketball vs Wheaton 308
01/10/2015 Women’s Basketball vs Carthage 245
01/10/2015 Men’s Basketball vs Carthage 362
01/14/2015 Men’s Basketball vs Millikin 292
I just added games on our streaming portal that will provide games to watch until the first of May. We will be covering basketball, track & field, lacrosse, baseball, and softball this semester. All of our broadcasts are brought to you by our own students. Feel free to thank them in person the next game you attend. They are all excited and proud to be part of the IWU athletic program!
We are back at it once again. Football, soccer, and volleyball are the sports we cover in the Fall. We have already live streamed 12 games this year. We are also featuring new software to hopefully make our viewers happier!
Game Central 2.0
One of the nice things about this new version of our viewing portal software is the live stats will now automatically show up beside the live video stream (if available for the game). Like the new University website we rolled out this year, our game central portal
is now a responsive web design. This means it will automatically respond to whatever your screen size is and deliver the best possible video and stats, sized appropriately for your device. Other features we are hoping to take advantage of in the near future are:
- Instant Highlights – allows us to grab highlights during the game and allow viewers to watch these either in-game or after the broadcast.
- Multiview – You can now watch our live broadcast and up to three additional On-Demand broadcasts.
- HD Broadcasts – We are hoping to move to a high definition (1080p) broadcast next year.
We had three seniors graduate last year from the broadcast team. This meant that there was only one student returning with any experience. I apologize if any of you have had any frustrations viewing games this year. Please bear with us as our new students Hy Nguyen, Yangyuan Xu, and Sean O’Carroll get experience using the camera and get up to speed on all of our sporting events. Some of the games have been a little rough around the edges, especially football. I have been working with them and sending them notes after each game. They are really bright kids and will hopefully improve very quickly!
Another bad part of the student turnover is that we no longer have any students who will be doing play-by-play and commentary for the games. We lost Matt Rooney, Matt Siegert and Zach Szkowny who also graduated last year. I was hoping to have a sit down committee meeting to discuss this during the Summer, but the website launch kept me too busy. I am still hoping to have one of our alumni come back (Tommy Gilbert) and talk with the committee about ideas to keep students in the pipeline for these duties. I will keep everyone posted on this.
One of the drawbacks to the new version of Game Central is that there are currently no viewer numbers available. Ryan Emerling, from Stretch Internet, assures me that they will have this feature restored by the end of October. Hopefully, I will be able to post viewers stats with my next update
As of 6:00 A.M. Wednesday, July 23 ITS launched the University’s first responsive design website. This allows our website to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, and television based browsing). Many thanks are needed for all who were involved over this two year process.
- First and foremost, thanks to Michael Gorman who provided roles as lead architect, programmer, and web developer on the project.
- Matt Kurz for the many hours as the main content lead, project lead and author.
- Ann Aubry for her tireless hours on implementation, author, and editor. Ann served on all of the campus groups formed during this entire process, including the Web Advisory Group, Web Redesign Work Group, and the Implementation Task Force.
- Robert Frank III for his web design and artistic vision.
- Rick Lindquist for his training support and conversion assistance.
- Chandra Shipley for her work on the course plans and incorporation of the academic advising templates.
- Paul McNamara for his web design and photographic cataloging work.
- Amy Young for her brilliant work on all of the campus videos.
- Laurie Diekhoff for her assistance on the internship pages as well as her work on the new internship searchable database.
- Crystal Boyce for directing the usability studies and providing much needed feedback during the testing stages of our site.
To all the other members on WAG, WRWG, and ITF we could not have launched this web redesign without your countless hours of hard work and assistance. Other members on these committees include Bob Murray, Chris Kawakita, Kim Hill, Brad Sheese, Sue Wilson, Sue Anderson, Matthew Damschroder, Tim Obermiller, Carlo Robustelli, Jeff Mavros, Alan Russian, Alex Bechtel, Jake Thaker, Stephanie Kohl Ringle and Tera Lippert.
Hosting NCAA Basketball Tournament
Illinois Wesleyan was chosen to host the first and second round of the men’s basketball tournament this weekend. I have just received permission from the NCAA for the streaming rights to these games. Here is our schedule for this weekend:
- Ohio Wesleyan vs. St. Norbert – Friday, March 7 at 5:30pm
- IWU vs. Webster – Friday, March 7 at 7:30pm
- Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – Saturday, March 8 at 7pm
If you can’t make it to the games in person, please watch us from home
and support our Titans!
Internship at WGN
Matt Rooney and his fellow WESN students have been providing play by play and analyst commentary for almost all of our streaming broadcasts. Matt is a senior this year and will be moving on after he graduates in May. Matt has let me know that he has an internship with WGN this summer and hopes to continue to explore broadcasting as a career. Matt, I think I speak for everyone in saying that you have done a wonderful job with your broadcast duties at IWU and we all wish you the best of luck with WGN and whatever your future brings! You will be missed.
CCIW Basketball Tournament Viewers
We had big viewer numbers for last weekend’s CCIW men’s basketball tournament.
- Game 1 Wheaton vs Augustana – 293
- Game 2 IWU vs Carthage – 270
- Game 3 IWU vs Wheaton – 463
This represents the highest numbers we have seen for basketball this year.
Lacrosse Set for Live Streaming
Mike Wagner has just sent me the rest of the Spring sports schedule. We have our first Men’s Lacrosse broadcast set for Saturday, March 29 at 2pm against Olivet. Hopefully, we will have a great inaugural season!
Women’s Basketball vs Augustana – 54
Women’s Basketball vs Millikin – 37
Swimming & Diving vs Millikin – 20
Women’s Basketball vs Wheaton -139
Men’s Basketball vs Wheaton – 231
Men’s Basketball vs North Central – 157
Track & Field vs I55 Triangular – 63
Men’s Basketball vs Millikin – 120
Men’s Basketball vs Augustana – 215
Women’s Basketball vs Elmhurst – 79
Men’s Basketball vs Elmhurst – 137
Women’s Basketball vs North Central – 87
Women’s Basketball vs Carthage – 142
Men’s Basketball vs Carthage – 160
Men’s Basketball vs North Park – 111
Women’s Basketball vs North Park – 48
We are at it again this year. ITS and Athletics have provided financial support to pay for the streaming services again this year. We have also hired a new student (Erik Mena) to add to our team. Things are going well and we have had higher numbers in volleyball than ever before!
Chris Rutledge and his network services team have the new Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network bandwidth addition hooked in and in use. This upgraded us from a 155MB Internet connection to 700MB of usable bandwidth. So far this semester, we have only seen 350MB being used as our maximum. This not only means that we should no longer see our streaming broadcasts cut out when being viewed on campus, but should allow normal Internet use in the afternoon when it was very sketchy before this upgrade. Let me know if you still have problems on campus viewing a live or recorded broadcast.
Our game against the University of Chicago not only provided us with our highest viewer numbers for volleyball to date (64), but it also generated some good will! Kim Nelson-Brown passed along this letter from a viewer from the opposing team. We try to be fair in our broadcast as far as showing the other team during time outs and during warm up periods. Although, we do favor our team! 🙂 It was nice of this person to take the time to send this message while viewing the volleyball game from California:
I am sorry your team lost tonight but I enjoyed watching my daughter from the University of Chicago on your webcast.
She is a senior, #10, Katie Huntington.
Living out in Oakland, CA, I don’t get a chance to see many games in person.
I appreciate your school taking the time and investing in showing the match. I want to you know people are watching.
The graphics were also very easy to read.
Thank you again and good luck with the Titans this season.
Matthew Siegert has let me know that WESN does plan on covering Football games this semester and basketball games for our winter schedule. This is especially tough on Matt since he is actually playing during football games! 🙂 He is trying to get a crew together to provide play-by-play and color commentary for the games. This adds so much to our broadcasts and helps keep our numbers for these sports high compared to other sports. It would be nice if we could find students interested in calling soccer and volleyball games. If you know someone who is interested, please pas this along to Matt.
Women’s Soccer vs. Adrian 33
Men’s Soccer vs. Webster 30
Women’s Soccer vs. MSOE 22
Volleyball vs. Eureka 15
Men’s Soccer vs. Simpson 40
Men’s Soccer vs. Central College 34
Volleyball vs. Univ. of Chicago 62
Women’s Soccer vs. Univ. of Chicago 42
Volleyball vs. William Woods 40
Men’s Soccer vs. Univ. of Chicago 58
The Bandwidth is Coming!
Trey Short has just reported that the Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network upgrade is targeted to go live on July 1st. This means we will be upgrading from our existing 155MB Internet connection to a 1GB connection! This should fix the issue Tony Bankston reported in our last streaming update (broadcasts cutting out when viewing from on campus). We are all very excited about this upgrade in ITS.
Smaller Numbers, But a Loyal Audience
We do have a smaller audience for softball & baseball compared to the number of viewers for basketball & football. However, this audience does seem to be more vocal in their support of our streaming efforts. Every baseball game I have attended I have had someone talk with me about how much they appreciate us covering the games. I had one guy tell me about watching Titan games for over 50 years and thought it was great that we are now broadcasting the games! Another guy told me about going to school at IWU and having a radio show with WESN. He was very impressed with our broadcasts featuring the WESN announcers! He is now working for Elmhurst and having a hard time rooting against the Titans. Recently, a mother asked if we were going to cover the doubleheader of baseball this Saturday. She informed me that she is not going to be able to attend and told me that it was senior day and was hoping to catch the ceremony prior to the game. I told her that I would have to talk with Dennie & Mike about this change (we are scheduled to broadcast the softball games). I did tell her that I would setup earlier to ensure that we cover the ceremony prior to the start of the game, if we do get to cover these games. Don’t be alarmed if our schedule changes this weekend. 🙂
If you are not familiar with Tommy’s Night, it is an awards show put on by the student-athlete advisory committee and the athletic department. Last Monday’s award show was very well done. In particular, I would encourage committee members to check out the On Demand version of this on our Stretch site and slide over to the 1hour and 35minute mark to view Fightin’ Titan Award winner Angel Garcia (custodian for Shirk Center). As Mike Wagner describes, Angel essentially had the worst year of his life and still supported Athletics in a way only Angel could. It is a very touching tribute. By the way, Angel always offers to help our student workers carry and set up our equipment when he is working. He is such a nice guy.
One thing you will notice about the stats is that we covered a lot of doubleheaders for baseball and softball. This is an economical use of our time allowing us to cover two games in a short period of time with only one setup. Here are our most recent viewer numbers:
Softball vs Monmouth 15
Softball vs Monmouth 14
Baseball vs Millikin 38
Baseball vs Millikin 30
Softball vs North Central 30
Softball vs North Central 46
Softball vs Augustana 27
Softball vs Augustana 23
Softball vs Elmhurst 29
Softball vs Elmhurst 22
Baseball vs Knox 54
Softball vs Washington U. 18
Softball vs Anderson 21
Baseball vs Elmhurst 28
Tommy’s Night 45
Baseball vs Augustana 56
As we move into the Winter/Spring 2013 schedule I thought it would be good to review how things have gone this past year. We now have three student workers who are completely independent and have worked at all regular sporting events. We can now count on them to cover most broadcasts with very little assistance from myself or Michael. We had a string of equipment and network related problems which caused cancellation of broadcasts. We had our highest viewer numbers for soccer ever. Despite some problems, things are going very well and we continue to improve each game we broadcast. Here are some details from our 2012 streaming schedule:
If you are looking for a good laugh, just pull up this link of the women’s soccer game vs. North Park that took place last Thursday. Watch a few seconds from the start of the game where everything looks normal then take the play bar to almost the end of the game. Yeah, they had to stop filming because it got completely ridiculous! I can’t believe the game continued under those conditions. We did win the game 5-0. I have a new respect for those girls who played in this game. Completely crazy!
We had a series of problems during the fall 2012 streaming broadcasts.
- A Stretch software update ended up breaking our older Mac laptop when we tried to upgrade the OS to accommodate this update. Luckily, Roy and Trey got together and provided us a new laptop. This new laptop is much better than the old one. We now provide streaming video at a steady 30 frames per second. The old laptop would sometimes drop below 12 frames per second on occasion.
- Our network core upgrade took out a basketball broadcast. We thought we would be okay to proceed with this broadcast for two reasons. The first reason we left this game on the schedule was because we thought the upgrade would be done before the game started. The second reason was because we have a Comcast connection in Shirk and we thought we could use it if our network was still down at game time. To make a long story short, the network upgrade took longer than we thought and the Comcast connection was being used elsewhere and was unavailable to us.
- This last problem did not cause a broadcast to be missed, but it did leave viewers hearing ambient audio and the PA announcer instead of our student WESN broadcast crew. Our radio finally stopped working and they had to switch over to the ambient microphone instead. Trey has since ordered a new radio. This new radio should offer better reception inside of Shirk Center. We hope to use it on the next broadcast that Matt Siegert and his WESN crew are able to do.
- Tennis vs. North Central 3
- Women’s Soccer vs. Wash U. 81
- Volleyball vs. Carthage 32
- Football vs. Millikin 233
- Women’s Soccer vs. Milwaukee SOE 20
- Volleyball vs. North Park 27
- Football vs. Carthage 238
- Volleyball vs. Elmhurst 40
- Women’s Soccer vs. Wheaton 86
- Men’s Soccer vs. Wheaton 102
- Men’s Soccer vs. North Park 81
- Women’s Soccer vs. North Park 51
- Volleyball vs. Dallas 12
- Football vs Augustana 162
- Men’s Basketball vs Coe 134
- Men’s Basketball vs Loras 64
- Men’s Basketball vs Illinois College 49
- Women’s Basketball vs DePauw 75
- Women’s Basketball vs UW Whitewater 100
- Men’s Basketball vs Wisconsin – Whitewater 149
- Women’s Basketball vs U of Chicago 67
Tony Bankston talked with President Wilson and Jonathan Green about continuing our streaming efforts on campus. They both agreed with the Streaming Services committee that this should be a priority on campus and that we need to continue offering these services to our community. Unfortunately, a permanent funding model could not be established before our July 15 contract deadline. Trey Short agreed that these services could not just stop. Trey has stepped up and paid this year’s fee for streaming services with Stretch Internet. He also has agreed to add one additional student worker for the project from the ITS student pool. We will now have three student workers available using the two from the Athletics budget.
Stretch Internet was chosen because of the reduced cost and proven track record. We could not fully evaluate other alternatives in the time permitted.
This reduced cost comes at the cost of the Campus Central portal. We will no longer be able to stream whatever we want on that portal. Instead, we have been given the option to add events to Campus Central on a per event basis. As always, we will need to get a three week notice if anyone needs to add an event to this portal and now they will be billed for the additional fee.
Mike Wagner and Dennie Bridges will be working on the Fall schedule this week. I will be meeting with Mike Wagner later this week to finalize the schedule of sporting events and get them up on our Game Central portal.
Thanks again for all of your help and feedback. We look forward to another great year of IWU streaming events!
Since most of you have probably not had time to get advanced training in OmniUpdate from Rick Lindquist, I thought it might be helpful to post a step-by-step tutorial on using the new Image Gallery feature in OU. It is very easy to use, but can be a bit time consuming to put a large image gallery together. Before I begin, it might be helpful to view a finished image gallery here so you can see all the aspects of what you will be creating.
Create the Image Gallery Asset
This part is very similar to creating a new page in OU, but instead of doing this on the pages section, we switch to assets. At this point you don’t need to worry about the page that the gallery will ultimately appear on.
- Click on Assets to the right of Pages in the Content tab.
- Click on New in top right corner.
- Choose Image Gallery.
- You will be asked to name your gallery. Give it a descriptive name to make make it unique to the content within it. This name will appear in a large list of assets available on campus, so the name “Photo Gallery” would not give anyone a clue as to what kind of photos they might see within the gallery.
- After choosing a good name click on Save.
- Fill out the remaining information shown in the screenshot below.
- If your original images are all different sizes and you want all your thumbnail images to appear the same size, you will want to use the “Crop” selection. Choosing “Original” with different size images will give you all different size thumbnails, with no uniformity.
- It is important to keep the aspect ratio of your thumbnails in proportion to their original size so you don’t create distorted looking thumbnail images. For example, if your original photo was 500w x 300h, keeping the aspect ratio intact would mean downsizing the thumbnail to 250w x 150h or 125w x 75h. This may not be avoidable if all your photos are all different sizes.
- Now we are ready to start inserting images into our gallery. Click on New under Images at the bottom of the screen.
- This will bring up a file selector for you to choose an image from your computer to upload to the web server. Choose your image or photo and click Open.
- Any size images can be used with no resizing needed. If you want to resize or crop your photo, now is the time to do it, otherwise click on Upload As.
- Give your image a name and click OK. Note: if you upload a PNG file it will be converted to a JPG file and any transparency will be lost.
- The current Image Gallery tool we are using in OU only makes use of the Description field. Enter a description for your image (it can also contain HTML code, including links) as shown below.
- You can now either continue adding more images by clicking New or click Save to finish your image gallery.
- Once you click Save, make sure to publish your image gallery asset. It is now ready to be used on your website.
Inserting Your Image Gallery on a Page
You can use your newly created image gallery on any 2-column page on your website. You can either create a new 2-column page or insert it into any existing one.
- Place your cursor where you want your image gallery to appear on your page.
- Click on the Insert Asset icon shown highlighted in red below.
- Choose your image gallery asset in the list of assets. Then click on Select Asset.
- This will insert your gallery on your page. It will not show your photos in your gallery until you save your page. Click on the Save disk icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
- You will now see your gallery as it will appear on your page. Click on Publish Now. Then click on Publish again.
- You are done! Click on View in new window to view and test your new gallery.
OmniUpdate comes with a very nice spell check/dictionary built into the editor. You can help make it even better! We have given every user the ability to add words to our IWU collective dictionary. This will come in handy when we add proper names like Eckley, Sheean, Munsell, and Pantagraph to our dictionary. Once added, these names will no longer be highlighted as a possible misspelled word.
Here is how you use the spell check in OU. When you are editing one of your pages, click on the icon pictured here with the ABC and check mark underneath. Note: You do have to click on the spell check to initiate it. It is not turned on automatically.
This will initiate a scan of your entire page for misspelled words. It will underline words it thinks are misspelled with a red squiggly line. In this example “Pantagraph” is highlighted in red. This is a good example of a word we would want to add to our collective dictionary so it is no longer flagged as a misspelled word.
Just click on “Pantagraph” and a drop down menu will offer any suggestions to replace this word. Since this is a proper name and properly spelled we would want to add it to our dictionary. Just click “Add to dictionary” to have this word added permanently to our dictionary. Once added, any future spell check made by yourself or anyone else will no longer have “Pantagraph” suggested as a misspelled word. Just make sure the word you are adding is spelled correctly! 🙂