My Early Periscope Mistakes

"Engaging viewers in the process of creating and sharing video is what makes Periscope so exciting and challenging." – Stephanie Leishman, Social Media Strategist and Founder, Apiarity

While I like to share how to do well on emerging social media platforms, I also like to share how not to do well. I learn a lot from failure; we all do. One new app, Periscope, enables people to share social live video streaming. Here are some things I did in my early scopes that I believe made users drop off or not engage. 

1. Too shaky

Periscope is live video streaming. Since streaming involves the transfer of a lot of data, the more still you are the better people can see what’s going on. In one of my early scopes I talked to my followers while walking across the Harvard bridge. They couldn’t see the city from the bridge as I was seeing it because it was just too shaky and I moved my phone around a lot. In a later scope, I remembered to be still every minute or so to give people a chance to see what I was seeing.

2. Too much background noise

Scopes in loud locations can be fun (e.g., concerts). However, background noise is not fun, and gets in the way. In an early scope my colleague and I produced for MIT, we tried to show a part of campus during a time of day when traffic was especially heavy. The viewers couldn’t hear what we were saying. The lesson is to make sure the loudest sounds where you’re scoping are the main attraction of your scope. Don’t start a scope if the loudest noises are in the background and not central to your scope. 

3. A boring start

In one scope, I was starting on the walkway to a beautiful building. I kept telling my viewers we were headed to see the building. There was little to see along the walkway and I didn't have much to say. I was only promising that the upcoming view would be worth it. Viewers were too impatient to stay on the scope. Once I got to the building, few viewers were left to see it. The lesson I learned was that I should have started at the building and just looked around from there. 

Experimentation involves failure

Live streaming video takes some practice. Learning comes from experimentation. You're producing the video as people are watching it, so it's not like traditional video production. For example, you aren't able to edit the video before you broadcast it. Engaging viewers in process of creating and sharing video is what makes Periscope so exciting and challenging. 

What are some of your Periscope fails? Send a message or comment here to share your experiences.