Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Want to be a Broadcaster? Now you can with Periscope.

The Headlines:

In the Television News business... we've been scared of the internet.

Now there's another reason why.

It's called Periscope.  

This is out of my norm.  On this blog, I usually talk about things that, I feel, people will be interested in learning.  They usually have a lot to do with 3 things: one -  parenting, two - cooking/baking/cocktail-ing/party making or three, DIY/decorating.

This post has nothing to do with any of that.  Instead, I'm writing about something called Periscope...

Let me back up a bit.  If you read this blog at all, you may or may not know, I was in television news since my early 20's.. started in California, moved to Washington...

Went back to California, headed to Arizona...

and left the business completely over 4 years ago when I had my second child.  I did live television almost everyday of my life for years and years and years.

In TV News, with the help of marketing and promo's, we may say we're "right there with ya,"  we're listening," "we're a part of your family" "we care..." and the journalists do try.  But it's hard.  There's a TV screen and then there's you sitting in your living room.  There's no give and take... only receiving.  That somewhat changed with the internet.  The viewer could email us... I remember that was pretty cool back in the 90's!  As of late, they can now tweet, Facebook or whatever other social media avenues there are.  But still... viewers are rather removed.  It's something that has confounded the General Managers and News Directors at TV stations around the country.  How can they beat the internet?  Or at least share or join it?

Now, with something like PERISCOPE, it's getting even harder.  Periscope is live "broadcasting" from your phone, via app, wherever you are in the world.  Apparently, it started as an idea about a year ago but officially launched in the Spring of this year when they teamed up with Twitter.  Twitter can alert people when you're on live.  And as we all know, Twitter is huge!

Here are 3 things that fascinate me about Periscope.  

All you need is a phone
In TV News, there's a lot that goes into getting the product on the air each day... big cameras, tripods, live trucks, sat trucks, photogs, writers, reporters, producers, studio, crew, lights... I could go on and on.  But with Periscope... there's just you and your phone.  Hit the "broadcast button" and you're on!  Now that, my friends, is amaaaaaaazing!

Viewers can talk back to you - it is truly "interactive" 
Not only are you broadcasting whatever information it is you want to get out... but viewers can respond back!  They can tap your screen to give you "love," they can ask questions or comment as you're talking.  Yes, that can be distracting when you're on live... incredibly challenging for a television reporter... but also very fulfilling and, let's face it, downright fun!

Anyone can be a LIVE "journalist"
Finally, with this app, anyone can be proficient at going "live!" This was a skill only bestowed upon those of us who actually got job in the "biz" and we're paid to talk on TV.  Not anymore!  Now, anyone can create their own LIVE broadcasting and that to me is just outrageous!  To think... where I started in college to where the world of "broadcasting" is today.  Walter Cronkite wouldn't know what to do with this stuff!  Or maybe he would know exactly what to do.  Bottom line, it can take years to master "live" television.  But now... it might only take a few weeks.  That, to me, is impressive.

Periscope is impressive.  And while I still don't know too much about it... I'm learning with the rest of you... I'm going out on a limb this month and joining a challenge from a blogging friend whose blog is, WORKINGMOMMAGIC.COM,  I will be doing a Periscope once a day.  I hope.  I won't post them all on this blog... but a few will end up here.

For those of you who want to join Periscope... download the app on your phone, follow me, @mcgregornicole ... and others.  Then just sit back, watch and maybe even do a live hit yourself.  It's kind of addicting!

Also, if you want more tips on how to start please check out my friends blog: MOMMYINSPORTS.COM  she gives you tons of great info!  I still refer to it now and again.

In closing, I'll say one more thing: as I mentioned earlier, for years, the internet has been a challenge for tv stations across the world.  But I still stand by the fact that there's a definite place for TV Journalism.  Sure, they're may be tons of blogs, websites, "you tubers" and "scopers" out there but there's still a serious need for the job official journalists and news organizations do.  They have higher standards, better equipment, they gain more access to opportunities than a citizen journalist, they are "governed" by stronger list of checks and balances and in the end - we need them.  As a society, there will always be a place for television news because there has to be... I just hope people continue to understand that... as news "apps" continue to pop up everyday.

Like this one... because now the world of broadcasting is literally at your fingertips!  So have fun but most of all BE CAREFUL... because once you're live - you can't take it back!

Watch this CRAZY Periscope attempt with my son as my co-anchor!


  1. Love your three points about periscope. Those fascinate me, too! Most of our videos for the blog are done in one take as well, but for some reason, I just haven't done my first scope yet. This #SeptemberScopers challenge will be great for me!

    1. right... the interactive thing though is a beast... it really throws me!

    2. It can't throw you as much as a producer talking in your IFB though, right?

    3. right, you would think but it actually throws me more. producers know how & when to talk to you and it's instaneous because you hear it as opposed to SEEING the comment, which makes you pause and think. know what i mean? you'll see...

  2. I enjoyed reading this- but it's time for me to respond with why I stopped Periscoping. #BlogInProgress

    1. I was wondering where you went Angela!! You were all over it for awhile..

  3. I think Periscope is so much fun.. I hope I can keep this up for a whole month though! ha!

    1. totally... it's a big chore. i just need to stick to actual topics. i'm better when i have focus!

  4. Wow!! Great insight and good for you taking the challenge! I"m still staying away from Periscope...casually observing from the outside!


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