21 Aug 2015

Periscope - One User's Experience

It’s the weekend, I’m chilling with the papers (real papers, spread out across the table, print smudged on my fingers) when a notification pings on my phone to inform me that Deepak Chopra is livestreaming from New York. I open my Periscope app and BOOM, there he is, the man himself smiling into my screen, the same way my little niece does when she’s face timing me.

I, and 230 other people from around the globe tune in to watch Deepak share some wisdom from a cafĂ© in New York, except it feels like it’s just Deepak and me. For a few minutes he talks to me in his soothing voice and then he’s gone.

On twitter Deepak Chopra has 2.56 MILLION followers so being in an audience of just 230 is pretty exclusive. I feel like I’m experiencing something special, personal even. I’m invigorated by the experience. I want more.

I start searching for other people I think have interesting things to say and discover that on the whole they’re not active….YET. Media channels and big brands such as BBC, The New York Times, ASOS, Estee Lauder and MAC Cosmetics are present. The fashionistas and photographers like Mario Testino, who lead the way when it comes to the power of visual communication, are experimenting with what Periscope can offer. 

It’s a while since I’ve been so excited by the possibilities of a communications tool. Periscope is free and relatively easy to use and literally opens up a whole world of possibilities for zero budget. Broadcasts can only be accessed for up to 24 hours from going live which is perhaps why Periscope feels fresh, different.

Part of me wants to keep shtum about Periscope so I can enjoy access to inspiring, thought provoking people as part of a small audience but the marketer in me is making plans for clients I think could benefit from experimenting with free live-streaming. My head is bursting with ideas and those clients who have already tried it out are enjoying the experience. At this point in time the reach isn’t huge in comparison to more established networks but interaction is high and it’s hitting the desired target audience.

I’m also conscious of the fact that the more mainstream it becomes the more noise and mundane content there will be. Users prone to knee jerk reactions may land in more hot water with Periscope than they do with other social networks but it’s certainly worth considering how it could fit into your marketing strategy.

I imagine that there will be teething problems around copyright and privacy. For example when audience members at conferences and gigs livestream without permission of the speaker or artist .Often content and insight comes with a price tag unless otherwise stated.

Launched in March of this year Periscope is still very new so it makes me uncomfortable when I see people selling themselves as experts on the subject. I’d call them forward thinkers or early adopters because Periscope needs time to grow before any seriously researched insight or experience can be gained. As you can see from the screen grab above there’s not a massive volume of users broadcasting and I’m typing this at 1pm on a Friday.
If you'd like to try out Periscope this Beginners Guide from the Huffington Post will help you get started.

As always, comments welcome.

5 Aug 2015

We Are The Champions, My Friend.

mentoring and personal development

Sitting at Rouken Glen Park last week, sipping coffee and shooting the breeze with one my champions I watched the ducklings splashing around in the pond, learning to swim. The mother duck watched from a distance as her young headed off in different directions, calling them back into line when they began to panic or feel lost.

When working for large organisations there is often a Mother Duck system of procedures and training programmes designed to protect, develop and support staff at each stage of their career. Freelancers, sole traders, one woman shows don’t have that safety net which is why I value and respect my champions so much.

CEO’s and high achievers often join mentor-ship programmes and invest in executive coaching because not only is it tough at the top, it's lonely too. The same applies to those who are bold /crazy enough to set up their own business. Like the BT adverts used to say, it’s good to talk.

I’ve never had a formal mentor but I have been blessed to encounter individuals who were willing to invest their time in me. From different sectors and different walks of life my champions continue to offer knowledge, experience, understanding, a kick up the backside and a sounding board. They cheer me on. They hold me to account. They question my thinking and they champion my success. And all for the price of a cup of coffee.

I trust them completely as they have my best interests at heart. These individuals are straight talking, kind hearted, wise and great company. This article is partly to express my gratitude and to say thank you to Stephen, John, Rob, Margaret, Jonny, Pauline, Tony, champions one and all.

The other reason for this article is to encourage YOU to consider who you could support in their career or business growth. You don't have to make a huge commitment to make a huge difference. Over the years I’ve offered time and support to various business connections because I love their attitude and I believe in them. They never asked for help, I approached them and gave back what was given so generously to me. It isn't necessarily just the young who could benefit. I’m pushing 40 and I imagine that when I’m pushing 70 I’m still going to want to gather opinions and advice because life is about learning, and in learning we grow.

We are all experts in something. We have all benefited from a listening ear, a kind word or a reality check somewhere along the line. We need someone out with our friends and family to believe in us, someone whose opinion is not biased or so close that they can't speak freely without being in the dog house. 

They say that the business world is cut throat and that you need to be tough. At times that is true but you catch more flies with honey than vinegar and if you ask me, the best approach is to be a champion my friend.


Thanks for reading. Annie Boyd is a marketing and business consultant specialising in social media strategy. Her clients range from large public sector organisations to SME's. She enjoys working with individuals or teams who are open to new ideas and who like to look for solutions rather than look at problems! Get in touch if you'd like to have a chat about working together find me on LinkedIn.