Journalists consider Periscope at Barcamp News Innovation

Above: Screen grabs from my demonstration.

Journalists gathered at Temple University all day Saturday for Barcamp News Innovation, our region’s national one-day un-conference on the future of news.

As one of the organizers, I waited until all of the early attendees planned their sessions and then scheduled mine on “Periscope for Journalism” during the last remaining hour — which doesn’t always pull the biggest crowd at a voluntary conference on a Saturday afternoon in the spring.

Yet, I found myself leading a session with about a dozen in attendance, including journalists from The Associated Press, WHYY, and The Scranton Times-Tribune, as well as journalism professors, students and more.

A quick survey revealed that some participants had already been producing Periscope videos, others had been just watching, and a few more had just seen articles which left them thinking they needed to know more.

I scrolled though to share my experiences and talked about discovery, curation, sharing, saving, ethics, rights and the shortcomings of the nascent live mobile video movement. And I talked about developing a new workflow for live redistribution but I have some work to do before sharing much more.

I learned from others in the room about the challenges of multitasking and adding yet one more social media responsibility while on the job. And we talked about leaderboards inside the new apps, which obviously drive eyeballs, although I hadn’t been giving them much consideration.

Finally, I led a live Periscope demonstration, using my phone, laptop, Quicktime and a projector — to share the process on a big screen.

Shortly after I left, one of the attendees looped me in on a Twitter conversation about Facebook integration for Meerkat, another possible game-changer.

Below, @PhillyCodeHound Seth Goldstein caught preaching about Periscope:

@jimmacmillan at #bcni15 talking about live streaming.

A photo posted by Seth Goldstein (@phillycodehound) on

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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.

3 thoughts on “Journalists consider Periscope at Barcamp News Innovation”

  1. When I was doing live streaming for the Inquirer, I found the biggest challenge was getting viewers who were interest in seeing something live. Being glued to their web browser for that must have news content. In practice, I found more eyes seemed to go to the content after it was captured, edited, and uploaded, for them to view at any time, that was convenient for them. A quality viewing experience was another issue. If it looked bad for any reason, then viewers left.
    Fast forward six years, and there are numerous standalone streaming software/hardware tools, and real video cameras with built-in streaming ability. So becoming a low budget live TV crew is a more obtainable and reliable reality.

    1. Hey Mike, I have had the same experiences with previous streaming adventures. But the ratio of followers to effort has been much better recently, at least with Periscope. I’m not sure why but I think the key difference might just be that the new apps are optimized for mobile consumption – at exactly the right time.

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