Brave Old World: The Paris Periscope

 

UnderParis1I’ve been playing around with Periscope, a live video streaming app for iOS and Android. Here’s what the developers claim it does:

Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.

See through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Why, that sounds like the kind of journalism I want to do! In principle, the app lets me broadcast video live from my iPhone, either to the whole world or to a preselected group. The people watching can chat with me during the broadcast, so if you have questions I can answer them (you can hear me talk, although I can only read you). Or if you want to take a closer look at something, or go down a different street, or interview someone who catches your eye, I can take you wherever you want to go and ask whatever you’d like to ask.

To use the chat function, you have to get the app at the iTunes store or the Google Play store. Then you follow me. (I think that’s how it works, anyway: I only just downloaded it yesterday, so I’m not very fluent with it yet.) If you don’t have iOS or Android, you can still watch the videos on the web and with other mobile browsers, but you can’t chat with me.

My username is @braveoldworld, of course. Shall we take it for a test drive this weekend? I could show you some examples of (great) prewar and (ghastly) postwar architecture in Paris. Or we can check out anything else you’d like to see. And we can learn together how this works and whether this is a useful tool for journalism — and if so, how best to use it. (By the way, EJ, I figured out yesterday that you’re not supposed to use it in landscape mode.)

Paris is six hours ahead of EST, seven ahead of CST, eight ahead of MST, and nine ahead of PST. I’m not sure what time would work best for everyone else, but any time between sunrise and sunset in Paris on Saturday or Sunday would work for me — although I can’t make any promises about the weather: If it’s really foul, we may have to hang out indoors, but there are lots of interesting things to see indoors in Paris, too. We could go to a museum, for example.

Here’s a time and weather coordination tool. If you’re game, tell me what your username is so I know I should accept your request, and tell me what times might work for you. Also, tell me what you’d like to see: Anything in particular?

You’ve purchased yourself a journalist, so you’re entirely entitled to make requests. Mind you, this is a trial run: I’m not sure I know how to do this. I cannot guarantee complete professionalism, yet, so it’s perhaps best not to cancel other plans to see this broadcast.

Otherwise, come visit Paris with me! Also, look: I made a widget!

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  1. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    I’m pretty sure you can watch broadcasts on your browser – you don’t need an i- or Google-device. (Warning: browsing random Periscope broadcasts may sap you of the will to live.)

    • #1
  2. Capt. Aubrey Inactive
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    I’m following you @rwgood is my Twitter handle and I think that’s right. Early am Saturday EST probably best for me.

    I wonder how much ugly architecture is made w public private partnership money and if there is a correlation. It’s possible IMO that committees who serve multiple masters tend do defer to expert i.e. Academic opinion …

    • #2
  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Please be careful crossing the street.

    • #3
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Capt. Aubrey:I’m following you @rwgood is my Twitter handle and I think that’s right. Early am Saturday EST probably best for me.

    Works for me.

    I wonder how much ugly architecture is made w public private partnership money and if there is a correlation. It’s possible IMO that committees who serve multiple masters tend do defer to expert i.e. Academic opinion …

    I wonder how long I can broadcast before the battery runs out? Anyone know? I’m trying to plan a good route to take people though a few different neighborhoods. I don’t want to make people depressed by Jussieu unless we can lift our spirits by going to Saint Chapelle afterward.

    • #4
  5. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Basil Fawlty:Please be careful crossing the street.

    This is Paris, you don’t have to be. The cars just stop for pedestrians. I was so shocked by this when I came back from Istanbul and Delhi that at first it freaked me out: I figured it was prefatory to a mob hit. But no, the cars here just slow down and stop for you.

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei:I’m pretty sure you can watch broadcasts on your browser – you don’t need an i- or Google-device. (Warning: browsing random Periscope broadcasts may sap you of the will to live.)

    Yes, you can, but you can’t chat without that. You can only watch passively. If you have the app, you can type in messages that I see in real time — so I become sort of a personal journo-bot.

    • #6
  7. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: (By the way, EJ, I figured out yesterday that you’re not supposed to use it in landscape mode.)

    No. No. And hell, no.

    Periscope introduced landscape mode last September. You may not reorient the world.

    • #7
  8. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei: (Warning: browsing random Periscope broadcasts may sap you of the will to live.)

    Hmmm. I see what you mean. Humanity sure has a vile side, doesn’t it.

    • #8
  9. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    EJHill:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: (By the way, EJ, I figured out yesterday that you’re not supposed to use it in landscape mode.)

    No. No. And hell, no.

    Periscope introduced landscape mode last September. You may not reorient the world.

    So it did.

    I think the world would be more comfortable with me if I didn’t seem obviously to be shooting video as I walk down the street, though. Bad enough that I’ll be loudly narrating what I’m seeing.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I downloaded it via iTunes, but it just sits there in my Apps folder, inert and impassive.

    Kind of like a former girlfriend.

    • #10
  11. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Percival: I downloaded it via iTunes, but it just sits there in my Apps folder, inert and impassive.Kind of like a former girlfriend.

    Romney had women in binders, and you keep them in folders. Perhaps conservatives are doing it wrong.

    • #11
  12. Dave L Member
    Dave L
    @DaveL

    Figures I just deleted it a couple weeks ago to unclutter my phone because I rarely used it. I got it down loaded after a few tries on my phone. Hopefully it will send me an alert when you start. Saturday I will probably be helping my wife at her business, but business has been slow in the morning lately so I should be able to follow you.

    • #12
  13. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    I’d like to see whatever you see any time this weekend you decide on.

    • #13
  14. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    So I just went out to see if I could figure out portrait mode, and to my surprise someone started watching it! He or she didn’t talk back, so I reckoned it was someone who didn’t have the app. And I thought … maybe it’s one of you? Suddenly I was on the spot, because I figured I should say something about the neighborhood — about which I don’t really know much. But I winged it — you can see it here, up to the moment where the broadcast ends with me tripping over a curb. (Basil, I know. You told me so.)

    Then when I got home, I found this in my In Box:

    Subject: A Walk Through Paris

    Hey Claire! I was your tourist for your first walk through Paris on Periscope. Sorry I couldn’t hang around longer but my flight was boarding. It was really cool to be able to hear your live naration as you walked. I couldn’t comment because it said only people you were following could comment. I wanted to though! I would love to see more! Thanks for all your great articles on Ricochet. Some of your insight on Paris and Turkey are views we never hear in the usual American media. Thanks, Chris

    That was so nice to see! This is going to be really fun when I get better at it and less self-conscious. Right now, I’m persuaded that everyone’s giving me the fish-eye because I’m spying on them. I suspect they’re right to do so, too. None of them consented to being part of a publicly-broadcast show. I don’t know about the ethics of that: Any thoughts?

    I know there are anti-paparazzi laws in France that can in some circumstances criminalize taking photos of people for commercial use without their consent. Maybe I should familiarize myself with them. But on the other hand — how could laws like that make sense in 2016? No one could have a reasonable expectation of privacy anymore.

    • #14
  15. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: But I winged it — you can see it here, up to the moment where the broadcast ends with me tripping over a curb.

    If you announce what street you’re on (obviously not if you’re starting from your front door — which wouldn’t be a good idea) then the folks watching at home can follow along using whatever map/photo/wiki service they want to.

    You will also have seen that the number of live viewers is a fraction of the number who watch the recording.

    (If you got people to follow you physically, then everyone would assume you were a tour guide using the broadcast microphone things they seem to now. Or just a fedora with a “Press[e]” card tucked in the brim…)

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    That was very exciting! Good luck, Journalist Berlinski, we look forward to your reportage. And the book.

    • #16
  17. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Just watched it.  That was fun! Look forward to more.

    • #17
  18. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: But I winged it — you can see it here, up to the moment where the broadcast ends with me tripping over a curb.

    If you announce what street you’re on (obviously not if you’re starting from your front door — which wouldn’t be a good idea) then the folks watching at home can follow along using whatever map/photo/wiki service they want to.

    Good idea.

    You will also have seen that the number of live viewers is a fraction of the number who watch the recording.

    I can tell it not to save the recording, though, if I step off a curb mid-broadcast again. (Once is funny; twice is embarrassing.)

    (If you got people to follow you physically, then everyone would assume you were a tour guide using the broadcast microphone things they seem to now. Or just a fedora with a “Press[e]” card tucked in the brim…)

    Even if I just had a friend with me, so it didn’t seem I was talking to myself. I suppose I could wear a headset so that it seems as if I’m just on the phone. Mind you, I think people who use those look as if they’re talking to themselves.

    • #18
  19. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    As long as we are not getting the remake “live version” of this from Claire’s apartment this should be fun.

    • #19
  20. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    I’ll be in France in June.  Can I just follow you around for a week or two telling you what to do?

    • #20
  21. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Casey:I’ll be in France in June. Can I just follow you around for a week or two telling you what to do?

    Sure! When will you be here? Will you be in Paris? Want to catsit for a few days? Silver Premium Donors, as you know, are entitled to send me to report on the story of their choice. But Gold Elite Benefactors are given the opportunity to stay in my apartment and take care of my cats.

    • #21
  22. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Casey:I’ll be in France in June. Can I just follow you around for a week or two telling you what to do?

    Sure! When will you be here? Will you be in Paris? Want to catsit for a few days? Silver Premium Donors, as you know, are entitled to send me to report on the story of their choice. But Gold Elite Benefactors are given the opportunity to stay in my apartment and take care of my cats.

    In Lorraine all of June.  90% chance.

    I would absolutely love to watch your cats.  But I should warn you I have a medical condition that causes me to leave doors and windows open for long periods of time.  Sometimes accompanied by sudden outbursts of “Shoo!” and “Git!”

    Hopefully that won’t be a problem.

    • #22
  23. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: But Gold Elite Benefactors are given the opportunity to stay in my apartment and take care of my cats.

    Don’t leave home without it…

    MasterCat

    • #23
  24. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    I was thinking you could practice by interviewing a rambunctious cat, but it seems you’re getting the thing figured out already.

    My Twitter is @EEHines

    Eric Hines

    • #24
  25. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Eric Hines:I was thinking you could practice by interviewing a rambunctious cat, but it seems you’re getting the thing figured out already.

    My Twitter is @EEHines

    Eric Hines

    So this is either really a masterful hoax you did or OMG Claire really is the crazy cat lady in Paris.

    • #25
  26. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    GLDIII:

    Eric Hines:I was thinking you could practice by interviewing a rambunctious cat, but it seems you’re getting the thing figured out already.

    My Twitter is @EEHines

    Eric Hines

    So this is either really a masterful hoax you did or OMG Claire really is the crazy cat lady in Paris.

    That really happened. And went viral. In many languages. Life is weird sometimes.

    • #26
  27. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Claire & EJ,

    OK, OK, I’ve got Periscope running on my ultra-fabulous Samsung tablet. However, it’s not rotating out of portrait mode. I’m not broadcasting, I just want to watch the video in stunning wide screen. What am I doing wrong?

    On the North American Continent Regards,

    Jim

    • #27
  28. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    James Gawron:Claire & EJ,

    OK, OK, I’ve got Periscope running on my ultra-fabulous Samsung tablet. However, it’s not rotating out of portrait mode. I’m not broadcasting, I just want to watch the video in stunning wide screen. What am I doing wrong?

    On the North American Continent Regards,

    Jim

    I’m not sure you can when you’re watching someone else’s broadcast; you seem to be stuck with what he’s doing.

    For your own broadcasts, this might help.

    Eric Hines

    • #28
  29. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    My goodness, the ’60s were such a low point in animation!  I’d never heard of this movie before, and probably with good reason.

    GLDIII:As long as we are not getting the remake “live version” of this from Claire’s apartment this should be fun.

    • #29
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    genferei:

    Percival: I downloaded it via iTunes, but it just sits there in my Apps folder, inert and impassive.Kind of like a former girlfriend.

    Romney had women in binders, and you keep them in folders. Perhaps conservatives are doing it wrong.

    Oh, man. If only you knew …

    She: We never talk.
    Me: never talk. You never stop. We have bandwidth and contention issues.

    Women say that they value honesty in a relationship, but they don’t really mean it.

    • #30
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