Periscope is a lot like Succotash

 Let's start this post off with some beauty. "Versaille Swans, photograph digitally painted" (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2014. Versailles, France.  (Available for purchase)

Let's start this post off with some beauty. "Versaille Swans, photograph digitally painted" (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2014. Versailles, France. (Available for purchase)

 5 year old Me:  “I don’t like this.”

Mom:  “How do you know? Have you ever eaten succotash before?”

That conversation came to mind every single day this past week.

The Back Story

My mentor challenged our Master Mind group to do 5 days of Periscope. She challenged us to put ourselves "out there" - further than we've gone to date.

If you’re not familiar with Periscope, it is a live-streaming app for your phone.  You turn your camera on, press the magic button and “boom” people around the world can see whatever you are broadcasting at that moment. (Are there really people just sitting around with their phones waiting for someone to live-stream? It seems to be so!)

And, the video feed is only up for 24 hours.  (A video life of 15 seconds would be more to my liking.)

Periscope is Interactive

At the bottom of your phone screen, you can see as people join to watch your feed.  I think the idea is to say “Hi” as each person joins.

For the first three days, I couldn’t even SEE the bottom of the screen because I was so focused on ATTEMPTING to make a good video stream.

Oh, and let’s not forget the viewers can comment or ask questions…

First, you have to contend with the “poster children” for puerile 13 year old boys - or drunken college boys on Spring Break in Florida.

There is a “Block User” function

Second, you have to contend with the females sporting exotic Eastern European names who are interested in having a “good time”.  (Why?  Just...why?)

There is a “Block User” function

Memories of being the mother of a 4 year old came to mind as I watched my peers being interrupted to answer questions.  You know the memory (or may be living it right now) - you’re trying to accomplish something and the 4 year old is tugging at your shirt, repeating, “Mom, mom, mom.”

Periscope is Anxiety Producing

Well, it was for me…

In five days, I never did find a camera angle or lighting that felt “attractive”.  

Agh…my scar!

Agh…my neck!

Agh…I look like I’m in pain.  Why can’t I smile?

(Cue Carly Simon…”You’re so vain…”)

And what about my “purpose-driven”, “perfectionist”, “do-it-right or don’’t do it at all” character traits?

Yeah…well 5 days of Periscope only produced a total internal discomfort that ranked right up there with my old Catholic School Girl Guilt…"I’ve done something wrong but I’m not yet sure what it is."

Anxiety-eating became a prolonged activity for the first three days of the challenge.  No amount of chocolate reduced the feelings of anxiety.

An interesting dynamic occurred on the third day - hump day.  Several of us produced a “I don’t give a flying rat’s tail about this video.  We showed up in our pajamas, with melted mascara under our eyes, no makeup, hair pulled back.  The whole experience was “Yeah, here it is. Take it or leave it.”  

Or, as Emma Wilson, our videographer colleague wrote…”There’s nothing to see here. Move along.”

I “scoped” walking the dog in the rain.  

Yeah, here it is. Take it or leave it.

Periscope is a Time-Sink

Again…my experience.

I spent a great deal of time planning each topic, setting up the “props” of what I was going to share, planning the placement of the phone/tripod combination, looking for good lighting. (But maybe, it's supposed to be about spontaneity?)

The actual “scope” was then followed by nervous, prolonged pacing through the house and consuming chocolate.  (See “Anxiety” above.)

Then, one had to review one’s own scope repeatedly to verify that yes, “everything I thought was wrong - was indeed wrong.”

And after that, one had to track the Periscopes of the group - followed by sending Facebook messages back and forth about how we each felt.

Also, when using the phone app, you have no way of knowing the length of each video. There is no time-stamp. (This is available if you watch via computer.) I found myself clicking out of the videos after only a minute or so.  (No offense, ladies.)

How long do you expect me to watch?

Periscope could be useful…

Periscope could be useful if I were doing my Jack Hanna imitation, and tracking the Giant 4-toed Ginger Backyard Bunny for an elementary school science class. Interactions with the school kids could be fun.

I also think Periscope could be useful if you, as the creative business owner, were to have a published Periscope schedule.  You could post a notice on your web site that you use Periscope every Monday at 3:00 p.m. EST for 5 minutes.  You could ask for questions about a topic for each “scope” or post a topic so followers could question or comment.  

And, I think a published schedule would also allow you to set the guidelines for respectful and successful interactions.

There are a variety of ways Periscope could be useful in one’s creative business…I may find some of these for myself…some day.

One thing I know “for sure”… if I do any Periscoping in the future, the screen will always be focused on whatever the topic is.  No more of this flipping back and forth between me and the topic.  That will eliminate one source of anxiety.  And then, I should be able to see and focus on the questions/comments.

I will admit I’m not particularly enthralled with the app and it’s use.  

If I am going to produce a video, I am going to take the time to craft it.  
If I am going to produce a video, I want it to be retrievable and re-viewable.

Yes, yes, yes, …. I hear you saying “but it’s supposed to be live streaming so you can interact with the viewers.”

Two wordsLandscape Photographer.  I like my solitude.

Succotash is…

 It's a good thing the Hubster likes succotash.  This bowl won't go to waste. "Succotash in blue bowl." (c)Rebecca LaChance, 2106. Thurmont, MD.

It's a good thing the Hubster likes succotash.  This bowl won't go to waste. "Succotash in blue bowl." (c)Rebecca LaChance, 2106. Thurmont, MD.

...a combination of sweet corn and lima beans.  The combination of the two foods produces a dish high in essential amino acids - the building blocks of protein.

(I believe lima beans are a waste of natural resources such as earth, sun and water. I don’t like them. Never have.)

Periscope is a combination of…what?

….too many lima beans and very little corn?
I’m running out of analogies here, but the point is…I did not feel Periscope to be particularly nourishing, nor was it particularly beneficial during this challenge.  (Well...I DID get this blog post from it.)

Bottom line:

  • I committed to the challenge. 
  • I showed up each day. 
  • I put myself "out there"
  • I engaged and found what part of Periscope will work for me - if I ever decide to use it. 
  • I will Periscope on my own terms, in my own way.

Adult Me:  “I tried succotash and I still don’t like it.”

Until the next time…

Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.


P.S.  Don't even try to find any of my scopes.  They will have all gone to Periscope heaven by the time you read this.

 Have you used Periscope?  What was your experience?  Do you have any creative uses of Periscope to share?  Leave your comments in the comments section below, or over on the Facebook page.

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