There’s something happening here: Periscope in play during #FreddieGray protests in Baltimore

Above: Periscope users @dmitrisobol, @thefancyfriend and @alexandrafox5dc streamed live from the #FreddieGray demonstrations Saturday in Baltimore.

Large crowds marched through Baltimore on Saturday in protest following the case of Freddie Gray, who died earlier this month while in police custody. A handful of those present shared live video throughout the day using Pericope, a one of several popular new live-streaming applications.

“A day of mostly peaceful rallies to protest the death of Freddie Gray turned confrontational as dark fell over Baltimore on Saturday with demonstrators smashing the windows on police cars, blocking traffic near the Inner Harbor and shouting, “Killers!” at officers dressed in riot gear,” according to the Baltimore Sun, which continued: “The protest was the largest of daily gatherings in the week since Gray died. The 25-year-old had sustained spinal cord injuries while in police custody following his arrest April 12 near Gilmor Homes in West Baltimore.”

Periscope does not enable simple searching, sharing or saving — like Twitter or most or social media platforms — and user settings can make it even more difficult to find content. But there are solutions for discovering and curating user-generated reports.

Twitter’s Advanced Search page is a good place to start, where by adding “Periscope,” “live” and “Baltimore” in the “All of these words” field, you can see all of the related tweets.

(Working with the “Dates” and “Places” fields has not been yielding good results when searching for Periscope videos.)

When you get to the “Results” page, click the tiny “All” text-link near the top of the page to see a complete list.

You could also try replacing “Baltimore” with “FreddieGray” to see additional results, although tweets using both terms will appear in both sets of results.

However, this process is helpful only when Periscope users select the option to share a tweet before they “Start Broadcast” on a new stream.

Another effective method for tracking tweeted streams involves setting up search columns while using Twitter’s Tweetdeck desktop application, which Apple users can find in the App Store.

Then, you can set Tweetdeck to alert you with sounds and/or on-screen alerts when a tweet matches your search terms.

Archived videos from other users can be viewed only when using mobile devices — and only for 24 hours — but even under those conditions, some video pages inexplicably lack play buttons, rendering them useless except for confirming that the videos were streamed earlier.

In their haste to get rolling, it also seems as if many users fail to plant good search words in their titles, making them very difficult to locate. But if I spot a user share one video from an event, I then check their Twitter streams for additional live video links.

And some users continue to insist on shooting video horizontally, causing a little more confusion.

When you see what appears to be a cut between shots, the user has toggled from one camera to the other, either forward-facing or facing back at the user.

Periscope was clearly the app of choice this weekend in Baltimore. I spotted only one stream tagged #FreddieGray while searching Twitter for links to Meerket videos, but that screen showed only a view of the user’s TV as he watched news reports at home.

In every case, finding, saving and sharing live-streaming video has been much more labor intensive, and requires much more time and attention than other social media platforms.

But the effort can also lead to an important new layer of user-generated content.

We’re also going to need to get used to explaining those hearts on the Periscope screen when we copy the videos to other media.

Below: This video includes excepts from Saturday’s #FreedieGray demonstrations in Baltimore from users..

@dmitrosobol – an MBA, business strategist and “truth seeker” from Delaware,

@AlexandraFox5DC – a television reporter from Washington, and..

@TheFancyFriend – a fashion and lifestyle blogger from New York:

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Jim MacMillan

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I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Jim MacMillan

I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.

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