A ways back I was part of a Twitter chat about an event called BlogJam. If you didn’t come check out the event, here’s a bit of a review that I wrote. The event was designed to bring together bloggers of every sort and share our combined knowledge to create an army of talented and knowledgeable bloggers. I was OVER the moon excited. But during the chat, a few people brought up something that I had NO interest in talking about, learning about, or being involved in; Periscope. For those of you that live in a bubble and don’t know what Periscope is, it’s a free app that connects with Twitter and allows you to stream live video. Now, conceptually, I was very excited about Periscope (see also Meerkat) but what I had seen, in general, was incredibly poor execution. For me, the idea of live video was very interesting due to the fact that you could share such a wide array of ideas in new and interesting ways. But most people used it for the silliest things that I’d seen. I actually (briefly) watched one “scope” that was someone running…in the dark… But I listened closely to what some of the users had to say. And now I’m addicted.
What do I love about Periscope? Well, first and foremost, I’m a performer. I love to get up and do my thing in front of people. I always get great feedback when I’m able to lead a training session or I have a speaking engagement. The issue is that those things are few and far between. As a stay at home father of two who runs his business on the side, I’m not left a lot of time to get out in front of people. Secondly, I love to share and inspire. One of my favourite quotes about education comes from Socrates who says; “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”. Essentially, education is about providing that spark of inspiration, not just droning on until you’ve filled the learners head with everything that you think. And so I love to create a spark for people. When I lead a session or a talk and people leave honestly excited and inspired to do something, that (along with those fat stacks) is reward enough for me.
Periscope allows me to inspire whenever I’m inspired to do so. It doesn’t matter if I’m walking down the street, finishing a run, sitting on the couch or driving to a podcast. It provides me with the opportunity to shake my proverbial moneymaker and I love it. Once I decided that I wanted to scope, I started to think about WHAT I would scope and HOW I would scope. You see, it’s easy to say that you’re going to start producing content, but it’s far more important to have content with a purpose. While I may occasionally go live with my attempt to cross the street without getting hit by a metro transit bus I wanted to have a purpose in mind. So I’ve started using Periscope to answer two questions; what and why.
What? People ask me a lot what I’m working on. What’s the new project, how did it come about, why do you look for projects like this? All my friends know that I’m a bit of a startup addict and that I’m constantly looking for something new to wet my beak in. In the one week before I wrote this, I wrote two business plans and had in-person or virtual meetings with two potential partners on two different projects. So Periscope allows me to give people a sneak peak into what I have in the pipe. But Periscope isn’t JUST a platform for me to tell people how busy and awesome I am. It IS that, but it’s not JUST that. The second question is a lot more important and interesting than the first.
Why? Why do I do what I do? It is a primary focus of many of the talks that I give. Last year’s Podcamp talk was all about WHY I built a site to encourage D&D gaming. It wasn’t to drum up business (although it did) and it wasn’t just to get out of the house (although that was awesome). No. My Podcamp talk was about WHY I wanted to help build this community and how people could do the same. For me, understanding WHY people chose a project, WHY they built a site, WHY they launched a business is key to the success of that idea. So many businesses are successful because they develop a story and a dialogue with their customers and I want everyone to feel comfortable doing that because I genuinely want people to be successful.
For me, Periscope is an opportunity to speak directly to people by…speaking directly to them. If you don’t like being on camera, film your surroundings. If you don’t want people to hear your voice, use the images to tell your story. No matter what, I would encourage anyone that wants to share with other people to give Periscope a try. If you’re not satisfied, there’s a lifetime money back guarantee (psssst…it’s free)