Welcome to another installment of Man-Day, from Jen’s husband Jen’s Guy!
Before Jennifer started posting on Periscope, she asked me to have a look at it. Keep in mind, I eat this stuff up, especially as it combines the facets of technology (which I make a living at) with the art of production (which is what I dream of making a living at.) Seriously, my idol is Mutt Lange. First of all, the guy is named Mutt, so you have to respect that. Second of all he is a wizard producer, probably one of the best since the Beach Boys Brian Wilson, responsible for the sounds of bands as diverse as Def Lepard to Shania Twain.
Except then he married, cheated on, then left Shania for her best friend. I don’t have to respect THAT.
Anyway, I said, “Sure let’s check this thing out!” So I spent a couple of weeks viewing videos and helping Jennifer produce her first couple of forays into the community. Here are my top 7 perspectives.
It is raw.
I mean the medium has almost no traditional pillars in place that the other social networking sites have even though it rides on the Twitter backbone. There isn’t a long list of people that are just dominating the medium, and even if you are a superstar on Facebook, that doesn’t seem to be completely transferring to a huge audience on Periscope. The technology is pretty buggy too. If you are using an Android phone, there are many pitfalls that you can run into like the screen mirror imaging no matter what you do or completely transmitting upside down in landscape mode (seriously, Periscope, fix these things.) There are several other issues that would place this as a beta product in a more developed software environment (I’ve done that work too.)
The community itself contains a larger portion of trolls than most other social network communities, including Reddit (which is hard to do.) It is about at the You Tube comments section level, which is a pretty bad neighborhood.
There is opportunity.
Because the landscape resembles the Wild West, there is a lot of freedom to make a name for one’s self. In just the two weeks I was following I watched people double and triple their audiences, both with live viewers and in follower count. That is pretty insane. Additionally, because there is no established pecking order, you can develop an audience WHILE you are learning what you are doing.
I know that many of the experts are telling you to use emojis in your descriptions. A word of caution. Emojis are like salt and pepper, they shouldn’t overpower the entire meal. Overuse of the emoji can make you look un-serious and frivolous. Compare it to the big pixilated waving Cash animated gif from the 90’s, or the big bubble letters on your notebook in middle school. At no point should there be more emojis than actual letters in your title.
Frequency of updates.
Look, I’m not sure I would want to watch the five updates you are doing a day, every day, even if we were dating. That is really hard on you, and people will likely tune out as nobody is interesting enough to provide that much content. At some point you will be reduced to reading the newspaper or the phone book to your audience. Consider this post as an intervention.
Every single one of you with a friends list of over 200 has a stalker. That doesn’t mean that he is a Ted Bundy in waiting, but it is a little creepy. A good rule of thumb is that if somebody says something that would be uncomfortable or awkward if you were speaking to a group in person, and does it consistently, you should probably go ahead and block them. It won’t be long before he goes from “you look especially pretty today” to “Hey, gorgeous!” to “show your ****!!!” I can’t explain it, I can’t tell you what is going on there, or what is going on in their lives that makes them feel that this particular plan is going somewhere. It just is, and you should probably be aware of it and nip it in the bud. Also be careful when revealing your home location or the places you frequent alone or repeatedly during your week. I am just waiting for the first Periscope related stalker violent crime to happen, seriously. Be careful!
As I mentioned, I may be a snob in this area, but you need to give production value a little thought. Make sure you phone is up to snuff, grainy videos are tough to watch. Get a tripod if you are going to film long videos (Amazon for about $12) and pay attention to lighting (I purchased a halogen shop light for Jennifer for about $18 at Harbor Freight Tools.) Also, zoom out just a bit, I need to at least see your ears in the frame. Finally, If you have good lighting, makeup may not matter, if it matters at all. If you choose not to style your hair nor wear makeup, don’t make it a point of telling your viewers, especially on multiple occasions. Just go with it.
Doing video is tough and very few people take to it like water. It is scary and intimidating. The good news is that you get better at it every time you do it, and most of you are doing a great job of it from what I have seen. It may not get easier (I had a knot in my stomach every time I did TV weekly for 2 years) but you get more polished and confident in your abilities. You stop worrying “Do I look like a dork?” and concentrate on more advanced details like slowing your pace and diction. Best of all you are living outside of your comfort zone which always pays dividends in all aspects of life.
Oh, and make sure to come follow Jen (QueenMomJen) over on Periscope. She is fun, interesting and smoking hot. Stalkers, I’ve got my eye on you….
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