Periscope and Writer Broadcasts
I’m too shy to do this review the way it should be done—with a camera, like a good unboxing—but apps like Periscope will probably remove that hurdle of self-consciousness in the coming months and years. The amount we expose ourselves seems to have no limit, and this new app goes another mile down that road.
But what is it? It’s an app Twitter launched last week, allowing users to stream videos directly to other users’ phones. Anyone can comment in real time and “send hearts” to signify they like something.
In their unveiling, Periscope said they want it to be like teleporting. It is. It’s uniquely strange, to suddenly tune in to someone’s iPhone halfway across the world. Firing it up for the first time was the strangest new tech feeling I’ve had since … seeing the keynote for the Apple Watch, I guess (but that passed).
I just watched a fantasy baseball Q&A (the outlook for the Braves is bad). I watched a WordPress instructor giving a lecture on social media. I watched a dog sitting on its owner’s lap at lunch in Kentucky and two bros in a pub in England. Whenever I saw a woman, I saw dozens of commenters typing BOOBS. I changed the channel to Ted Cruz giving a stump speech in Iowa and typed BOOBS.
The reason for the review here—aside from saying follow Real Pants on Periscope @ActualPants, we’ll have great live coverage of AWP, including author interviews, panel recording, off-site readings, and other spontaneous stuff—is that Periscope seems to offer a much more seamless and useful approach to the streaming broadcasts that writers like Steve Roggenbuck used to do on services like uStream. I can’t wait to see what people cook up on Periscope.
The app is simple, it looks good, and the comments are easy to see and interact with—though I think after a minute the comments stop showing up for me. Has anyone else had this happen? I’m not sure if it’s a glitch or a settings issue on my end. Is anyone out there using Periscope already? What are you using it for? Can I follow you?
We’ll post our AWP broadcasting schedule right here next Tuesday. In the meantime, if you aren’t attending AWP but are dying to see a particular panel on the schedule, let us know and we’ll Periscope it out to you.