Periscope users follow justice protests across the nation Wednesday night

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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: Journalists were streaming across the states Wednesday, from left: @micnews in NYC, @AtwaterWCVB in Boston and @JMichaelsNews in Baltimore.

This site was launched to take a comprehensive look at the intersection between journalism and live streaming video platforms. But it’s difficult to ignore the lessons we can learn from Pericope coverage of the broadening justice movement over the past few days.

For the first time Wednesday night, both mobile and desktop Internet users could follow video reports from demonstrations across the US — live and unfiltered — and without the support or control of traditional cable or network news programming.

And rather than communicating on back-channels — like using Twitter hashtags while watching the news — users can now converse in the same place at the same moment, right inside the mobile applications.

In addition to the protests shown at the top of this post, other users tweeted their coverage from the streets of Washington, Minneapolis, Seattle and Albuquerque — and possibly other cities.

Periscopers also streamed coverage from gatherings in Indianapolis and Tulsa, but there were no Twitter links to be found, possibly due to user settings. So, there could have been more.

Unfortunately, Periscope links go dead 24 hours after streams are completed, and the videos are lost  — unless users or viewers make other accommodations to save them. (A future post will take a good look at the full spectrum of present shortcomings.)

While Pericope uptake among journalists appears to be accelerating, there are still very few others streaming from the demonstrations, as we discussed in the last post.

Next, 1,800 people have RSVP’d on Facebook for a “Philly is Baltimore” demonstration planned for late Thursday afternoon— here in the City of Brotherly Love.

To find streaming videos, search Twitter for “Live” plus “Periscope” plus “Philadelphia,” “Philly” or “phl.” “PhillyisBaltimore” seems too long, but time will tell.

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Continuing coverage from Baltimore enables deeper look at live-streaming mobile video journalism

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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: Police deploy tear gas Tuesday night in Baltimore, as seen through the Pericope reporting of Paul Lewis, Washington correspondent for The Guardian.

After following live-streamed reports from Saturday’s march and Monday’s violence in Baltimore, we’re beginning to find more thoughtful responses emerging in response to the new practice.

A post on Medium says that: “While the virtual can never be a direct substitute for the physical, tools like Periscope can help to capture the golden moments of breaking news by helping journalists establish an authentic developing narrative.” Author Saul of Hearts, who also writes for Iside.com continues: “Precious moments such as (Paul) Lewisinterviews with community members display the power of #livejournalism.

Meanwhile, a post by Selena Larson at The Daily Dot points out that while a handful of journalists have been live-streaming from Baltimore: “Neither Periscope or Meerkat seems to have caught on with regular citizens,” and “haven’t quite lived up to the hype of being go-to sources of real-time news in conflict areas or protest zones.”

As Larson explains, sharing and saving is still very difficult with the latest mobile video apps, compared with “channels already popular among the masses—and, most importantly, their friends and family,” such as Vine, Instagram, and Twitter’s built-in video.

Meanwhile, while Mashable and Techcrunch both reported yesterday that Periscope picked up a million users within ten days of launch, The Verge reminded us that Twitter now reports having 300 million active users.

Finally, I spotted a couple of people tweeting last night that the BBC’s Newsnight apparently went live on air from Baltimore while using Persicope:

And then this morning, the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan tweeted: “LIVE on #Periscope: #Baltimore police and troops at national harbour..

Is there a good reason why American news organizations aren’t taking the lead?

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Beam those streams to a big screen: Watching live video apps on TV

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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: I recently caught these streams from Periscope users at the New England Aquarium, atop the Washington Monument and even one flying inside a Philadelphia Police helicopter.

While it seems obvious that new live-streaming applications such as Periscope and Meerkat were designed with mobile consumption in mind, I sometimes like watching streams on my big-screen TV at home.

My method requires wifi and an Apple TV device, and it’s pretty simple. Once you have both your phone and the Apple TV box logged into the same wifi network — and with the Apple TV cabled to your TV — all you have to do is:

1) Swipe up from the home screen on your iPhone
2) Tap AirPlay
3) Wait for the Airplay screen
4) Tap Apple TV
5) Wait a second for the Mirroring button to appear
6) And drag the Mirroring button to the right

atv

That’s it! You can watch Pericope, Meerkat or anything else from your phone and on the big screen at the same time.

You can tilt the phone to view horizontal videos from your Camera Roll or from YouTube on the big screen, but vertical-only applications like Periscope are going to make you wish you had a vertical TV, as I discussed in a previous post.

Connecting your home audio system to your TV can further enhance the experience, as I enjoyed while watching Diana Ross performing last night in Las Vegas:

Finally — while I haven’t tried it — I am wondering if connecting your phone to your TV with a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI cable might works as well for a little less money.

Who’s got other ideas for enhancing the live stream experience?

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Imagine texting your favorite performers while they play for you; or just do it now with 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: Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose reads messages and waves goodbye after singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” for a small, spontaneous audience Tuesday night on Periscope.

For many years now, I have been plopping down on the couch at the end of my day and checking YouTube’s daily “Most Viewed” list on my Apple TV, just to see what made people click. I can’t begin to summarize the countless trends and discoveries, but at last I have found something much more interesting to do.

A couple of nights ago, I figured out how to enhance the experience of mobile streaming video consumption by mirroring my iPhone screen on the Apple TV device — which I have connected to a big screen and my home audio system.

I watched and listened as one Periscope user streamed Neil Diamond singing “Cracklin’ Rosie” during a live a concert — and it sounded terrific; even though I’m not much of a Neil Diamond fan.

I found another user streaming from a Fleetwood Mac arena show, but the house lights were up; so, it must have been streaming either too early or perhaps during intermission.

Then, I hit the jackpot. There was Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose, strumming an acoustic guitar and singing into her phone — where about 100 of us were watching. Again, the sound was outstanding.

If you don’t know Pomplamoose, they’re not easy to define but it’s safe to call them exceptional innovators.

So, I simply texted what I was thinking: that I should not have been surprised to find her playing on this emerging platform. Mostly, I listened. And then I captured the frame grabs above just before she bailed.

This interactive experience felt like such a breakthrough — to text one of my favorite entertainers while she performed — that it made me wonder if this was how captivated TV viewers felt when they tuned in to Sing Along with Mitch 50 years ago.

Want more? One night later, I stumbled onto the stream from a guy who calls himself Marks Records as he rapped whatever anybody typed in the message window. Before I knew it, I had him rapping about my beautiful wife, our lazy housecat and my pitch that we all need to work together for peace.

I lost that link but found him doing it again yesterday. It’s quite an experience but definitely #NSFW.

I have also found myself attending sporting events through other people’s stream’s, often from the front rows. One guy streamed as Vin Scully read the lineups on the big screen at a Dodgers game. Other users took me to see NBA and NHL matches on recent nights.

The only problem is that you have to wade through a lot of baloney to find the good stuff, at least until somebody develops better search protocols. In terms of quality, this experience can feel more like surfing YouTube’s “Recently Added” queue rather than the “Most Viewed.”

Above all, streaming to the Apple TV left me wishing that I had my TV mounted vertically on the wall at home, and wondering how long it will be before mobile video production makes that the norm. Or, maybe we will have rotating screens? Time will tell.

Bottom line: Either I’m crazy or this is the biggest shift in social sharing in many, many years. What do you think?

Finally, randomly, this is still my favorite Pomplamoose video:

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Welcome to Streamalism

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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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Latest posts by Jim MacMillan (see all)

I’d have to be crazy to tell you that anything is the next big thing, but one signal has tickled me enough to launch this site.

When I share my enthusiasm for the recent outbreak of live crowdsourced mobile video streaming, I get a lot of sideways looks and disparaging comments.

And it reminds me of how I felt when I started working with Twitter for journalism, a little while ahead of some others.

As with all other social media content, journalists are going to have to figure out discovery, curation, authority, ownership, rights, legitimacy, terms of service, sharing, ethical dilemmas and much, much more.

But unlike much of anything we’ve seen before, the audience will be watching a great volume of crowdsourced news as it happens.

To begin, I am going to start working with Periscope, Meerkat, Stre.am, Ustream and Livestream, while catching up with live streaming developments on Youtube Live and perhaps everywhere else. Time will tell.

To get started, let’s think about this: With the new DJI Phantom 3, you can now stream live video footage from your drone to the internet:

If you use this link to buy yours from Amazon, you will also be supporting Streamalism.org at no additional cost.

Meanwhile, let’s get the conversation started.

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