Periscope brings nexting to web viewers with “Couchmode”

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: Bill @Couch, far right, demonstrates “Couchmode” at Periscope HQ.

Periscope product engineer Bill Couch tweeted a link Monday to his stream introducing their new “Couchmode” function, which enables random nexting for web users.

We learned from the video that “Couchmode” will feature popular streams, although the selection process was not revealed. Couch later tweeted some tips, including:

We also learned that they watch streams an a TV turned vertically at the Periscope headquarters, seen above at left, and which I have been thinking about doing for some time.

Couch also introduced new Periscope web engineer Patrick Camacho and together they promised that more web features will be coming soon. The Next Web has more info: Periscope’s new Couch Mode let’s you watch an endless stream of live video

There hasn’t been much more reporting but lots of people are tweeting about “Couchmode.”

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Periscopers Delivering Great Content

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Periscope Stars: “Creating a tool for Periscopers to cut through the clutter and explore great new content.”

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Aggregated Meerkat streams. Tweet all about it.

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Meerkatstreams.com is a site that aggregates live and scheduled streams into one central location. The site was built to enhance the experience around viewing live streaming video. Simple.

NEW! Record upcoming streams with their Live Video Recorder™ (LVR). Learn More.

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Meerkat Map uses app’s API to show streams around the world

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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“Global view… shows you where people are streaming, so you can hop in and peek at a world different from yours.” –thenextweb

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When news breaks: Choppers are no match for Periscope

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: @JaleelKing was streaming live on Periscope from the high-rise fire Wednesday in Philadelphia.

I had my windows open to the beautiful breezes in Center City Philadelphia Wednesday night when I heard what struck me as an unusually long run from a fire truck siren, as if it was traveling further than usual.

Being an old newsy, I fired up the 5-0 Radio Pro radio scanner app on my iPhone, discovered that the Philadelphia Fire Department was responding to a major incident and tweeted what I heard:

(I later read that “a rooftop fire sent smoke billowing throughout the building” which housed apartments at 640 North Broad Street, according to phillymag.com.)

Some journalists quarrel with the idea of tweeting scanner reports but — after decades in news photography — I’ve got the knowledge and experience to figure some things out here in Philadelphia. (I also like the “Batavian’s basic rules for scanner reporting” as a place to start.)

Next, I was about to check Twitter for witnesses on the scene when my phone whistled an alert from the Periscope app, indicating that local photographer Jaleel King had gone live with a stream labeled: “Fire at 640 N Broad St.” (That’s where I grabbed the image at the top of this post.)

And there I was at my kitchen table, watching a live report on my phone, perhaps one minute after wondering about the siren outside my window.

Opening my laptop to search for more information with Tweetdeck, I found another scanner reporter and witnesses on the scene, including one resident who posted a little video and this photo:

Exciting night here. Seems like half of the Philly Fire Department is here.

A photo posted by Jake Steinerman (@jasteinerman) on

About 10 minutes after I tweeted and shared King’s Periscope stream, I saw the first social media report from a local newsroom, when @6ABC posted a tweet with this aerial view:

Action News had a full report with dramatic video and interviews with evacuees by the time they went live for the 11 p.m. news show.

But when news breaks, I am now finding live reports from people the scene appearing much faster than traditional newsrooms can match — and I have to wonder if sending a helicopter makes much sense anymore.

Wouldn’t it be a better public service for journalists to find, authenticate, contextualize and re-share what’s being reported before they can possibly arrive? Or else why should we look to them first?

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Streaming all over the world: Ballparks, concerts and crime scenes

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above, from left: Streams from @MarlonAnderson8, @Lisabstark and @ScottEvansonAir were among many shared during Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby Monday night.

Here’s how it looked when U2 invited a fan to get up on the stage and stream during a recent show, according to a post from citynews.ca about the band’s streams from Toronto.


Dan Rather is expecting to see stories break on Meerkat during the 2016 US Presidential election, according to a report from thedrum.com:
What’s new in news? The apps and social networks transforming how we produce and consume journalism
And the police chief in the Indian city of Bengaluru has “proposed that citizens should report and record crimes using the live-streaming app as part of a new strategy for community policing,” according to a post at gizmodo.com.

Finally, here’s a stream from U2’s show in Chicago, captured and posted by U2 Argentina:

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Choose your view: Periscope users covered all the angles at the Whisky Row fire in Louisville

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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From left above, these images were captured by: Dan Colucci, Kayla Moody and Toni Konz, just a few of the Periscope users covering the #WhiskeyRowFire.

When fire broke out on Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row Monday afternoon, Periscope users were not far behind.

The three-alarm fire burned three buildings over nearly three hours before it was declared under control, but no injuries were reported, according to multiple new sources.

The map inside the app often indicated just one live stream at times, while multiple streams were playing.
The map inside the app often indicated just one live stream at times, while multiple streams were playing.

At least 11 Periscope users streamed at least 26 live video reports, although there are no means to track streams which are not also tweeted when users also have location services turned off.

An explosion and fire in New York City’s East Village produced a similar outbreak of coverage on the day the Periscope app was first released in March, but such close clusters have been rare when news breaks so far from our media epicenters.

Related streams have more often emerged when news breaks out across the country, such as we saw during the #FreddyGray protests or as can happen when series of tornados breaks out.

Matt Coddigton streamed this high view of the fire horizontally.
Matt Coddigton streamed this high view of the Louisville fire horizontally.

Periscope videos are deleted automatically after 24 hours online; so, the streams linked to these tweets will evaporate Tuesday evening. The latest links are the top of the list:

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