Over the years I've recently learnt more about myself as a person, my capabilities and shortcomings. It's been one of frustration and angst, and often put me behind the eight ball as I struggle with my often overly complex way of thinking.
My love and fascination of technology has landed me in trouble because I got the timing wrong in the delivery and marketing of something. For example, back in 2000, I was involved with creating the most amazing ecommerce and email marketing software that would stand proud amongst the world leaders of cloud apps such as mail chimp and active campaign and shopify and ecwid. You know what the problem was... timing, it's all about timing I've discovered uncomfortably over the last decade.
I mean, imaging having ecommerce software that talked to the email marketing system, which put the buyer into intelligent and thoughtful marketing groups, and helped upsell and cross sell and in general worked on giving the consumer the most amazing experience with the ecommerce store.. Imagining that in 2000 was so far ahead of the game because people had just discovered email, and online banking had barely started, so instead of going out and celebrating what was an amzing product, most time was spent explaining what the technology meant. Over the years I saw great products purchased by companies caught up in the sweep of buying up tech and then it crashing and burning and disappearing into the ether as other new products came in with less awesomeness, but capture a market, because of timing.
While obviously that is not the only reason for success, the uptake of social media has really changed businesses and opportunities in life for individuals to show the world what they are like as people, voice their opinions, and have a voice.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr & Vine are the top 10 ranked websites as per eBizMBA guide http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites - updated regularly and a good site to bookmark for references of top numbers of site information. Their consistent use of the same metrics gives an overview of information regardings site stats.
So, now we're faced with anothe game changer - Periscope - a streaming app acquired by Twitter in March 2015 for the princely sum of 100m. And in less than 6 months, has over 10 million users, and has accounted for up to 40 years of viewing time consumed every single day. Let me repeat that - 40 years of viewing time, every single day.
And just what is Periscope for the newcomers to this social medium, and will it go away?
Periscope is an app you install on your android phone, your iPhone, your tablet, whether it's Android or IOS (no Windows app at the moment) and create, stream and broadcast, directly from your phone.
It's easy to install, and you don't need a Twitter account, although in my opinion it's a better setup when you do, and you, my friend, can share your news, thoughts and ideas to the world at the click of the button.
While I've simplified the concept, in reality it's incredibly easy to setup and configure, but the devil is in the detail of what the hell you're going to use it for. I've seen plenty of streaming apps before, and for me, I'm not big on snap chat and or other sharp, short spanned moment capturing tools, but I'm taken by Periscope and in the last month or so I've been using it, mainly as a viewer, I've met some wonderful people, and actually met them in person.
Why the fascination of Periscope?
Well, I listened to the Periscope periscope - yep.. the Periscope team took time to 'scope' about their product, and that shed an enormous amount of light onto their vision and goals and what stood out for me is their passion and excitment in helping create 'truth' and 'empathy' to the consumer.
It means that at any time, I can share my thoughts with the world, but in a unique way where I'm broadcasting / talking to the camera and the viewers can interact with questions on the screen so in essence, it's highly interactive. I've seen, in coming up to two months of use and a dozen or so ordinary scopes a modest following, mainly due to interaction and banter perhaps, who knows, but actually talking to people as if they were in the room and it's fantastic.
Does it take the place of real meetings?
No, nothing will 'take the place' of being in a room with friends or people of the same interest, but what it does do is furthe change how we interact with others. I've had a feeling at times that I'm being 'sold' stuff by some people, you see it all the time in these carefully crafted Facebook groups, of which I'm part of, some free, some paid for. The tone of many groups is about selling, upselling, cross selling, self promotion, little real discussion and with some groups being 10,000, 20,000 and more, the noise is unbelievable - if you're not on FB all the time, you better get ready to search or just accept you're not going to get much out of it.
Real meetings to me are the best, but when people I follow are in another country, how can I see or interact with them? YouTube is one way, other apps are like 60, 30, 15second snaps of what? I have never really gotten that nor participated, but that also could be is that it's out of my comfort zone.
With Periscope, you get to meet the person, talk with the person, see how others engage with the person.. it's the real deal and nothing like what I've seen before. I've been able to build up relationships with people who I don't believe I would have been able to using any other medium.
The truth on how people are is hard to hide with Periscope. You can't bluff people in the same way and their integrity, their honesty and their fun personality really does give them a chance to shine.
Periscope is a disrupter of technology giving power to the people in ways that no other social media has been able to in, in my opinion. It's base from Twitter giving it an easy way to connect, inform and engage has given it the edge over other platforms that have similar functions.
After watching the Periscope periscope, I feel the ethos and overall vision of the project while having some commerical intention eventually or it's not sustainable, has in it's eyes, another real goal - and that is helping truth and empathy take a place in the world when we're are moving to so much manipulation of information based on the outcome of the dollar and power.
Long live Periscope!