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. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    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.

    No problem.  As long as you’re not Ella Fitzgerald.

    • #31
  2. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Claire,

    I found out my daughter isn’t going to travel any distance without her children for almost a year. Sorry about that for both of you, since she loves Paris and cats.

    Who painted the picture with this post ? I can’t stop looking at it.

    Got the App. Tom (my husband) and I will enjoy seeing through your eyes this weekend.

    • #32
  3. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Just saw your Periscope test.  Pretty cool.

    Narrow streets in Paris.  I felt almost at home; those are the streets of Germany.  But I didn’t see, or I didn’t recognize, any Priority Road markings at the intersections.

    And how is anyone supposed to park on the sidewalks with those poles in the way?  Even when there aren’t any poles, no one parks on the sidewalk.  What’s up with that?

    One minor security item: your reflection shows in the candle shop window toward the end of your tour.  With your imagery already all over the Internet, that’s probably not a big deal, though.

    Can you [copy/paste] from Periscope into your book?  Are your videos stored on your phone separately, and Periscope just accesses them?

    Eric Hines

    • #33
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Eric Hines:Just saw your Periscope test. Pretty cool.

    Narrow streets in Paris.

    Those aren’t even that narrow! I’ll have to plan my architecture-tour route to show medieval-narrow streets and the wide boulevards with which Baron Haussmann replaced them.

    And how is anyone supposed to park on the sidewalks with those poles in the way? Even when there aren’t any poles, no one parks on the sidewalk. What’s up with that?

    But you could tell a big shouting match was about to ensue over the guy who was unloading a moving van and forcing everyone to re-route. Even that way, though, the French have mellowed out. Twenty years ago, that was a guaranteed engueulade. Yesterday it was settled with a couple of horn honks.

    One minor security item: your reflection shows in the candle shop window toward the end of your tour. With your imagery already all over the Internet, that’s probably not a big deal, though.

    Yeah. Not a big deal.

    Can you [copy/paste] from Periscope into your book? Are your videos stored on your phone separately, and Periscope just accesses them?

    They’re not stored automatically, but I bet there’s a setting that lets me store them.

    Eric Hines

    • #34
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    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.)

    periscope.tv/braveoldworld should get you there.

    https://www.periscope.tv/braveoldworld

    • #35
  6. Gaby Charing Inactive
    Gaby Charing
    @GabyCharing

    The broadcast has expired. Can you do it again, that bit where you pretend to trip over the curb? :-)

    • #36
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