Up Periscope!

Case Studies

BY Mike Hesketh

My wife and I recently started following a couple of 'Vloggers' (Video Bloggers) on YouTube called Tim & Jenn Tracker. Basically we're big kids and love the theme parks in Florida and we started enviously watching their trips to Disney World and Universal and basked in the nostalgia that their videos brought us of our holidays there. Vlogging has been around for a while but it hasn't ever been anything that I, personally, have taken much notice of, nor did I expect to find it such compelling viewing.

Once we finished watching their theme park Vlogs we looked back into their profiles and we saw that since about 2009 Tim and Jenn have been trying to do a video post a day about their lives in Florida. Over the past 6 years, their followers have shared in their ups, their downs, their wedding, moving house, getting dogs and, of course, their love of theme parks. They are unquestionably a very likeable couple and it's very easy to spend hours watching their lives as a anonymous spectators. Perhaps on some base human level we respond most to things that are real and as a result we want to befriend and care about people like Tim and Jenn. We become invested in their lives and sit expectantly waiting on the next episode to find out what our 'friends' have done that day.

It's a very brave decision to have made to put yourselves and your lives out there and I genuinely commend them for the dedication that they have shown to their content creation. Like us, they care about what they create and what they put online for us to watch and their dedication to entertaining or providing for their followers is put before their own need for sleep or relaxation.

With the advent of YouTube, Vlogging has become a vessel for the creation of online celebrities as vloggers share glimpses of their lives, insights, advice, makeup tips, fashion trends, games, reviews and more. The online enterprises of 'The Vlogger' require them to be pro's in social networking, online advertising, digital content creation and be media personalities in themselves. Each Vlogger is essentially their own online broadcasting company.

With the rise of the Vlogger has come a rise of new applications to provide new way of broadcasting and sharing a wide range of varying subject matters. An example of this Twitch for gamers. In a few clicks, gamers can share what they are playing live with millions of people and answer questions or take suggestions via a chat window while playing the game. Sony and Microsoft have the technology built into their latest consoles to make Twitch streaming easy to do in just a few seconds and with little or no additional equipment required.

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One of the latest of these applications is Periscope which was launched by twitter in March of this year. Periscope allows users to broadcast live video from their phone or tablet wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Within a couple of seconds you can be broadcasting to the world as you walk your dog, watch the sunset or climb mount everest (cell reception pending of course).

Constantly trying to come up with new content to promote ourselves as a business on social media, we had discussed the possibility of creating short blog posts sharing what we were working on and providing a bit of an insight into studio life within We Are Duo. I had heard of Periscope when it launched back in March but I hadn't checked it out. It was our old friends Tim and Jenn that again opened my eyes to the potential of this new technology and how simple it can be. Once a month Tim and Jenn will do a live broadcast as they open mail sent to them by their fans from around the world and they respond to any questions that have been sent to them or asked live while they broadcast.

So... we decided to give periscope a whirl for ourselves to see how it went and it was... insane. After setting it up and logging in via twitter our first broadcast had 35 viewers after 2 minutes. I had absolutely no idea that we would gain interest that quickly. I'm sure to Tim and Jenn 35 is a very slow day, but for a first stream of only 2 minutes we couldn't believe it!

The past couple of mornings we have broadcast ourselves walking into work and opening up our studio and chatting to various people how have popped up during the stream. I must confess it is quite enjoyable... at least it is for us... we're probably not that entertaining.

Lately we have been getting asked to do some interviews and answer some questions by design bloggers and students. Periscope and YouTube has helped us to shape the idea of our daily Vlogs into the idea of having a live broadcast from our studio for an hour and taking questions from anyone who wants to know more about us and what it is that we do... it's an opportunity to pick our brains if you will. It's an idea that we are both excited and terrified about. The technology exists for us to become a live tv show and be open to the world for an hour... anything could happen or, perhaps more terrifyingly, nothing could happen.

As an extension to YouTube and Facebook, Periscope allows us to reach a wide audience and engage with them instantaneously. It gives viewers and uncompromising and unedited look into who we are not only as graphic design and web developers but as individuals as well. We try to be people focused in We Are Duo and we always want to get to know our clients and for our clients to get to know us. Our hope is that using the likes of Periscope personalises us and makes us feel more accessible to not only potential clients but other people within our industry.

We hope you will tune into our live broadcast on Friday 30th October at 11am to watch our first ever live broadcast on YouTube and Periscope. Please feel free to send us in some questions to info@weareduo.co.uk or tweet us @weareduo or ask us live during the broadcast.

If you want to see how vlogging should really be done then do check out Tim and Jenn's YouTube channel or search for TimTheTracker on YouTube. You can also follow Tim on Twitter @thetimtracker or Jenn @TheJennTracker.

I know that this won't make much sense unless you have seen any of Tim and Jenn's videos but it seems only fitting to sign off this post with 'And now it's time to pay the price'.