Several years ago there was a new sensation in social media called twitter. I was completely unconvinced. A microblog that allowed posts of just 140 characters. 140 words would have been bad enough. It was enough to say “duh” forty something times except, of course, the space between each “duh” counted as a character, reducing the number of times you could write “duh” to just 33.
Twitter didn’t inspire me. People said that Stephen Fry was the best thing on twitter. I had a look. There were several tweets from him describing a taxi journey home when he was desperate for the loo. It seemed dull, even tedious to me. Twitter just wasn’t for me.
My colleague Jo Berry reluctantly agreed to go on a course about twitter for businesses. “Why do you hate my so much?” Jo asked when I asked her to go on the course. She has a healthy cynicism about new fads and isn’t someone who appreciates having her time wasted.
The next day, when she came back from the course, I asked her what she thought. “You’ve got to do it”, she said.
“No, really, what was it like?”, I asked. “You’ve got to do it”, she said, this time being very serious. And that is how my love affair with twitter began.
So what about Periscope, the latest product to come out of the twitter stable. Vine never really took off. With another colleague, Lucy Enever, I made one Vine. It never captured my imagination.
Periscope allows live ‘broadcasting’, enabling anyone to run their own mini-television station. I spent some time today watching Periscope. It was dreadful. The camera work was shaky. The dialogue non-existent. I’m not that interested in watching people eating a rather boring meal, or pointing out at great length an area of outstanding natural beauty which actually resembled a neglected cabbage patch.
Wasn’t it Leon Trotsky who said that the art of propaganda was knowing what to leave out?
So, what’s there to love about Periscope? Actually, what’s there not to like? I think Periscope could just be the next Big Thing, if you ignore the dross. The internet, twitter, blogs, etc. are full of boring rubbish (not to mention bile, pornography, and merchants of hate). You just have to filter what you look at.
I created a Periscope account (andywinterbht) and am going to do my first broadcast in the next 24 hours. I can’t promise great camera work, excellent dialogue, interesting vistas. I’ll probably repeat much of what is in this post. Not original, but I’ll be giving it a go. Why don’t you join me, either by watching what I am going to say or by broadcasting your own message to the nation.