I discovered Periscope TV from my friend Tina. She told me download the app, because it was a lot of fun. I didn’t understand the concept. The day I downloaded & opened up the app, I watched this charismatic guy walk around Hong Kong (@PenguinSix). I was so amazed & amused to see Hong Kong live. The signal cut off as I entered The Metropolitan Museum in NYC. It was the summer of 2015. Periscope was only a couple of months old. Whole I was roaming the Middle Eastern exhibit, I decided to put on some music. To enhance viewing experience. I played Rimsky and Korsakov’s Scheherazade. I then realized how the moment seemed like a documentary. I remembered, I have downloaded Periscope and thought I’ll give it a try. “I think someone would like seeing this live.” I turned on the live button and slowly moved around. After going through one part of the exhibit, I became animated on my angles. When the music crescendo, I would pan up, when it hit the soft notes, I stabilize onto an artifact. It came to 2 minutes and I ended the broadcast. I remember to this day, the number counter was 0. I thought it didn’t record. I replayed the broadcast. Oh, the music was captured, cool. It did look like a mini episode. I then moved to the Asian exhibit, I put Madame Butterfly by Puccini. I hit live once again and made similar slow movements. Within 40 seconds of the broadcast, a message popped up, “Hi”, the counter was now on 1. I thought, oh cool, someone’s watching. I kept broadcasting until the music came to an end at 02:42. I pressed end on cue. How nice. Someone saw this live. I continued roaming the museum that day. I took a cab going home, and decided to turn on Periscope again. I think it would be nice for someone to see New York City scenery. I put on jazz music and pointed the phone towards the window. My friend Tina popped by. Hi Tim. With a smiley emoji. 10 seconds passed by. “Tim! I can hear you breathing!” I then sheepishly answered, “You can?” Seconds later, the message in caps “YES Darling!” From that time I realized how Periscope worked. She then reminded me the broadcast only lasts 24 hours, then it would disappear. Hmm. I thought. That sucks. I’m sure people would love to watch the replay in the future.
The next day I scoped under the Brooklyn Bridge & Pier 11. I would only go on for 3 to 4 minutes live. About 5 people max, would come in and say hello. I discovered people were watching me from France, China, California, and Canada. They would be in awe seeing the city live on their phones. Equally, they loved hearing my music selections. It was all New York City themed.
A month or so passed by, I would only broadcast twice a week. I then discovered a new broadcaster, @euromaestro from France. I’d watch @PenguinSix & Euro mostly. Then, Periscope announced, #save. This enabled everyone’s broadcast to be kept forever, by putting the hashtag #save within the title. I of course jumped on it. I went on LIVE a lot more. I’ve noticed new scopers go on too.
I was so immersed and obsessed with the app. I mostly watched broadcasts. 70% of the time. Then go live 30%. When I do go on, I would get asked, have you seen Marty? Mary? Do you know Moe? I would politely say, unfortunately no I haven’t seen them nor watched their scope. That’s when I decided to explore more within Periscope. Catching Mary on her rooftop, Marty walking around, Moe at Times Square chatting with everyone. I noticed they had a large following. From 50 to 100 people watching them live. I on the other hand only had 15 people the most. My fellow New Yorkers did have one asset, knowledge of the City. They gave NYC History interludes while greeting & interacting with their viewers. I was amazed. I learned so many things. I then met new scopers, Ahmed @EgyptWithAhmed, Pete @pbyrond from Florida, David & @becboop from UK, Dave from Japan, Dave from Chicago, @AlohaScopeTV from Hawaii, Jamie from Texas, Garry from Glasgow, fellow New Yorkers @Dutchmazz, @Joey_67, @geoffgolberg, @RonWaxman, Advin, & Vinnie.
An announcement came on Twitter, Periscope TV badges were being given out to loyal broadcasters. Those who garner 200 + live viewers get the Bronze, 750 + Silver, and 2000 + Gold. So many were displeased and dismayed. All thought it would go to celebrities.
Then a week later. One afternoon, the badges were released, many were ecstatic and surprised. My fellow scopers were awarded with medals. At that time I also had invested hours of broadcasting daily, thinking I’d get the silver badge. I did not. Throughout this time on Twitter, you have the ones who didn’t get a badge dismayed and the other celebrating on every turn. I received my Bronze on the 2nd wave, two weeks later. My silver on the 4th wave. Gold on the 6th.
Those were the times when Periscope TV bloomed with themed scopes. Nature, cooking, healthy lifestyle, art, music, and as always travel. Meetups from Japan, UK, US Pacific coast and New York City happened. This was the time when Periscope developed what it has become known, Peri-Fam community.
While all this magnificent content were happening, trolls were born. Bullying during one’s LIVE scope grew weekly. Anti-Periscope broadcasts as well. A lot of personalities within the top scopers started clashing. Within months, the Periscope community were slowly dividing. It was extremely ugly. Scopers were pressured to block or be blocked if they showed support to their foe. Actually, even though some stayed their distance, they were shunned into the block list. Guilty by association.
A couple of months have gone by,until two weeks ago. The Shorty Awards. Their nominee list came out. Today, an article from Mashable. Within the article two known Periscopers were interviewed, two New Yorkers. One outspoken individual who have been at war with Periscope due to the child pornography. The other, accused of bullying. I can attest, I have been on his broadcast months ago, when he urged his viewers they will be blocked if they support another Periscoper (in UK). That should have been a red flag for me to cease watching & supporting. Months after that, he seemed to calm down. I didn’t read or hear anything except support for him to attain VIP Gold & access to SLACK, a message board along with the rest of the Periscope VIPs. He did attain gold and access eventually. Due to the community rallying for him.
On January 30th, I was asked to undo a Retweet and Like. It was an article on Bullying. He stated it’s an attack towards him. “I was attacked on Slack” I quickly re-download Slack & read its entirety. I saw he bullied many of my fellow scopers who I’ve grown to like and get to know on Periscope. I blocked him.
I long for the days of togetherness. With this country being so divided, must we have this also on an app enjoyed by hundreds? Luckily, many aren’t involved today. They continue to provide exceptional Periscope content. A new batch of scopers have been born since fall. Untainted. Excited. Enjoying every time they go on live.
I on the other hand, feel discouraged & disappointed. I still enjoy the app. It’s still exciting to see the world LIVE. Watching talented individuals shine. I’ll definitely still #GoLive & share my moments. I know I have many friends because of Periscope. And many more friendships to be born.