“If you didn’t take the picture, you weren’t there.”
Last summer I took this picture at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Garry Winogrand was a renowned 20th century street photographer who captured life as it happened. At the time, I thought this quote and picture were quite meta considering I had just experienced an exhibit of his famous photography. But it became more profound to me last week when I “Periscoped” for the first time.
Purchased in March by Twitter, Periscope is the latest and hottest social media platform. A bit like FaceTime for the masses, it allows people to connect with anyone and everyone via video in live-time. Power users like Amanda Oleander have already become instant celebrities for leveraging the app as a personal live-broadcast channel, much like early YouTubers did ten years ago.
Last week, I had the chance to test out Periscope for the first time for one of our clients, Coldwell Banker. Our team assembled a panel titled “A Smart Look at Home Innovation,” featuring executives from LG, Lutron, Nest, Sengled and Tesla for the Real Trends Gathering of the Eagles real estate conference in Denver. The panel discussed the smart home and the many products and apps that are making it easier for people to operate the technology in their homes.
We had a variety of responsibilities surrounding the event, but I was charged with broadcasting it live so that our network of Coldwell Banker agents who weren’t there in person would have the opportunity to experience the panel in live-time.
I have to admit, I took this very seriously as I wanted to make sure that it went off without a hitch and that those viewing from parts beyond Denver got to experience it in the same way that those in the ballroom of the Four Seasons, Denver, did.
All in all, I think my first Periscope experience went well and our client was pleased with the engagement. However, like any new experience I learned a lot. I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for those who will be jumping into the Periscope matrix soon – either personally or professionally:
Test it out first! Listen, we all can’t be Martin Scorsese but if you are planning on broadcasting live, you should have an idea of what the viewer experience will be like, especially if it is for a client. How’s the lighting? How are the angles you are filming from? Do you have a steady hand or can you prop up your phone somehow? Also, we may have all just gotten used to filming horizontally on our phones… but for Periscope, vertical filming is best. Finally, you can do a private test first with some friends so they can give you feedback, which is a great way to work out the kinks. This was incredibly helpful to me. We tested it outside, inside and then one more time from the place where we were filming just minutes before we went live.
As soon as you go live, send out a Tweet alerting the world. You can select to broadcast privately or publicly. If you decide to broadcast publicly you probably should do some pre-promoting to make sure you have people who know about it. For those who are following you already, they will get an alert and of course they will hopefully see your tweet. But if it’s your first endeavor with Periscope you should probably set up some other social media pushes earlier in the day to get people excited.
Remember, you are on video, but…your viewers are engaging with you via text chat within the app. It’s definitely weird at first. You are talking and taking video while the people watching you are texting you via the app. Your instinct is to get on the keyboard and text back, but really all you have to do is answer out loud. If you are just filming yourself and what you are experiencing it’s easy just to respond. But, if you are filming a live event like a panel you can’t just shout out responses. Consider having one of your team members in another location participate to help you field any questions. It can be tough to do both at once.
Your Periscope video is available for viewing for 24 hours, but you can also download a file immediately after if you’d like. Like Snapchat, Periscope captures a moment in time and then it expires. However, if you want to keep it for future viewing you do have the option of saving it to your phone. But make sure you have enough space before you start filming.
Make sure you capture the details of the engagement from your broadcast. You’ll want to remember the people that engaged with you during your Periscope experience and how many were there. Periscope captures both the people that view it live, as well as the ones that view it during the 24 hours after, so make sure to take note.
One more thing, just to keep your interest piqued regarding Periscope. Any live events are now subject to personal broadcasting. We are about to see a revolution of mass filming live events that could challenge traditional paid models and advertising. You may have heard about this small boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas this past weekend. Many people saw this as a chance to buck the pay-per-view model and broadcast live from the event to thousands of eager Twitter viewers.
It makes me wonder if Garry Winogrand’s quote will soon need an update to “If you didn’t Periscope it, you weren’t there.”
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