Periscope: pros, cons and in between

Using Periscope has been quite the upward journey. Come Wednesday of last week, it took approximately one hour to fully download on my phone. Instead of staying in class waiting for that to happen, I decided to accompany my peers on their Periscope endeavors — it was fun. However, upon attempting the same once my phone downloaded the app, I was met with some trouble.

Periscope refused to broadcast anything; sporting the caption “Internet connection too slow” indefinitely, I was left without the ability to complete the assignment, initially. Upon going to Campus Technology Services, the problem, which has been plaguing both my phone and my sanity for the last two days, has been solved.

On Monday, around 1pm, I took the trip to Sheldon Hall with a friend. Sheldon Hall is one of the oldest academic building on campus and perhaps the most forgetful; I tried to reflect that as much as possible. Located between Rich Hall and the Shineman Center on the outskirts of campus, Sheldon Hall dons a huge clock tower on its top, which illuminates the immediate area quite wonderfully and is its most defining feature.

Periscope, from my usage and general observation, can definitely be an app that caters to journalism enthusiasts, easily. It’s simplistic in nature and takes literally two buttons to set up a live broadcast, which can already be connected to Twitter. These features promote an ease-of-use that saves time and can help potential journalists or otherwise to quickly conduct their business and end the recording with little hassle.

Periscope is an instant and self-gratifying medium that encourages finding the weird, the abnormal, the interesting — and making a story out of it. This applies especially if you’re in a “heat of the moment” scenario, which Periscope arguably excels at. Breaking news would definitely be the norm with Periscope. Regular stories, not so much.

Unfortunately, as much as the pros outweigh the cons, Periscope isn’t completely deprived of negatives. For instance: the app is very fragile — it requires a considerably stable internet connection, which may or may not be accessible depending on your location. If wifi isn’t available in your current vicinity, the app is very well unusable. This probably would mean little to casual users, but for student journalists, this alone could hinder the potential of a story or force you to find other means of recording.

Overall, the experience was positive.