SnapStream Blog

Feature Friday: Patrick Conway

October 16 2020 by Bethany Goldson

Patrick

My milkshake brings all the bugs to the yard...

 

Happy Feature Friday! Get to know an incredible member of our QA team, Patrick:

How did you find SnapStream?

I found SnapStream while I was still living in Madison, Wisconsin. I was looking for something new and exciting and I had lived in Houston before, so I started looking for jobs in the area. SnapStream was on the top of the list because the product seemed really cool and the culture aligned with what I was going for. After applying, I had flown down to interview and had received an offer as I stepped off the plane in Madison. In the span of about 3 weeks I had put everything that could fit into my rusty Buick, gave away or donated everything that couldn’t fit, and started the move to Houston. I did a week-long tour of the U.S. on my way down before finally getting into Houston the day before I started.

What is your role here?

I work as a Lead Quality Assurance Engineer. I’ve been with SnapStream for 7 years.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

In QA, I’m always exposed to new technology as we develop it. I’ve learned a great deal about video standards and how it’s transmitted, closed captions, networking, cloud systems, and so much more. I tend to get a lot of crash courses in many different things due to the nature of testing. Also, due to Slack debates, I’ve seemingly formed a strong opinion of what constitutes a sandwich.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

It has to be the people and culture. Everyone is easy to work with and there aren't layers of bureaucracy that you need to go through to get something done. It’s a fun place to work at with unique challenges that you wouldn’t really encounter in other jobs.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I watch a lot of sports (Go Pack Go!) and play a lot of video games, with World of Warcraft and Rocket League being my mainstays. I can also be found raiding my wife’s library and reading books from time to time.

 

 

 

Content Meets Context: The Power of Video with Aaron Rupar

October 15 2020 by Juliette Richert
Since graduating recently from Rice University, guest writer Juliette Richert is continuing her education by listening to as many podcasts about politics, culture, and society as she can get her hands on.

Given Aaron Rupar’s half a million Twitter followers, his work is obviously popular, but why? As a millennial, I haven’t turned on cable TV in more than 5 years. Like much of my generation and the country, I get my news from the Internet and social media. Using short videos to share news stories on his Twitter feed and in his writing with Vox, Rupar connects Internet and social media users to the world of TV watchers, shedding light on the filter through which much of America receives news and information.

In 2017, Rupar was working as a journalist with Center for American Progress and had only a couple of thousand followers. That number has since soared after his “John Kelly” post (as seen below) was retweeted more than six thousand times, the most retweets he had received up until that point. This successful tweet propelled Rupar from a meager 4K Twitter followers to nearly half of a million, a 10x increase in followers over the past 3 years.

Kelly, by rupar

John Kelly on Fox

Rupar is now an associate editor for politics and policy at Vox, an avid Twitter user, and self-labeled liberal. He’s refined his beat from politics to primarily Congress, the Republican party, and Trump. Rupar publishes short pieces for Vox nearly every day, designed to give context around current events. His quick response time, sense of humor, and easy-to-read writing style make Rupar a strong reporter. Rupar’s Twitter feed, which he updates more than 30 times a day, has a critical and often satirical take on politics and the White House.

His most popular tweet from each thread gives a brief look at what people found interesting or important, but his long threads give you the chance to dig into the details of the event minute-by-minute, without ever having to watch the whole thing. Rupar’s Twitter feed is fun to explore, and you can easily get lost in rabbit hole-threads. Along with entertainment value, his work provides access to video that many people might not see otherwise.

Rupar feed clipped

Scrolling through Rupar's feed

Rupar’s time on Twitter and his success as a journalist at Vox have a symbiotic relationship. His Twitter following has helped Vox by indirectly growing their audience and increasing traffic. In order to make his Twitter threads, Rupar has to trim down longer videos. This process allows Rupar to engage with news as he live-tweets and construct rough outlines of his written pieces for Vox. In his writing, Rupar frequently uses short videos pulled from his Twitter-feed to contextualize the topic, providing audio and visual context that is difficult to replicate with words alone.

 

“With Trump everything is a spectacle, so it lends itself to video.” - Aaron Rupar

 

Videos provide context for the viewer to experience and understand the news, according to Rupar. Rupar’s discovery of SnapStream in 2017 was well-timed with the presidency. Trump is the most frequent face seen on Rupar’s feed (rivaled now only by his new daughter, Mia). Trump’s wild oratorical style and polarizing statements certainly help Rupar catch the attention of his audience. However, Rupar is confident that when Trump leaves office (whether that be in 4 more years or a couple months), there will still be high demand for news clips on Twitter.

 

“It’s one thing to have an opinion on politics, but if you have the video with it…people like to see people saying things” - Aaron Rupar

 

Why are some people ditching TV and paying attention to shorter clips of news? News consumers feel pressed for time and are exhausted by the current news cycle, so shorter clips are a quick way to consume news. If a video isn’t interesting enough, I’ll skip around to find the highlights. Rupar basically does that work for you.

Social media is also crafted to keep us moving down the feed, consuming as many posts as possible. Instead of competing with other TV stations, reporters now compete with puppy videos and memes for their audience’s attention. Best to make your post eye-catching and to-the-point in order to grab back their attention. Plus, there’s something priceless about seeing things for yourself.

Trump, mispronounce rupar

President Trump at a rally in September

Video isn’t going anywhere because it gives you and your audience the ability to make up your own mind. How are you giving your audience the context they deserve?

 

Feature Friday: Jon Hertzing

October 09 2020 by Bethany Goldson

IMG_20200509_164743

When you'd rather be eating Dad's homemade pizza than taking a photo

 

Before we head off for the weekend, join us for another Feature Friday and get to know one of our incredible engineers, Jon:

How did you find SnapStream?

I met with some of the engineers at the University of Texas career fair in 2011. I had just finished talking with a recruiter at a different company and was headed to the next one on my list, which was downstairs in the auditorium. The SnapStream booth was right at the base of the stairs so I decided to go ahead and talk to one of the engineers. I found the product interesting and the engineer was very enthusiastic about it. I interviewed and was brought on as a junior engineer.

What is your role here?

Software Engineer

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I started as a junior engineer with basic web development knowledge. As the product grew, I was able to learn and work with a variety of languages and technologies beyond websites, like IOS, Android, and databases.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

The company culture. SnapStream really tries to keep you happy. I’m able to work the hours I want to work, dress the way I want, and work where I want. If an emergency comes up or I’m not feeling well, the responses have always been “Ok feel better”, not “You need to finish this project”.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I like to spend time with my family. I play Dungeons and Dragons with friends a few times a month. I read lots of sci-fi and fantasy. I enjoy painting tabletop minis for DnD and other board games, and I love to cook, especially when it comes to baking bread and pizzas.

 

What’s New in SnapStream 9.5

October 07 2020 by Monty Mitra

We’re excited to roll out our newest SnapStream 9.5 release, which is focused on enhanced streams support with live transcription and Slack integration. At a high level, SnapStream 9.5 allows you to:

  • Easily add streams and create specific events to record
  • View and search live transcriptions from the added streams
  • Share a clip directly to Slack
  • Geo-lock posts to Twitter and Facebook

9.5 features


Streams & Events (With Live Transcription)

(Note: Only available as a part of SnapStream Cloud.)

One of our long-term focuses is helping our customers to expand their content sources within SnapStream. SnapStream 9.5 is the first step in that process by letting you directly add and manage your own RTMP or HLS streams. This can be great if you want to:

  • Record and clip specific events, such as a press conference
  • Easily add press pool feeds and other live and breaking news feeds, such as CNN Newsource, AP Video Hub or Reuters Video
  • Record and clip your Zoom events, meetings and webinars
  • Add, record, and search a 24/7 news stream channel, such as CBSN or YouTube Live channels

channel logos 2

 

Many of our customers want to quickly grab a stream to record and clip a specific event, such as a press briefing or an event that may not be available on national news broadcasts. So we also added the ability to create scheduled events for your streams as well. If you want to record an event happening next Tuesday from 2PM to 3PM, you can schedule it on any stream you setup in SnapStream.

 

Live Transcription

Our Streams & Events feature now enables Live Transcription. Since not all streams carry caption information, SnapStream can create those transcripts in real-time. Not only does this allow your event to be searchable later, but it makes real-time live clipping easier. SnapStream includes this transcript data when you publish clips to social media so your clips show captions when they auto-play as a user scrolls through Twitter or Facebook. 

When you upgrade to 9.5, you get 30 days to test out Streams & Events completely free. Add as many streams as you want and record as many events as you need. We also provide 10 hours of free live transcription per month.

Streams and EventsLearn more about Streams & Events

 

Zoom thumbnail

Recording a Zoom call in SnapStream only takes a few clicks

 

HLS Thumbnail

OTT channels like CBSN can now be added to SnapStream for clipping

 

Clip to Slack

One of the things we heard from a lot of customers is that they’d love to be able to share clips in Slack. Many of you create clips in SnapStream and collaborate with them with other members of your team to decide if and how to use them. Maybe a few of you want to decide if that’s the right clip to post to social media or to your website. Plus, just about every team is on Slack so it just makes sense to share clips directly there!

Clip to Slack

Geolock social media posts

Many of our customers need to ensure that their posts are only displayed in specific countries or excluded in specific countries. SnapStream 9.5 now supports geolocking posts to Twitter and Facebook. You can select specific countries where to show the posts or where to exclude the posts.

Geolock

 

Speed enhancements & more

We’ve also made performance upgrades to our SnapStream Cloud product. Cloud customers, particularly those with a larger number of users, should notice faster speeds when publishing clips to social media. SnapStream 9.5 has many other bug fixes and improvements. Read the full release notes.

 

Schedule Upgrade to 9.5

These newest features are available as a software upgrade to your SnapStream. Want to start using them? Have your administrator schedule an upgrade.

SnapStream’s support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session that usually takes an hour.

 

Feature Friday: Josie Munoz

October 02 2020 by Bethany Goldson

IMG_20200929_1

Rocking some SnapStream swag: family style!

 

Woooo, it's Friday! Meet Josie, who has been with us for over 10 years: 

How did you find SnapStream?

Honestly, I had just graduated from college and was looking for job posts and opportunities. I found an opening at SnapStream on Craigslist in 2009. I looked into the company and back then, SnapStream had just transitioned from a consumer to an enterprise product. I thought the new enterprise product was a really cool idea and I wanted to be a part of it all!

What is your role here?

Accountant

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I’ve definitely grown alongside SnapStream. When I first started, the Accounting department was just an office full of papers without a lot of policies and procedures. I was just trying to get the bills paid! I began to work and create more processes as we received more customers and our accounting workflow has grown with the company. I have now been able to take accounting up a few notches and develop a focus on Finance, which includes developing a model for forecasting and working with management in making strategic decisions for the company.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

The opportunity to make your position here your own. Once you find a need, you have the freedom to address it and figure out a solution. I also love the people! Besides being a casual and cool group, everyone here is so open to work and learn with you. We really grow alongside each other without competition.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

My schedule is full of family time! I have a teenage daughter that keeps our schedule busy with cheer, volleyball, basketball and softball. My wild child toddler keeps us on our toes at all times and he's finally starting sports this year too. When I'm not being a sports mom, I love to spend time working on our little farm. We have some chickens, a mini pig, a goat, our dogs that help with all the animals, and a veggie garden in progress.

Feature Friday: An Dinh

September 25 2020 by Bethany Goldson

An

Our support team gets the gold! 

 

Wassup, y'all know it's Feature Friday! Meet a golden member of our support team, An:

How did you find SnapStream?

A buddy of mine introduced me to the company and said, “Hey, this company fits your personality, you should apply”. I gave it a shot, and I’m glad to be here!

How have you grown with SnapStream?

SnapStream has been with me throughout my personal life, from the loss of my father to marriage and having kids! SnapStream is the first job where I’ve had insurance and been able to travel for work. It’s been a lot of firsts for me because I was an independent contractor before, it’s great to be an actual employee of a company. As far as career growth, I’ve gained a lot of technical skill especially in the arena of recording devices, AV, etc. I’ve learned how to support clients and how to be an effective ambassador for the company. I feel that I’ve grown to a place where I’ve had enough experience to be able to pass my knowledge onto other people. In support, we show up to a customer’s site to work with someone we have never met, and it’s usually their first time learning a product like ours. It’s important for our support team to be united so that we can provide customers with an actual representation of what it’s like to be our customer and use our product. We typically are at the customer’s site for two days, which is a short amount of time to show them who we are so, my goal is to leave them feeling like they've made the right choice. It’s been an awesome learning experience.

What is your role here?

Staff Tech Support Engineer

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

The ability to work with my team to solve problems. If you ask for help, someone is always there to have your back. Our support team is a very cohesive unit. The company has also always taken care of us. Even though we are currently working from home, our benefits have remained excellent and there’s always a personal touch to everything provided.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I mean, what don’t I like to do! I love building cars, camping, and going to the beach. I used to be an armorer and still do this occasionally in my spare time. I do a lot of dad stuff with my kids (who are 2 and 4 years old). We cycle together and we love to visit state parks.

Feature Friday: Chelsea Hertzing

September 18 2020 by Bethany Goldson

image (3)

Their futures are so bright that Chelsea has to wear shades!

 

Well hello there, welcome to another Feature Friday! Meet Chelsea, the human with all the resources:

How did you find SnapStream? 

I found SnapStream because, well, I'm married to one of the Engineers! My (now) husband Jon found SnapStream at a career fair right after we graduated from college. We had just gotten engaged, so I followed him from Austin to Houston for SnapStream. A few years later a position opened up that fit my personality, and now I've been here 6 years!

What is your role here?

I am the Human Resources Manager, so in short my role is to take care of all of the SnapStreamers.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

The role I originally took was Office Manager and HR Assistant. Eventually the HR side of my position grew so much that I didn't have time for my office management duties, so we split my job into two positions. Now I am the HR Manager and am training an HR Assistant.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Definitely the people. There is never a boring day with a group like this, whether we are debating if pineapple belongs on pizza (IT DOES) or we are engaging the team about how COVID-19 has impacted our lives and mental health, we have enough interesting conversation to get us through anything.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I enjoy crocheting, reading, cooking, and I love being outside whenever possible. Mostly I spend time playing in my backyard with my 18 month old daughter.

 

Find out more about Chelsea here!

Feature Friday: John Rothwell

September 11 2020 by Bethany Goldson

John

You can't test this kind of confidence! 

 

It's time to end this week in our favorite way, the Feature Friday way! Meet a stellar member of our QA team, John:

How did you find SnapStream?

I found SnapStream by doing a job search on Glassdoor. I was laid off from a previous company and I had a hard time finding a position in Houston that was along the lines of what I was looking for. When I read employee reviews of SnapStream, I realized that there was a place for me here. I honestly didn’t look at the job application too much because the company and environment is what really drew me in.

What is your role here?

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

How have you grown with SnapStream? 

The technology we use at SnapStream is unlike anything I’ve worked with before. I had never done anything with content testing or recorded content. I’ve learned a lot more about television signals and recordings than I ever would have on my own or somewhere else.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

The people and the environment. Even if the work is great, you aren't going to have fun if you aren't surrounded by good people. Snapstream has a lot of camaraderie throughout our teams as well as programs to influence engagement with others. It's a very unique environment and one that other companies should aspire to achieve.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

My biggest interest outside of SnapStream is exercising as I enjoy running, going to the gym, and video workouts. I also play a lot of video games like first-person shooters and other fast-paced games, especially Overwatch. I’m also a huge dog person. I've volunteered with rescues in the past, but dedicate my time to my three pups: Miley, Rose, and Theo.

Feature Friday: Jason Baumeister

September 04 2020 by Bethany Goldson

minetrain

Raise your hands if you think SnapStream is the best! 

 

Yay, it's Feature Friday! Meet Jason, who has been with us for 15 years:

How did you find SnapStream?

I had purchased Beyond TV and Beyond Media software to use at home and built my own DVR, which was pretty cutting edge for 2005. I was still in college at the time and started working on plugins for Beyond Media. The most popular plugin was the DVD Library, which was where you could rip your movies to your local hard drives and you get a Netflix-like experience. As I worked on plugins in my free time, someone at SnapStream reached out and asked if I had a resume and wanted to interview to work there, so I did!

What is your role here?

Chief Architect 

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I’ve been here for 15 years, so it’s probably easier to answer how I haven’t grown! A week after college graduation, I moved across the country with everything I owned in a van to work at SnapStream. I’ve spent almost my entire adult life growing up with SnapStream and it’s the first place that I became a part of a team. I started by working on interesting portions of Beyond TV, then helped grow the development team and work on all the fun stuff that it takes to transition from a consumer software company into B2B products. My whole career has been growing alongside SnapStream.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Growth and change, there’s always that next new problem to figure out. We have customers who see us for our technical expertise and will ask us to help them solve whatever issues they are having. It’s brought us through some interesting directions at different points in time. Instead of just giving a standard answer with requirements, we brainstorm with both our and the customer’s team. We're always about finding creative solutions.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

Nowadays, it’s primarily family time. We love going to Disney and we were actually there two days before it shut down for COVID-19. We also enjoy the beach, my two daughters love swimming and dancing. We’ve been going on a lot of bike rides since quarantine began.

Feature Friday: Gayan Gunawardana

August 28 2020 by Bethany Goldson

 

image

Visiting Sequoia National Park! 

 

Yo, it's that day where we showcase a super cool person that we get to work with every day. Meet our numbers enthusiast, Gayan: 

 

How did you find SnapStream?

In 2012, I was in the last year of my MBA and was attending a career fair. Most of the students were flocking to the big gas company booths but I wasn't too interested in working for a large company. I spotted SnapStream with a cool booth and more importantly, no line. I decided to go see what it was all about and came away thinking "Wow, that's a very cool product!". I later found out I had a connection with Rakesh (SnapStream's CEO) since he was an advisor to the startup incubator I was working at as an Operations Analyst, so I applied. After a couple of rounds of interviews, I joined the team!

What is your role here?

Senior Marketing Program Manager

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I've grown quite a bit. For a start, I’ve grown laterally from all the snacks in the office! :) Jokes apart, SnapStream was my first job in the U.S. since moving here for my MBA. I’m originally from Sri Lanka where I studied Chemical Engineering and had my own startup making e-learning software but moved here to pursue higher education. I first joined SnapStream as a Sales Engineer and whenever they needed help managing a team, I would step in. I liked working with Sales and Engineering because you work both in the technical side and with customers. I had the opportunity to move into an Analyst role and work with Sales and Marketing, which was great because numbers have always been my passion. I now work completely in marketing and do lead generation, digital marketing, and analytics. I have a lot of fun with the technical things I’m working on now and I’m very happy with how I’ve been able to pursue my passion here at SnapStream.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Absolutely the PEOPLE, we have a big commitment to our culture. Even when times change, things get busy, and life gets hard, we are always consistent in our culture. A lot of startups start to lose their roots as they grow large, but we’ve always kept that playful and relaxed startup feel. We have the right environment for our people to blossom. This commitment to people was really evident when COVID happened. We were one of the first companies in Houston to move to a remote structure and have done a ton to help employees navigate this really strange time we are in.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I spend a lot of time with my 2-year-old daughter. She’s loads of fun and it’s incredible to watch her grow. I also have a variety of hobbies. My wife and I used to travel all the time and so far have visited 20 national parks (our plan is to start again and visit all 62 parks). We have a map framed in our living room with flags that mark where we have been. I’m also into cryptocurrency; I’ve lost more money than I’ve made, but it’s a very cool concept that I follow closely. I play a lot of video games, especially city simulators, transport simulators, and warship simulators. Recently, I’ve been into water cooling my PC. It's a huge money pit but it's super fun since it’s basically a never-ending engineering project.

What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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