Written by Dennis Michael Lynch
I started Walk & Talk in October without any planning or intention of making it into a “show.” The idea came to me in the same way you decide to grab a drink when your thirsty. It sort of just popped into my head one day during my exercise routine (walking).
At the time, Trump was getting slaughtered by the press. Americans were being told by all the news outlets that Trump had no chance to win the election. His polling numbers were “terrible” and Hillary was destined to be the president.
Having been a part of the news — anchoring a nightly show for nearly a year and being a guest for 6 years — I was very familiar with the talking points game. Furthermore, having traveled the country each year making my films, I knew there was more support for Trump than the media was giving credit.
In late October, my email inbox was loaded with “fear” from voters who bought into the narrative that Trump was sure to lose. My Facebook page was overrun with fear-filled comments about Hillary being elected president.
I knew Trump was going to win. I knew the electoral college was in his favor. I knew he’d take Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The problem was how to get in front of you? How do I tell these people that my confidence was based on real facts and figures?
The Walk & Talk program was born from my desire to reach out to you directly with no filter between us. It occurred to me that it didn’t need to be flashy. I could talk to you as I walked. You could be in your home or office, and I could be in my sweatpants. Thus, out of nowhere I decided to pick up the phone and broadcast LIVE during my exercise routine. My goal was to eliminate your fears by sharing my knowledge.
The first Walk & Talk grabbed a few million views. So, I did it again. And then again. A few videos grabbed 5 million views, another video grabbed 7 million. One Walk & Talk was shared 250k times. Within a few weeks it became a 1-hour show with segments (Politics, Opinion, Wow, and Story Time).
Each day the view count has been high: 11k viewers, 9k viewers, 12k viewers, 8k viewers, etc. But then two weeks ago the problems started:
“DML, you’re freezing up on me.”
“DML, video is buffering.”
“I get no sound.”
“I get no video.”
Despite the technical problems with FB LIVE, our audience remained strong long after the election. You kept asking me, “DML, please start your own network.” I was flattered by the requests. But then Leslie Stahl interviewed President-elect Trump on ’60-minutes.’ She made Trump supporters out to be wild maniacs who hate anyone and everything not colored white. That was the final straw; I decided to launch phase 1 of building a network.
Sadly, although we currently have great momentum, over the past two weeks the problems with Facebook LIVE have grown bigger.
For example, Facebook is limiting the number of people who receive alerts about the DML Walk & Talk. This could be because more publishers are using FB LIVE — thus, making it so FB restricts the number of alerts placed in your timeline.
Another reason is the Facebook app. I’m getting many emails from people who say the program just crashes. People suddenly get “kicked off” during the LIVE show. I know it’s a real problem because it happened to me yesterday and today.
We receive hundreds of complaints about FB LIVE each day. We report the issues but nothing is done about them. Meanwhile, we had a faithful fan write to us yesterday, “I love DML Walk & Talk. I have been with you since day one but I can only take so much spinning and blackouts. I wish you luck.” She has given up on the show because of FB LIVE issues.
So what to do?
We’ve tried using Youtube LIVE as our primary platform but too many people said it is not a user-friendly experience. So we’ve gone back to Facebook LIVE as our primary tool, and Youtube mirrors the broadcast.
We’re vowing to find a solution because so many of you have come to depend on DML Walk & Talk for news and analysis. And I see it as the first show in an array of new shows that will feed our new media platform and change the way news is delivered.
Lets take a look at the numbers…
President-elect Trump has 12M Facebook fans and typically draws 40,000 viewers per LIVE feed. This equates to 3,000 viewers per 1M fans.
Today, I checked out the Alex Jones LIVE feed on Facebook. He has 1.3M fans. Today his LIVE feed had 580 people. That’s roughly 400 viewers per 1M users.
Barack Obama did a live event not long ago and grabbed 2,500 viewers. Hillary, during her speeches, would get about 3k viewers.
Meanwhile, leading up to this week, the DML Walk & Talk was grabbing 8,000 viewers per 1M fans each day, 7-days per week. Proudly, I know of no other political show on Facebook that generates even HALF our numbers. But we’re losing viewers in large numbers and it all connects to the user experience.
I spoke to a video expert today. He says the issues can be any 1 of 5 things:
1) The Facebook server farm is not robust enough to keep up with the video demand. Thus, if we get placed on an overloaded server on a specific day we could experience more interruptions than usual.
2) Facebook is screwing with me as part of its crackdown on ‘Fake News.’ I hate to believe this is true, but how do we account for people saying we are no longer in their feeds despite marking the “notifications” box?
3) Because so many people are connecting to our video at once, and because Walk & Talk relies on my cellular feed, it could be that the combination is causing crashes and spins.
4) My cell area is not strong enough for the show to go off smoothly.
5) Some people report spinning, others do not. The hour long stream could be causing a caching problem for some of you and thus, the spinning begins. I will explain how to fix this tomorrow during the show.
The issues can be any one of these things or a combination of them. Either way, something has to change and improve.
On Friday, I will limit the show to 30-minutes, and I will walk where I know the signal is strongest along the route.
On Saturday, I will do the show for 30-minutes, but this time I will walk the route in reverse.
On Sunday, I will go for 30-minutes but from a different location all together.
By Monday we’ll have a better sense for what is going on. So I ask you to be patient.
In the interim, if you have not signed up for our text alerts please do so now. You do it by dialing 40404 and sending this text: follow @realdennislynch
Be sure to hit the SPACE bar after the word ‘follow’ — thus leaving a gap between follow and the @ symbol. You should get an alert stating you are now following me. I use the system whenever I am going LIVE and when there is breaking / important news.
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Below is today’s Walk & Talk before I was cut off abruptly. It’s 33-minutes long. TOPICS: Trump’s DHS pick, What to Do with Dreamers, and F-16s being made in India instead of Texas.
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DML Walk & Talk 12/8