Diving into Periscope – interactive streaming with a musical edge

I’ve recently started playing with an app called Periscope, giving interactive music concerts at my stage piano.

My ‘cast’ (if that’s what it’s called?) includes talks on music theory, breaking down similarities in familiar tunes and of course playing the odd request – like a classical version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’ – or a mashup between Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ and The Commodores’ ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’

It’s really fun – and my usecase seems to be a unique enough to get a mention in the Daily Telegraph‘s round up of the technology.

So, what do I get up to when I cast? you can find out on Mondays at 20:30 UK Time! At least, that’s the plan…

Essentially I’m talking about classical music theory using contemporary tunes – why is something catchy? What songs sound similar? What bits make a tune feel good? The session is mixed with live composition and conversation – content creation and audience interaction in real time.

Giving the audience access to the creative process and also a chance to communicate is pretty much exactly opposite to a traditional classical concert, where I’d be on a stage, far away from the listeners.

I believe it’s possible to demystify music without dissecting it, it’s so fun to explain what’s happening while playing some of the most memorable songs on the planet. I think this kind of informal direct broadcast is a great proving ground until I have my own big budget show where I have a huge grand piano and some notable musical guests to riff with.

Until then, viewers who make the effort to interact and contribute positively are going to shape how this cast evolves. How exciting! What works, what doesn’t, what do people want more of? I’m finding out every day. I’d hope to keep the audience interactivity if a big TV company wants to fund the huge grand piano and notable musical guests version.

For those of you reading this on Thursday 9th April 2015, there’s a replay available until 22:30 tonight, but you’ll need to download the app on an Apple device to watch at the moment. They say there’s an Android version coming. And, if you do visit, please ignore my faffing with the cables at the start, it definitely gets better.

At about 1AM this morning, I think I solved the problem of getting a decent audio feed in and listening at the same time, so Monday’s cast should have really rather good sound quality.

Oh and a final note from the technology presenter in me – streaming from mobiles has been available before – apps like Seesmic and Qik did this many years ago. But now data is cheaper, social media makes things more immediate, plus our connections are generally faster. This means the tech is ripe for mass adoption.

A notable alternative Meerkat has some big names endorsing it – Madonna released a video using this platform recently. I’ll let you know if I get a chance to try it out. And I’m sure there are other players in this area. In coming months we’ll get to see whether a single platform gains dominance, or if these apps can co-exist. It’ll inevitably play out over the next few months. Interesting interactive times!

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Look at me on my lego piano!!

Presenting Ideas Persuasively

I gave a presentation for the London Girl Geek Dinners 6th Anniversary event. For  a brilliant blog post all about the event – along with an unfortunate picture of me and an angry bird, click here.

Meanwhile, my aim for the presentation was to use some of what I’ve learned from my experiences as a TV presenter and producer to help other people get their voices heard, whatever their walks of life.

During my talk, I repurposed some of the techniques in telling a story for television for use in real-world situations.

I used an example of one of my most recent features for BBC News as a way to illustrate the core elements of presenting ideas in an easily accessible manner.

Presenting Ideas Persuasively – LJ Rich

I was incredibly flattered that the original Girl Geek asked for my last slide to remain up so she could communicate her ideas to our audience using this technique!

After the speaking was done, something amazing happened – quite a few people came up to me after the speech to tell me that they were inspired!  Inspired to pitch something at work that they knew they could do, or to try again to present an idea they had faith in but didn’t quite manage to convey it the first time.

Before I gave the speech, I remember thinking that if I could encourage just one person to have more confidence in their abilities, and act positively, I would feel like the presentation was a success – so this result was even more gratifying.

I had a few requests to stick the slides up online, so here they are – and GirlGeekDinners, thanks very much for having me!

Look at me on my lego piano!!

The video I used for talking about presenting

 

 

Click Bits!

2 minutes of fame :-)

Pilot show Click Bits - Episode 2!

(RSS/Can’t see the link? here you go: http://bit.ly/clickbits002 )

This is what I’ve been up to the last month, as well as doing quite a bit for bbc click recently… including working with the marvellous Maggie Philbin on our futurology piece. She’s done such a brilliant post here about our visit to Kingswood Warren that I don’t need to add anything…

OK, I will add that we both turned up on the ShiftRunStop podcast last week.

Here are some behind-the-scenes pics of the birthing of ClickBits.

My bag with script in - and an impressive amount of useless stuff

– yes I did eat that twirl. And I didn’t bother taking pics of the usual tv stuff including filming pieces to camera, script wrangling and finding pictures to fit. Unless you want me to next time?

Also the madness of only having a finite amount of time to do an infinite amount of work is the sort of thing is familiar to techies everywhere. Editors, I’m thinking of YOU when I type this.

tape of episode 1 ! yes, tape! Click on this if you want to see episode 1, but episode 2 is better 🙂 Click on the top pic for that.

The grown-up edit suite was double booked for our first episode, but it didn’t stop us – we squeezed into a small office and crowded around a desk and computer meant for 1 person.  Final Cut Pro, in case you were wondering. And yes, we ate a LOT of choccy in  a room so cramped all our knees were touching.

on its way into the BBC system?

This was our 2nd attempt to ingest 3 mins of video into the BBC, we were thwarted by technology many times! It’s always worse when a BIG machine borks – I always (illogically, irrationally and incorrectly) expect computers with 4 screens to be, I don’t know, cleverer.

Ingest point

Humans 3, Machines 2

Finally, the wondrous Zoe (who is producing this with me and is the illustrious @zsk on twitter) came across this hidden terminal and executed some kind of Harry Potter spell that meant the machines had to obey her – and they did.

As I’m off to CES Las Vegas 2010 next week, Zoe and I will be attempting to make the 3rd Click bits episode a few thousand miles apart… we’ll be using yousendit and psychic powers to make that work, but if anyone can do it, it will be the 2 most stubborn people at the Beeb – us!

Crazy Shop Websites

One of the things I had to do over the weekend was to find some crazy-looking online web shops, and thanks to everyone on twitter who kindly suggested some sites when I was struggling !  Thanks are also due to http://webpagesthatsuck.com, I spent much longer than needed on there.

It’s for a piece on BBC Click that I’m producing,  just at the beginning of the feature – all will become clear when it’s aired on the 28th February.

I promised that I’d put my favourite ones on my blog, so here they are:

http://www.fabricland.co.uk/  – WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FABRICS?????

http://www.cccp.com/  Errr, hello, I’m a person, just walking out of my webpage.

http://www.yvettesbridalformal.com/  Ow! my brain!!

Finally, these two are fabulous but not online shops, so they don’t count, although I thoroughly enjoyed the craziness of both of them.

http://www.havenworks.com how much can you fit on one page?

and lastly,

http://fletchowns.net/ NB please do not  click through to this if you suffer from photo-sensitive epilepsy: it’s a very, very, bright flashing site filled with bright flashy stuff that repeats over and over until the end of time. It felt like I’d looked at it for about 10 seconds, but I missed QI as I was under for 4 hours.

Right, I’ve finished my filming, will update you on that once I’ve done the edit at the Beeb!

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Twitter Article hits BBC Website!

Few things persuade me to get up in the morning, but knowing I needed to finish this article in time to have it submitted to the BBC News Website was successful in pulling the duvet covers off!
 
After last night’s twestival, I arrived back home inappropriately late after spending the majority of the evening filming – it was a fun evening, even though I was working for most of it, and I hope that the very worthy charity: water will have benefited enormously from all the organisers’ hard work.
Twitter Article on the Beeb!

Twitter Article on the Beeb!

The pictures in this article are by @lateral – you can see more here.

In case you’re wondering, the article is all about how I think Twitter has changed in recent times as more people have joined. Click on the picture, or here: http://tinyurl.com/ljbbctweet to read it.

I’m going back to bed…

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Surviving Twitter

With the recent mass adaptation of Twitter in my immediate surroundings, it has been suggested by people who aren’t yet on it that it would be rather nice to have some kind of guide to Twitter etiquette for those who are new to it.

I’ve been tweeting for around a year and although I’ve learned a lot about how to make the most of this continually evolving social network tool, I still remember how bewildering it all was when I first took the plunge.

So here’s a guide for those who want to join in.

I’m assuming you’ve already logged in or you’ve joined twitter (go to www.twitter.com and join from there), then you’ll see similar screens to the ones below, albeit with different background colours.

OK, so what is it?

Twitter is, essentially, a micro-blog, or a mini online diary. You can type the answer to “What Are You Doing?” in 140 characters or less as frequently as you like, a bit like your facebook status. 

whatareyoudoing

 

If you keep updating (but not too often!) you’ll end up with a profile that looks a bit like the page below –  a list of your updates.

This is what other people will see when they go to your twitter page.

Profile

You can see what other people are writing by “following” them.  Their updates (or “tweets”) will come up on your Home area in chronological order.

mainpage

 

Other people can follow your updates – they are called (predictably) your “followers”. You can see how many followers you have underneath your profile picture.

followers

To follow someone, find them on twitter while you’re logged in, then click “follow”. Their updates will now appear in your stream.

follow

 

Once you’ve joined up, it’s good to find people to follow – good places to start are http://www.twitter.com/bbcnews , http://www.twitter.com/towerbridge and of course http://www.twitter.com/ljrich (if you want to see what I get up to!)

 

Tweet Notes

1. There aren’t really many rules about frequency or content when you tweet, but be aware if you are doing 20 updates a day, people might be less inclined to follow you as it will bung up their timeline and stop them seeing their other updates.  I try and tweet between 0 and 5 times a day – with a ratio of (I hope) 80% interesting to 20% pointless, ranging from random thoughts through to music tech and hyperlinks.

2. Engage with your followers! if someone asks you a question, reply to them with an @ symbol in front of their name, (like this: @ljrich ) – this tweet will come up in their “replies” section and not get lost in the stream. 

Using the @ in front is the way to make someone’s twitter name clickable. 

You can also “Retweet”, which is effectively to forward someone else’s tweet, normally with a view to helping them get answers, or to disseminate information.  The usage is to add “RT” at the beginning of your retweet – for example:

What are you doing?

RT @ljrich how do you use twitter? I’d love to hear from you.

3. Twitter Hashtags: You can tag your own tweets so they can appear in “filters” – for example, #ces09 will show all tweets that have been tagged with this consumer electronics show marker.  Rather like football chants, these tags appear to proliferate organically until everyone is using the same one.  Let’s take a newer hashtag to show you the usage:  #lunchtweet .

What are you doing?

#lunchtweet salmon sushi set, sesame spinach and soba noodles. Mmm Tokyo Diner.

It doesn’t matter where you put your hashtag in your tweet.

4. Be aware that everything you write is EVIDENCE, and will be on the internet FOREVER! 

5.  It’s the interactivity aspect that trips so many people up – to make the most out of Twitter, remember that it’s not just about broadcasting your thoughts, it’s also about having conversations, answering queries and adding your voice to a debate.  Tweeting should be human and reasonably informal. 

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Meet ‘n’ Tweet

In summary, there’s a lot of fun to be had on Twitter, as long as you’re not expecting to monetize.  In my experience, it’s first and foremost a site for socialising and sharing the minutae of life as we live it, although it’s becoming a valuable networking tool for linking people together in a relaxed manner. 

I tweeted a while back (and got retweeted – the ultimate accolade!) that ” if LinkedIn is the office, Twitter is the pub” – the corollary of which appears to be: it doesn’t matter what you drink, as long as you’re reasonably sociable.

See you at the bar.

 

Oooh comments please…

Tell me, what do you use Twitter for? When did you join? What do you like about it? How has Twitter changed in the last few months? Feel free to leave comments here or on my twitter account.

 

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