Using technology to grow your cam modeling business.

How to easily add multiple monitors to your cam splitting set up

Camsplitting has become a popular way for cam models and streaming entertainers to simultaneously broadcast across multiple platforms and websites in order to expand their reach, grow their fan base, and increase their income without working more hours.

Most cam splitting software is easy to use, and offers additional  tools for production such as specialists, watermarks , lower thirds and so on. The way cam splitting software works is that it acts as your camera input, that can be selected for each platform that you log into.  The problem however, is that depending on how many things you are logged into at once that your single monitor or laptop screen can get pretty crowded if you want to monitor each platform.  If you are performing from a distance this can make things very hard to see and even harder to respond to any chat messages.

The solution? More monitors of course. Multiple monitors gives you a larger canvas on which to work, and arrange windows as you see fit using your existing keyboard and mouse or a wireless set that you can use from a distance.

Adding multiple monitors is easier than you think.

My first dual monitor set up was probably 12 years ago on a old Compaq running XP which maxes out at 4G RAM. Functional and far better than just one monitor, but not nearly enough RAM to say…watch a video while working or also running iTunes.

Today’s PCs and laptops are generally far more powerful than my old system, and are 64 bit and generally allow for some RAM upgrades if needed. They should easily run 1 or 2 additional monitors on factory specs.  Windows 10 and Macs also support multiple monitors by default.

Many laptops come with a  VGA port to attach an external monitor and there are also laptop docks that will do the same.
But what if you don’t have either?

I suggest at least 6-8G RAM. You can head over to crucial to see how much more RAM you can add to your system, exactly what type to order, and also order it right there.
https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner

Home to add multiple monitors to your Laptop or PC

Cam splittingYou are going to need as many open USB ports as monitors that you want to add (2 or 3. If you’re trying to add 4+, you’ll need a powerful computer than can handle it. ). Do not use a USB hubs or splitters. For best results you want to use the open USB ports right on your machine.

Head on over to Amazon and get a Kensington Universal USB 3.0 Multi-Display Adapter (K33974AM) for each monitor you plan on adding. You don’t have to buy a Kensington, many other manufactures make USB display adapters.

You will of course need the monitor(s). Again, personal choice but if you’re on a budget I’ve done well with Acers: Acer G226HQL Bbd 21.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Display. They’re affordable. They last, and the display is pretty decent on them. What size you get is up to you, but if you plan on mounting them on a multi-monitor stand be aware of size limitations. Personally I have 3 20″ monitors on a stand that’ll hold up to 22″ monitors, but that size is right for my set up.

Setting up your additional monitor is this easy:

If you have a large enough work area you can just set the new monitor on your desk. You can also get some affordable double and triple monitor stands that are both free standing, or attach to your desk.

If space is limited you may want to check out portable USB monitors. They’re lighter and can be easily taken on remote broadcasts or put away when you’re not using them.


And that’s it! It’s really that easy. As long as you have the room to set it up, and a computer with enough RAM and/or a decent Video Card to run them ( again, I recommend at least 4G RAM for 2 monitors and 6G RAM+ for 3) you’re good to go.

You can now drag web pages, files, copy and paste back and forth, or whatever you need to do from one screen to the other and muti-task your ass off . You just move your mouse to which screen you want to work on and do everything else as normal. As I was writing this post I was also watching the live stream of the Windows 10 announcement with Outlook open on the right to answer any emails quickly.
Done.

Protect your digital assets with a 3-2-1 backup plan

As a web cam model and performer, your digital assets are not just important for marketing and promotion, they can also be an additional source of revenue. They are your products. Just like any other small business you need to protect and backup your products against loss, theft, or disaster.

No matter how nice your desktop or laptop is, using your computer as your sole storage device is pretty dangerous. Should your computer be lost, stolen or destroyed in any way and your files unrecoverable it won’t just suck, it would set your business back into the stone age having to start over and re-accumulate new assets.

There is no reason not to have a backup in this day and age. Most small businesses with 1 or 2 computers can do it in less time than it takes to watch a House Hunters rerun on HGTV.

The 3-2-1 backup plan

 

1. Keep at least three copies of your data (images, videos, contacts).

That includes the original copy and at least two backups.

2. Keep the backed-up data on two different storage types

The chances of having two failures of the same storage type are much better than for two completely different types of storage. Therefore, if you have data stored on an internal hard drive, make sure you have a secondary storage type, such as external or removable hard drive storage, or NAS ( Network Attached Storage).

3. Keep at least one backup copy of the data offsite

Even if you have two copies on two separate storage types but both are stored onsite, a local disaster could wipe out both of them. Keep a third copy in an offsite location, like the cloud. (Source: Carbonite)

Register your computer

If you’re using Windows and haven’t done so yet create a Microsoft account, and register your computer and your Windows key as another fail safe. Should you need to do a complete purge of your hard drive and reinstall Windows, you will be able to go back to your Microsoft account, grab your key, and finish the installation of Windows on your new drive without having to buy a new license.

If you’re using a Mac, same thing. Create your Apple ID in case catastrophe happens and you need to reinstall your operating system on a new hard drive.

External Hard Drive backup – Onsite

An external hard drive is probably the easiest, and cheapest solution to start putting together your 3-2-1 backup of your computer and files. A decent 500GB- 1TB hard drive is under $100, and is small enough to fit into your pocket. The process of backing up onto an external drive pretty much amounts to plugging the drive into a USB port and following the steps.

I prefer to unplug my external drive after making a backup just in case my computer is compromised or infected, everything attached to it may also be compromised, making my backup drive pretty worthless. Of course that means that it cannot backup automatically, so that means you have to remember to regularly update it with a recent version of your files.


NAS (Network Attached Storage) – Onsite

In addition to multiple external backups, I also use a WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage . Basically a little mini server that you can set up on your network to store files, and of course backups of the files on your computer. NAS is great because (depending on the size) they offer more tools and options to store files from multiple devices on your network including backing up images and other media, and you can access most NAS devices remotely.

Many NAS devices also allow you to chain multiple devices together from different locations, basically creating your own cloud backup and off site storage solution.

Setting up Network Attacked Storage is relatively easy but there may be a little learning curve if it’s your first time. Which ever NAS device you choose will have it’s own installation instructions for you to follow, but they are all basically the same set up.

Once your NAS is set up you can follow the same steps to use it as your backup destination as above, simply choosing a folder on your NAS device as the destination to store or backup your files. Since a NAS connected to your network, you can set automatic backups to perform daily, weekly, monthly or whatever you prefer, or is right for your situation.


 

Microsoft One Drive backup- (Cloud)

Remember above when I mentioned that you get a free TB of cloud storage with your Microsoft account? Well, you can use that as a cloud backup for your files. If you have over a TB of files to store you may want to consider buying more space, or backing up the most important files to stay within the 1TB limit.

Check out the video for instructions on how to set up your Windows 10 computer to back up to your One Drive account:

Carbonite backup (Cloud)Protect your files with Carbonite cloud backup now!


If you’ve never seen a Carbonite commercial, it’s a very easy to use cloud backup (offsite), and restoration service for personal computers and business back ups. They have plans for single computers, entire offices, or full server backups.

Using Carbonite is really as simple as creating an account, choosing a plan, installing the software, and choosing what you need backed up, how often, and pressing the button. Even my Mom can use it.

 

Google Backup (Cloud)

News broke last month that Google will start to offer a backup service for your computer. According to The Verge:

Google is turning Drive into a much more robust backup tool. Soon, instead of files having to live inside of the Drive folder, Google will be able to monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. That can include your desktop, your entire documents folder, or other more specific locations.

The backup feature will come out later this month, on June 28th, in the form of a new app called Backup and Sync.

Be on the lookout for this feature as I think it will be a great option for anyone needing that additional cloud backup option.

Conclusion

Obviously you can use any products or services that get the job done. The important take away here is that there is no excuse not to have a 3-2-1 backup plan. There is no way to predict what kind of disaster could befall your computer or business on any given day. After a disaster has struck it’s too late. You won’t be able to turn back time and make it all go away with magic.

You should weigh the cost of which solutions to use vs. the cost of having disaster happen and not being able to recover your files, operating system,  client information and having to start from scratch.

Once you’re all set up, (and keep your backups current), if disaster does strike you (or a tech) can literally snatch the hard drives out of all of your computers, replace them with new hard drives, apply your back ups and never skip a beat. I don’t know about you, but to me that kind of peace of mind is almost priceless.