Adventures with Periscope

I hate to admit that after being a Massachusetts resident my entire life, and living in Boston for 4 years, I have never been to any of the Boston Harbor Islands. That is, until Monday, when my boyfriend and I decided to have our Memorial Day picnic outing on George’s Island.

If you’ve never been to George’s Island, you should go. A pleasant 45 minute boat ride from Long Wharf, the island feels like a huge escape from the city (while keeping the iconic downtown skyline in view the whole time). It’s so quiet, and to know that you’re on an ISLAND…it’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle and not pay an arm and a leg for it ($17 a ticket!). Plus, you can explore much more of Fort Warren on your own than you can of Fort Independence, which is very freeing.

Anyway, the point of this post. While I was on the ferry, I decided to experiment with Periscope. What is Periscope? It’s a live broadcasting app owned by Twitter that allows you to broadcast a livestream from wherever you are, and your followers can tune in and watch your broadcast. They can also ask questions through the handy chat feature. You can choose whether or not to upload your broadcast for people to watch later, which is pretty great as well. Because its owned by Twitter, you can login to the app using your Twitter account. This comes in handy later when you begin a broadcast: Periscope will autopost a tweet for you to let your followers know you’ve started your livestream.

I walked the ramparts of Fort Warren until I found a spot that had decent LTE signal (damn you, T-Mobile). Did you catch me live? What did you think? It was pretty brief because of the wind, the iffy signal, and because I was nervous. I mostly just talked about the fort, where we were, and that was that. I thought the experience was cool! It’s definitely a great app for showing your followers around a place you find interesting, especially one that others might not make it to. I think the next time I use it, I’m going to prep a little more. I know, I know, I should be spontaneous! And to a degree, it will be — I won’t be reading a script. But having an idea of what to say ahead of time will definitely cut back on the “uhhh”s and “so”s.

I’d definitely recommend Periscope to anyone with a story to tell. It’s a great platform for sharing the knowledge you have about where you are, with an audience that might or might not know you. I wouldn’t recommend using it in museums, only because so many of them have strict policies about recording and you don’t want to get in trouble! That being said, it would be great if museums embraced this app. The Field Museum has done a few broadcasts and have asked viewers to submit questions (which you can do via Periscope!) to be answered live. It’s definitely a great tool for members nights, spontaneous behind the scenes tours, and special events. I would also say, anyone visiting a historic house or property, use this app! Share where you are and how you’re feeling in the space, especially places that have outdoor grounds for you to explore.

My next broadcast will most likely be about the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Historic District, a place I know far too well, but want more people to know about! I’ll get on that next week, so keep an eye out!

– a

PS: Big thanks to Giles Parker for sharing my broadcast with his followers! You can follow him on Twitter @YourIslandPark.

Adventures with Periscope

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