Periscope is my new time-waster

periscopeLately it seems like I find out about every great new thing from the Facebook group I belong to for our upcoming Disney trip in September. These ladies (and gentlemen) know about every deal, sale, neat trick and cool new gadget out there. The other day one of them mentioned that you can watch the Wishes fireworks at Disney World on the Periscope app, almost every night.

What’s Periscope?

Apparently Periscope’s been around for months, but I’m just finding out about it now and I don’t think I’m alone — according to Social Media Week, lots of people are on Twitter asking what the heck it is. Periscope (owned by Twitter, and tied into that network) lets you broadcast live video to the world — and lets everyone else watch broadcasts anywhere, in real time. Your Twitter followers get a notification that you’ve gone live, and anyone else can find you through keyword searching or — here’s the magic, in my opinion — by geographic location.

Florida on PeriscopeSo by looking at the map, I can check to see who’s broadcasting from the Happiest Place on Earth, for example. Last night Dave and I watched the Wishes Fireworks, and we had our choice of three or four “scopes” to get the best view. We were watching a scope from the Golden Nugget pool in Las Vegas the other day and heard about the fire at the Cosmopolitan. I keep looking for scopes from the Buffalo area, or Niagara Falls, so I can get a taste of home, but so far just one guy broadcasted for a few minutes while he was waiting in line for the Superman ride at Darien Lake.

That’s the thing, there’s a lot of random stuff on Periscope. A lot of “here at Amy’s party” or “walking my dog” or “hanging with my girls at the bar”. And I hope you all are having a great time, but I can’t say I’m interested in watching. I’ve also got to assume there’s a huge potential for more-than-G-rated scoping going on, but I’m going to steer clear of that entirely and would imagine you’d do the same. (Unless that’s your thing. No judgement.)

people I followBut there are also people who broadcast regularly, and once you follow them, you get notifications every time they go live. (If you find notifications pesky, you can turn those off, of course.) Apparently some people are in the Magic Kingdom every day. I can’t join them, but through Periscope I can pop in where they are any time. You can tweet to the user while they’re broadcasting, and if they choose, they can answer verbally. So if you ask how the weather is, or if there’s a long line at Haunted Mansion, you get a real-time answer.

I’m not much of a content sharer. If I used Periscope to broadcast, there’d be a LOT of video of George not playing with a toy mouse, since he invariably stops whatever he’s doing as soon as you point a camera at him. But most people these days LOVE to share, not to mention the potential for brands, marketing and celebrity publicity. So I think in the future there’s going to be a lot to watch on Periscope, both mundane and exciting.

You have to excuse me now, though. There’s someone riding the WInnie the Pooh ride RIGHT NOW and I have to stop what I’m doing and watch.

Periscope, my new favorite time waster. 🙂


A Civil War soldier’s diary in real-time, on Facebook and Twitter

From the Milford Beacon:

The Delaware Public Archives has begun tweeting entries on Twitter and posting entries on Facebook that are taken from the diary of Delaware soldier Cyrus Forwood. Readers can now follow, in real time, the travels of Forwood as he experienced the war exactly 150 years ago. Forwood’s first entry states:
“May 11th 1861. Volunteered in U.S. service for three months in the “Blue Hen’s Chicken’s.”

To see what his Civil War experience was like on a day-to-day basis, visit:

Twitter —
Facebook —
Blog —



The National Archives uses social media, why can’t I?

I’ve been trying to use Facebook and Twitter to promote the museum, but it’s tough going. To be frank, sometimes the day-in, day-out of our jobs isn’t worth blogging about. Even when we’re busy; I just can’t imagine anyone’s especially interested in seeing me tweet “Oh god, oh god, there are 150 sugared-up kids running through the exhibits!!!” every day. I see the value in using social media for promotion; I’m not quite as sure how to make it happen.

The National Archives is doing a much better job at taking part in social media, of course. From Tech Insider:

The National Archives and Records Administration is going all-in with social media in hopes of assisting and expanding its audience. And the agency isn’t approaching it haphazardly — look across Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and you’ll find consistent names and information, as well as a centralized “one-stop shop” for social media on the website.

Archives has 15-plus Facebook pages, including one for each region and presidential library. Each is a niche community with targeted news and events, said James. For example, the page geared towards researchers in April launched a Civil War-focused scavenger hunt across the Archives’ social media sites, including Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

Links to the agency’s six blogs, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube pages and Twitter/RSS feeds all can be found off the website’s homepage.*

But, you know, they’re the National Archives. Of course they’ve got awesome stuff to talk about. Anyone else out there having luck using social media as a promotional tool, whether for archives or anything else?

* For easy access to the National Archives’ social media sites, streams and feeds, go here.

1B1T: One Book, One Twitter — reading American Gods

The Twitter-based crowdsourcing project, 1B1T (One Book, One Twitter), starts today — we’re reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. From Jeff Howe:

“I have a dream. An idea. A maybe great notion. Actually, as Auggie March might say, “I got a scheme.” What if everyone on Twitter read the same book at the same time and we formed one massive, international book club?… The aim with One Book, One Twitter is—like the one city, one book program which inspired it—is to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss. The point of this—to the extent it has a point beyond good fun with a good book—is to create community across geographical, cultural, ethnic, economic, and social boundaries. ”

I know that some public libraries and universities do this; I seem to recall hearing that my own alma mater (Cornell) started a project like this one shortly after I graduated. I’m all for anything that encourages reading, sharing and discussion when it comes to books.

After discussion, rounds of nominations and voting (all of which I’m sort of not sorry to have missed, considering that getting a group of any size on Twitter together to agree on anything must have been like herding my cats away from the Squeaky Mouse), the book chosen was Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I’m ashamed that I haven’t read it yet, and so I say, why not? My copy, duly ordered from Amazon (library was all out! This is good!), arrived yesterday and I’ve read this week’s first three chapters, so I’m ready to get started.

Interested? Read Howe’s blog post, quoted above, here. The Twitter hastag is #1B1T, and you can also follow @1B1T2010.