Ustream offers a unique alternative to your regular chat box: the Social Stream.  The Social Stream enables you to communicate with your fellow viewers on any channel, and also with the broadcaster.  It allows you to send your messages and posts about the stream to social networks, and control the identity that you chat with.  While the Social Stream interface may seem confusing at first, it will basically allow you to answer two questions:  who am I communicating as, and where are my messages going?

Who am I communicating as?

With the Social Stream, you can choose to have your messages labeled with either your Ustream username, your Facebook username, or your Twitter username.  To choose which name to post as, click the dropdown arrow next to your icon in the social stream.  In order to post using a username and image from either Facebook or Twitter, your Ustream account needs to be connected to those services.  You can connect your Ustream account to these services through the Account Settings > Connections tab in your Ustream dashboard.

In the dropdown menu, choose your name and icon.  After you choose, any posts that you write to the Social Stream will be show the your icon for the service you have requested, and your username for that service.

Where are my messages going?

Any messages you post in the Social Stream will show up on the channel that you are posting to by default, but you can also choose to send messages to Facebook and Twitter if you want.  This is done by highlighting the icons below your post.  You will see an icon for Facebook and an icon for Twitter.  By toggling these icons (either greyed out or colored in), you can choose to send a message to these other services directly from the Social Stream.

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