I love Periscope!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. As a social media fanatic (I prefer guru) learning new apps and services is the equivalent of watching the Superbowl for some people.

Almost automatically, just like for Twitter,there’s been some early adopters of the technology and they are setting the standards early.

Yes, it’s early. Periscope launched in March and already there are 10 million users!

What is Periscope?

This new technology is an app, for both iPhone and Android, that allows someone to stream live. Think Livestream but a lot more user friendly. A notice goes out via Twitter (which the broadcaster has to enable) on the person’s account. During the broadcast, viewers can type questions and comments. They can also tap the screen and give hearts to the broadcaster if they like what they see or hear.

Broadcasting a Periscope is called scoping and a video is called a scope. Yes, there’s already lingo.

However, there’s a downside. Videos are up for only 24 hours for replay. After that, they disappear. Bummer.

How can this technology help writers do their thing? Oh, this is the fun part! Here are five very easy ways that writers can get in on the fun.

Follow other writers

Jeff Goins, who is a great person to follow by the way, has started using Periscope and it’s already one of the best things to watch. His last Scope was a Q&A about writing. He dropped some gems during that video. It really made me wish that someone had saved that.

Goins is super interactive during his Scopes so questions are a must! And he’ll answer them.

You can expect other social and tech savvy writers to start using the medium if they haven’t already. I’m so looking forward to what Neil Gaiman will do!

Follow events

The recent Edinburgh Book Festival Scoped some of their events. Some of the events live broadcasts were readings or conversations with authors. It was like being there except my passport never left my side and I could ask questions in my pjs. Nice.

Follow people with skills

Darren Rowse from Problogger.net has been doing some nice Scopes.  Some of his most recent has been during the Problogger event in Australia where he entered on a Segway. But one of my favorite kind of Scopes are when he just checks in with his audience in the morning, which translate to night time in the states. He just talks, wishes everyone a good morning, talks about what he has going on and answers questions.

Follow conversation starters

Kim Foster, founder and editor of ForHarriet.com, has used Periscope only a handful of times but when she does she does it to have a conversation. The last topic was about the difficulty it is for adults to make friends. I’m an avid reader of her site so I can easily see her leading conversations of cultural and social significance. This one is an account to watch!

Get your name out there

Of course the most obvious way for writers to use Periscope is to just get their name and art out there. It’s really easy to use this app as part of your author platform to supplement your blog or site just like video or podcasting would. Here’s an opportunity to maybe do a reading and get some feedback from your audience or to talk about what you’re working on. If you’re on a research trip, Periscope part of it and take your readers on the adventure you’re on.

I’ve done a couple of Scopes and have talked about some of my blog posts, adding some supplemental information for the readers. The key is to make sure your uses know when you’re scoping. I highly suggest tweeting or blogging about it to make folks aware that it’s coming up soon, most especially if you’re planning something special.

Have fun and happy scoping!


ReadingIcess Fernandez Rojas is a writer, blogger, teacher, and journalist. Her commentary has appeared in The Guardian and on Huffington Post Latino Voices. Her fiction has been published in literary journals/anthologies such as Minerva Rising and Soul’s Road. Her first book, the beginning of the Jennie Manning series, will come out next year.  In addition to writing, Icess teaches fiction writing and English composition classes. Want more on what it takes to be a writer? Sign up  or contact her and ask a question.