We thought we’d go straight to the source, so we asked BLAB’s CEO Shaan Puri for a short description:
You can reach BLAB via desktop by going to blab.im or download the iOS app by searching for ‘Blab’ in the apple app store (or click here). The app for Android will hopefully be available soon, but for now Android users can simply access the BLAB website via the chrome browser. You will need to login with a twitter account, unless you want to lurk anonymously and not interact . Twitter is currently the only way to join.
The Rules of BLAB
Blab doesn’t really have rules, but the BLAB team has created some ‘agreements’ titled #theblabway that they would like the community to go by, here they are:
You can watch the replay to how these agreements came to be HERE!
On the main Blab.im page you will notice the ‘tags’ section where you can ‘show all’ (red arrow) or select one or more tags to filter the content across BLAB. Above the listed shows you will see 3 tab buttons – ‘On Air’ (green arrow), ‘Scheduled’ (blue arrow) and ‘Replays’ (orange arrow) which you can also filter by. You can also use the search bar at the top to search for keywords or usernames to find specific content or users that interest you. Choose a BLAB that interests you by clicking the ‘Watch’ button and join in on the fun!
Subscribing to a BLAB
If you’re interested in a scheduled BLAB, simply click the ‘subscribe’ button below the specific Blab you want to subscribe to.
Subscribing will ensure you get a notification when the show goes live (depending on your notification settings). To see how long you have before the show airs, simply click on the hosts picture and enter the Blab, you will see the countdown timer before showtime.
Watching a BLAB:
The BLAB window, is where you will spend most of your time, so it’s important to get to know all of the features and everything you can do! So let’s take a tour!
- Who is viewing a BLAB? Profile Pictures of BLAB viewers occupy the top of the screen IN real time. The profile picture of every viewer can be clicked on to read their bio and to follow that Blabber. On the top right hand, a Blab map populates in real time and shows you where in the world the viewers are from/located. (The function to ‘change’ your location has not been enabled yet.)
- Seats: The BLAB window has 4 seats, one for the host, plus room for 3 guests. The host can decide how many guests they would like on their show, or if they would like to rotate through multiple guests. The “host” is seated in the top left hand corner, with the guests filling in the rest of the seats. Why only four? The BLAB team believe four seats is optimal in having a successful fluid conversation.
FeelsProps: When you first join a BLAB room you can get involved in a number of ways. The first of which is giving ‘ feels’ ‘props’. FeelsProps are a way for viewers to give one of the broadcasters some appreciation for something they say or do, almost like “I feel ya”. This is done by clicking (or tapping if using a touch screen) on the video window of the person you want to feelgive props to. You will notice two yellow hands with numbers next to them. This represents the number of feelsprops each participant has. For each new BLAB a participant enters, the feelsprops meter jumps back to zero.
- Commenting from the sidebar: If you can’t jump in a seat, but still have something you’d like to say, you can always add your thoughts to the sidebar chat located on the right hand side of your screen. (In mobile, it is located below the video).
- Questions: If you have a question you’d like to ask the host or guests, insert /q before your question. This will add your question to the host’s question queue and allow the guests to differentiate between comments and questions.
- Mentions: To directly reply (via @mention) to a comment or question made in the chat bar, you simply roll over the relevant username and click the light grey ‘reply arrow’. This will insert their @handle in the comment area and you can then write the rest of your message. If you direct reply to the Host of the Blab, this will appear in their questions and direct reply queue. Each user can view their specific @mentions in the ‘mentions’ tab above the questions.
- Favorite Comments: See a comment that you really like? You can give “props”to that too! Favorite it by rolling over the user’s name and then clicking on the light grey star. This can be your way of highlighting or endorsing a comment. To view who has liked the comment, hover over the star to see icons of the participants who have favorited.
- Images and Gifs: Other ways to get involved include adding an image or animated gif to compliment the conversation. In order to add to the comment section, find the image or gif you would like to add to comments. Copy the image/gif URL link and paste into the comments section.
- Background Color: Upon load, the comments section will be dark with white writing, this can be switched to a light background with black writing. Simply type /light into the comments area and hit enter! To change it back, type /dark into the comments.
- Easy Commands & @Mentions: Simply typing in / into the comments section will automatically populate all the commands available to use in Blab. Likewise, typing in @ in the comments will populate all the usernames of the Blabbers in the room to easily mention or reply too. So put your sticky notes away, it’s easy!
- Joining the action: Getting involved is very easy to do! All you have to do is click “CALL IN” in an open seat and cross your fingers. If the host accepts, you will go on video and be officially BLABBING! 🎉 To exit your seat, click on the ‘x’ in the top right hand corner of your Blab Seat. 💡Tip: Be sure to accept the microphone and camera permissions when you first go on air!
- Following: While Blabbing you will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people from all over the world! You may want to follow some of these people to find out when they are in Blabs and active within the community. To follow a host or guest, click on the follow icon next to their name. You can also follow by hovering over an icon on the top or click on “See all viewers” as explained above. Who you follow, and your followers will populate on your profile page.
- Sharing the BLAB: If you’re part of a great BLAB, why not let all of your friends know what you’re up too? On the left hand side of the screen you can share all the goodness with your Twitter or Facebook followers! Click on the “Tell a little bird” to share to Twitter or “Tell your Aunt” to share to Facebook. You can now choose to tweet out a GIF of the Blab. Learn more about it here: Gif Sharing by Brittany Metz
- BLAB Replays: If you missed a show you really love, don’t fret, chances are it has been recorded. If you subscribe to a BLAB, you will be emailed a link to the replay when it finishes, or you can view a recorded Blab by searching through the Replays. To view a recorded Blab, simply click on the play button located in the center of the screen which you can view or listen to like a podcast. Located on the left below the title, you can share the replay to Twitter, Facebook or Upload to Youtube(if you are the creator) (blue arrow). Related Blabs are LIVE Blabs most similar to the recorded Blab (red arrow). On the right, you can view some of the comments, and mentions that were input during the Blab (green arrow). 💡Tip: ‘Props’ 🙌 & comments do not display in the Replay video.
Starting your own BLAB
Getting started is easy! To create your own BLAB, click purple the ‘Start a new BLAB’ button on the top right of the screen to get started; this pop-up will display. You’ll need to insert a title for your Blab, select up to 3 different tags that are relevant to your show, for others to find you easily, and then choose if you want to go live now or in the future. You can also add a custom image or “Show Card” by clicking on ‘Choose File” under the tags. The optimal dimension for show cards are 1000px by 450 px with a safe zone of 800px by 296px.
Live Now or Schedule A Broadcast
If you choose to go live at some point in the future, you can select a time and date up to a month in advance, this will place your Blab in the ‘UPCOMING’ section within your chosen category and will allow viewers to subscribe to it. Choosing your time and date looks like this:
Editing a Scheduled Blab and/or Starting it Earlier than Scheduled
You may find that you want to change the name of a Blab you have scheduled, or maybe even the time and date of the show. This is now possible by going to your profile page and viewing your scheduled blabs – you will see an ‘Edit’ button (red arrow) on each scheduled Blab, just click that and make your changes! Click the purple ‘Start Now’ button to begin your show early.
The difference between ‘random streams’ and ‘shows’
Sometimes, girls just wanna have fun, and other times they want to talk about the serious issues (I’m sure men are the same). Generally, shows that are scheduled have a specialized topic, sometimes lock seats, are recorded, and have timeline of when they will end. Impromptu shows can go for several hours and cover a range of topics, so be prepared for those differences!
As a host, it’s important that you can moderate your room in order to keep the flow of discussion going and to stay on topic. There are several features that Team BLAB have added in order to help you moderate effectively.
- Accepting/Denying Callers: As the host you have the ability to accept or deny callers. If you are discussing a certain topic it may be important to have guest speakers who align with your topic and vision.
- Co-Hosting: If you would like to add a guest as a co-host to your show, you can hover over their avatar and click on the “H+” in order to grant them access or type/cohost add <username> into the comments. . You can also remove privileges by clicking on the same “H+” or type typing /cohost remove <username> in the comments. Co-hosts, have most of the powers the creating Host has, with the exception of removing hosting powers from the originator. Co-Hosts can also create and disable other co-hosts.
- Kicking Callers: You can ‘kick’ a guest if a guest is having technical difficulties and cannot exit the room or if a person is an impediment to your show by clicking the ‘X’ on the top right hand side of the guest’s screen.
- Muting: On occasion there may be a time where you might need to either mute yourself or a guest. Anyone has the ability to mute. When you mute yourself, no one in the audience will be able to hear you speak. However, if you mute someone else, only you will be affected.
- Locking the Seat: Another great feature added for hosts is the ability to lock seats. This allows the moderator to closely monitor the flow of traffic on incoming calls or to close the room to themselves and guests. To lock a seat simply click on the ‘padlock’ icon over the empty seat in your Blab.
- Changing Topic: Your topic may change, as your conversation continues. In order to keep potential viewers in the loop, you can change your topic title. A host or co-host can change the topic by clicking on the pencil icon above the Title or by typing /title and entering the new title. Co-hosts can also change the topic title by typing the following in the comments area: /topic yourtopic name 💡Tip: If you are recording your Blab, the LAST topic name is the one that attaches to the replay. So be sure to make your topic the one you want before ending the show or recording.
- Deleting Comments: If you feel someone has posted an inappropriate comment or image, the host can delete specific comments by rolling over the comment and clicking the red ‘x’.
- Banning / Blocking Participants: Only hosts have the ability to ban a user from commenting or engaging in a specific Blab session. The “banned” Blabber will still be able to listen and see the Blab, however they will not be able to disrupt the Blab in anyway. To ban someone, roll over the avatar of the person you want to block at the top of the page and when the dropdown appears you will see a little red circular button to the right of the person’s avatar. Click this and a pop-up will appear asking you to confirm the block. Currently, once a block happens it’s just for that Blab session and the block cannot be removed.
💡Tip: If you feel you have a more specific issue with a specific person on Blab, then please reach out to the Blab team to discuss further with them.
- Displaying Questions/Twitter: The host can decide to display questions that have been asked or tweets that have been shared by clicking on the blue ‘Q’ and choosing from the drop down menu. Questions can be chosen for the Host to discuss and marked as answered. This question will be displayed on the screen as a seat, unless there are 4 people already in a seat.
- Recording your BLAB: BLAB allows the host to record several hours of video which you can upload to Youtube, or upload as a Podcast!
- Starting and Pausing: The host can choose when they would like to start and even has the ability to pause (go off the record) and start back up at any given time. The BLAB team cleverly stitch it all together, so even if you pause multiple times, you will get one continuous recording at the end.
- Receiving and Using Your Recording: After you have finished recording and your Blab ends, as the host you will receive links to download the raw audio, raw video and you will also receive an embed code allowing you to place the recording on your website or anywhere else that allows embedded content.
- One click upload to Youtube: As the host, if you return to your replay url you will see a red button that says ‘Upload to Youtube’ – click that and it uploads, easy! . You can read about how this feature came to be here.
- Ending the Broadcast
Once you feel your broadcast has hit the end of its run, it may be time to end your session. In order to completely close your BLAB you must ensure that all your seated guests have exited out (or you can kick them, that’s my favorite method 😈). Once your guests have exited, you can exit the room and the Blab will end. 💡Tip: The host can leave the Blab and it will continue running for as long as others remain in the video seats. The Blab will only close when everyone has exited the seats.
- Blab Embed – Once you have scheduled your Blab show your scheduled Blab page with the countdown timer on it will show you an ‘iframe’ code that you can copy and paste into the ‘code area’ of your website, allowing your Blab to be hosted live on your own website. Once the Blab is over, the embed will show the replay if it was recorded. Your Blab show can also be embedded on blogging tools like Medium:
This animation was created by @michaelhernsin < follow him
To start click on your profile picture in the right hand corner (red arrow):
Need to change your name or bio? Are you getting too many emails from BLAB? This is the place to do it. In profile settings you have the ability to change or update your name, e-mail address, bio and profile picture. You can also opt-in and out of emails.
Community members will want to know who you are, what you do and what you’re about; Your profile page is a snapshot of this. The ‘profile’ page also showcases your scheduled Blabs, recorded blabs, followers and following and how many days you have been on BLAB. You can also view a members Twitter by clicking on the Twitter bird icon below their bio. At the top of your Blab channel showcases any Live Blabs you are currently in or your latest replay.
- Hide a Recording: From the ‘Replays’ tab you can also decide which of your replays should be public or hidden. Replays cannot be permanently deleted at this time. Click the icon in the top right hand corner to make invisible or visible.
Although you may NEVER want to log-out of BLAB, sometimes it’s healthy to eat, sleep, and spend time with family (who are these people?). Press this button if you miss doing some of those things.
We thought we’d share some additional tips and tricks with you 😉
Need to get in touch with Blab? If you need to report a bug, have a brilliant idea or just want to send some kudos. CLICK HERE to find out how to contact the team!
Find more people to follow
Whilst most the time you will simply follow people you meet along the way, you could also choose to go and look at the TeamBlab profile page, scroll through their followers to see thousands of Blab users!
Get the most out of your Blab titles
In all likelihood, when you host a Blab, it will get tweeted out and shared a lot. To maximize this, use one or two popular (but related) #HashTags in your title.
Get your friends in a Blab room
Whether hosting or commenting in a Blab room, you can call attention to your fellow Blab friends. Simply ‘ping’ them by typing @theirblabhandle into the comments bar. This should give them a notification and draw them into the room. In addition you can attach a message to that ping, like ‘@theirblabhandle come and hangout with us!’
Looking for a Co-host for your show?
You can tweet @BlabHostFinder your idea and Team Blab will help match you! “Matchmaker matchmaker, make me a match, matchmaker….”
The team at BLAB are awesome! You will find them jumping into streams and helping out community members. They also host update shows discussing or announcing upcoming features. You can follow some of the most prominent @blab members here:
Tips for running a successful Blab
Does the BLAB Owl have a name?
Blab’s Owl is named Riano (‘on air’ backwards)